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Choices, clarified

The Hillary2012 robocalls have spread to swing states and while we’re not really sure who is doing them or for what purpose (it could be that they just want Hillary in 2012), there’s something that the Obama contingent should keep in mind.

We have heard over and over again that Hillary has no plans to run in 2012.  Plans can change but we’ll take her at her word, for now.  However, just because the person most likely to succeed in capturing the White House for the Democrats is staying out of the race (for now), that doesn’t automatically mean that we have to vote for Obama.  All it means is that the Democratic party persists in offering me a lousy choice of a presidential candidate who does not meet my standards of executive leadership, performance or ethics.  That’s all it means.  My position has not changed.

If Bill Clinton wants to lower his standards and vote for Obama, that’s his choice.  He is a loyal Democrat and his opinion is still of value to the Democratic party.  But I don’t have to follow his advice.  My vote is my own and I am no longer a member of the Democratic party.  After 2008, I feel no sense of obligation or loyalty to the party.  The party hasn’t scored any points with me and I’m fairly moderate in my liberalism.  I’m not a tree hugging, vegan, anti-nuke, anti-genetically modified corn crunchy granola type.  That doesn’t make me an independent by choice.  I only mean to say that I don’t accept a lot of left dogma as part of my tribal identity.  I find Chris Hedges types to be pompous, pseudosincere, impractical bores who I would not want to chat with at a cocktail party.  I might want to sit in a dark corner and watch him do his thing but I’m not going to submissively approach and touch him like he’s the alpha male chimp of my unit group.

Here’s the bottom line, if Hillary jumps in the race, I’ll vote for her.  I’m not so pure that I blame her single vote out of 99 for the Iraq War Resolution (because that would be stupid, illogical and hypocritical especially if I had planned to vote for John Edwards in 2008 before he dropped out).  I also don’t blame her for the fact that the wars didn’t end on January 20, 2009.  That was never going to happen even if Gandhi had been elected because the Bushies intentionally destabilized central asia before they left.  I also don’t think she is the only person in the world who has accepted money from lobbyists but I do give her credit for not allowing that money to cloud her judgment or mess with her principles.  So, yeah, I’d vote for her if she got in.

I’d also vote for other Democrats should they decide to run.  Like Sherrod Brown.  Or Ed Rendell.  Or even Al Franken, though most Americans don’t understand how serious and committed he is and he’d have an uphill battle there.  But still, if he decided to run, I’d vote for him and campaign for him and walk the streets for him- gladly and with much enthusiasm.  Same with Bernie Sanders.

But if the DNC thinks I will just fall into line behind Obama after his poor performance, then they can kiss my ass.  Putting him out there for a second run is easy for the Democrats but I’m not accepting easy from them this year and neither should anyone else. If Obama had run for president on some obscure party ticket and ended up on the ballot in 2008, no one would have voted for him. Go on and do a thought experiment on this.  Imagine Barack Obama running for president as the nominee of the Green party in 2008.  The Green party has had African American candidates before.  Some of them might have been pretty good candidates.  But have you ever seen the media go nuts over a Green party candidate?  Of course not.  If Hillary ran for the Green party in 2008, that would be news. Obama running as a Green in 2008?  Snore. The Green party hasn’t reached the threshold of electoral numbers and victories that would give it the proper gravitas.  Neither has any other obscure established party.   It was only the fact that Obama scored the Democratic party nomination that made him seem like a legitimate and serious candidate.

Come to think of it, the “third party test” will now become a part of my criteria for evaluating major party candidates for office during the primaries and general election.  I will now ask myself, if this candidate was running for office on an obscure third party instead of a major party, would I still vote for him or her based on their level of experience, positions on issues and voting record?  If more people had asked themselves this question back in 2008, Hillary would be president right now.  For incumbents, I might apply the Jack Welch “rank and yank” criteria.  On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being best, how does this incumbent stack up against the past 5 presidents?  If he scores a 2 or below, he’s outta there.

