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Why Don't I Care Anymore?

madamab's picture

It used to be so much fun to bash the rightwing crazies like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul. I used to love it when Keith Olbermann would fulminate in righteous rage over the latest horrors coming from "Mr. Bush." I used to laugh my butt off when Rachel Maddow would make fun of wingnuts, and when Al Franken would play "Bill O'Reilly: Lying or Stupid?"

But now, when I hear the latest outrage over Rand Paul or Sarah Palin or the Tea Party or some other alleged threat to the very fabric of our country, I just feel uncomfortable and slightly queasy. Why? Why don't I care anymore?

I've been reading, thinking and analyzing, and this is what I've figured out. (Bear in mind that I do not speak for my co-bloggers, and I expect that a lot of you will disagree with me).

The oligarchy/patriarchy, aka the Ruling Class, presents two Parties to us. One Party appears to share the values of mainstream America, with a platform that promotes social and economic justice for all. This would be the Democratic Party; the party of educated, intelligent, urban, ethnically diverse, soup-kitchen-volunteering, non-racist GOOD people. The narrative of the Democratic Party is that it's trying and trying to push for the values shared by most Americans - a strong social safety net, the government staying out of our personal lives, and a good standard of living for them and their families - and it would succeed, too, if it weren't for those meddling kids! (Sorry, I couldn't resist - it is all like a cartoon to me now.) Ahem. It would succeed, too, if it weren't for the other Party! (Insert vaudeville-like hisses and boos here.)

Ah, that other Party - the Republicans, the party of the hypocritical, banjo-playing, non-spell-check-using, Conferedate-flag-waving, public-library-banning, black-and-brown-people-hating BAD people. This Party appears to be so extreme that one would have to be absolutely insane to belong to it. In fact, the people who belong to it ARE insane, if you listen to any "progressive" out there.

Does this narrative still make any sense to you? It sure doesn't to me.

If the Democratic Party is really on our side, then why is it doing exactly the same things Bush and the Republicans did when they were in power - the things we all hated so much? This is a very long list, including (but not limited to): continuing current wars and adding "mini-wars" to them (like Pock-ee-ston and Yemen and possibly Iran, Jesu Christe), pushing epically failed Reaganomics down our throats, legislatively punishing women and LGBT, hemorrhaging jobs, allowing a massive environmental disaster and terrorist attacks to occur on their watch while they have their thumbs up their asses and they trot the clueless Dear Leader out for photo ops, grabbing an unprecedented amount of executive power...etc. etc. etc. ad freaking infinitum. Is Rand Paul REALLY the problem here, folks? Who's in charge? Isn't it the Democrats?

Or is it? Seems to me the oligarchy/patriarchy is getting its own way no matter which Party is in charge. Doesn't it seem that way to you? Doesn't it seem that whenever Obama or the Dems do something particularly egregious slapped with a "reform" label (The Dems keep using that word, "reform." I don't think it means what they think it means.), along comes a woman like Sarah Palin, or a guy like Rand Paul, to wave their shiny extremism in front of our eyes, hypnotizing all of us - and the oligarchical/patriarchal media forces the mass hypnosis as much as they possibly can. (Yes, this includes the "access" bloggers, which is why I don't let their pernicious bullshit into my life any more.) OMG! they burble, using the word "racist" about 40 million times, Rand Paul wants to overturn the Civil Rights Act! Doesn't that trump the fact that Obama has removed reproductive rights from millions of women with the Health Whatever Bill? Doesn't that mean we (the Democrats) are STILL so much better than the Republicans?

I can't believe this type of two-party trompe l'oeil is still working. What's happening is that the Republican Party keeps going farther and farther to the right, so that Democratic voters feel virtuous and "Good" by voting against them. The Democratic Party then feels free to adopt as many Republican Party policies and platforms as it can, which means becoming ever more true to its oligarchical/patriarchical roots.

When people protest the latest corporatist and patriarchal policies coming from the alleged "good" Party, we either hear that we're crazy Republicans, or "hey, at least Sarah Palin's not in charge, and besides, where else are you gonna go?!"

As for the Republicans, they don't mind being the "Bad" guys; not one little bit. Both Parties are laughing at us, all the way to the banks. Why? Because they're taking our money, using it to line their own pockets, creating a permanent underclass of unemployed, desperate, starving people who will do anything to survive, and we on the left are "worried" about the latest Scary Extremist Du Jour, whereas they on the right are "worried" about Obama taking their guns away, forcing abortions and gay marriage on them, and Governing While Black. Is it funnily tragic, or tragically funny?

Too many of us are still mesmerized by the old two-party two-step, wanting so desperately to believe that we are the good guys, really we are! Guess what? No, we're not. We are allowing the most horrible atrocities to occur in our names by accepting the "Good Party, Bad Party" narrative as a given.

How about if we don't do that any more?

What if we just said "No" to it all? What if we believed that by saying, "Hey, at least we're not the Party of Rand Paul, OMG!" we're giving the oligarchy/patriarchy more power? What if we believed that neither Party gives a flying fuck what we do, as long as we keep enabling their two-step? What if we didn't spend one more iota of time "worrying" about morons like Rand Paul, and spent our time instead doing things to fight the oligarchy/patriarchy which controls our entire political system right now?

What things? Well, I know I'm not voting for either Party in November. I'll write in, or protest, or something. As for what happens after that, I think we need to remain fluid and adapt to the situation as it develops, because as Chat said yesterday, no one really has a clue what's going to happen in those ballot boxes across the country.

