Falling behind in the polls, the Romney campaign, in disarray, goes for broke, calling the President godless, telling the sick to die, and declaring war on the environment

When Republican business owners start enthusiastically bear-hugging Obama, if you’re Romney, you know you have a problem… The more sane among the Republicans are beginning to jump ship, and team Romney, instead of trying to win them back, by offering real solutions to the serious problems that confront our nation, has decided to double down on the Tea Party gambit, denying the realities of climate change, coming out against health care, and calling into question Obama’s belief in god.

In the wake of the national nominating conventions, Obama has been steadily pulling away from Romney in the polls. According to political poll watcher extraordinaire Nate Silver, Obama has gained 16.8% on Romney since September 3rd, when it comes to the all-important metric of electoral votes. According to Silver’s most recent analysis, if the election were held today, Obama would take 310 electoral votes to Romney’s 228, putting him back in the White House for a second term. Silver also states that, as of right now, Obama has a 86% chance of winning the popular vote. Silver even shows Obama with a 3.5% lead in Ohio, which, not to long ago was thought to be dead even. It would seem that the rambling of Clint Eastwood didn’t pay off the way that Republican strategists had hoped. And it probably didn’t help that Bill Clinton came along and reminded everyone just how much better off they were before the Republicans began to implement their extremist, slash-and-burn agenda. So, it didn’t come as much of a surprise to me today, when I read that Romney, who had said initially that this election was going to be all about the economy, has begun to talk about Obama’s godlessness. It reeks of desperation, but, to be honest, I don’t know what else he’s got left, now that all of the other lies have been exposed. All he has, it would appear, is the promise of voter suppression, and the lunatics that now form the base of his party. And he’s trying to energize them with a jolt of insanity.

On Saturday, while campaigning with televangelist Pat Robertson in Virginia, Romney said that, if elected, he would not, “take God off our coins.” “And I will not take God out of my heart,” the candidate said. Later, he added, “I will not take God out of the public square.” The implication, of course, is clear — that his opponent would do all of those things. Obama spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki was quick to respond, and say that these statements were “absurd”, and that the President had no intention of removing “God” from our currency, but, as we’ve discussed here before, we’re living in a post-reality world right now, where refutations like this just don’t matter. Now that it’s been said, people will run with the idea. In another week, we’ll probably be discussing Obama’s nefarious plan to have George Washington removed from the quarter and replaced with Charles Darwin. Nothing should surprise us at this point… Hell, according to recent polling 17% of registered voters still believe that Obama is Muslim. And that’s not even the worst of it. A new poll came out today stating that 15% of Republicans in Ohio think that Romney, a private citizen with no foreign policy experience whatsoever, is “more responsible” for bin Laden’s death than Obama. 47% say they “aren’t sure” which of the men deserves more credit. (Maybe they think that, since the hit took place outside of the United States, Romney, who’s something of an expert when it comes to moving American jobs oversees, had a hand in it.)

The sad thing is, this playing of the God card wasn’t even the worst of it this weekend. Even worse, in my opinion, was Romney’s decision to double down on anti-environmentalism, in hopes, I guess, of appealing to Republican voters who don’t realize that they live on the planet Earth. (My guess is that represents between 15% and 17% of Republican voters.) Here’s his exact quote, as shared yesterday, on Meet the Press – “I’m not in this race to slow the rise of the oceans or to heal the planet.” So, basically, he’s saying that he doesn’t give a shit that we’re experiencing record droughts, and that our crops are dying in the fields, while the polar ice fields are melting, and our ocean levels are rising, wreaking havoc with our weather. No, he’s proud to say that he doesn’t care about any of that. All he cares about, if you listen to him, is drilling for more oil, and removing what few environmental regulations that we still have on the books, so that companies can experience even more exponential growth. And here’s the really fucked up part… That will probably earn him points with the base of the rapidly devolving Republican party, who are convinced that jobs would flourish if only the rich were asked to contribute less, and allowed to exploit more.

