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Don't vote for Romney

DCblogger's picture

I can't believe I have to write this, but listening to Stuart Zechman and Jay Ackroyd on Virtually Speaking it seems that there are actually lefties who think that some obscure purpose would be served by electing Romney.

Democrats did not stand up to Bush and they won't stand up to Romney.

There is no version of 11 dimensional chess that voting for Romney will serve any purpose whatsoever. Moreover, if you vote for Romney, then all the blood he spills will stain your hands. You cannot rationalize it with, well I wasn't voting for war with Iran, I was playing 11 dimensional chess.

Don't vote for Romney.

Does this really need to be said?

Vote for Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson, according to your choice and who is on the ballot in your state. This is not a case of sending a message to the Versailles Democrats that they need to move to the left. The Versailles Democrats have made it very clear that they hold voters in contempt, so there is no possibility of getting through.

The reason to vote for emergent party candidates, and down ballot candidates such as Julia Willams are the most important, is to send a message to lefties like Stuart Zechman and Jay Ackroyd that emergent parties can be viable. If we can elect some emergent party candidates to city council or state legislature, we will be on our way to building a viable party. If we can get Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson past 5% in any state, we will be on our way to building another party. There are many many many dissatisfied Democrats looking around for an alternative and by voting for emergent party candidates this year we can show them that we no longer have to settle for the lessor evil.

But under no circumstances should anyone vote for Romney. That would be endorsing evil.

No votes yet


Roman Berry's picture
Submitted by Roman Berry on

...on the Social Security issue. And of course we have in these last months seen the "liberal" Nancy Pelosi and the Dem Senate majority leader Harry Reid making noise about how the utterly awful Simpson-Bowles commission (thought it never even released a report) is really where "we" need to start as a baseline for the future.

It makes some heads swim and gets some angry responses from some quarters when I say this, but in 08 I came to believe that it was entirely possible we would get a more progressive outcome with Dem control of the House and Senate but someone other than Obama (which means, yes, McCain) in the White House. With the House lost in 2010 I don't know that calculation would have any merit today (if it ever had any), but I do know that a conservative like Obama uses the Democratic label he wears to neuter liberal and progressive opposition and to enact what amounts to a 90's era conservative Republican agenda.

One more thing...

I've sort of come to the conclusion that Romney and Obama (in 08) are alike in a major way, that being that neither of them believes in much of what they said on the campaign trail to get their respective party's nomination. Calculus or no calculus, I think it's within the realm of possibility that between Romney and Obama, Romney is actually the more (dare I day it?) liberal of the two. (Make no mistake, neither are liberal and neither will get my vote. I just think that as long as Dems can hold at least one chamber of Congress, it's possible that Romney provides the more progressive outcome. If Republicans manage to take the senate and Obama is re-elected, Obama will go full Republican with his agenda just as would Romney.)

Roman Berry's picture
Submitted by Roman Berry on

Moreover, if you vote for Romney, then all the blood he spills will stain your hands.

So....whose hands is the blood Obama spills gonna stain if you vote for him?

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

vote for Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson according to choice or who is on the ballot in your state. I have never advocated voting for Obama.

Submitted by cg.eye on

... and it could be said that a non-conservative electorate would regain the political courage to successfully protest an open conservative President's policies, instead of excusing them as a matter of true political correctness.

The time has come again for the liberals to attack those on their left. Such things are cyclical, like the coming of the cicadas. This is interesting timing because the liberals I know and read are very, very confident that Obama is running away with the election. And this itself is interesting, as the typical justification of the rampant redbaiting and Peter Beinart-style calls for purges of the unfaithful is that we're in a trench war, here, people, and Charlie is everywhere, and so if the Democrats were to nominate Zell Miller your job would be to shut the fuck up and support him as he destroyed everything we believe in, because it's a two party system. But, now, see, because they think that their guy is winning, it's also not the right time because... well. You know. It's never the time. They are, in every sense, kept people, owned by a party and its leader, and they have given away every part of themselves that is capable of critical thought.

