Thursday, August 28, 2008

take my vote--please

From: Pierce

I feel bad that you are unable to participate in the upcoming Presidential election. Seeing as how I trust your judgment completely, I have decided to give you the opportunity to cast a vote…sort of. I am ceding my vote for President to you. Tell me who deserves my vote, and so shall I cast it. I urge your other devoted readers to do the same.

Wow. Is that even legal? Okay, let's assume it is. Vote for Obama. Everyone: vote for Obama. Just in case I haven't been clear, I say again: VOTE FOR OBAMA.

Do I like him? Nope. I don't have to like him. I just have to have half a brain, an IQ in the three figures: another Republican in the White House will send this country down the toilet. It's that simple. And if you don't vote for Obama that's what you'll get. And here's what British people think of that:

It seems incredible, but...America could be on course to re-elect a Republican as their President. Not just any Republican either, but a belligerent 71-year-old who can't remember how many houses he owns, would happily nuke Iran and whose answer to global warming is to drill for oil in environmentally sensitive areas off the coast of America which don't even have much oil...Really, America is a strange, strange country. After a disastrous and illegal war, in which 4000 American soldiers have died, in the middle of an economic crisis largely caused by the investment houses that finance the Republican party, you would have thought it almost inconceivable that the Republicans could be re-elected. Could any political brand be more toxic? Has any party in history deserved to be thrown out at an election more than the Republicans in 2008?
(read the rest at The Herald--it's a Glasgow paper)

I loathe politics. I loathe network TV. But I take life seriously, and casting a vote is a deadly serious business. People have died for that right. All over the world, they're still dying for it. So last night and tonight I watched speeches from Denver. I watched Michelle Obama (and let me say, she has a great speech writer). I watched Hillary Clinton (and she would make a great leader of the senate or Secretary of State--anyone out there watching the other night think she hasn't already got something in her pocket?).

I think conventions are silly, and this one was no exception. (Except this was the first time I saw a friend on TV waving a placard--hi Jen!) And Hillary still doesn't have much of a sense of crowd rhythm but, damn, she was a professional tonight. I was glad.

I want you all to make sure you're registered to vote, and then I want you to fucking vote. Vote Obama. Sure, do it for me if you don't want to do it for yourselves. Just do it.



  1. We can.not have another Republican in the White House. That, above all else, is the priority.

    I will not be happy about voting for Obama. Don't like the fellow.
    But I know my job.

    Thanks for saying what needs to be said.

  2. I don't love Obama either. Frankly, he scares the shit out of me. He's almost Hitleresque in his rise to power. (Change is not always good, and with all our faults, there is still much that is RIGHT with America. I love my country, can you tell?)

    But McCain is old school and I'll have no more of that.

  3. Funny how someone with hope, and the courage to stand behind it is frightening. I'm no blind optimist, but it's not possilbe to be more corrupt or "Hitleresque" than G. Bush.

  4. Thanks for your comments all. I just had a discussion this morning with my tech about this very topic. And, yes, I too am very wary of Obama. "If something is too good to be true..." BUT, given that said, Nicola, you are correct as are the others. I do need to vote. I had not planned on doing so because I really have never been in Obama's camp from the beginning and feel that our country is being forced to choose between the proverbial rock and the hard place. There is something intuitively that I just cannot get past with Obama...but, vote I will.

  5. janine, good, and you're welcome.

    ssas, whoa 'Hilteresque' is extreme. Hitler killed many millions of people based on religion, ethnicity, and sexuality. It's not a comparison to throw around lightly. But, no, McCain is definitely not the person we need in charge for the next four years.

    anon, personally I don't find Obama frightening. I just don't much care for him--don't much care for any politicians. But he's the one we have to vote for. And I wouldn't call Bush 'Hitleresque' (see above).

  6. Obama it is then (if it can't be Timmi), while I still have my US citizenship. I have been gagging on the smell of it a lot lately.

    As far as voting, if I lived in Russia I might bother to vote for whomever gave me the coupon for the bigger quantity of vodka. (Obama are you listening?)

    Here and now, I would sacrifice the hand that dropped the black marble in the jar to be able to oust these incumbent roaches--though it's too bad US candidates mainly are Cowboy 1 vs Cowboy 1.0001 based on their rhetorical promises and eventual corporate kowtow. ~evan m

  7. evan, I'm not entirely sure I know what you mean by 'corporate kow-tow'. Many things that are good for corporations (or, should I say, that corporations at the moment think are good for them) are, IMO, good for the world as a whole. Sometimes. To an extent.

