This election: Good for the Jews?

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Romney_and_Obama.jpgNote: This first appeared on the morning of election day, Nov 6.

It’s nearly over, and one could reasonably argue that the American presidential election has been at least as bad for Americans—in terms of ulcers, family arguments, and meme overdose—as it’s been good for democracy.

Which, you know: Ha ha! Jokes! But I would argue in all sincerity that the election has, in fact, been truly bad for at least one group of Americans: American Jews.

How so? You ask, and not unreasonably. Here’s a brief list:

On more than one occasion, both candidates gave the impression that “foreign policy” was synonymous with “supporting Israel’s government at all costs.” At the third presidential debate, the word “Israel” was uttered more than 30 times, often in a sentence that started with “and of course we’ll consult with…” Why is this bad news for the Jews? Because it goes a really long way toward helping the liars, hatemongers and anti-Semites who want to believe that Israel runs (a) America and (b) the world. Dear Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama: You’re not helping.

On frequent occasion, both candidates talked about their support for the Israeli government and its policies as if these are the single most important issue in the American Jewish community, and as if their shot at the presidency depended on the pandering. Why is this bad news for the Jews? Because it misrepresents us to our fellow Americans—we’re only 2 percent of the electorate, and well less than 10 percent of us say that Israel is our most important election issue—and it also goes a really long way toward supporting the liars, hatemongers and anti-Semites who want to believe that “the Jews” run (a) America and (b) the world. Dear Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama: Can we cut that out now?

Also on frequent occasion, the specter of a nuclear Iran was raised largely in order to burnish the candidate’s bona fides as a tough guy in the region (though, it must be admitted, this was worse on Romney’s side than on Obama’s). Why is this bad news for the Jews? Because the specter of a nuclear Iran is a genuine concern to Israel and thus to the American Jewish community, and the best way to keep any country from being a threat is not to use it as a rhetorical prop, but to do our best to engage that country and find diplomatic ways around war.

On virtually no occasion did either candidate say so much as a single serious word about Israel’s actual most pressing existential threat: its unresolved conflict with the Palestinian people. Obama entered the Oval Office full of good ideas and good intentions to try to restart negotiations toward a two-state solution, and at every turn, allowed himself to be turned away from the effort by the Israeli government and its American supporters. Mitt Romney pledged to do “the opposite” of what Obama has done in the region, but given that he told supporters that he’s just going to let the problem be kicked down the road “and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it,” he seems to be pretty attached to the President’s actual approach to the issue.

Now, anyone who’s in any way acquainted with me or my work knows who I’ll be voting for (or, in fact, who I’ve already voted for). I’m a big Obama supporter, for all the usual reasons that a Democrat likes this incumbent: his positions on women’s equality and reproductive choice, the steps he’s taken for LGBTQ rights, Obamacare, Pell Grants, saving the American economy from the abyss, etc.

But I cannot say—despite all the protestations from all sides of the Democratic map that he really, really loves Israel, just look at how much military aid he’s given!—that he’s done much good for Israel. On the contrary: In allowing the conflict to drag on for four more bloody, settlement-heavy years, President Obama has done an active disservice to American security interests, American foreign policy goals, Israel’s long-term viability, and (it bears mentioning) the Palestinian people.

It may be all the rage to talk about a “one-state solution” now, but the simple truth is that there is no way to achieve a single state without even more massive suffering along the way, because there is no way to force the sides to play nice with each other. If Israelis and Palestinians are going to learn to stop wanting to kill each other, they’re going to have to learn how to live next to each other first. And that means the two-state solution to which President Obama is nominally dedicated.

I’m under no illusion that a President Romney would do a better job on this front. As an American-Israeli Jew who loves both of her countries very much, I live in hope that in Obama’s second term, the President will be freed up by the lack of a re-election campaign to find the kind of boldness he promised at the start of his first term.

But if he doesn’t, I’m pretty sure we can just go ahead and bury the two-state solution and sit shiva.

