October 28, 2010
It’s The Lesser Of Two Evils, Again

Iíve decided to knuckle under and vote for the Democrats on Tuesday. Straight down the line. Itís not an inspired choice, but when was the last time you felt inspired by anything? You should be used to disillusionment by now. Itís as American as apple pie and war. Iíll go the polling station with the same level of enthusiasm I experience when buying a roll of toilet paper and leave in a cloud of guilty shame, as if Iím exiting a porno theater. Iíll hide my face from respectable humanity, toss that silly ďI VotedĒ sticker into the nearest trash can, and spend the day beating back the disturbing suspicion that somehow, someway, Iíve been an accomplice to a crime. Or, at the very least, an enabler of corruption. Or, worse, Iíll just feel like a simple sucker, an ordinary chump whoíll get exactly what he deserves.

All the same, Iíve considered the arguments and have reluctantly concluded that the Administration is right. We have to vote for their side because the alternative is worse. Far worse. Unthinkable, in fact. Just watch the video of that simian thug slamming his foot on a womanís head at a Rand Paul event to get a glimpse of where the extreme Right will take us given half the chance. These people carry guns. They relish violence. They think the Founding Fathers intended for this country to be a Christian theocracy. They believe God hates gays, Muslims and liberal elites with equal ferocity and will gladly bash us in the head if we disagree. They’re pissed off and they want a Fuhrer.

They’re doing the muscle work for the plutocrats who really run things, and who only need one more bout of Republican political control in order to permanently institutionalize their power. Not to be too melodramatic about it, but they must be stopped.

I know, I know, the Democrats are taking us into a similarly dark place. True enough, but they’re doing it more slowly and with some anaesthesia. It’s realistically all we’ve got at this point.

All along, Iíve thought we were the reincarnation of the last decadent days of Rome, a fat dead culture in the throes of an organic and unstoppable decline. Now Iím wondering if we more closely resemble Germany in 1933. Perhaps a uniquely American mixture of both? No matter. There are outright fascists at the core of the Republican party. Theyíre heavily subsidized, and their chosen candidates are getting uncomfortably close to power. If the only alternative is to vote for corrupt, center-right, go-along-to-get-along Establishment Democrats, thatís just what it will have to be for now. Better Boss Tweed than Mussolini.

Itís like having to choose between cancer or a heart attack. Both will kill you, but one will take a little longer and you might get a few painkillers along the way. Voting for the Democrats might be a futile, even self-defeating rearguard action, but it might buy us enough time to complete our emigration plans should Republican presidential nominee Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney be forced to choose Sharron Angle as a running mate in 2012.

Iíll cravenly vote for the lesser of two evils, again, then go home and scrub with soap and water.

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Posted by OHollern at October 28, 2010 07:21 PM
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How well you describe the conundrum!

Fortunately for me, I got to vote for Joe Sestak for Senate, about as good a candidate as we get, smart, independent of the various sets of bosses, liberal inclinations for public option, choice, etc. Had he not won the primary, I would have had to take a long, hot shower after being forced to vote for Arlen Specter over Mr. Club for Growth.

I also got to vote for two nice people running for state rep and U.S. rep, who have little chance of winning in this red zone, although they'd be a big improvement.

Governor is where I got stuck with one of those ConservaDems the powers that be so often anoint out of western Pennsylvania. He might be further right than his opponent, the Republican state attorney general, who's no tea partier, Wall Street grad, or family values guy. I might have voted for the R, had he not misused his office to the extent that he should have been disbarred and impeached. So I had to vote for the ConservaDem, who will not win because they never do unless named Casey.

So it could be worse for me. I feel your pain.

Posted by: JoyfulA on October 28, 2010 9:28 PM

Iíll go the polling station with the same level of enthusiasm I experience when buying a roll of toilet paper and leave in a cloud of guilty shame, as if Iím exiting a porno theater.

Yes, that's exactly how voting has made me feel for a long time now. And the whole rest of that paragraph too. Except that I would actually much rather buy toilet paper; it's not at all bad compared to voting. And going to a porno theater is pretty bad, but it's not even as bad as voting.