As for me, I'm not going to focus on wingnuts like Rand Paul. I believe that's just what they WANT me to do. I don't feel superior to them; I don't feel inferior to them. I frankly don't feel anything at all about them.

I don't care anymore.

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bornagaindem's picture
Submitted by bornagaindem on

That is why my new political philosophy is to vote against the incumbent every time. If we throw out the incumbents every year pols will get the hint (and the lack of money will kill them) especially in the house of reps. Then we focus on public financing of campaigns and on providing free air time for elections again as a requirement for your licence. voila it is fixed.

annabellep's picture
Submitted by annabellep on

It's a long-term strategy, but I figure it's better than pitchforks and defenestrations.

In addition to the hope--and that's really all it is--that pols will "get it," this strategy also serves the purpose of creating so much chaos that pols can't get much done. That's the real advantage of the strategy. Constant roll-over in Congress means the power structure Madamab referred to has to work harder to achieve their goals because they will no longer have dependable pawns, and they'll have to cultivate lots of new relationships constantly. And it might just stop them from achieving some of their goals.

Bottom line: Failure for them is a win for us.

Submitted by lambert on

+1000 that the idea is to stress the legacy party system to the breaking point.

1. National. However, I think that at the national level, NOTA makes the most sense, since only NOTA shows up in the tallies as a vote against both parties. There's a metric of success that those of us at the third pole can all see. At the national level, a vote against a d/R for an R/d can and will be interpreted as a vote for the R/d, as opposed to a vote against both parties.

2. State. Vote the third party if available. Otherwise, vote against the incumbent. After all, if the farm team withers, the big leagues die.

3. Local. Vote your network. Survival!

NOTE Trying for a new nomenclature here; I've been using D and R for some time, to denature the branding (the policy differences being a matter of history). However, D and R alone still signify a difference, even if there's no distinction. So, "R" in upper case for the ideologically and institutionally dominant partner, "d" in lower case for the submissive one, and the initial position for whichever of the two partners in the relationship is being referred to, so:

Democrat = D = d/R

Republican = R = R/d

I'll try that out and see how it works.

Submitted by lambert on

This formulation from, I believe, gqmartinez.

annabellep's picture
Submitted by annabellep on

But my gut tells me this strategy is bound to fail, as it has failed for over a century. Third partiers will always exist, and they will not be able to get enough people to go with them until they can find some success to show people, and come up with a persuasive marketing campaign to sell it. Otherwise, it will be what it has always been, a few dedicated ideologically-driven people unable to make a real change (see 2000). Meanwhile, the treasury and our national treasures will continue to get gutted.

Pursuing third parties does nothing to stem the tide of legacy-party destruction. For that, you need direct engagement. Hence the chaos strategy. Let that prime the pump for a move into a system of more options. Third partiers will be doing essential work in that regard! The formula is legacy-decline + third party-rise= more level playing field.

leea's picture
Submitted by leea on

I was talking to a friend. Dynamite guy. Liberal to his eyelashes but totally fooled by Obama. Last time his wife was totally fooled by Bush. Anyway, he asked me about what I thought about the latest political goings on. I answered, "We're being screwed from both sides". It's an accurate summation for us since neither of us is rich, elite or part of the creative class. He didn't know if I was just being cranky as usual or I still hadn't found my way to Obama yet since I was including Obama with the other screwers. He mentioned something about "Republicans...Congress...etc. I started with, "Leadership" and ended with "... if Republicans are a problem, you shoulda voted for the Republican fighter not the fighter for Republicans." I had nothing after that, although I saw there was space to inject something to help him fight the Obamasight- affliction which mandates that the affected individual only see things from a point of view that protects and supports Obama.. He is a fighter, as many folks are. I think he would fight against the system, just as passionately as he fights for Obama, if he knew what to do. He just needs to see it with his own eyes though. Eyes blinded by the O-sight.

The next time you talk to an Obot, Dembot, Repubot, etc..ask 'em what they would do if they found out that Obama, Bush, their Senator, Congressperson, govn't official, Rush, Maddow, etc. sold them, their family, their friends, their community, and their country out for money, power and a really cushy job. 1) You'll see the ones who are even open to the idea that this is possible and the ones who make sure that such an uncomfortable idea never passes their synaptic gaps. 2) You'll see that it's at the end of that conversation where the opportunity is to inject the 'things' to do for the reachable folks. Just what are those things? How are they going to fight? and not just fight, but how are they going to fight and win? Folks are waiting to know, even though they don't know it.

TaosJohn's picture
Submitted by TaosJohn on

Your lasts two paragraphs, especially:

1. I'm not voting for either party this fall or hereafter. I'm done with this bullshit. To think one or the other party is necessarily better is to be sucked into the loser's game.

2. The scary right-wing monster crap is part of the game. "We have to vote for Dems because LOOK OUT, we'll have President Palin!" Bullshit. So what? I'm not scared of them. They don't have any answers, either.

The only true change, the real revolution, is spiritual. Inside our own hearts, each of us can accomplish more than any political party. That's the truth, but you have to feel it.

annabellep's picture
Submitted by annabellep on

I think this is another important strategy. It won't be enough to constantly roll them over, as us chaos strategists are planning. Options need to rise with the rise in chaos in the legacy parties. Either strategy alone could and probably would fail. Together, with proper PR, as well as some coordination, the combined strategies could change the political landscape.

Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

I just finally did the deed last week. I changed my registration to Green and will vote 3rd party at all levels for the foreseeable future. I even told my local D running for supervisor that I won't vote for him unless he switches parties (he assured me he is the most "progressive" and would take the message to Nancy Pelosi--I responded that its too late to reform the Dems from the inside).

I do have one quibble with your post though. I think Rand Paul would be slightly better than most of the Democratic politicians in the Senate. The good outweighs the bad in his case and the bad he would do is almost equally matched by the Dems and Republicans (like on social security and tax issues).

Submitted by hipparchia on

rand paul's bad points outweigh his good points.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

And probably, some privilege as well.

Let me ask you a quick question.

Would you feel your physical person in danger, if Rand Paul were elected? Because I know his supporters, and yes, they are racist homophobic bigots. These are people who would feel empowered if their ideology is affirmed(in their eyes) by Paul's election.

I would feel in danger. I know many more who view Paul's all too possible victory with dread and fear. This isn't just a theoretical way to attack "progressives" and entrenched Dems. There is more at stake.

The "progressive" reaction to Paul is ridiculous, but that doesn't make the man worth advocating.

Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

I find your concern about being less safe if Rand Paul were elected to be overblown. Rand Paul is not any more of a threat to our domestic security than the other Democrats or Republicans. Paul is much more likely to protect our civil liberties [how many Dems are against the Patriot Act and even the FISA courts themselves?] And presumably, like his father, he would be more likely to release millions of non violent, mostly black, prisoners. Now Paul is bad on a lot of other issues, and I wouldn't vote for him necessarily, but on a net level, there are a lot more Democrats that are doing more damage than Paul could ever do. There is a lot of misplaced fear and anger focused on him.

And if you want to talk about dangerous politicians and threats to our personal safety, in case you didn't notice, Barack Obama has claimed the right to assassinate anyone in the World, including you and me. He also tortures and has expanded our endless wars and kills little Paki kids by drone. Indeed, Barack Obama has proved to be far more dangerous than one quasi-right-libertarian Senator from Kentucky could ever dream of being. Rand Paul's father, Ron, is about the only Congressperson making a squeak about it. Almost no Democrats are making squeaks. Almost no liberals have consistently argued against imperial wars through both Republican and Democratic administrations. Again, how do you not rate this action highly?

It's Orwellian. The son of about the the only U.S. congressmen that has consistently objected to endless wars, the war on drugs, U.S. support of Israel, and Obama's assassination and torture programs, is targeted as a scapegoat so that everyone fears him as a threat to security.

Submitted by hipparchia on

Paul is much more likely to protect our civil liberties

privacy and liberty?! not for women, that's for sure.

probably not for scary brown people either.

war? opposes the iraq war, supports the afghanistan war, opposes closing gitmo, supports military tribunals, and overall: I believe that the primary Constitutional function of the federal government is national defense, bar none.

libertarian? it's always a good thing to be skeptical when any media outlet is quoting anybody on anything, but:

If elected, Paul says, he'd work to reduce the deficit, lower taxes, strip the regulatory code and introduce legislation to limit members of Congress and Senators to 12 years in office

[...]

Pure libertarians, he says, believe the market should dictate policy on nearly everything from the environment to health care. Paul has lately said he would not leave abortion to the states, he doesn't believe in legalizing drugs like marijuana and cocaine, he'd support federal drug laws, he'd vote to support Kentucky's coal interests and he'd be tough on national security.

"They thought all along that they could call me a libertarian and hang that label around my neck like an albatross, but I'm not a libertarian," Paul says

it's always possible that he's pulling a barack obama and saying what he thinks people want to hear, rather than what he really means, and that he's secretly a libertarian after all, but if so, why would you trust a politician who would lie to get elected?

Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

And he is running from his dad's positions . . .

In that case he probably wouldn't be better than the Dem, although it really wouldn't matter much.

If he were stronger on at least one of these issues, say ending the war on drugs, then that may have tipped the balance.

But he is still probably slightly better than his Republican friends.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

And more to do with some Good Ol' Boys celebrating with a necktie party, but obviously your privilege blinds you to this possibility.

It's not about Rand Paul, it's about the people who feel his victory would mean something more. That the "South" could rise again, and after years of racist bigotted behavior being marginalized condemned, it would know become acceptable again. The whole editorial board video about the Civil Rights Act had nothing to do with repealing the law, it was a dogwhistle to his base that no action is really reprehensible enough to earn his condemnation.

Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

Was directed to you and blown by the Democratic party. And you are obeying the master's commands.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

I know exactly what was blown, and who it was blown to.

That interview was done by my LOCAL paper, I saw it weeks before everyone on the blogs flipped out over it. We were outraged about it before it became the cool thing to do.

Your condescending attitude is seriously about to send me over the edge. You've been told time and time again to knock off the pointless advocating, and been given many examples as to why Paul is actually harmful, in ways different and more severe than the Dems, and you refuse to acknowledge any of it. You've continued to tell me to believe you over my own lying eyes, and that me and people like shouldn't worry about empowering teh bigots, probably b/c you won't have to live with the consequences of that empowerment. Those burning crosses won't be on your yard, will they?

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

As is often the case, I've learned a lot from them.

I don't want to debate the merits of any given politician, though. If Rand Paul actually gets elected, he won't make any difference at all. It is the system that's broken. One person isn't going to fix it.