It looks like Obama is going to win, and this will occasion another orgy of liberal self-congratulation and overconfidence. And then they will find that on issue after issue, they lose. They will lose on what the wonks consider "the serious issues," the policy issues, the votes in Congress. But they will also lose in their broader goals of making the world a more just, equitable, and peaceful place, for the simple fact that they will mercilessly attack anyone who demands justice, equality, or peace. They will never ask themselves if their own behavior is in part to blame, the way that they make the logical extension of their own ideas into a matter of shame far worse than the revanchist conservatism they say they hate. This is the privilege of the people who anoint themselves the arbiters of responsible liberalism.

Courtesy Ms. Avedon, at her new address:

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

Voting for Romney serves no useful purpose for a liberal. If he's going to win, let him do it without our help. We need to focus on the future, which is to the left of Obama. Unfortunately, there's not a lot there on the left. So go Green or Justice this year and work on something new and different for 2014.

Submitted by YesMaybe on

This is somewhat tangential, but I'm wondering what folks on here think of Jerry White and the Socialist Equality Party. I really don't know much about them except that I sometimes read WSWS articles and I know WSWS is affiliated with the SEP. But I've noticed that Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson are always given as non-legacy alternatives, but White and SEP are never even mentioned. So I was curious whether it's just because they're less well-known, considered less feasible, because of policy or credibility problems, or something else entirely.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

Please post about them. Any emergent party is worth considering.

My point is that people should look at their ballot and vote for the emergent party candidates, not just at the Presidential level, but down ballot as well. So please post about the Socialist Equality Party.

Submitted by YesMaybe on

In fact, the only place I've seen any mention is the WSWS site itself. But for any folks who consider themselves socialists, it's worth a look. Their website is a good place to start , and WSWS is a good news source in general.

Submitted by Hugh on

No one owns your vote. If someone can't give you substantial positive reasons to support them, but only that they are not the other guy, then don't vote for them. Lesser evilism of whatever kind is just a dodge to cheat you out of your vote.

MsExPat's picture
Submitted by MsExPat on

And in fact, the longer I am in New York listening to my liberal friends go on and on about The Obama's saintliness, I am coming to the point where I welcome it.

Today at brunch I had to hold my tongue with both hands while someone actually leaned across the table and said to me, "I know that Obama really, really wants to redistribute income and end poverty...but THEY won't let him do it."

I'm convinced that the only thing that will revive the left and get it off its ass and working for a more progressive America is for Romney to win.

If Obama wins again, they will go back to sleep while he guts Social Security, starts a war in Iran, and grabs even more executive branch power.

Submitted by YesMaybe on

Looking back on 2000-2008, it doesn't really seem like the democrats embraced progressive policies or even much progressive rhetoric. My guess is that if Romney wins it will be the same. They'll continue with their left-of-Republican policies and let things continue to be fucked up, counting on the fact that anti-incumbent feeling will eventually build up enough for them to win in 2014 or 2016. Similarly, if Obama wins, I'm pretty damn sure any damn republican would win in 2016.

Of course, I agree that an Obama win will mean the continuation of the trajectory of the last 4 years (though probably without the mildly populist rhetoric, since he won't be up for another reelection). And the democrats will definitely offer more resistance if Romney won. But more than zero can still be damn close to zero.

Submitted by YesMaybe on

I was talking about the democrats, but I noticed you were talking about the left.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

You nailed it. There are many "liberals" in deep denial.

Problem is, what does one do about it? Mr. Alexa and I have literally had folks look at us as though we have "three eyes," when we've attempted to explain Bowles-Simpson.

It is near impossible to convince partisans that the Administration has bought into it.

Thanks for your comment.

MsExPat's picture
Submitted by MsExPat on

You risk becoming a social pariah. The three eyed stare has gotten so bad for me that I only discuss politics with my super-far-left Julian Assange supporting anarchist friend, and my Ron Paul loving Libertarian pal.

A strange community, but at least it's a start.

Submitted by cg.eye on

... when an acquaintance noticed that the debate didn't include anyone other than the legacy parties -- it's almost verboten in our country to mention how deep the fix is in.