And that will be very bad news for the Jews, indeed.

Crossposted from Open Zion/The Daily Beast.

Thoughts both random and jumbled.

“Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012. At the time of this image Sandy was the strongest hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, the largest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean.” – http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/tc_pages/tc_home.html

Now that the storm has passed (at least for we Americans – Canadians in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes have their own Sandy to face as I write) I’m finding it impossible to grasp its enormity and implications.

Which I suppose marks me as The Average American, but I really am overwhelmed trying to think about it. For instance: New York City without full power for as long as a week, maybe? How does that not become bedlam? What’s happening with the folks for whom a blizzard is still blowing, what about people with live wires and flood waters all up and down the mid-Atlantic, what about the sewage pouring into waterways, what about the 80 homes in Queens destroyed by a fire surrounded by water last night, what about all the millions of people with their millions of individual troubles? NPR reported this morning that there are 7 million people without power today — I turned to my son and said “That’s like everyone in the entire state of Israel.” And what if power isn’t back in time for election day?

And then I think about the election, and how nauseatingly anxious it makes me to think about the election, because now it has this aura of a reality show gone horribly, horribly wrong. And it’s only the future of our country hanging on it. (Not to mention the future of disaster relief for the most populous and economically/culturally/politically significant part of our country — and I say this as a proud Midwesterner, but some things are just facts).

And I realize that I really, really want to believe that a President Romney would step up and meet the challenge of a post-Sandy America and also be capable of handling any other future disasters well — and yet, as non-partisan as I try to be, there is just nothing about the man, his candidacy, or his career that gives me any sense that Romney has that in him.

And then I realize that every single, little thing I’ve heard about the Romney/Ryan campaign has irked me, angered me really, ever since yesterday afternoon, and that that’s pretty much because I want him to be a mensch and acknowledge that what this country needs is a second Obama term and announce that he’s throwing in the towel. And that’s not really a reasonable expectation.

And I think about all the people I know and love who were in Sandy’s path, some of them people I’ve never met, two of them people who dropped out of my life for reasons that are either inexplicable and infuriating or just plain infuriating, and I love them so much and am so worried about them, and I cannot tell them, and that makes me want to punch a wall.

I know everyone says at this point in a developing disaster that “we’re Americans and the good thing about Americans is we pick ourselves up,” but really, everyone pretty much picks themselves up, as best they can. No one people has a lock on that, really, nor on the impulse of kindness toward strangers and neighbors in the wake of disaster.

What we do have here that’s different from a lot of places (such as the Caribbean) is a lot of resources and a lot of wealth. We have not, traditionally, always spent our wealth particularly wisely (suddenly the infrastructure conversation is very, very interesting, isn’t it America?), but we have it and we can draw on it. The challenge will be then to use our resources, both human and treasure, wisely.

And that brings me right back to being anxious about the election.

 

Rape tolerance and actual facts.

Trigger warning: Please take care of yourself and be aware of your own limitations whenever you read anything about rape.

I had a bit of a thing the other night when I discovered this article: “Rape flier causes outrage; Arizona sex assault victim speaks out.”

The flier, posted in a men’s bathroom at Ohio’s Miami University, read in part: “Top Ten Ways to Get Away with Rape: 1) Put drugs in the woman’s drink, therefore she wont remember you… 6) Sex with an unconscious body does count, so don’t back down if shes sleeping; 7) Practice makes perfect, the more you rape, the better you get at it….”

Seeing this in the very week in which we have been assailed (yet again) with a new rash of rape apologism was just too much. My blood started to pound, I was suddenly crying, and I was filled with a powerful sense of emotional nausea (if that makes sense), reactions that are all overcoming me again, even as I type.

Women live with this every day of our lives, it’s in our leader’s mouths, it’s in the jokes we hear, it’s in the very air we breathe — and then we’re told that rape is our fault. To put an aspirin between our knees. To prove that we didn’t like the rape. To bear the rapist’s child. And to drown in shame.