    Also, it strikes me that the best way to vote out the incumbents is to, well, vote them out, rather than striking off a hand :)

    Vote early, vote often.

  8. What a great coup the republicants have already achieved. They have got many of us supporting Obama through faint praise.

    You folks' endorsement comes from a once felt enthusiasm for the candidate that encouraged us to think, that brought out the ideas that led a new generation of voters to take part in the primaries, that offers through his words the idea that we can change things from the bottom the middle the top the outside the inside. We who are responsible for this situation can change the situation.

    But not by offering faint praise for the candidate.

    How do the repugnants do that to us?

    Obama is a brave and honest person who will endure many attacks from the other side. He needs our full support not our "oh he not much but he's all we got" support.

    Think about it, through the prism of race in this country. His achievement is phenomenal. Do you think that is just luck? Do you think his support of gay rights is weak? He is as strong a supporter of a woman's right to choose as may be possible in this fucked up world.

    When he talks about things he discusses them with us at his best and preaches them at us at his inspired best. Not everyone likes either of these qualities especially.

    I like Obama, I trust Obama and what he brings out in me. He is going to take the progressive movement a long ways if we let him.

    PS Yes, N, someone can assign the right of their vote to another who may have to be a citizen also. I believe the repuglicants use this technique in the primaries to weaken a candidate or make the candidate have to spend more, or just to make the other party split its vote.

  9. rhbee, I'm glad you believe and like and trust Obama. I'm glad you'll be voting for him. But 'the repugnants' didn't make me do anything. My opinion of Obama is based on careful reading. Besides, my point is that it simply doesn't matter how I feel about him; if I could vote, I'd vote for him rather than McCain.

    I think you're dead wrong about the need for group think. It's group think that gets countries into trouble. Thinking for ourselves, coming to considered judgements and voting accordingly--not giving up our hopes and dreams to others--is what makes change.

  10. The right to vote is at the core of what it is to be an American; it is fundamental. Millions of people have fought and died or lost their loved ones for that right, and probably many more will. I would NEVER concede my vote to anyone, no matter how much I respected her/his opinion. I cannot imagine wanting to pass on the privilege or ignore it by not voting. This is not to say that I don’t appreciate hearing the opinions of intelligent people for whom I have a ton or respect and admiration.

    Maybe some states legally allow proxy voting (some legislatures use it), but it is not allowed in federal elections. We have laws like that to protect our voting privilege. And it is a privilege. It can be taken away. We also have the choice not to vote at all.

    One thing I learned as a child growing up in The South, was that how one voted was a private matter. I don’t know if that’s a southern thing, a U.S. thing or just some quirk of my particular (twisted) family, but it was one of the first things I thought of when I saw this post. The practice probably started as a means to protect people from persecution, but it is outdated. My own father has never even told me verbally exactly how he voted. But he doesn’t have to; I know it by every thing else he says and does. He votes republican no matter what. My grandmother, now she was ‘of a different color’. One could never be sure what she would’ve done. And she wasn’t telling, just smiling. But it’s a safe bet that she never voted for a Kennedy (too Catholic). I, on the other hand, am an open book.

    I have (hopefully) shed most of my childhood disinformation. I have no problem saying out loud (and with enthusiasm) whom I choose to vote for. I’ve already said that I plan to vote for Obama. Whatever his shortcomings, he is the best choice in this instance. I agree — a no brainer.

    It seems to me the issue that should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind is the environment. Global warming is escalating at an alarming rate, and it should be splattered on the front page every day. It’s something that I have to remind myself of every day – to at least make some small effort to do better.

    Yes, we all have to pay the bills. We all have to put gas in our cars and pay the rent or the mortgage and put food on the table. Yes, the war is a horrific, ridiculous waste. But it’s kind of like our own health; it’s often said that without our health we have nothing. No life of any quality. Well, the same goes for the planet. Without the health of our environment, we are doomed. That is what I think that we and the candidates should be most concerned about.

    It is likely that the next president will select two, possibly even three supreme court justices. They will be crucial appointments.