I, too, have given up talking politics, even to the level of assenting when Obots chant, "go vote!" -- because I know they care as much as Reps do that voters favoring an opposing party get to the polls, it's just that the GOP's more open and honest about voter suppression. If they gave a good goddamn, Dems would have backed the fight in 2000 and 2004, and pressed the issue every single election since then, to make certain not one voter felt discouraged or harassed.

If torture was bad under the Bush Administration, it's bad now.

If corruption and persecution of governmental whistleblowers was bad ten years ago, it's bad now.

If protecting campaign donors to the extent of permanently crippling our economy was bad at the beginning of the collapse, it's doubly bad, now, precisely because there is no other entity that can indict and convict now that the corruption has almost swallowed attorneys' general efforts to preserve a standard rule of law for the financial industry.

Our sins aren't Nuremberg-level, but with the next Administration ruled by either legacy party, they'll come pretty damn close -- and it shouldn't be a cultural faux-pas to point this out. It's as if the sunshine patriots of 2004 complained about corporatism and fascism until they could be bought off big, or their debts made whole.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

but I think the only thing that will wake liberals up is an Obama victory. Nobody can tell them that Obama is a jerk except Obama.

And some people are beginning to wake up. You can see it online and I can see it in my friends in real life. Teachers especially are beginning to wake up.

People have to give up not just on Obama, but the Democratic party as a whole, and only a Dem victory will give us a chance.

MsExPat's picture
Submitted by MsExPat on

I don't mean to seem combative here, I'm just really puzzled by your reasoning.

Because the liberal denial that I'm observing, at least amongst my cohort in New York, is beyond irrational. I'll do the laundry list of things Obama has failed at, point out every reason he does not deserve to be considered "on our side", and I'll get the three-eyed stare: "Well you're right, but but but: the Supreme Court." "Yes, true, but but but...they won't let him." Etc, wash rinse repeat.

How much more would Obama have to fail in a second term to turn all these liberals-in-denial around? I mean, if they don't get it by now, will they ever?

Unfortunately there are class-blinkers at play here. Many of the educated left are the "servant-courtiers", dependent on the 1%.

THe people I'm arguing with over brunch in New York City are clinging anxiously to their upper middle class status. They might intellectually grasp that a huge systemic change is necessary in the US, but they don't want to lose what they have, don't want their own personal boat to rock.

And the problem here is: rock it must.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

but I am seeing it around me. The other day at the bus stop a middle aged black lady and older black gentleman were talking about the debate and both were very discouraged. The black gentleman said he would not vote for Romney because he never voted for Republicans and the black lady did not indicate her preference. I see no enthusiasm for Obama around me and I live in a 98% black neighborhood.

I also notice on the teacher blogs the tide has turned against Obama, teachers are the backbone of Democratic grassroots volunteers. If they walk out there will be no one to do the work. They stayed this year, even though they are very unhappy, another four years they will walk out.

For most liberals the rotating villains ploy continues to work. Obama would do the right thing except those gosh darn Republicans or whoever the villain of the day is.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

The "rotating villains" are individual Democrats who take turns aligning themselves with Republicans so that the expressed positions of the latter prevail in committee, on the Senate floor in cloture votes, and on the House and Senate floors in votes on particular amendments and final bills or on votes to send a bill back to committee.

In between the occasions when they line up with the Republicans to create a majority the same Democrats will take a turn at buffing up their own progressive credentials by supporting or leading on issues associated with the Democratic caucus but which, nonetheless, will be defeated, or watered down, by a united Republican caucus and whichever Democrats have been scheduled, by silent coup, to cross the aisle in that particular matter.

When Democrats are in the minority in either House then they can all vote against and bemoan right wing policies, making the case how important it is that they win majority control of the chamber in the next election.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

I agree with him on that one. I would be very concerned about either party having total control.

As BAR's Glen Ford says, "The real Obama was the initiator of this Austerity nightmare – a nightmare scripted on Wall Street, which provided the core of Obama’s policy team from the very beginning." Frankly, I agree with him on that one.