Oh, and if you really want a clear illustration of just how confused the Romney campaign is at the moment, just look at their statements this weekend on health care. On September 9, Romney, after stating that there were a number of things that he liked about Obamacare, like the fact that those folks with pre-existing conditions can get health coverage, said, “Well, I’m not getting rid of all health care reform.” The following morning, however, he clarified. What he’d apparently meant, when he said that he’d keep some components of Obamacare, was “Obamacare must be repealed in its entirety.” According to a Romney aide, however, those with pre-existing conditions would still be able to find coverage, because “in a competitive environment, the marketplace will make available plans that include coverage for what there is demand for.” The free market, in other words, would solve everything. (The aide didn’t explain why it was that, prior to Obamacare, insurance companies were refusing to cover those with expensive pre-conditions. If I had to guess, I’d say that it probably has to do with excessive regulation and frivolous lawsuits.)

I don’t think I’ve seen anything go off the rails this spectacularly since Christmas Story 2.

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  1. Thom Elliott
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    The gods have already flown from us, despite broad unclear and half hearted belief in gods, America’s real god is material. The gods are replaced by technology, being is forgotten, human existence is a vacuum of meaninglessness. If you ask seriously xtian people, the US is the new Gemorrah, a place doomed to sin, its only a matter of time before god pours out his wrath on the US for its abandonment to sins like homosexuality, adultery, greed, pornography, abortion etc. To be a US president is to be the interface apperatus between the reptillian machine mind and the radically ignorent US serfs, who for some reason think what these people say when trying to be elected makes any difference. The trajectory is clear, no attempt will be made to change course away from nihilism, climate change will go unheeded, we will continue to eat plastic untill the earth becomes Venus.

  2. Edward
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    God, what a fucking mess. This campaign makes McCain 2008 look competent. The Republican party committed suicide by embracing the Tea Party.

  3. Oliva
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Toward achieving a true antidote to all the glum-making gruesomeness in our sociopolitical lives, step by step, piece by piece–no room for giving up, with an emphasis on building together and using our heads, voices (with thanks to Mark for hosting this blog and generously attributing much of his own hard work to “us,” as he did at Woodruff’s the other night): http://www.garalperovitz.com/ (some good podcasts available there, including one from 17 May 2012, “Speaking on Inequality at the Unitarian Congregation in Annapolis”–though sadly GA was wrong in his prediction that Scott Walker would be recalled).

  4. Bob
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Please don’t count the chickens yet. We are two months away and the full force of Romney’s money has yet to be felt. More critically, the extent of voter suppression likely to impact the election is an unknown. I think Obama will ultimately win based on moderate and Republican women who will silently punish Romney for his parties treatment of their gender. I hate to see people assume it though. The GOP has stolen two of the last three.

  5. Oliva
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    And there’s the Scott Walker recall case study (aka heartbreak, horribleness), in which billions of $$ trounced supercharged activism and the passionate will of the majority. Every potential voter has to be an actual voter this November.

    Excellent balm for the SW misery would be for both Ryan and Bachmann to lose their House seats.

  6. Tom
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    This post was worth it just to learn about ‘Christmas Story 2: E̶l̶e̶c̶t̶r̶i̶c̶ ̶B̶o̶o̶g̶a̶l̶o̶o̶ Talentless Moneygrab’

  7. Tina the Rooster
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    The dilemma facing most of us might be characterized as:

    –we very much want to support the first ever President of color, if only because he is such

    –yet we don’t want to support a President who’s demonstrated he’s comfortable with illegal executions, is radically pro-Wall Street, as well as a senior architect of the destruction of American Public Education.

    To make things even more complicated, we’ve now got liberals like Tom Hayden saying that if progressives don’t vote for Obama, and he loses, it will be their fault.

    Can we try a survey?

    Do we (choose one):

    A) hold our noses and vote for Obama? If so, what does this tell us about our convictions, especially considering it’s likely that nothing, or not much, will change in his second term.

    B) vote our principles and consciences (Jill Stein, for example)

    C) note vote at all

    (as a postscript, I also notice recently a lot of friends regurgitating this idea that at the very least, by reelecting Obama, we avoid the disaster of another conservative Supreme Court appointee. I think this is the excuse many of us are using so as to avoid thoughtfulness about the paradox of a President who’s both a person of color and an ineffectual President.)

  8. KKT
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Voter suppression is their only chance.

  9. Meta
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    “I left the [Republican] party because it was becoming an apocalyptic cult. Because you cannot govern a country of 310 million people that is the greatest economic power on earth and the greatest military power on earth as if it’s a banana republic.”