    I used to think that McCain was a fairly reasonable middle-of-the road kind of guy. Now he seems more and more to me to be worse than status quo; he seems like an even further step back to a previous era. The poor guy is still stuck in that Vietnam POW mentality. McCain wants to increase oil drilling in Alaska. He wants to drag the war on and on and on. He’s against gay marriage (supporst Prop 8 in CA) and against Roe v Wade. Those are a few examples of how the guy thinks.

    I guess I'm repeating a lot of what you said, Nicola, but it bears repeating. To me it is completely fucking inconceivable that this election could be so close. At least I wish it were inconceivable, but I still go back to TN to visit.

    Yes, at this stage, it’s a no brainer. Obama gets my vote. But I don’t have to like, trust, or praise him. I don’t have to justify my reasons unless I choose to, and neither do you. I just have to get my ass to the polls in November. It’s the least I can do. People have died to give me that privilege. When I go punch my card, I’ll remember them.

    Sorry to go on so long, but hey, that's the nature of the subject.

  11. jennifer, you make a lot of good points. It's good to see thoughtful passion. Voting *matters*.

    I want everyone to register to vote. Vote. Vote for Obama. Please.

  12. I might just vote for Obama, Nicola, but it probably won't matter. I live in a thoroughly Republican state whose electoral votes haven't gone to a Democrat since (I hear) LBJ in 1964. I had intended not to vote for President at all this year, but Dennis Perrin has given me a good reason to vote for Obama, so I may go ahead and do it.

    I must say I'm baffled by sex scenes at starbuck's remark about "with all our faults, there is still much that is RIGHT with America", as if that line weren't a staple of Obama's campaign speeches, and of most of his Dem supporters. And the comparison to Hitler is plain loony. Whoever you're talking about sex scenes, it's not Obama.

    On the other hand, I plan to be merciless this time around to Democrats who attack me for not worshipping Obama. He's the lesser of two evils, rhbee, and you have not given a single reason why I should be excited about him. I heard this same line during the Gore and Kerry campaigns, and I must say, it's an odd way of trying to win over the ambivalent to vote for your side. If you want Obama to lose, rhbee, keep on keeping on.

    Nicola, I thought that quotation from the Glasgow paper was interesting for its own ignorance about Obama's positions. Obama also wants to attack Iran, he agrees completely with Bush's deranged assessment of the situation; he might use nukes reluctantly rather than "happily," but he is every bit as dangerous a warmonger as McCain. On that illegal war in Iraq, after his initial dissent (which as I recall, was tactical rather than based on the illegality of aggression) Obama has consistently voted to support it, and he plans to keep American troops there even after he's removed "combat" forces. Obama has said he'd compromise on offshore drilling if it were part of a larger energy policy. He has said that marriage should be between a man and a woman. I agree that it would be good not to have a Republican in the White House, but unfortunately there is no major non-Republican candidate to vote for. Basically I have a choice between a moderate Republican and a far-right Republican, and even if I hold my nose and vote for the moderate one, I'm not going to pretend that he's a good choice.

  13. promiscuous, no, it might not make a difference, but there again it might.

    I don't think we're too far apart on this stuff. And, yep, op-ed writers in the UK are as daft as op-ed writers in the US: in love with the sound of their own voices, surfing the wave of pop culture and calling it an educated opinion. Tuh. But I thought readers might appreciate the view (not matter how skewed) from the other side of the pond.

  14. I know how this is going to come across before I even get all the words down. I will say that I read all the post and at times become overwhelmed at my lack of education on so many things. But, I read and I learn.

    Obama: I have always been able to look at a person's eyes and "see" what is there. With Obama, I see nothing. His words do not match his eyes and I will admit that it frightens me.

    I have voted in every election since I was old enough to vote (over 42 years). I actively campaigned for Bobby Kennedy. I will vote but only in defense of hopefully protecting our country of more of the same. There is so much at stake and hope my vote is not mispent.

  15. "the lesser of two evils." you're right Promiscuous, that's not even faint praise.

    But my point wasn't to convince you to vote for Obama, though I do believe I gave several reasons to.

    I was asking a question, how do the Republicans get us to start describing our candidate in this fashion? Yes, it is the same thing they accomplished with Kerry, Gore, and Dukakis to name a few.

    You and Nicola came to this conclusion after reasoned study, you say. No media influence, no story line lead took you there.

    So you and the Republicans agree but you are going to vote Democrat anyway.