IMO, until the Democratic Party "plucks the vine" and rids itself of the conservadems (a metaphor attributed to the late Jerry Falwell), I don't expect that taking over the House again will do a whole lot to advance a social democratic agenda.

When I stop to think that we have the "Tea Party" to thank for standing in the way of a "Grand Bargain," it's almost surreal. At times I'm convinced that until we manage to elect more liberals, "gridlock" (in some areas) may be the best that we can hope for.

I admit to having mixed feelings. Bottom line--we have no "good choices."

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

Here's the relevant Greenwald post. Upon review, it turns out his term was "Villain Rotation," commenters in the thread came up with "rotating villains," and, at least in this post, Greenwald didn't reference House Dems at all:

...The primary tactic in this game is Villain Rotation. They always have a handful of Democratic Senators announce that they will be the ones to deviate this time from the ostensible party position and impede success, but the designated Villain constantly shifts, so the Party itself can claim it supports these measures while an always-changing handful of their members invariably prevent it. One minute, it’s Jay Rockefeller as the Prime Villain leading the way in protecting Bush surveillance programs and demanding telecom immunity; the next minute, it’s Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer joining hands and “breaking with their party” to ensure Michael Mukasey’s confirmation as Attorney General; then it’s Big Bad Joe Lieberman single-handedly blocking Medicare expansion; then it’s Blanche Lincoln and Jim Webb joining with Lindsey Graham to support the de-funding of civilian trials for Terrorists; and now that they can’t blame Lieberman or Ben Nelson any longer on health care (since they don’t need 60 votes), Jay Rockefeller voluntarily returns to the Villain Role, stepping up to put an end to the pretend-movement among Senate Democrats to enact the public option via reconciliation....

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

to Greenwald's piece, CMike.

Greenwald nails it. And I agree with your analysis, except for "making sure the Democrats take back the House."

I suppose that I fall into the "Democratic Party is too broken and corrupt to redeem" camp. Ironically, it was the "kabuki theater" that I witnessed (and that Greenwald describes) during the so-called health care reform debate that finally made my say, "enough." I wish that I felt differently, but I don't believe that liberals or progressives can afford to devote thirty plus years (as conservatives did) to "regain" the Democratic Party. I sincerely believe that a "third party solution" is the only feasible one.

Frankly, I consider the "fiscal cliff" scenario to be malarky. And the Democrats' economic policies, in some instances, are as pernicious as those of the Republican party. (In many instances, incrementalism is the only difference that I perceive.) I consider Romney to be a "corporatist clone of Obama," and pretty much disregard the rhetoric that he dishes out to the conservative base of the Republican Party. Like Obama, he'll say whatever he has to, in order to win.

And further, I believe that "gridlock" may be the only buffer that we have to stop Obama's "austerity measures" from being implemented. I am truly astounded when I hear folks endorsing his proposed "Grand Bargain," since it literally amounts to a transfer of wealth from the working poor and middle classes, upwards. (Which is not to say that you support it.)

Since Obama and Jack Lew have publicly endorsed both Bowles-Simpson and the Gang of Six (now, Eight) proposal, both of which call for tax reform that "broadens the base, by closing tax expenditures," I totally disregard President Obama's campaign rhetoric about "letting the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire."

Again, thanks for the link.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

But I wasn't arguing for "making sure the Democrats take back the House." What I wrote was:

When Democrats are in the minority in either House then they can all vote against and bemoan right wing policies, making the case how important it is that they win majority control of the chamber in the next election.

The point I was trying to make was that whenever they are in the minority in either Congressional house, the argument the Democrats make is that it's vital they regain control of that chamber so that they can advance their progressive agenda. However, I do understand that whenever they find themselves in the majority there always seem to be just enough defections from the Democratic caucus that the center-right invariably continues to prevail on any issue of vital concern to the plutocratic class.

(And that's when Nancy Pelosi does not come out and essentially say something along the lines of: the Democrats can't shut down the Iraq War now because their objective after winning back control of the House in '06 has to be playing it smart and positioning the party nominee to win the White House in '08.)

