I’m not. I’ve been a political junkie ever since I can remember. I had an FBI file when I was very young. I used to go around to colleges in the Boston area and talk about the killings at Kent State. I was following elections before I could even vote. But the 2012 presidential election? I’m far from excited about it. I’ll never vote GOP because the Republicans are toxic. But I’m not thrilled about Barack Obama. He campaigned in 2008 on “Change We Can Believe In.” That was pure campaign bullshit. As a nation, we’ve simply accepted that campaign promises will be broken. That’s why the politicians keep breaking them. We’ve got nobody to blame but ourselves. We don’t hold them to their promises, nor do we hold them accountable for their transgressions. While I agree that the Citizens United ruling is a disaster for our electoral process, the fact is that we’ve done as much as that ruling to hasten its breakdown.
On a personal level, here’s where I am with this election: Forget the GOP. The Republicans are a disaster. To be perfectly honest, I’d rather vote for a third party. And if I thought they had a chance in hell, I would in a heartbeat. What I’m worried about is that — in this election — my third party vote would benefit the GOP. I’d rather have Barack Obama than Mitt Romney any day. But Barack Obama pisses me off and has for a while. I’ll get into that in a bit. Staying home on voting day is not an option. If I don’t vote, then I don’t get to complain and I’d have to shut down this blog.
First, let’s talk about the GOP. The 2012 GOP candidate field was a joke: Michele Bachmann, the psycho-babbling bitch from hell. Newt Gingrich, the has-been who doesn’t know when to leave. Ron Paul? Well, he’s a white supremacist for starters. I could call him a whack job, but there are so many in the GOP that deserve that title. For the life of me I can’t understand why the young and the liberals are enamored with this guy. He may want to legalize drugs. He may hate war. But he also wants to eliminate Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. (By the way, he collects a social security check every month.) He’s anti-women. He’s anti-gay. Other than that, he’s fine. Rick Santorum, the right-wing Christian poster boy. Rick Perry, the gun slinging crazy-ass Texan who’s destroying his state as Governor. What we ended up with was the consummate candidate of the one percent, Mitt Romney. The tax-evading millionaire who will permeate every level of government with radical right wingers if he’s elected. Buyers beware.
The GOP basically lied their way back into power in 2010 on a platform of creating jobs and fixing the economy. This isn’t your grandfather’s GOP. Hell, if you’re my age, it isn’t your father’s GOP. That GOP ended when Ronald Reagan was elected. This is the Tea Party’s GOP. They aren’t interested in helping the vast majority of Americans. They are interested in helping the wealthiest Americans, and anyone who tells you otherwise is full of shit. Period. They’ve spent their time doing everything but fixing the economy since taking back power in the House and nearly taking back the Senate. Instead, the GOP has declared a war on women, actively going after Planned Parenthood and literally blocking women from taking charge of their own health care. The GOP’s war has gone way beyond abortion. Now the GOP is targeting contraception and family planning, as if The Bible is their guiding light. I mean, it’s 2012 folks, and contraception is their major issue. I wonder if the GOP is even capable of making the logical connection between birth control and abortion. I doubt it. Another hot button issue for the GOP is same-sex marriage. John Boehner is in the process of wasting millions of taxpayer dollars defending DOMA, which has now been declared unconstitutional six times. If the GOP really cared about the vast majority of Americans, it would not be focusing on legislating morality. It would be talking about the real issues that Americans care about, namely the economy and jobs. But the GOP can’t really discuss that, you see, because it doesn’t have a clue. When the GOP does address the economy, it seeks to decimate Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and screw Americans out of their health care. (While we, of course, pay for theirs.) For the record, social services and health care are not the real cause of our deficit problems.
The Bush tax cuts and Wall Street’s out-of-control partying are two of the key components that got us into this mess. Why not address those issues? How about the wealthiest paying their fair share, instead of putting it on the backs of the people who live paycheck to paycheck with little, if any, financial safety net? Oh, yeah, that’s not politically expedient for the GOP. I forgot. We have a multimillionaire GOP presidential candidate paying taxes at a rate of about 15%– far less than the average middle class American. He’s hiding his money in the Caymans, Bermuda and everywhere else he can find a tax shelter. He’s taking tax breaks on his wife’s dancing horse to the tune of $77,000 a year, far more than the average yearly income of most Americans. He’s refusing to release his tax returns, and the American public is sitting around like it’s no big deal. Yet, he’s the first candidate ever to break the decades-old tradition of releasing detailed tax returns going back about ten to twelve years. Ever wonder why that might be? Doesn’t it raise the slightest amount of suspicion? Doesn’t it piss people off? And tell me again why pathological-lying, Wall Street-loving, tax-evading, scum-sucking Mitt Romney is the best man for the job of running the free world? It seems to have escaped me.