I’ve been feeling all day that I really should write about it all, but I just can’t. I’m too exhausted by it, too worn down, too emotionally nauseated. But luckily, someone with a slightly bigger soapbox has written a piece filled with both righteous fury, and reams and reams of data. I’m cutting and pasting some of it below, but really, please: Click through and read the whole thing: “50 Actual Facts About Rape,” by Soraya Chemaly.

And men of good will? Please, please share this with your friends, your brothers, your uncles, your father. Please.

Remember facts? Remember facts about rape? Because it turns out that a whole lot of people know less than nothing about the subject. Indeed what they think they know is a whole lot of something that is wrong and dangerous to our heath, safety and well-being.

… For months now we’ve been subjected to surreal revelation when it comes to what people think and understand about rape, god and women’s magical bodies. Here is some real, fact-checked information from a list originally published last week in RHRealityCheck…..

1. Low estimate of the number of women, according to the Department of Justice, raped every year: 300,000
2. High estimate of the number of women raped, according to the CDC: 1.3 million
3. Percentage of rapes not reported: 54 percent
4. A woman’s chance of being raped in the U.S.: 1 in 5
5. Chances that a raped woman conceives compared to one engaging in consensual sex: at least two times as likely
6. Number of women in the US impregnated against their will each year in the U.S. as a result of rape: 32,000
7. Number of states in which rapists can sue for custody and visitation: 31
8. Chances that a woman’s body “shuts that whole thing down”: 0 in 3.2 billion

Had enough? Me, too. And, believe me, this is the Cliff Notes version. Some people are offended by frank conversation about violence, especially sexualized violence. I’m offended by tolerance for these assaults, scientific denialism, entertainment at the expense of people’s safety and bodily integrity, and shame-infused legislation that hurts children and women and is based on the belief that all men are animals at heart.

Rape happens everywhere . All over the world rape acceptance, rape tolerance, rape denial and rape ignorance at best are used to restrict women’s reproductive rights and impede women’s equality. At worse, rape is used strategically and with violence and malevolence as a weapon in war and as a tool of active oppression. Keeping the reality of rape in the shadows has obviously done us a massive disservice and provided cover for rapists and their apologists. So, even though it’s not easy information to digest, it’s important. Maybe information is part of god’s divine plan.

…Akin, Mourdock, Ryan, et al are the distortions. If men like Mitt Romney really doesn’t agree with them then he should grow some ovaries, so to speak, and stop playing in the same political sand box….  All of this goes hand-in-hand with Facebook rape pages, Daniel Tosh rape jokesReddit rapist threadsmusic, videos, movies, ad infinitum. This recent political display of religiously convoluted rape “reasoning” in legislation is a national shame with deadly consequences for women here and abroad.

To read the rest of “50 Actual Facts About Rape,” please click here.

Dear GOP: You do know how pregnancy works, right? (I think they weren’t listening the first time).

I first ran the following back in May; at the time it went kind of crazy viral, but the evidence of the past few days suggests that the leadership of the Republican Party was not among my readers. And so I offer it again…. Please feel free to share broadly — last time, the little post that could got FB-ed more than 10,000 times, and garnered more than 400 comments. O_O! 

*****

I have been pregnant four times.

These pregnancies led to the following four results, in this order: abortion, baby, miscarriage, baby.

These pregnancies occurred over a span of many years, across two continents, and in three different homes. There were at least seven different health care professionals involved, my hair styles varied widely, as did my levels of nausea. The only constant, in all four cases, other than me, was the presence of a penis.

It happened to be the penis I eventually married, but regardless, that is how pregnancy works. No matter who you are, no matter your sexuality, ability to reproduce, or family make-up, if there are children in your life, at some point along the way, there was a penis involved.

I mention this only because it seems the GOP may have forgotten.