So, next year, I expect Democrats to raise their standards and work hard to win me back.  Obama ain’t going to cut it for me because I already know that commodity and his attitude towards hard working middle class STEM workers (he believes the garbage that the executives tell him) and women (he doesn’t seem to think they have quite the moral authority of men) and I’m just not interested.  But if they offer me someone else, I might take a good hard look.  Otherwise, I might as well take a chance on some third party candidate.  Those third parties can’t be offering anything *worse* than Barack Obama or the Republican nominee, and there’s a good possibility that they have someone who is better, or at least able to do his or her own thinking.

I expect the Democrats will come back screaming about how we’re slitting our own throats but what they are really objecting to is the loss of their own power.  From where I sit, I don’t benefit by giving my vote to either one of the current major parties at the presidential level.  I *might* benefit if I give my vote to another party.  I have nothing to lose, but possibly everything to gain.  I feel no sense of obligation to help Democrats retain power if they have no sense of obligation to help me keep my job, health care or my house.  This is not a game.

So, while I don’t know what the robocallers are up to, I encourage Iowa and New Hampshire Democrats to make a little mischief.  Color outside the lines.  Push the envelope.  Subvert the dominant paradigm.  If you don’t want Obama either, do us all a favor and pick someone who isn’t on the ballot yet.  Occupy the primaries.  You know what to do.

31 Responses

  1. I am in the ABO bunch. 🙂

  2. Instead of PUMA,how about KMA?

    Since I work second shift, voting means getting out of bed early to get to the polls and Obama isn’t worth my resetting the alarm clock.

    Cheating Hillary out of the nomination as the culmination of what the Dem “elite” did to her during the primaries might have been forgivable if Obama, Pelosi, and Reid actually fought for our values instead of going republican lite.

    How many Democratic party leaning voters stayed home November 2010 because of their poor performance?

    How many more will sit out of vote Independent 2012 because that poor performance was rewarded with the House Minority Leader and Senate Majority Leader positions?

    Reid and Pelosi should have been sent packing but we got the same party unity bull exhaust as we did from the members of the Rules and Bylaws committee.

  3. I find myself hoping that Buddy Roemer gets some traction with the Americans Elect crowd and can get their nomination. He was a Democratic congressman and a Republican governor of LA. He wants Glass-Steigell back in place and real finance reform. I can get behind that. I don’t know anyone who is running for the middle class this time around. FWIW.

    • His was a competent, drama – free administration..as I recall. I would be happy to support him.

    • From what I can tell of Americans Elect, there is no way those behind the scenes pulling the strings will let Buddy Roemer any where near them.

      • I don’t disagree but am willing to wait and see. No one else worth a damn is out there.

        • I hear Rocky Anderson is planning to run

          • Yes but without something like Americans Elect to get him ballot access, he won’t be on the ballot most states. That the only reason AE exists. I wouldn’t mind him getting their nomination either though.

            Anderson or Roemer would get my vote.

  4. Occupy the Primaries…. with a “Write Hillary In” button, and electing delegates pledged to nobody getting elected to the Convention would get traction…followed up with the litigation to force the Democrats to hold their convention during the week of September 3rd in North Carolina, not in the back rooms of the DNC hackers as PAID FOR. A bus tour of poll watchers throughout those “gamed Red State Caucuses” could be fun, too. For those collecting their unemployment for an additional 52 weeks, it could be money well spent.

    Can I get an Occupy the Primaries” Tee Shirt?

  5. I am writing in Hillary. I had hoped there would be a republican I wanted to vote for, but no such luck. And I will not vote for Obama ever for anything. He represents the worst of politics.

    As for Bill Clinton: He has a great deal of power and influence in the world let alone the democratic party. He isn’t about to give that up, nor should he. He has an obligation to use it wisely. If he doesn’t support Obama publicly he loses some of his influence. He may want to be able to call in favors for Hillary or Chelsea etc… in the future. However, we have no idea what he does in the voting booth. He may be writing in Hillary too.

  6. Registered Democrats: Consider running as Uncommitted Delegates – maybe the R & BL Committee can divvy you up to the “intended” incumbent after you get elected.

  7. I think one of the considerations should be is who is likely to be the next head of the State Dept.

  8. Has anything different been heard? The last I saw someone was talking about the robocalls initiating from the Hindu Kush and some theory that it was a Repug plot. I sounded like a joke but I didn’t have time to pursue it.