I would advise people not to believe in ANY politician till we've fixed the system. I do favor the FCP idea of Jeff Roby's, but it does need a liberal Presidential candidate to work. Who knows what will happen?

Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

in a discussion when you don't want to engage . . . . but

I want to point out that when I noted that Rand Paul would be slightly better than most Democrats I did not mean that I "believe" in him or think he's going to do anything of importance to change the system. In fact, that's my point. The other bums can't be trusted and so far the Pauls have shown more fidelity to voting against imperial wars and infringing our civil liberties and in following through on their stated principles (of course I am not a fool and Rand could well sell out far worse than the Dems--but it would hard to beat the Dem sellouts). And the issues the Pauls stand firm on (war and civil liberties) are precisely the issues the Dems sellout on.

For instance, 4 Congressmen recently voted against giving more military weapons to Israel--Kucinich, Ron Paul, Peter Stark, and someone else I can't remember right now. That was a good vote. Those congressmen did the right thing and voted courageously. It made me rethink my recent hostility to Kucinich because it reminded me on this issue there really only are a few politicians that vote this way .

But so far I trust the Pauls (or at least Ron, I don't know that much about Rand) more than I trust Kucinich. I used to trust Kucinich and would go to the mat for him just 6 months ago. But he violated my trust by voting for Obamacare. I will never forgive him because when the chips were down he chose his career over making a last stand for the Left. Ron Paul let's me know ahead of time which way he is going to vote and I can make the determination if he is a net good after taking away the issues he is bad on.

But I really don't see how any lefty can lump in libertarians like Paul with the rest of the right-wing crowd. If one were to put a numerical value on the importance of the issues and go down a check list of where the Pauls stand and where the Dems stand I don't see how someone can claim the modern Dem party is demonstrably better. The Pauls are slightly better than the Dems although still far away from my ideal.

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

Is a radical-right political philosophy, and when it matches up with left policy, it's more like a stopped clock has the right time twice a day.

In Ron Paul's case, while he insists he is not a racist, he certainly has a lot of extremely racist friends (like the folks at stormfront). And while he insists he didn't write a lot of racist screeds that went out under his name (he says it was that dirty Lew Rockwell that did it) they sure did go out under his name. Remember: not all accusations of racism are bogus. Watch out for the phrase "the right of free association."

If you like MMT, well, Paul would like us to go back on the gold standard, which is pretty much the exact opposite of MMT.

Libertarianism is supposed to be based on radical adherence to the rights of the individual, however Paul is against women's reproductive rights. Maybe some individuals are more worthy of rights than others?

Libertarians, and Paul himself, hold lots of views that are strictly not compatible with left politics.

Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

you are ignoring the good. I know the bad about Paul's views. I agree with you that on taxes, social security, and socialized medicine, Paul's form of "right-wing" libertarianism is not good.

Why do you refuse to engage this argument? I acknowledge the bad in Paul's policies. Why can't you acknowledge the good? Are you really honestly weighing the good vs. bad? Are you disproportionately focusing your ire on Paul's "bad" policies while you don't focus the same attention on the Dem's "bad" policies?

This torrent of hatred coming from the progressives (which is obviously a coordinated political attack) seems designed to obscure and distract from the "bad" policies of the Dems. The effect is that you are shouting down as crazy, about the only voice in our Congress that complains about the President of the gosh-darned United States ordering the assassination of anyone on the World he wants to. You have no comment on that? You don't care? He's a fool like a stopped clock? You do see how other people call him crazy precisely because of this, no? You want to focus on abstract hypotheticals about the gold standard and the 1964 CRA instead? What are the important issues of the day?

For me, the most important issues of our day are our expanding wars (Iran is next--who is warning about that ? Yeah, crazy kooky "proto-fascist" Ron Paul). There is vast death and destruction caused by the Dems and I see the reason the Dems have focused their anger on this particular "right-winger". They don't want him in Congress giving speeches about Obama's assination policies.

By joining in with the cool kids to make the Pauls persona non grata in Versailles you are doing the bidding of the fascists.

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

And supporting Paul because the "progressives" have picked him as the object of their two-minute hate isn't my thing, either. When they're done hating on him, I'll still be against Libertarianism.

Of course I am against the Democrats extending the civil rights abuses of the Bush administration. Obama's vote for the surveillance deregulation ("FISA") bill was the straw that broke the camel's back for me with him. And even worse, the Democrats are normalizing Bushism as US policy by continuing to extend it. And yes, Paul occasionally opposes this, and when he does, sure he can have a scooby snack.

He's not a fool. He has a radically different political philosophy than I do, one that I find abhorrent. And when he occasionally agrees with me on some point of policy, I suspect it is for entirely different reasons than I do.

When folks marched in the streets to oppose the Iraq invasion, how many of them were lefties and how many of them were Libertarians? I'll bet International ANSWER had more people marching, and certainly more people organizing them! ANSWER is your ally, Ron Paul is not.

Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

On social security, taxes, and social medicine they are "radically different" from you but are in agreement with the legacy parties.

But on war and civil liberties they are radically different than you? No. They represent you more than any other politician, except maybe Kucinich and a few other token lefties. And you spit in his face and say here's a scooby treat for making this speech? What politician are you voting for that does that?

I just don't see what good it does to be so hostile to libertarians. I think it is divisive and you are cutting off your nose to spite your face. Do you want to convince people or simply join the legacy parties at shouting down the tribes that you don't belong to? They agree with you on the most important issues of they day! I'm not saying you should vote for them. I too think the are radically wrong on many important issues. I'm just asking you to recognize that libertarians are about the only politicians fighting the good fight on the most important issues of the day.