Because as we trundle along, shaming women for having any kind of sex, ever, that is not entirely focused on producing babies — even if we are married, even if it wasn’t so much “sex” as “rape,” even if having a baby would threaten our health and thus the well-being of the children we already have — we are completely and utterly ignoring the fact that the single, solitary way for humans to reproduce is for sperm to meet egg. And sperm, you may recall, come from penises.

Which are attached to men.

If women are having too much sex, so are men. If women are producing babies, so are men. If women are making irresponsible reproductive choices with which they want to burden “the American people” — so.are.men.

Birth control, abortions, prenatal care, postpartum care, child care — whatever we may think, whatever we may have been told — are not women’s issues. THEY ARE HUMAN ISSUES.

There is a purely incandescent rage that comes over me now on a nearly daily basis over the blatant dehumanization of women that is currently sweeping the nation. It is exhausting. It is heart breaking. It is spirit crushing. And there’s nothing to be done but to continue to feel it, because I refuse to stop fighting for my right, my daughter’s right, my mother’s right, my sister’s right — the inalienable right of all women everywhere — to human dignity.

But every once and a while, a particularly galling aspect of the GOP’s War on Women floats to the top of the filth, and I am gobsmacked anew. And today it is as simple as this: Women do not reproduce on their own.

If the Republican Party is so anxious to control women’s sexuality (and it clearly is), it had better start shaming men, too.

That is, unless its representatives are willing to argue that men are constitutionally incapable of not sticking their junk into the nearest available lady bits, and we gals have all the power.

I, for one, have too much respect for men to buy that.

But wait, it gets better – if you’re poor, the GOP hates your baby, too.

Step one: Don’t allow health insurance to cover contraceptives (thus guaranteeing that poor women will either have to stay celibate or fall pregnant) – so say Indiana Treasurer/candidate for US Senate Richard Mourdock and Senator Rick Santorum (to name just two leading Republicans who support such legislation). 

Step twoDon’t allow any kind of abortion, ever (thus guaranteeing that poor women will either have to give up their babies for adoption or have babies they may not be able to afford) – so say Vice Presidential candidate/US Representative Paul Ryan and Indiana Treasurer/candidate for US Senate Richard Mourdock (to name just two leading Republicans who support such legislation).

Step three: If babies are born to a mother who cannot prove that said babies are the result of rape, cut back that mother’s food stamp benefits (thus guaranteeing that poor women and their babies will stay poor and quite possibly hungry) – so say Pennsylvania State Reps. RoseMarie Swanger, Mark Gillen, Keith Gillespie, Adam Harris, and Mike Tobash [+ a Democratic douchebag Blue Dog state representative named Tom Caltagirone], who, you’ll be stunned to learn, are also anti-choice (just click on the links).

I wrote earlier that the right to reproductive choice is a question of fundamental human rights and the separation of church and state, but it’s important to remember that it is wrapped up in many other things as well, not least: The right to decide who controls a woman’s sexuality.

And it ain’t the woman. And damn any babies who get in the way.

And PS: Not only do food stamps keep people from being malnourished, they’re a good governmental investment: For every dollar spent on the program, the economy sees an influx of $1.73. Clearly we wouldn’t want any of that, in this economy.

Romney/Ryan, abortion, and the humanity of women. (And church and state, too).

Yesterday I had the honor of being on a panel with Daniel Ellsberg on HuffPost Live, and the good fortune to be given the opportunity to talk about how, in fact, the little matter of which party sits in the White House is hugely important to American women, because there’s one party that treats 50% of this nation’s citizens as autonomous people, and one party that doesn’t.

Then a little later in the day, this was reported:

Defending his stance that abortion should be illegal even in the case of rape, [Indiana Treasurer/candidate for US Senate Richard] Mourdock explained that pregnancy resulting from nonconsensual sex is the will of God.

“I’ve struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said. “And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

And I honestly found it refreshing. Because Richard Mourdock said, out loud and for all to hear, that which so many of these anti-choice culture warriors carry in their hearts: This is God’s will, and if you abort any pregnancy, regardless of its provenance, you are acting to thwart the Almighty Himself.