    • Saw where Uppity said something about their twitter going to a zipcode in Kentucky. Other than that, I haven’t heard a thing.

  9. I am a little conservative and I am an old-time Democrat. I would much rather have a president who is more liberal than me than one who is more conservative. I will not vote for Obama and I will not vote for a Republican. I consider myself as a middle-of-the-road liberal. I refuse to give up being a Democrat just because a bunch of power hungry people latched onto the label Democrat and went on a wild power ride. Take back our name.

  10. I’m not worried that Obama will be reelected. I expect the economy to tank in 2012 and we all know what happens when the economy tanks, voters turn against the incumbent president. The only unknown is foreign policy. It’s possible the country might be at war. In that case, I don’t know if Obama will be defeated. Americans have a weird view that a president that takes the country to war should be reelected.

    In any case, it doesn’t matter if a G.O.P. or Obama wins the WH. Whoever is elected works for Wall Street.

  11. Here is a question:

    As far as I know, the Secretary of State cannot campaign. That could be by tradition or otherwise. Does she have to resign her position in order to run? Can she be the SoS and campaign at the same time?

    I really don’t see her running.

  12. Reading this speech I realize the stunning loss the Obama/Pelosi iteration of the Democratic Party represents.  Effectively it’s been  murder. The New Deal is dead as an ideal as well as a coherent set of liberal policies.  

    Pining for the man who was the best president ever.


  13. A Christmas Message From America’s Rich

    Reading this post by Matt Taibbi made me so mad I just have to say, to paraphrase katiebird, “so many Wall St bankers so little spit!”

  14. Just yesterday, my friend mentioned the 2012 elections and inquired as to my vote. I told her I remain unimpressed with any of the present choices “however, I intend to exercise my right.” To this, I sensed a bit of exasperation at the fact that I didn’t just capitulate, given the current options, and say “Obama”. Not. Gonna. Happen. So she sarcastically says, “so, who then? Daffy Duck?” To which I replied: “Oh, is he running? Well, he’s got my vote.” 😉

  15. There comes a point where “crunchy granola” is merely French for “dirty fucking hippy”. What do pro-vegan and anti-genetically-modified-corn have to do with eachother, exactly? In a scientific sense?
    I have subscribed to a paper called Acres USA for some years now, and I sometimes go to their conferences. I went to the most recent one. One among many presenters was professor Don Huber.
    Here is the little blurblatt they gave about him. Dr. Don Huber is professor emeritus of plant pathology at Purdue University. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Idaho and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University, and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College and Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He was cereal pathologist at the University of Idaho for 8 years before joining the Department of Botany & Plant Pathology at Purdue University in 1971. His agricultural research the past 50 years has focused on the epidemiology and control of soilborne plant pathogens with emphasis on microbial ecology, cultural and biological controls, and physiology of host-parasite relationships. Research also includes nitrogen metabolism, micronutrient physiology, inhibition of nitrification, and nutrient-disease interactions. In addition to his academic positions and research, he is internationally recognized for his expertise in the development of nitrification inhibitors to improve the efficiency of nitrogen fertilizers, interactions of the form of nitrogen, manganese and other nutrients in disease, herbicide-nutrient-disease interactions, techniques for rapid microbial identification, and cultural control of plant diseases.”

    Sounds like a scientist to me.

    • Here is an interview Professor Huber recently gave to Acres USA
      about several interlocked issues, including genetically modified corn and genetically modified other things . . . as they relate to glyphosate use and abuse. http://www.organicconsumers.org/artman2/uploads/1/May2011_Huber.pdf

      • He also gave a talk on the subject, including abundant referrences to work being done by all kinds of scientist/professors throughout the profession. Unfortunately one would have to buy the 2-disc recording from acres USA because it has not been websited.

        But if I had my own computer and more computer access otherwise than spotty access to workplace computers or the wretched shitcomputers at the public library, I could find and post more worthwhile links. The information is out there and findable about why
        genetically modified corn specifically and crops in general are worthy of concern.

  16. I’m supporting Rocky Anderson. He believes what I believe and he managed to be very successful as a liberal in Utah. He is strong.He supports the OWS movement. He hates the bankers. Oppsed the wars.

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