The other side of the proverbial rainbow
On the other side, we have the only alternative in Barack Obama, a man who has not lived up to his promises in any way. I’m tired of the Obamabots telling me how wonderful he is. He isn’t. I can’t even call him the lesser of two evils. All I can say with any amount of certainty is that he’s better than Mitt Romney. That’s as far as I’ll go. The Democrats are better than the Republicans because they don’t spend their time legislating morality or sticking their collective noses into people’s personal lives. That’s what I like best about the Democrats. Other than that, there’s little to distinguish the two parties from one another. Our president has failed to deliver change we can believe in. Obama didn’t do it while he had the majority and there’s no chance in hell he’s going to be able to do it now that the GOP is in power. Wall Street? Barack Obama is as much a Wall Street supporter as anybody from the GOP. He just doesn’t broadcast it. From the beginning, his economic brain trust read like a Wall Street who’s who. He’s done little to help the average homeowner, who now faces massive debt for years to come. Nobody from Wall Street has been held accountable for the economic disaster of 2008. And very little has been done to reign in Wall Street shenanigans. Indeed, if he’d been serious about the economy and wasn’t so concerned about losing Wall Street support, his stimulus plan would have been more robust and this recovery — if that’s what you want to call it — wouldn’t be so anemic.
What Barack Obama is, and what we didn’t need, is yet another centrist. He’s a candidate who promised to lead the country in a progressive direction then, immediately after his inauguration, turned the corner into political mediocrity. Guantanamo isn’t closed. The war in Afghanistan continues on. He claims the war in Iraq is over, but that’s not true. We had a chance to show the world that we were indeed what we claim to be — a country that has values and lives by the rule of law. The people of this country and the rest of the world cried out for the Bush administration to be investigated and held accountable for war crimes. It has been nearly four years since his election, and Barack Obama has failed to do so. In fact, I believe he never had any intention of doing so. It’s hard to convince the rest of the world that the United States is a country that respects the rule of law when such egregious war crimes go ignored. For the record, what the Bush administration did to detainees wasn’t just bad policy. These were indeed war crimes. Torture is never acceptable. Instead this is the message we’re sending: Torture is never acceptable when it’s being done to us. It’s acceptable if we’re doing it to someone else.
Instead of taking the moral high ground, we have a president who embraces this bullshit “war on terror” and acts as the chief judge and jury. We are a nation of drone warfare, killing many innocent men, women and children in an attempt to eradicate the world of those who would do us harm. Let’s be clear about terrorism: It will never go away until we, as a nation, change our behavior. We are not willing to do that, not even under Barack Obama. We have a president who has secret “kill” lists. How does not profoundly disturb the Obamabots? I’m serious about this. I wonder about these people because they seem to live in La La Land. As a nation, we love “cool.” We love that picture of Obama looking cool and sleek in his Ray-Ban sunglasses. He’s the epitome of “cool” and Mitt Romney is not. That damned photo appears on Facebook every three days, posted by an Obamabot claiming he’s the coolest guy on the planet. Yeah, he’s cool alright. We are a nation of voters who loves the superficial, but care little about the substance of whom we’re voting for. Every time I see that photo, it pisses me off because — in essence — Barack Obama is nothing more than a conniving politician like Mitt Romney. There’s nothing “cool” about him. There’s nothing “cool” about drone warfare. There’s nothing “cool” about secret kill lists. Here’s one for the Obamabots to chew on: There’s very little to distinguish Barack Obama from George W. Bush on this issue. Washington insiders have called Obama “George Bush on steroids.” They are not wrong. He has embraced, on a greater level, the very behavior he campaigned against four years ago. I find it revolting, and I find those who continue to deny it pathetic.
It’s also safe to say that the Obamabots think that winning the battle for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the be all and end all. It is not. The key to any change happening in this country will be determined on the state and local level. It’s clear that Obama is far from being a progressive thinker. The answer will be to elect progressives, like Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin, who are running for the Senate for the first time, and ensuring the re-election of left of center Senators like Sherrod Brown and Amy Klobuchar, who are facing tough battles. This is where it matters. The only way to force this president to take a more progressive path is to put people in office who will push him in that direction. The Obamabots need to be aware of one more fact: The GOP owns the House and they are four seats away from owning the Senate. If they retain control of the House and takes the Senate, it won’t make a damned bit of difference if Barack Obama is reelected.
So, at the end of the day, America’s youth, the LGBT community, women, and labor leaders will align themselves behind Barack Obama because the alternative is so unpalatable that it’s frightening. That’s not a mandate like it was in 2008. That’s a sad state of affairs.
I keep telling people that if I wake up the day after the election and have to deal with President Romney, I may just immerse myself in a bottle of Tito’s Handmade Vodka to kill the pain. I’m thinking that I may do the same thing if I wake up to President Obama.