This isn’t about compassion for the poor witless woman who might not know what she’s missing out on if you don’t force her to undergo state-sanctioned rape in the form of a transvaginal ultrasound; this isn’t even, really, about human life. This is about the will of God, and the belief held by a great many people that humans are required to bend to that will — and that for women, there’s a lot more will to go around:

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man…. [A man] the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 1 Corinthians 11:3 & 7

To be clear: There are millions upon millions of Christians who have grappled with verses like those I’ve just quoted and come to an understanding of their faith and Scripture that support women’s equality and our right to bodily autonomy. (And just to be clearer still: I believe that all modern-day monotheism, including my own, requires this kind of grappling, because none of our Scriptures are without ugliness).

But the Christians standing at the head of the American right wing are not that kind of Christian, and they’re the ones we’re facing.

God is above man, and man is above woman. If you were raped, that’s not cool (in no small part because rape is equated with sex, and a woman’s sexuality belongs to the man she married/will marry), but if that rape made you pregnant? Well, that’s what God wanted. And women who attempt to thwart God’s will are not only making God reallyreally mad, they are upsetting the natural order of things, and that cannot be allowed.

I think it’s helpful to be told flat-out that this is what we’re battling. Many anti-choice activists may honestly believe that they’re acting to protect children (though I might argue that if they really want to protect children, they might consider the needs of the fetus after it becomes a baby, but I digress), but leaders of the anti-choice movement are acting to protect what they know to be the Divine order.

But I live in a secular nation. I live in a country where the separation of church and state is written into law. I live in a place where your knowledge of the Divine order should have absolutely no legal bearing on my life.

There is one party that agrees with that notion, and one party — the vice-presidential candidate of which stands behind some of the most extreme anti-choice bills on the American scene — that does not.

One party that is working — however fitfully, however imperfectly — to protect the right of half of this country’s citizens to be legally recognized as humans with autonomy over their own bodies, and one party working to declare zygotes legal people, to require physicians to lie to patients about the established medical facts of abortion, and to allow hospitals to deny abortions to women even when their lives are in immediate danger.

This is not about the medical procedure called “abortion.” This is about the separation of church and state, and it is about allowing women to be human.

Don’t tell me the parties are the same. 

Update: Mitt Romney taped an endorsement for Mourdock on Monday, but his campaign told TPM yesterday that Mourdock’s views do not reflect Romney’s. And yet for all that, the campaign has said today that it has not asked Mourdock to pull the ad. So. There’s that. 

“You might have Romnesia!”

My friend Angry Black Lady has this up at her place, but I feel a veryvery powerful need to have it up at my own, too.

FOR IT IS SO MANY KINDS OF AWESOME THAT I CANNAE COUNT THAT HIGH.

(Heh! He is so getting into it at the end there!)

What is white privilege part the I’ve lost count.

Tagg Romney

As you likely know already, Tagg Romney (son of Mitt and an increasingly high-profile surrogate for his father on the campaign trail) said yesterday that he would “like to take a swing at” President Obama for saying that his dad had lied.

Ok then. Let’s assume that the candidate’s son/surrogate is not going to own the fact that his dad has, in fact, peddled in inaccuracies and untruths for the entire campaign — I mean, that would be nice? But yeah. And let’s put aside the fact that Tagg went on to say that he didn’t act on his impulse because the Secret Service stood between him and the President and “that’s the process” — I believe he was joking, so “I didn’t hit the President because Secret Service woulda clocked me” is all just part of the joke. And let’s even put aside the fact that the man is 42 years old and the father of six children — he should know better than to sound like an aggrieved adolescent, but apparently he doesn’t, so there’s not a lot we can do about that.

But is he a racist? And is it inherently racist to jokingly threaten violence against this country’s first African American President?

As to the first question: I have no idea. I don’t know what’s in Tagg Romney’s heart, but I suspect that his motivation was less racist (“I think it’s funny to suggest that I’d like to beat that black man down”) and more entitled (“No one talks like that about my dad, raggle-snaggle”).