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Now, that paragraph I understood perfectly. LOL!

Submitted by lambert on

Notice the fracturing along class lines of DCB's experience and MsExPat's.

This, to me, reinforces the thesis of the post....

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

and please try to forgive me if this isn't the tone over here these days, but:

voting? a useless exercise.

i will be voting. i will vote for Stein, and some other national level pols, as welll as some local offices that actually still have an impact on/in my life. but i know that my vote is as valuable as a 3$ poker chip left on the floor of a casino by some drunk stumbling out after a long night of gambling.

i made this comparison today at another blog. voting, and caring about it, is mostly like following and betting on professional male sports.

in both cases:

-the uber rich make the choices of who plays, wins, judges. as has been said about people like Jordan: "he's not really rich, the guy who signs his paycheck is." think of poodle blair, chimpy, and obummer. that's mostly true for them too.

-the game is rigged, and only the suckers don't know it. i am not a close follower of pro sports, but i do know how much money is involved. similarly, if you really think the voting process is "pure" and "fair" and protected by equal laws, well, i guess i can't help you. the first rule of running a casino is convincing the sheeple that they have some significant chance by playing against machines that by law only have to pay out 2-5% of the time. if that.

-the media plays far too great a role, in terms of what people think, say and do, in both arenas. just as you sports fans believe that your Favorite team/player/ref/whatever is "[fill in the virture you care about most]" the truth is that athletes, just like Village pols, play by a set of rules you can barely understand or interpret unless you are a member of a pro team. for every winning game/election, there is a back squad of paid players who care little for what you think that game meant, and everything about holding onto a job, and thus getting their guy back on the mound/in front of the teleprompter. people like us can starve, die, be unemployed... do you really think any Villager cares about any of that? or that any pro player really 'cares' about his/her fans? trust me when i say: pols and pro players hate you, if you're not one of them. they feel little but ridicule and contempt for those who follow them closely. it's part of the culture of being a "pro." of either kind.

entertainment is... "enterntainment." it's meant to distract you. it's as old as caesar, and before. "control the coinage and the courts, let the rabble have the rest." change that to "control the Fed and the SCOTUS, and let them buy plastic crap from china while watching dancing for the stars" and you're about at the same place. except caesar was openly bisexual, so i guess we've moved backwards since then. ymmv but that's my take on the "parallels."

Submitted by lambert on

Without reading for detail...

I don't expect anything to make the slightest bit of difference in 2012; I see the emergent parties as helping to split the legacy parties and perhaps creating more options in 2012.

And it is nice to hear somebody speak without wanting to throw things.

But the interesting forms of politics are neither national nor electoral.

Nice to see you again, BTW.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

His son David is only now able to get over his grief, return to Minnesota and further his family's work on social issues.

Not every Democrat is or was a ghoul.

I don't know if I will vote for Obama* (I didn't last time), but I can't believe how long this thread has gone on. Like it is an issue to not vote for Romney?

People, whatever else you do, don't vote for Romney. Vote third party**. Go to McDonald's. Get laid. See a movie. Drink a glass of water. Go xmas shopping. Take a shit. Stay late at work. Whatever, just don't vote for Romney.

Too much to ask?

*Obligatory "Yes, yes, I know he is no Paul Wellstone.".
** But only vote for someone you actually know something about, and can actually support. For instance, I would never vote for Ralph Fucking Nader, or Julian "Surprise Sex" Assange, or a host of other third party cons and/or jokes.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

I posted the following partial transcript a while back over at Avedon's. I don't think I'm voting for her but I thought Jill Stein did a good job here making her case:

[46:20] Sam Seder: Let me ask you this, finally, because these are issues I've been struggling with for years frankly...

Jill Stein: [Yes, yes.]

Seder: Why not take this energy that -- and, you know, I feel I have to ask this question -- but why...

Stein: Please do.

Seder: what you're talking about a more effective means in which to build this party, this movement, and give it political expression --Why is it more effective to do this outside of the local Democratic Party structure? I mean, I understand from a national level, look, we're talking about big money...

