The following was just too good to leave buried in my comments, and so I present it to you here: The wit, the wisdom, the flat-out fury of former Republican Paul Wartenberg (a regular commenter at Ta-Nehisi Coates’s place, and the keeper of these two fine blogs: The Amendments We Need and Witty Librarian).
I’m not a registered Democrat. I’ve never been a Democrat. I have, in fact, been a registered Republican as far back as 2002… although I will admit that I haven’t voted for a Republican since the 2000 Primary when I voted McCain over Bush.
I consider myself today a no-party affiliate moderate. Except I admit to the truth that I am in fact a bitter ex-Republican who’s soured on a party that’s gone batshit insane on me.
And I am here to tell you one thing about your disappointment with Barack Obama:
ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR DAMN MINDS?
Yes, his record on the torture issue is horrible. For the most part, it’s because he’s in no position right now to even investigate the serious BS that happened. And while his administration isn’t backing away from a lot of the abuse-level authority the White House grants itself now, there’s no evidence (outside of Manning) that he’s actively pursuing a massive torture regime of his own. The only ones comparing Obama to Bush on this issue are Greenwald and Sullivan, and they are absolutists on the issue of civil liberties so I don’t blame them for that.
But in all other issues, Obama has exceeded expectations. Take this from someone outside your little circle of far lefties: Obama passed a stimulus that stabilized the economy and prevented a full-on Depression; Obama passed the Ledbetter Act for fair pay for women; he’s dedicated to the drawdown of troops in Iraq to where we’re almost out of that country altogether; he’s done what he could to keep the nation’s economy going.
This is all in spite of the fact that Obama has faced the most outrageous, slanderous, bullshitty wave of personal attacks and hate-on since Abraham Lincoln got slimed by the pro-slavery Confederates. Clinton got off light compared to what Obama’s getting now. The entire Republican Party, led about their collective nose by the far wingnut psychos of the Teabagger brigades, is openly working to make Obama FAIL, and are prideful of that effort. Even if, and especially if, they can make Obama fail and have the nation suffer for it. Right now, the core ideology of the Republican Party is “If Obama’s for it, then we are against it.” Just look at their flip-flopping on Libya for God’s sake.
Dear Democratic base: do not blame Obama. BLAME THE GODDAMN REPUBLICANS WHO ARE STILL SCREWING US AND THIS NATION. The same Republican Party that refuses to compromise on easing up on the Bush-era tax cuts, the very cuts THAT CREATED THE MASSIVE DEFICIT WE’RE IN.
If Obama seems weak because he’s trying to compromise, that’s because as a politician he’s EXPECTED to attempt compromises. A majority of American voters, even the majority of Democrats, expect that. The problem isn’t Obama: the problem is a Republican Party THAT REFUSES TO COMPROMISE AT ALL, AND INSTEAD KEEPS MAKING HARSHER DEMANDS.
The Republicans are at war with the people of the United States: they are at war with minorities, they are at war with teachers, they are at war with unions, they are at war with women, they are at war with anyone under 55 and anyone whose income is under $100,000.
The solution here is not to abandon Obama: any other Democratic leader would be facing the same problem because THE REPUBLICANS DON’T CARE WHO THEY HATE OR HURT.
The solution here is to get the VOTE OUT. YOU GOTTA GET MORE DEMOCRATS VOTING TO ENSURE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES WIN ELECTIONS.
Look at here. Look at Florida. In 2010, we had a choice between a Democrat who uses a Blackberry over a Republican WHO COMMITTED MEDICARE FRAUD. And Florida has more registered Democrats than Republicans (this is true, by 900,000 voters). And yet, voters were so glum or refused to turn out to vote. As a result, Rick “MEDICARE FRAUD” Scott won by less than 5,000 votes. The state of Florida is now getting screwed over by a crook who wants to privatize everything, kill our schools, destroy health care for nursing homes and the elderly, shut down unemployment benefits, force workers to take urine drug tests at HIS clinics, and give massive tax breaks to his corporate buddies… all because not every Democrat turned out the vote.
Look at Wisconsin just now: thanks to their electing a Republican governor who’s turned out to be EVIL, their state is facing disaster as well. But they just had a mid-cycle election for Court Justice. Where the voter turnout was expected to be 20 percent, turnout jumped to 33 percent because a ton of Democrats showed up to vote the Far Right-backed incumbent (and incumbent judges rarely lose… ever) out. The vote was still close and does face a recount effort, but by turning out the vote the Democrats won.
Dear Democratic Base: you may not like Obama right now. You may have issue with some of the decisions he’s made. BUT HE IS FAR AND AWAY A DAMN BETTER SOLUTION THAN ALLOWING THE REPUBLICANS TO REGAIN POLITICAL POWER. The Republicans are not to be trusted on ANY issue anymore. They are too corrupt: They are too batshit crazy. You far lefties may not like Obama, but you need him because the alternative (President Palin? President Bachmann? President Newt???) is fifty times worse!
Here’s the thing to remember: DON’T VOTE REPUBLICAN. Just don’t. Not at any level. Get the vote out for Democrats. Get candidates in every campaign, from School Board on up (this was where Howard Dean, a far leftie himself, got it correct). GET THE DAMN VOTE OUT. SHOW UP. VOTE. STOP THE REPUBLICANS AND THEIR UBERRICH OWNERS NOW.
Otherwise this nation dies within five years. I shit you not.
Pardon my Swedish.