As to the second question, my personal opinion is that: No. It is not inherently racist to jokingly threaten violence against this country’s first African American President. Indeed, I’m sure there are all kinds of reasons to hate Obama that have nothing to do with his skin color, and all kinds of reasons to want to clean his clock. The itch to clean the clock of a man who happens to be black is not, by definition and unto itself, racist.

However.

As some folks have been doing around the web today, let’s flip it: Let’s imagine that President Obama had a grown son who said in 2008 that he’d like to “take a swing at” John McCain.

Or wait. I can’t imagine that. Because it wouldn’t have happened. In no small part because if it had happened, Barack Obama would not be President today.

It seems to me that an American black man grows up learning, at every turn, to control himself and the image he presents to the world: Don’t walk out of the store without a store bag and receipt — someone might accuse you of stealing your gum. Don’t wander aimlessly outside your crush’s house — someone might arrest you. Don’t argue with an authority figure who has it all wrong — someone might shoot you. And don’t ever play to all the worst stereotypes that white people have of you — even in jest — because if you do, someone, somewhere will use it to run you into the ground. And all of this goes double if you have academic, professional, or political aspirations.

Barack Obama’s imaginary son would have learned all of this just as his father, his uncle and his friends did. He would have learned to keep his hands out of his pockets when talking to the police, and he would have learned to never use the language of violence in a radio interview. And if he were serving on his dad’s campaign, he would have come to look not unlike Theo Huxtable, in all his nonthreatening cuteness.

So I do believe that there is racism here: It’s in the society in which a 42 year old father of six with familial political aspirations on the national stage can mouth off about the Commander in Chief without thinking about it because he’s white and has never in his life had to give that sort of behavior so much as a second’s thought. And have it brushed aside by the (white) national press.

It’s a complicated kind of racism, one that involves the way I’m raising my own white son as much as it involves Tagg Romney, and thus it is the kind of racism that is most difficult to discuss. You can’t point at it, and you can’t legislate it away. It’s in the air we breathe and the water we drink.

As an exercise, stop for a minute and try to imagine any prominent African American or prominent African American’s adult child saying anything even remotely like what Tagg Romney said in a frustrated moment: Colin Powell, Cory Booker, Keith Ellison, Condoleeza Rice, Allen West, Maxine Waters. Or, God help her, Michelle Obama (of course, she’s already proven that she knows how to be careful).

Not having to think like that? That’s white privilege.

**********

Earlier:

What is white privilege.

Not getting peanuts thrown at you — white privilege, part the many.

John Lennon, Rick Perry and words that are not ours.

White Americans really need to shut up and listen.

I told you so.

Remember October 3rd? When the President of these United States had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad debate performance? And progressives and liberals and assorted Democrats were all “WE’RE DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!!1!eleven!!”

Yeah, that.

So, I knew Obama wouldn’t let that happen again. And I knew that Biden would help out. You might not believe me that I knew it, but I actually have proof that I knew it, to wit:

I also knew (even as everyone was wailing that RickPerry-NewtGingrich-RickSantorum-MicheleBachman-HermanCain is going to be the nominee!!) that the GOP would nominate Romney. (I have proof of that, too, but digging up a tweet that old would be a sign of very ill-organized priorities, I think).

I say this because I’m going to make another prediction, and I would like my bona fides in full view, you see.

So first, let me briefly explain why/how “I knew” in these other cases.