    – Mike Lofgren, former GOP congressional staffer

    Read more:

  10. Posted September 11, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Lofgren’s “Devil’s Dictionary” is also tart and useful: http://truth-out.org/news/item/10739

  11. Aaron B.
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Last night, a guy going door to door rang the bell and asked for my wife. I got her and she spoke to the man and he asked her who she was voting for and she said Obama and then he went on to let her know that Obama was “not vetted” and we don’t know enough about his background. She then asked him “so because he has a weird name he must not be American?” and he said yup…. before leaving he went on to suggest she watch the new Obama biopic that is out. What racists.

  12. John Galt
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    This illustrates how much Mark hates America. On a day that he should be violently shaking his fists and preaching about the dark skinned terrorists, he’s instead taking his time to rant about a god-fearing captain of industry who is trying, despite enormous odds, to lead our country back into the good graces of our Lord and Savior. A patriot should fly a plane into this blog.

  13. SparkleMotion
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised that Romney has made it this far, considering all the real money and influence is already flowing to Bobby Jindal for 2016.

  14. Mr. Y
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Damn, that was good stuff, Doug.

    Here’s the gist of it, for those of you who are incapable of following links.

    American exceptionalism: a doctrine whose proponents hold that by divine dispensation America is exempt from all laws gov­erning international norms, physics, or rationality.

    Authentic: used to describe a candidate who is unaware of current events and doesn’t read a newspaper, and is proud of it.

    Class warfare: a technique by which teachers, nurses, firemen, and cashiers are believed to be oppressing derivatives traders and CEOs, which includes unreasonably complaining that their wages aren’t keeping up with the cost of their health insurance.

    Conservative: a person profoundly respectful of heritage, tradition, and old-fashioned values while preaching the revolution and strip-mining the Grand Canyon for high-sulfur coal.

    Darwin’s theory of evolution: an evil doctrine that denies the teachings of the Bible. Social Darwinism, on the other hand, is what made America great and is perfectly consistent with the Sermon on the Mount.

    Elites: insufferable, overeducated snobs who are not real Ameri­cans and may in fact be French. Mitt Romney (Harvard MBA and JD) and George W. Bush (Yale, Harvard) have often criti­cized such scoundrels.

    Empower: If an American worker loses his pension or Social Se­curity, he is empowered.

    Free-market capitalism: the economic system by which Halli­burton gets sole-source, cost-plus government contracts.

    Global warming: a hoax perpetrated by a worldwide conspiracy of biased scientists. Fortunately it is being combated by right-wing foundations, oil companies, televangelists, and other disin­terested believers in objective fact.

    Job creators: the truly creative engines of economic growth in our society: real-estate flippers, mortgage-backed securities bundlers, leveraged buyout specialists, dividend drawers, and hedge-fund billionaires.

    Level playing field: what every lobbyist wants in the spirit of fairness. The only way to achieve it is by bribing politicians to award a sole-source contract to his client.

    Liberal (pronounced librull): a satanic ideologue who is at once a socialist leveler, an elitist defender of privilege, an atheist, and a secret Muslim determined to bring sharia law to America.

    Patriot: someone who loves America more than he loves the ma­jority of the people living therein.

    Populist: an advocate for the interests of “real” Americans who vehemently fights for the abolition of all government regulation of Wall Street investment banks.

    Prolife: the unconditional support of the first nine months of a human being’s existence. After that period has expired, the same human being has an unconditional right to be executed by the state, sent off to war, or die without health insurance.

    Real Americans: the minority of Americans who look, think, and act exactly as I do.

    Rogue state: a country that violates international law by com­mitting armed aggression, torturing prisoners, assassinating opponents, and possessing weapons of mass destruction. cf: american exceptionalism

    Sharia law: a fundamentalist religious doctrine imposed on a given political jurisdiction. Any resemblance to public statutes on abortion in the Commonwealth of Virginia is purely coincidental.

    Take our country back: Give us what we want right now, even if we don’t know what it is.

    Tea Party: people covered by Medicare who hate socialized medicine.

    Washington spending: the bad sort of spending that doesn’t go toward earmarks to campaign contributors, subsidies to big oil, or the military’s half-trillion-dollar budget. Everyone knows the Pentagon is across the Potomac in Virginia, not in Washington.