    I hear Obama saying vote for something not against something. That's settling for the very thing in this country, and probably all countries, that needs to change.

  16. agreed, nicola, and one of the great benefits of the Internet for me has been that it makes news media from other countries more accessible.

    But you do know how the U.S. electoral college works, don't you? My vote wouldn't add to all the other votes for Obama in the country; it would just go towards his total in Indiana. If McCain takes Indiana, as I suspect he will, then my vote for Obama disappears at that level.

    rhbee, you haven't given even one reason to vote for Obama. "He is going to take the progressive movement a long way if we let him," for example, is not a reason, and it's utterly bogus because Obama is not a progressive. On economics, he's a slightly watered-down Chicago-school reactionary. On foreign policy, he's very close to Bush. (His views on Iran, for example.) He is slightly more liberal than Bush on some issues, but that does not equal "progressive."

    "You and Nicola came to this conclusion after reasoned study, you say. No media influence, no story line lead took you there." Excuse me, I did not say anything of the kind. Nor, I believe, did Nicola. You're lying like a Republican, rhbee. Again, this is not the best way to get me to vote for anyone.

    "So you and the Republicans agree but you are going to vote Democrat anyway." "Agree" on what? The Republicans do not say that Obama is the lesser of two evils -- they do not regard McCain as an evil at all, but as a hero, and they are concerned to make Obama look as different from their candidate as possible. So they want us to believe that he's a Muslim, a black militant, an un-American socialist. (If he were, frankly, I'd be more inclined to vote for him.) The corporate media have taken the same line.

    I don't much care whether you got your falsehoods from Obama's campaign, or made them up yourself, rhbee. They're still falsehoods. Meanwhile, your candidate is tacking even more to the right, in hopes of getting some Republican votes. That's the strategy that helped bring down Gore in 2000, and Kerry in 2004.

    Really, though: if I do vote for Obama in November, what do you care if I do it while holding my nose? That's what interests me. Why do I have to worship him? My vote is all he, or you, have a right to ask of me.

  17. Lots of assumptions are getting made here, and some words getting flung about that I don't think are consistent with playing nicely.

    But it occurs to me that I haven't posted a list of Rules for Commenting anywhere. I'll rectify that later this week.

    For now, though, here are three rough and ready rules:
    - assume good intent on the part of the other commentators
    - no ad hominem remarks: no accusations of ill-intent (lying, for example; we simply can't know what someone meant, beyond their actual words)
    - play as nicely as you know how

    More specifics later. For now, though, let's tone this one down a little. As always, thanks for taking the time to visit and join in.

  18. It seems obvious that if I believed the way the republicans did, I'd vote for a republican candidate. Only in the sense that the republicans stand for what they espouse do they encourage me to vote for Obama. Not because I look to their media campaigns for my information. All I have to do is go to to see what I need to understand enough about how he will act to form an opinion; combine that with a little research to see how he changes with the weather, and I've got my opinion about him.

    I can't actually ever remember voting in a presidential election when I did not feel I was choosing a candidate that was 'the lesser of two evils'. Although evil is a stronger word than I really intend, it's a convenient expression. Those kind of choices are endemic in our current system I think. I don't see it changing anytime soon. The process to get elected requires or creates a certain type of person that I find unappealing.

    Obama is not my candidate. He is a candidate for whom I choose to vote. What changes he is actually able to bring about will have a lot to do with the system that is already in place and his strength of character.

    I attribute Obama's quick rise to the top to the power of Oprah Winfrey.

    So, since I can't vote for Aud (or Nicola), I'm gonna stick with Obama.

  19. Here's how I think Obama will help the Progressive idea. He will listen to what we have to say and not shuffle us off in a label box.

    As I said above, when he talks he expects his listeners to think, to be able to think.

    And speaking about thinking, I just realized that from my perspective, as a person who thought that Obama made the better case for changing things around, it is strange, and has been strange, to hear people talking about not trusting him and "the lies he told to beat Hillary". After he confirmed his delegate counts, I forgot for the moment that we all didn't agree to start with. After being afronted for months by Obama's campaign, I can see why your sensitivities are still out there ready to respond.

    So I guess faint praise may be all that he can expect until he proves that he means what he says.

    By the bye, N, I don't see exactly where I said anything about group thinking? The whole cult meme concerning Obama is a Republican construct that I don't accept. My question was and still is about the process we are in and how it works.