  1. Romney: Every other Republican nominee (other than Huntsman, who dropped out) was some version of unhinged. Political parties may occasionally enjoy/exploit “unhinged” in the lead-up to an election, but they (and in particular, the people who spend the money) do not like unhinged as the game gets real. Moreover, while the record shows that many within the party genuinely loathe Romney, I think that Republican big wigs have known for some time that the chances of them taking the White House this year are a little dicey, in no small part because things got a little out of hand with the Tea Party (occasionally, powerful people forget that the unhinged peons they’re exploiting are autonomous beings). So, they throw the 2012 election Mitt’s way — if he wins, huzzah! If he loses, he’s out of their hair.
  2. Biden: Joe Biden is not, contrary to urban myth, some crazy old Uncle who smiles a lot and says wacky things. He’s actually a prodigiously skilled and deeply experienced politician who owns the speaker’s podium and knows how to engage in debate in a way that drives a knife through the ribs while coming across as almost impossibly likable (who occasionally says wacky things). Paul Ryan, on the other hand, is a young, inexperienced politician who came to national prominence at a time when just saying something with real conviction was considered making an argument. Ryan is very good at stating his positions with real conviction and coming across as entirely sincere when he does it — but defending those positions against the skills of a (I believe) far more gifted man who just happens to have been getting legislation passed in the US Senate for decades? Yeah. No.
  3. Obama: Barack Obama, while neither a magic unicorn nor a perfect man, is exceptionally good at what he does (witness the fact that he got a black man elected President). When Obama makes mistakes, particularly mistakes that are entirely his fault, dude gets back up. He gets back up and brings all of his exceptional-ness to bear on the mistake, and he is righteous and furious and wholly dedicated. I knew he would shake off the unforced error, home his (I believe) genius on the facts before him, read Romney like a paperback novel, and mop the ding-dang floor. Which is precisely what he did at Hofstra — occasionally just by letting Romney be Romney (“please proceed, Governor.” Heh).

So what am I predicting this time? Let me tell you.

The next debate will not be the giddy rush that the Hofstra debate was. Romney had gotten a little cocky (I think that’s his secret, Captain — he’s always cocky) but now, and I guarantee you this: He is furious.

He was beat and beat good, and it doesn’t matter how right wing pundits are spinning it — he knows he was beat. And I believe that Romney believes pretty strongly that no one deserves to beat him. At anything. (He’s got a wee sense of entitlement, is what I’m saying here). So he is going to prepare much better, and fire whoever gave him that bad Libya talking point, and be as laser-focused as he can — which, as James Fallows points out, doesn’t always work out, but he’s sure as hell going to do his best. And he’s no slouch.

This then leads to my next prediction:

I actually remain convinced that Obama will win re-election (and not just because the prospect of a Romney presidency makes me want to shatter into tiny pieces), but I am equally convinced that it will be way, way closer than it has any right to be, for a whole host of reasons (starting with low voter turn-out, moving through party loyalty, on to whiny disappointed liberals, and not failing to stop at Racism Station).

And if he is re-elected narrowly, you can bet the farm that the down ticket won’t fare all that well.

Which means it’s on us!

I was all set to volunteer with the campaign last week when I got sick and couldn’t go, but I’m all right now, and I’mma hit the streets. Pleasepleaseplease: If you want to see this President re-elected (and while I clearly have a good record as a prognosticator, I have been known to be wrong on occasion!) and you want to see him greeted by a US Congress that will actually work with him, and not work to ruin him, do what you can.

Do an hour of phonebanking; knock on doors with your local Democrats; go to a swing state with your local Democrats; send a small check; send a large check; go out with the campaign for a few hours on election day; remind everyone you know of the incalculable importance of actually voting — and if you need help with that latter, just watch the Hank Green video after the jump (and in case you doubt my endorsement of said video, bear in mind that the Obama campaign posted it on their very own tumblr).

Trust me on this! I have a good track record. Get Out The Vote!

*****

(more…)

And there was bloggingheads!

Oh and hey, the other day I did the bloggingheads with Sarah Posner again! And I keep not having time to post the video!

And I don’t have time right now, either, at least not the time I need to re-figure out how to embed, because it’s all complicated n’ stuff on free WordPress platforms. So, for the time being, here’s a link to the whole thing; and here’s a link to a much shorter bit (watch me not say the word “balls”!).

Hopefully I’ll get a clip up at some point in the next few days, but who can tell?

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