That's why I went for early voting, as soon as I could maybe four weeks ago. I could sort of pretend that I was just doing other county business, like renewing my auto registration, which in fact I did at the same time. I wasn't nearly so traumatized.

Posted by: Tim on October 28, 2010 11:43 PM

While I respect your rationale for voting once-again for Democrats who are just Republican-lite, I just cannot do it. I cannot vote again for Democrats who have not earned my vote by standing-up & speaking-out for ordinary citizens. Our system will never change as long as we keep only electing candidates presented by the two wings of the big-business party.

In any race where a left-leaning third party candidate is fielded, then I will back that candidate over Democrat or Republican. Obviously, that means the Libertarian & Constitutional Parties are not under consideration. If a race has only Dem or Rep options, then I will vote Democrat only if that incumbent candidate has FOUGHT for people of my socio-economic class or the non-incumbent Democrat has publicly strongly pledged to do so.

If the choice in a race is between a Republican & a DINO, then I will leave that race blank on my ballot. I cannot imagine voting for any Republican & Democrats are no longer my default choice.

Here in Ohio, I intend to vote for the Socialist candidate, Daniel LeBotz, for U.S. Senate.

For Governor, my vote is going for Anita Rios of the Green Party.

Posted by: colonelgirdle on October 29, 2010 1:13 PM

We have two major political parties in this country. One is conservative. The other is insane.

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on October 29, 2010 1:39 PM

Oh, its the plumbers again, complaining because they occasionally have to clear out a clogged commode. There's nothing like working down in the sewer all day making phone calls encouraging people to vote. Don't complain O'Hollern. It could be worse. Those of us working down in the mains making phone calls know the stench more than you do. The grass is always greener they say. Quit yer complaining.

Posted by: Buck on October 30, 2010 12:30 PM

You have the Colonel's phone number, Buck? I think he needs some encouragement.

Posted by: JoyfulA on October 30, 2010 3:33 PM

Imagine people in SC wanting to vote for a Democrat and having Alvin Greene for a choice. I'm gonna ruminate on that as I cast my vote for Glenn Nye in VA - the worst of the worst, except for his opponent, Scott Rigel.

There's always someone less fortunate than you (with respect to election candidates. I guess.

Posted by: Bendra on October 31, 2010 6:33 PM

Don't bother calling, Buck. There is nothing you could possibly say that would encourage me to vote for this same bunch of bought cowards again. And the commode is not just occasionally clogged, it is permanently blocked & the pipes have rusted through.

Posted by: colonelgirdle on October 31, 2010 7:47 PM

Bendra, I think Alvin Greene would be a big improvement over Jim DeMint, but there's a Green Party candidate on the SC ballot that a lot of Democrats are pushing.

Posted by: JoyfulA on October 31, 2010 10:27 PM

Colonel, go and write in candidates names who you think would do a good job. Don't be non participatory. As the guy who said about voting against Nixon said, "There, I showed that bastard". Your vote won't count in a way, but it will in another. You will be showing your dissatisfaction with the current regime. But if I get a boot on my neck in a few years, it's your damn fault.

Posted by: Buck Batard on November 1, 2010 12:02 PM

Buck,
I've been voting, contributing, & participating in the political process since 1972, which I'm willing to bet was before you were born. Just because you phone people to encourage them to keep voting for the slightly-less-reactionary candidate doesn't give you any right to lecture me about freedom. Get off the phone, get off your sorry behind and go out do something more, like march in protest like I have for the past 35 years (against nuclear weapons, against NAFTA, against starting the Iraq war, even at the Rally for Sanity this past weekend). I'll match my record of trying to preserve freedom with yours any day of the week.

Voting for the Democrats won't keep that boot off your neck. And when the Democrats help the Republicans strip-away Social Security & the rest of what remains of our freedoms don't come crying to me!