Is ANSWER rallying against Obama's assassination policies?

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

Please stop now.

I specifically asked you not to do this and you're doing it anyway. Why? What is wrong with you? Write your own goddamn post about how great Libertarianism and Ron Paul/Rand Paul are.

I will not have a long-winded defense of Libertarianism in my post. I simply won't have it. I despise it and every fucking thing about it.

JUST STOP IT.

Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

consider libertarianism then. You are railing against straw men.

I am not defending libertarianism. I am specifically noting the negatives of libertariansim.

I see that you don't want to have an honest discussion and are not comfortable with open debate. I also don't want to break any rules here and I'm commenting because I'm interested in these issues and find the people discussing it here to be interesting (including your contributions). I wasn't aware that I can't comment on people's posts and that you can order the end of debate.

But you are obviously not in a place to be able to think critically about these issues. I will respect your sensitivity and stop commenting on your post.

I will also note that I would never jump on a commenter for having a different POV than me. You are literally trying to control the thoughts that YOU think are proper and shouting down those you disagree with.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

You're still not stopping. Again, I must ask why you insist on derailing a post that has absolutely nothing to do with Libertarianism or Rand Paul.

Your remarks about my alleged feelings and state of mind are completely off-base, insulting, and mind-boggling sexist. Oh, I'm "sensitive"? I don't want to have an "honest discussion"? Wow, just wow.

I could not be less interested in the alleged merits of Rand Paul. The post is not about Rand Paul. Or Ron Paul. It's about our broken system. Since YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DISCUSS THIS ISSUE, it seems to me that YOU are the one who has the problem, not me.

Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

How many times did you write his name?

You are being a bully. Is there a rule that I can't comment on someone's blog post if they don't like my POV? I'm certainly not any more off topic than others.

You don't like my POV and you are trying to shout me down.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

who is off topic. I also used Rush Limbaugh's name. Is this post about him? No. You really don't get that?

This is my blog post and I have the right to ask, respectfully, that people stay on topic. I did ask you respectfully, and you completely ignored me. I don't see why you couldn't respect my wishes, as the author of the post.

I am angry because you didn't respect my wishes and felt the need to bring your own pet issue into a post that had nothing to do with it. It's not because I disagree with you, although I do, wholeheartedly. There are plenty of people with whom I disagree who posted in this very blog post. But they did it RESPECTFULLY.

Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

You're being far more disrespectful than I was. I saw your obvious sensitivity to any contrary position so in an attempt to be nice to you I originally wrote that you didn't seem to want to discuss it but was opening it up to others or you if you wanted to. . . .this is a blog last I saw where people come to write and debate political issues.

I am not the only person to take your post in this direction. Look at the others that are doing the same thing. This is normal in blogging--well, except for the Obots and the other tribal entities that never want to hear an opinion than differs from their own.

You clearly are very closed-minded on this subject.

You are the one being a rude bully. You can't handle a disagreement and yes . . . that's called sensitivity.

No wonder the Left is quiet about Obama's assassination policies--it's more important for people like you to not be seen agreeing with the dreaded libertarians!

Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

the straw that broke the camel's back, which means it is an important issue for you, why do you not give Paul credit for his stance? He is about the most forceful and consistent congressional vote against FISA.

He's a stopped clock on this issue? Why exactly are you having a hard time agreeing with him on this issue? How did Paul get to the right conclusion but in such an abhorrent manner that you give him no respect for getting to the same conclusion as you (and on an issue that seems to be paramount to you).

Hookfan's picture
Submitted by Hookfan on

who are the current persona non grata (so I can keep up) does your rejection of "Libertarian" include the socialist libertarians (Noam Chomsky)? They don't seem to fit the favored profile you proffer or perhaps they are considered so small in numbers they don't even merit rejection?

And by the way Walter, congratulations! You seem to have managed to get the poster to care again, you devil you. . .

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

period. When women like me stay home, it's duly noted. Obama's always had a problem with "aging white women from battle ground states". I may not be from a battle ground state but I can contribute to the numbers. Unless some pol takes a real stand against what's going on, I'm not voting.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

"Women's rights are human rights" at the top of my ballot. Not just because Hillary said it, but because it's why I don't vote for either Party any more. Neither one gives a shit about me...why should I care about them or help them screw up the lives of millions of women even further?

What have they done for me lately? Nothing but demean, diminish and demonize me and my sisters...not to mention, the new Health Whatever Bill is actively harmful to women and will cause many more to die in childbirth and/or bear unhealthy babies who can't survive outside the womb - or who will require millions in medical care that the woman can't afford.

Both Parties are now the Party of hatred towards women's rights. They can both go fuck themselves until they change their ways...or until a new Party emerges that will honor women as fully equal members of society, and ratify the ERA and pass FOCA.

scoutt's picture
Submitted by scoutt on

She's more afraid of her govt than she is racists. Racists didn't take us to war. Racists didn't enact the patriot act. Racists did create the financial mess we're in etc.
She goes so far as to say she will cross the normal tribal lines (i.e. join forces with "racists") to fight against the govt.
Is she part of the tea party?

Submitted by Anne on

First, you need to know if your state's ballots include "None of the above" as a choice; if it doesn't, the only way to cast such a vote is to fill out a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots, as I know from my stint as an assistant chief Democratic election judge in my precinct, are virtually useless. In most cases, unless an election is close, they essentially end up in the trash.