  15. Eel
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Fuck stupid anti-science Republicans like Mitt Romney.

    From Wired:

    “This summer could be dubbed The Great Melt. The belt of ice surrounding the Arctic has melted to its lowest level in history, a record seen by many scientists as evidence of long-term climate change. Adding to environmentalists’ fears, Royal Dutch Shell sunk its first drill bit into the Arctic seabed, taking the first steps in American offshore oil exploration in these frigid waters.”


  16. Andy Cameron
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    With respect Tina, I think anything other than the first option (and I won’t be holding my nose at all), is meaningless self indulgence. See Ralph Nader, 2000.

  17. Andy Cameron
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Ineffectual president? Wow. I absolutely disagree, and ask for some historical perspective and big picture thinking.

  18. j
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I also disagree with the claim of ineffectual president. He has been very effective at rewarding his Wall Street benefactors.

  19. Andy Cameron
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    So Obama haters, do you think there will be any outcome to the election other than an Obama or Romney win? Do you have some inner fantasy that a Romney win will force the *real* progressive movement to assert itself, the rest of the country will finally get it, blah,blah,blah? If so I respectfully suggest a fundamental lack of understanding of our polity and how our political system, voters, and media operate in the real world.

    This is the same kind of irrational political thinking that contributed to 8 years of Bush. How’s that Nader revolution doing these days? Were the long term consequences of the Bush presidency worth raging against the imperfect Dem machine?

  20. kjc
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Andy, I think you shot your big picture in black and white. Check the straw man setting.

  21. Andy Cameron
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t you fill me in on what I’m missing?

  22. Andy Cameron
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    And by the way, I don’t think that liberals/progressives should just shut up and like it. But we should all be smart enough to realize that in a zero sum game election, a vote withheld from Obama gives power to a vote for Romney. It’s just math.

    We should press for progressive change within the party, while at the same time supporting our ticket 100% during an election. I’m still waiting for a compelling argument for how enabling the election of someone much further from your politics brings you closer to your goals.

  23. Posted September 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    I’ve supported third party candidates. I gave Nader money when I was young. I may have even voted for him at some point. (I know I voted for Gore, but I believe I voted for Nader prior to that. Did he run against Clinton? I can’t remember that far back.) I understand the issues people have with Obama. Like many of you, I don’t like the idea of my President presiding over a system in which people are detained, and even killed, without trial. I don’t like that he refused to bring charges against those individuals responsible for the near collapse of our financial system. I don’t like that he gave up on the public option, and refused to fight for Elizabeth Warren, when Republicans drove her from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. I don’t like spying on American citizens, extending tax cuts on the wealthy, or any number of other things that he’s done. I have serious concerns. I have no doubt in my mind, however, that Romney would be worse, especially when it comes to his nominations for the Supreme Court. And, for that reason, I will be supporting Obama though election day. After that, though, I think we need to really come together and push him as hard as we can. I concede that I may be naive, but I don’t see as that we have a realistic alternative. The best option we have, as I see it, is to help him win, and then keep the movement alive in order to hold his feet to the fire. Voting for a third party, at least this year, is not a realistic response to the facts that are before us.

  24. Posted September 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    And, while we’re pushing against Obama, we should be cultivating the kinds of politicians we want to support at the local and state level. That has to be a part of this. We need to think about the long term, and we need to think local.

  25. Andy Cameron
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate what Mark has to say, and I am sympathetic to the argument and attitude. In a perfect world these issues would be more critically important to me. What I typically feel is that those of us who maintain this attitude for more than an election or two lack the appreciation for how real long term change actually works in a country of 310 million people, many of whom for myriad reasons disagree with your perspective (yet still get to vote).

    The Republicans are suffering greatly, and will continue to suffer, as a result of ideological purity. It feels right, I get that, but it’s not smart in the country we actually live in.

  26. Andy Cameron
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    And no mea culpa moments for anyone who supported Nader in a swing state in 2000? It’s been 12 years for crissakes! It wasn’t your fault that 5 supremes played politics, but was that decision to support Nader meaningful in any sense (other than personally) in the long run?

    (I have no problem if you actually cared about Dems winning and supported Nader in 96, or in a non-swing state in any election. Only in a state in an election that’s close) ;)

  27. Andy Cameron
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Still waiting to hear from kjc re details…

  28. j
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Mea culpa moments for Nader voters? If Nader voters have to take responsibility for Gore throwing the election, then surely Obama voters have to take responsibility for their support of:
    * extrajudicial killing of American citizens
    * bombing of countries we are not at war with
    * extension of the Patriot Act among other anti-civil liberties horseshit
    * financial and legal windfalls to wall street criminals
    * escalation of a stupid war in Afghanistan
    * destruction of public education
    * massive handouts to big pharma and the health insurance lobby
    * general continuation of Clinton’s neoliberal horseshit
    * coordinated attacks on the occupy movement (thank you Obama DOJ!)