Posted by: colonelgirdle on November 1, 2010 5:10 PM

I was born a looong time before that. I'm old enough to remember Walter Cronkite muttering the body count in the early 60's. I remember exactly where I was when I learned Kennedy was dead. I go back earlier than you think. And I remember growing up in a mean environment when and where blacks were treated less than human. I remember my Dad firing a guy after he shot a black man down for no reason, with witnesses and the all white jury letting him go. And my dad fearing for his life after that man threatened him with a knife.

Doctors offices with two waiting rooms. I remember three waiting rooms at service stations Men, Ladies and Colored. I remember tar paper shacks. And hell, I'm white, there's probably a lot I don't remember. I remember my family taking a black man who worked for my dad with on us a trip so we could drop him off several hundred miles up the road and the figuring and confusion about how we could do the seating so as to not arouse problems on our journey. Man, I go way back. And I remember how Lyndon Johnson and his Congress changed things. I remember when there were loads of people saying things like "don't trust the banks". And on and on. How much ya' wanna bet. Damn I've given you too many clues.

And I know about boots. I've figuratively seen them on throats.

Posted by: Buck on November 2, 2010 7:40 AM

Buck, I guess I'm as old as you. My hometown newspaper's classified ads had "white female, black female, white male, and black male jobs" advertised. When I was a little kid, I went with my mother to the bus station and saw the two water fountains, white and colored. Being a little artistic and creative, I really, really wanted to drink some of that colored water. I suppose my caucasian mom was mortified by my insistence. Things are probably somewhat better for people of color now, but caucasions can't really understand how difficult it must be just to get along in life for others.

I'll always vote for the D over the R, even if it is a futile act in my reddest of the red state.

Posted by: fleeting expletive on November 2, 2010 1:51 PM

Buck,
Well then, you are old enough to remember when there was actually a difference between Democrat & Republican politician. Except for the southern Democrats, who morphed into Republicans after passage of the civil rights bill.

I am also old enough to remember segregated beaches & drinking fountains & when equal rights for women was as out-of-reach as today's equal rights for gays. I remember all those awful things too. But the fact of the matter is that my admiration for all those courageous Democrats of the past does not make the present bunch of cowards & sell-outs any more tolerable.

As I said I would do in my first posting, this morning I voted for no Republicans & no Libertarians (I believe they are cut from the same dumb cloth). I voted for Democrats who had earned my vote or for those I felt I could expect to earn my vote. However, I will not vote for Democrats who are not substantively different than Republicans.

Can't you see that the boots are already on our necks & there are just about as many Democrat feet in them as Republican?

Posted by: colonelgirdle on November 2, 2010 11:56 PM

I don't think they morphed in the South(except for Strom), they just died out or Karl Rove did a Stalin on them. Most Southern Democrats came to accept and even embrace what Johnson did (George Wallace is a good example), but those old guys had the depression era mindset along with the racism. Unfortunately the people haven't come as far along, at least some haven't, so the Republicans filled the void. But PA is far worse in many ways in the racism department in the "Alabama section" of the state. I've compared the comments in newspapers and the people here never got the education Southerners did. In the seventies my Dad sat on a "biracial" committee where white and black leaders of communities in even the smallest communities sat down and talked about the community for months on end. They never did that up north. It was thought that wasn't needed I suspect. You couldn't have a Reuben Greenberg (a black Jewish police chief in Charleston SC) up here without constant griping and complaining. The newspaper comments when a black mayor was elected in Harrisburg PA bear that out. Not two days into her term the racist comments filled the local paper. She was left a mess but she is a sorry politician, but she wasn't even given a chance. Down South they get a chance and there are many, many elected black leaders who are quite competent AND respected across color lines. (except for the racist elements, and there are black and white racists there.

On the other hand, when election shenanigans are investigated down South, the black politicians are always on the receiving end first. So it's a mixed bag. Sometimes these prejudices take not decades but centuries to go away. Maybe they never will.

But back to the topic, 25 blue dogs lost last night. We've got to replace them with progressives. It might take a while but it is opportunity which doesn't look quite like that right now. But it is. I do hope the President puts some steel in that spine though. He'll need it.

Posted by: Buck on November 3, 2010 8:33 AM
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