So, find out what the deal is in your state, find out who makes the decision about whether write-ins or NOTA are to be included, and proceed accordingly. Many states have dealt with the issue of write-ins by deciding that any vote for someone who was not on the official ballot would go to whichever candidate of that party was on the ballot - not exactly the intent of write-ins, but it goes a long way to discouraging them.

Second, the more to the right the choices of the GOP are, the more it solidifies this new center in a place where only Republicans used to live, so it seems to me that it may not only be important to make sure these tea party-types lose, but that they lose to Democrats - or a truly kick-ass third party candidate - who is unashamedly positioned well to the left of this new center - that, it seems to me, means primarying New Dems and sending their asses packing.

Third, if the Tea Party is intended to be the populist version of the GOP, it's time to contrast Tea Party Populism with Liberal/Progressive Populism, and do it in a convincing and credible way; that doesn't have to be party-centric, because the ideas will take care of that.

Fourth, unless and until we have 100% publicly-financed elections, there is little chance of ever getting out from under the corporate-controlled power structure. Obama is helping the corporations put down deeper, stronger and spreading roots that are going to be tougher to get rid of than kudzu, dandelions or crabgrass. I don't know how we get this done, I really don't, but I don't see much hope for real takeback of government until it does.

Fifth, while we, the little people, are treating the tea-partiers as if they were little children having a temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery store - ignoring them, in other words - the media are giving them all the attention they're looking for, and will continue to do so because it's "exciting" and "outside the box." Here I go back to the ideas that represent Liberalism/Progressivism - make them popular enough that candidates will be begging to be the representative of those ideas. The media doesn't seem to ever take seriously anything that doesn't have an organization behind it, but the ideas that form the basis of liberalism don't have to have the word "Party" attached to them.

Finally, we need to care about the right things. Caring about Rand Paul is not required; it's silly to run against him, to make him the boogeyman, but we should care about the bigger picture.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

I found this site to be very helpful. I didn't know I could do a write-in in my state until I saw it.

I think these are the folks who coined "NOTA" as an acronym for "None of the Above."

http://nota.org

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Undervotes, they are quantifiable. Its better than a third party vote if you want to vote against the system. Its better than a write-in also.

If five million people turn in empty ballots (NOTA), something is being said and there is no way to spin it otherwise. If five million people stay home, write in X, vote for various third party candidates than it is easy to spin. And its not quantifiable.

Submitted by Anne on

I'm not being snarky, I truly have never seen election returns that stated the percentage or number of undervotes; certainly Boards of Elections will have these numbers - usually after the election is certified and official - but I've never seen any interest in this by the media, or election-night reporting of undervoting.

My guess is that a massive number of undervotes, of blank ballots, is more likely to be seen as a malfunction of the electronic voting machines than as an action by the electorate to affirnatively vote for no one - unless there is a corresponding massive public campaign to inform people about the no-vote vote option.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I've been involved in political races from president to city council, and if you've ever worked on a state legislature or council (in a smaller city) you in fact do look at undervotes, at least indirectly. Rule one in a campaign is always the same: determining what 50%+1 is. In all presidential election years you see the same pattern: president gets the most number of cast votes, then senator, congress, all the way down to dog catcher. In off years you see a similar pattern. The numbers may never make the media, but *everyone* who does campaigning knows about this.

If there were to be a *significant* number of ballots turned in lacking federal office votes that would definitely show up. And while it may have a hard time breaking through the national media, it can get coverage in local papers who always need stories. That's where we could come in. I have to say that there are always write ins for shit like "mickey mouse" and those are ignored, just as a handful of votes for Hillary Clinton would be.

if we could build momentum for a real undervote campaign it would get noticed. It would also, in the longer term (4-6 years if done right) benefite third parties. Destroying the two-party two-step is a necessary precondition for third party success, IMO.

More on my thoughts later. . .

illusionofjoy's picture
Submitted by illusionofjoy on

...vary state by state. In Pennsylvania, write in candidates have no electors assigned to them, so if you write in an actual person, they never have a chance of winning at the presidential level, even in the unlikely circumstance of a successful write-in campaign. However, all write-in votes must be tallied and kept on record. The woman whom I spoke to on the phone at the PA Elections commission expressed some consternation at having to count "Mickey Mouse" as a vote. So, at least in Pennsylvania, "None of the Above" would have a number attached to it, if not an actual impact towards keeping the bums out.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

I only had a chance to skim through your resonating blog and will come back to reread it and read comments more thoroughly soon. Running off to work. But before I do, I need to also vent (thanks for the use of the hall)...

Something in me has sure shifted.

I am working on a blog about Obama's West Point speech, I can't watch him in person (I read it) any more do his amiable and/or rhetorical "razzle dazzle", the same way I couldn't watch Bush do his "just plain folks, I'm an idiot just like the majority of America" routine.

Obama. He had a chance to be part of the solution in America or the prob and he has embraced the problem.

And my rage at Obama grows, and my rage at Congress grows, and at the craven oligarchs grows, and my fellow obtuse countrymen and women in this country that have been morally shut down, been morally shutting down BIG TIME since Reagan was Prez but shut down in that damn American myth of "exceptionalism" and the "denial" since its birth, maybe. And the stupor hypnosis that enables the violence that America's leadership perpetrates on foreign or American human beings to be ignored or minimized BIG TIME.