Stein: [Yes.]

Seder: ...there's big corporate interests, twenty-five years ago the Democratic Party, the national party,...

Stein: [Yes.]

[47:15] Seder: ...made a very conscious decision to go after corporate money but when we're talking about the statewide county level Democratic parties --You can go and be a county, sit on the county nominating slate, you could literally walk in there and just put your name down and 50% of the time you can get that position, which is a very powerful position. Why not use that existing apparatus and take over that apparatus rather than try to create a whole new one from whole cloth?

[47:54] Stein: Well, you know, all I can say is, "Been there, done that." There are really good people who have been struggling to do that for many years, and I would point to, for example, many of the activists in PDA, in Progressive Democrats for America, who have been trying to do it. I've seen it happen here, in my own state here, with progressive Democrats really fighting against the system and while they're --Good people have tried hard for a long time to do exactly this and this is basically who keeps coming into the Green party. We are populated with Democrats who have just gone to the breaking point and beyond. And, at the end of the day, you can do good local politics but the money will make the difference, the money and the hierarchy within the Democratic party. We've seen terrific Democratic challengers.

For example in our Senate race, here in Massachusetts, we had a really principled Democrat who was challenging Elizabeth Warren, who has some good things but very limited in scope. She won't challenge money, she won't challenge the foreign policy. There's very little that she will challenge other than, sort of, consumer protection and Wall Street, which is an important issue but we're not going to get out of here alive if that's all we take on. And there was an excellent Democrat, [a] grass-roots campaign challenging her that was basically engineered off the ballot, and there was a vote that was engineered at the Democratic Party convention in order to keep her out of any primary. So, this is not the exception, this is the rule, this is how party machine politics works.

[49:34] And --Look at people like Kucinich, there are lots of good people like that who have spent a lifetime. Look at Barack Obama, and people went to the mat for him and beyond, who have just been completely screwed over. Students, who dredged up hundreds of dollars to contribute to him and went door to door for him, are now paupers and indentured servants and they're not happy about it. You know we keep being talked into suppressing our own inspired resistance and that is the role that the Democratic Party has firmly played.

They are, effectively, the apologists for the taskmaster and provide a friendly and welcoming face and get people to squander their precious activists years working within that system and I think people have hit the breaking point, not only politically but they don't have jobs and, if they have jobs, they don't pay living wages and they're being thrown out of their homes by the millions and students are indentured servants, and the climate is melting down before our very eyes and this president engineered the failure of any national agreement, the impossibility of any national agreement until 2020, until there is a major social and political upheaval.

[51:04] That is what we need. There is a social and economic upheaval which is taking place right now; there is a rebellion in full swing. It deserves to be amplified with a political voice. If you take away its political voice, you suppress that movement. Because the combination of a political, an independent political voice with a social movement is unstoppable and that's where we need to go. The sooner we go there the less damage we will have to undo and the greater the odds that we can survive into the next century. Right now we are on a trajectory for --It's a doomsday trajectory. We don't want to be on this trajectory, we need to fight the predator on every front and that includes the voting booth. To raise the white flag of surrender over the voting booth is to put a pall over all the work we do outside the voting booth. We need to empower ourselves politically as well as socially.

Seder: All right, Jill Stein, the candidate for the presidency of the United States for the Green party. You can check out Jill Stein dot org. Is there any other site, where can people get information on the Green party?

Stein: They can also go to GP dot org but I think if you go to our website you will see the real leading edge of the Green party and where we are going and you'll see a very clearly articulated agenda and you can join the team. One of our immediate upcoming targets, actually, is to open up the debate. Let's at least allow the American people to hear what their choices are and not leave this up to a private corporation sponsored by the Democratic and Republican parties whose goal is to suppress debate and to silence political opposition. The American public, in polls up to 61%, are saying they think we need a third party and would seriously consider voting for one. Let's actually allow the American public to hear about what its choices are.

Seder: Jill Stein, thank you so much for joining us, I appreciate the time today.

Stein: Great, pleasure talking to you Sam.