    A vote for Obama is a vote for all of those things. But most of all it is a vote legitimizing our oligarchic system.

    You cannot pull the Democrats to the left by voting for Goldman Sachs. But the Republicans! But the Republicans! They’re crazy! Yes they are crazy, but they’re crazy because the Democratic elite have moved so far to the right the Republicans have no place else to go. Voting for a Bush Republican circa 2000 will not magically make the world a better place.

    The road to justice is a long one. You won’t get there by taking slightly smaller steps in the wrong direction.

  29. Andy Cameron
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    You seem to misunderstand. Gore didn’t throw the election, in fact he won, then lost. But he likely would have won FL outright if not for lefty FL Nader voters. We’ll likely never know exactly what happened in FL vote wise, but Nader kept campaigning in swing states even with the outcome in doubt.

    Conviction shouldn’t equal stupidity.

    I’m still waiting for any coherent argument from a progressive that a Romney victory is any kind of strategic victory for us. If you can’t make that argument and you don’t support Obama then you aren’t an intelligent progressive.

  30. Posted September 11, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I thought that this video may be of interest, given how we’re talking about spoilers.

  31. Andy Cameron
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Yes, given that we’re approaching a critical election in 8-9 weeks it makes a lot of sense to spend time thinking about a fantasy voting system that isn’t legal where you live.

    I love you, Mark, but let’s get heads out of asses and decide whether we care about some rich asshole who wants to destroy most of the Dem legacy of 20th century becoming president. I don’t want Mitt Romney to be president.

  32. Posted September 12, 2012 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Just to clarify, Andy, I wasn’t suggesting that people vote for a third party. As I said earlier, I will be voting for Obama, in spite of the issues I have with his presidency. I merely shared that video as I thought that others might find it of interest. Personally, as I’ve stated, I think there’s too much riding on this election to explore alternative candidates, especially in swing states. I do think, however, that we need to be ready to mount a huge public movement the day after the election to make sure that Obama does the right thing relative to the Bush tax cuts, etc.

  33. Oliva
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I so appreciate what Andy is saying here. It was too easy to see votes in 2008 for Obama only–because of the historic fact that the USA had elected a black president, among other remarkable things–as opposed to imagining his election as a way of taking important steps along the way to a better country, which we have a giant role/responsibility in creating. And local and state governments, not to mention the U.S. House, took a big hit in 2010 in part from this limited view in which people put way too much weight of hope in one man and forgot to keep working for the long term, to 2016, to 2020 . . . and onward. My hope this time is that Obama’s second term brings strong steps toward positive, progressive changes that we clamor for, setting down key pieces of a livable, favorable, hopeful path with an eye toward the long future–including that we somehow bring the glory and importance of science-based, mind-flowering education back to the front of the line, with teachers treated with the appreciation and respect they, and their students, deserve.

    So encouraging to see Elizabeth Warren doing better against Scott Brown, and it would just be pure joy to see Ryan lose his House seat to hard-working Rob Zerban in Wisconsin and of course losing the race with Romney.

    My friend sent a DailyKos link about Obama being the best president ever for Native Americans:
    And she (who has been as angry as anyone I know about Obama’s missteps and poor choices) made the point that we haven’t heard enough about some of the really good things he’s done (thank goodness Lilly Ledbetter had the podium at the Dems’ convention) because he isn’t in a position to promote them and also can’t address racial injustice as he’d like to because of the right-wing excoriation/demoralization machine. I hope those things will change in his second term because the unleashed racism of the past several years is absolutely painful and awful.

  34. Andy Cameron
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I hear you, Mark. I just think that too many other people have unrealistic expectations (and just look what’s it’s doing to the nuts on the other side). In a country where a shit load of people don’t agree with our politics we shouldn’t lose our shit when we don’t get everything we want.

    There are usually somewhat complicated reasons for it other than Obama is a bad president, or that he made a mistake.