I refer often to the five stages of grief, post Obama election, many Dems and progressives or lefties had to contend with a lot and I do it off-handedly but I am serious especially for the 80 million who actually voted and many who worked for him.

Suffering intelligent Americans who witnessed the evil that was Bushco and who had that now cruel seeming window of hope, you know, "Hope" ... and I ruefully refer here to the adage "Hope was the last temptation of Christ" ... even Christ probably couldn't believe human beings could be so merciless and cruel as well as stunningly ignorant and stupid intellectually and void of emotional intelligence ... And now Obama has just continued the Bushco march of the psychopathic patriarchy for power and control. And America that God so doesn't bless right now (the friggin' human devils are pushing me back to a real religion) has no MORALITY .. just power and control narcissism and evil and cronyism and self- and elitist-aggrandizement at the expense of anyone not in their damn power circle -- they can't begin to care.

I haven't worked with Obama's speech that much yet for my next blog, but just reading it once -- what an insult. You are sending these young people, already indoctrinated to HATE the enemy, into a surreal hell that will at best psychologically maim them forever, possibly physically maim them forever or will kill them, AS WELL AS use them as tools to do the same to the people who have the misfortune to live in a country that the US and its evil country cronies have decided they want the access of, the resources of, the control of. That's the best ya got? Obama speaks chillingly of a New World Order, and has a threat in there to any country of CONSEQUENCES if they don't abide US/its cronies/Obama currents of "progress" and the peace and justice democratizing BULL SHIT that gives obama and our military monster their supposed LICENSE TO KILL.

Obama and the military industrial complex and the corporatists will use their citizen pawns to destroy the citizen pawns of other countries.

Obama thanks the parents of the cadets for raising them as cannon fodder maybe not in those words. That makes me crazy. Jingoism ... wonder how the parents will feel when the myth is exposed via the suffering of their children soon. or will their denial prevail. Will the children be alone in their stunning betrayal and hell. Chris Hedges says that when John Wayne tried to do charity work after the war with vets in a Hawaiian hospital they jeered him.

Obama thanks the military for having a strong standard. YEAH, OBAMA. INSTITUTIONALIZED EVIL. Torture and let's see, killing over a million Iraqis as one small example and displacing 4 million. Shock and awe night raids. Depleted uranium and mines that will keep on giving and ambushing with their horrifying destructiveness, God, I can't begin to list the levels of cruelty You Obama are institutionalized evil's best friend and agent and product. And you stand up there, congratulate them for their scholarship, and then hand them major lies and BULL SHIT. Here believe this load of crap all tied up in red white and blue ribbons.

I watched Frontline about the Wounded Platoon. Then I read Obama's speech. I went to a public viewing again of the Wikileaks video earlier in the week of the video game slaughter by US troops of 12 innocent people on a surburb street of Baghdad. No accountability. SNAFU. STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES in America, Situation Normal -- All F*CKED UP. Drone attacks, obama's assassination assumption privilege unchallenged, no habeas corpus, Miranda rights circling the bowl, Gitmo murders claimed suicides, special forces murdering and then blaming people for honor killings, .. the slippery slope has steepened. You don't think Obama is into accountability? You can bet damn sure he is tracking down those whistleblowers, not the perpetrators. How soon will he start coming after us?

Thanks, madamab, I went to bed angry and I woke up angry at my country and this anger ain't gonna go away soon. Thanks for writing with passion. We are an anti-feeling culture.

Oh, and I didn't quite finish ... I am furious mostly at myself, for not being this angry and this awake to the evil that is my country for a long time. Feel like I was amorally dead myself. The moral shutdown of this country is a disgrace.

I pray Americans with the potential for morality.... who as Debra Sweet says have a shred of conscience left ... come out of the other side of the 5 stages of grief tunnel...and I guess I may still be in it, since I do feel such anger.. that is one of them... denial, depression, bargaining, anger, to final acceptance? Scott Peck says mental health is dedication to REALITY at all costs. Anyway, not sure the order of the stages, but I hope I can accept by doing what I can like the serenity prayer says, having that courage to at least do my part, so that I can forgive myself for being part of the problem so long and join up with the solution for the sake of my own soul.

This was to be a quick comment, and look at it. :) Now I am really late for work. later!!!

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

When I say NOTA, I don't mean a literal SAT NOTA option, I mean an undervote. Undervotes are what is quantifiable. I disagree with nota.org's goal because its silly to want a new election because your favorite candidate didn't make the ballot. When I say NOTA I mean it as a short term strategy rather than a policy goal.

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

I started out by making a list of things Libertarians believe that are completely non-negotiable differences from what I believe, but I think you're already mostly aware of them, so I skipped it.

I agree with you that Libertarians are anti-war. I suspect it is for entirely different reasons than I am anti-war.

I haven't been able to find a statement by ANSWER on the assassination policy however I am dead certain they are against it.

Submitted by lambert on

but I do think it's remarkable that whatever premises they reason from, they support certain policy outcomes I'm in favor of. It surely must be possible to take advantage of that, on some level.

As far as NOTA, I agree it's a tactic, in fact, whatever gqm says on it. Metrics are important!!!! Perhaps we need another name?

Submitted by Lex on

Like all the other political labels in America, "libertarian" has been hijacked and bound into a straitjacket. In most cases it means economic liberty and property issues above all else (though it's not hard to write an argument around property rights that gets libertarians tied into knots).

Blame Rand for more than one generation believing that "libertarian" means individualism as a quasi-religious belief system.

But of all the labels, it may be the only one that's salvageable.

And i'm with lambert, how the conclusions are reached is often strange and disagreeable, but i do find myself in agreement with many of the conclusions. I only wish that libertarians would get hot and bothered about the many assaults on liberties that don't involve making as much money as one can.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

That's okay. But you don't know anything about me and I think it's hilarious that you think you do. "People like me." LOL!

Do you actually not remember that I defended you on your own post about Rand Paul? Did I not say that he is not the problem in my post? Actually, I am a left (social) libertarian myself. That doesn't mean that everything slapped with a "libertarian" label is going to be attractive to me.

You can't seem to hear one single word about your hero without jumping in and talking about how he's more trustworthy than the Democrats. No, he's not, and frankly, his ideas on most issues are repugnant to me, including (quelle surprise!) the issue of a woman's right to choose. Liberty is for men only, apparently.

I am 100% pro life. I believe abortion is taking the life of an innocent human being.

I believe life begins at conception and it is the duty of our government to protect this life.

I will always vote for any and all legislation that would end abortion or lead us in the direction of ending abortion.

I believe in a Human Life Amendment and a Life at Conception Act as federal solutions to the abortion issue. I also believe that while we are working toward this goal, there are many other things we can accomplish in the near term.

It is unconscionable that government would facilitate the taking of innocent life. I strongly oppose any federal funding for abortion and will stop the flow of tax dollars to groups like Planned Parenthood, who perform or advocate abortions.

In addition, I believe we may be able to save millions of lives in the near future by allowing states to pass their own anti-abortion laws. If states were able to do so, I sincerely believe many -- including Kentucky -- would do so tomorrow, saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

Before 1973, abortion was illegal in most states. Since Roe v. Wade, over 50 million children have died in abortion procedures.

I would strongly support legislation restricting federal courts from hearing cases like Roe v. Wade. Such legislation would only require a majority vote, making it more likely to pass than a pro-life constitutional amendment.

What a fantastic candidate. Where do I sign up?!

But heaven knows, he's not unique in that regard. The Democrats talk a better game, but are just as bad on that issue, and so many more.

Whatever. Have a nice day.

Submitted by cg.eye on

A rude bully, Mr. Wit Man, verging on trollish behavior, that is.

Look, this blog has never shied away from Obama's faults; it has discussed and linked dutifully to Silber and even Greenwald, concerning Obama's bogarting of executive power including his newfound power to order the assassination of citizens.

Your willful hijack of this thread -- when the one solution available to any commenter -- make your own goddamn post and defend your points there, if anyone would engage you on it, is still available to you -- is a deliberate provocation. You don't want to engage; you want us to tell you to STFU, so you can go whine to your veiled right-wing libertarian friends that Leftists Are No Fun. Haven't you forgotten this is the Blog Nobody Reads?

Why, then, is it that important that you try to lend legitimacy to a candidate too green to even do proper staff vetting? Hell, even David Duke knows how to hire relatively neutral mouthpieces that don't embarrass him with Satanic rock pasts and a puzzling inability to police their own MySpace accounts. The Pauls are amateurs, at best, and provocateurs backed by the same cash that backs every other legacy party candidate, at worst -- except their fundraising parties surely have more hookers and herb, as libertarian precepts dictate. Rand Paul's no Sarah Palin; at least she's had decent media counseling. You never, ever cancel on MEET THE PRESS; it's like a beauty pageant winner ditching THE TODAY SHOW -- that's giving the real money men who want to inspect you the brushoff. It's not a rookie mistake -- it's a dead-ender's mistake.

Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

about me, calling me out? You say I'm a troll you don't want to respond to me and then you call me out?

This is the same passive aggressive thing Madamab did. She called me out and I responded by clarifying what my point was. Now you are doing the same thing. I think I had a valid and on topic point--it just wasn't what madamab wanted to hear so she declared it off topic.

I like this blog too and have enjoyed the people I see write but I'm not aware that madamab can open a topic up for discussion and then declare certain parts of that topic off limits. Maybe this is the way she runs her blog and gets only ditto heads to comment. I'm not trying to pick a fight with you--I'm discussing what was an interesting topic on a blog with interesting people. I didn't know I would run into such prickly pears.

And you "accuse" me of picking a fight so I can tell my right-wing friends how close-minded the Left is? No. I don't want the left to be as closed-minded as you are. I'm simply pointing out that Ron Paul is doing far more to end our wars and is about the only Congressman doing anything to end Obama's assassination program and you and your left-wing friends, I"m guessing from the feminist wing, are such intellectual cowards that you have to pretend that Rand Paul is going to be lynching black people. I'm interested in the intellectual point and yes, it is very frustrating to me to see the few antiwar politicians, like Kunicich and Paul, get hounded from all sides.

Your fears are ridiculous in light of what the Democrats are actually doing. Rand Paul is going to hang people? Fuck you for ruining our political discourse and taking the bait from your pwoggie friends like Maddow.

You, like madamab, don't want to hear this argument so you have declared it off limits. That's fine if you want to make the argument--that Rand Paul is going to start hanging black folk and forcing women to have abortions--I can see you don't give a shit about some Paki getting blown up--you're more concerned with some ghosts. I didn't know that this Shitty Blog, which I actually like, has a policy that the poster gets to excludes certain POV that she doesn't like. I would never do that with my own. I haven't seen it with other posters.

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