  35. kjc
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    “Still waiting to hear from kjc re details…”

    i’m not your life coach. i agree with much of what you’re saying. but your condescending mansplanations, wherein your paint with a broad brush in the name of pragmatism, is reductive. and annoying. and if you want converts to your point of view, you should give more respect.

  36. kjc
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    credit to rebecca solnit for “mansplaining” btw. based on the guy who condescendingly explained to her a book in her field that she should read. not that he’d read it. just that he knenw one should. never mind that it was her book.

  37. Andy Cameron
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I’m just respectfully asking that you expand on your previous criticism using facts and arguments. Or not, it’s up to you obviously. And it’s not my job to look out for your feelings, I’m just making arguments in reaction to other comments up thread.

    And Mark’s my life coach, so I don’t need you. ;)


    Andy, I think you shot your big picture in black and white. Check the straw man setting.

  38. Eel
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I posted this in the thread after the most recent article, but then it occurred to me that it also belonged here, in the thread about how desperate and disgusting the Romney campaign had gotten.

    “I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” -Mitt Romney


  39. Meta
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    All is not yet lost for Romney. Right wing thinkers, like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh, are coming forward with advice on how to regain the lead, like using the word “socialist” more, and being more aggressively hostile toward the president.


  40. j
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Fine. I’m not a progressive but I’ll bite.

    The propagandists lead us to believe that elections provide us with a choice. Democracy is donkey or elephant, pick right and all your problems will be solved. It is a meaningless choice for the vast majority of Americans. What does it matter to the 99% that industry A benefits for four years instead of industry B? Voting for either of the corporate parties is endorsing and reinforcing the central false dichotomy of the American political system. Voting for Obama legitimizes this inherently conservative and regressive system. The enemy is not the Republicans. The enemy is reactionary politics, of which the presidential campaign/reality show is a central pillar.

    The only strategic gains available to progressives in presidential elections is to deligitimize them; call them out as the ridiculous nonsense that they are. I consider nonvoting to be too easy to ignore to be effective. More people vote “Doesn’t matter, can’t be bothered” than for the winning candidate, but they are typically written off as lazy or stupid rather than a sign that the election is meaningless. Votes for third parties are better signals of discontent. Obviously, this is only true because third parties have no chance of winning power. “I am an educated voter, I have been subjected to your endless propaganda, and yet I reject your false dichotomy.”

    As for my comment about Gore throwing the election I was referring to his reluctance to ask for a state-wide recount then pissing himself and blowing the media war in the face of a transparent Brooks Brothers Riot. Arguably, his campaigning with Joe Pharma Lieberman on a corporate agenda could be called throwing the election as well. He was a winner if he stuck to his progressive principles.

  41. kjc
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    “I’m just respectfully asking that you expand on your previous criticism using facts and arguments.”

    well you tried “facts” and “arguments” but they did nothing but illustrate your particular prejudices (and probably your class background). i mean, really, you throw a bunch of crap at the wall and i’m supposed to prove it’s not true? obviously people have different takes. i don’t think everyone who doesn’t have mine is an idiot.

  42. kjc
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    and when someone says “i’m not a progressive” i don’t know what that means either.

  43. Tina the Rooster
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    It probably means they’re left of progressive.

    Thanks, kjc and j. Fuck yeah.

  44. j
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    In this case it means I’m left of Lenin… at least Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and every other Tuesday. Ideological consistency is rather boring.

  45. Andy Cameron
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Guess we’ll agree to disagree. I think elections matter, and I don’t at all equate the two parties. I think I understand how you guys feel and why, and I feel/have felt the same way at various times. But I don’t think it’s a path to being politically effective. The primal scream is coming from the other side right now, and I don’t think it’s going to do them any good in the long run.

  46. EOS
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    If you really think global warming is a problem, then stop recycling paper and plant more trees. They are a renewable resource that reduces CO2 and increases atmospheric oxygen. If you think it unfair for those with pre-existing medical conditions to be denied care, then work to eliminate employers as the middlemen in health insurance and let individuals purchase their own. Then, their health insurance continues in spite of any job changes. The solutions of the progressives are the source of the problems.

  47. American
    Posted September 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    I will be voting for Romney after reading this article. Obama is the biggest liar on the planet.

  48. Posted September 16, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Can you back that statement up with facts, American? To which lies are you referring?

  49. Meta
    Posted September 19, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    “If somebody’s dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they’re gonna have to take what they get.” — Clint Eastwood

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