Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Obama, Just Like Romney, Except the Important Stuff

Apparently, there are still holdouts who insist that Obama isn't that different from Republicans.  Yeah.  Still.  And even they've tempered the rhetoric, so they'll admit that Obama is preferable to Romney; yet they'll insist that he's just as bad.  And they'll insist they've got a long litany of complaints, and they'll mention about six minor things.  And when you point out that they're minor things, they'll insist they've got better complaints, but they're just not going to bother listing them.  People go with the best answers they've got, and while they might miss a few, they don't miss the big ones.  So if your list of complaints doesn't have any big ones, you probably don't have any serious complaints.

And so I was on Facebook and saw a friend's friend complain about Obama, and here were his complaints. Obama was a corporate lawyer.  Obama passed the NDAA (which didn't do what he thought it did), Obama extended the Patriot Act (which wasn't as bad as Bush's), he assassinates bad guys who would be difficult to capture, he didn't cut defense spending enough, and something about oil policy.  That's it.  That's what makes him like Romney.

And the response: The Ryan Plan.  Seriously, that alone completely eclipses that entire list, and it's not even close.  Anyway, at this point I'm just going to repost a few comments I made.  You'll have to imagine the specific parts I was addressing, as I'm not going to bother repeating them.  But really, the whole thing's a joke.  He started out all tough, insisting that we're all idiots for mindlessly voting for Obama because of the D after his name; and his eventual point is that we need to completely redo our political structure.

And yeah, sure.  I'd like it if our political structure worked better than it does.  But it's as if Obama is a part of the political structure, rather than somebody dealing with the political structure.  And these highminded nitwits really seem to imagine that Obama's getting what Obama wants, as if Obama doesn't have these same complaints.

Andrew, I'd debate the points you're making, except it's obvious that you don't really have much use for reality. Your whole pitch is that we must all be a bunch of morons because we don't agree with you.  
Like the NDAA thing. That was a pile of shit. It didn't change anything, yet Obama critics invented the stuff about how they could grab citizens off the streets and throw them in military courts, even though the law said the exact opposite. And the claims that it was bad were based upon the belief that it *must* have changed something, or they wouldn't have done it. So they read between the lines and squinted really hard until they pulled that crap out. But it *was* crap. There was no real change in that law, yet you're still citing it, as if we're all at risk of being whisked off to Gitmo. Sorry, but it never happened. It was an invented controversy. 
And really, your list petered off pretty fast, ending up with one specific meeting where he talked to bankers. Oooh, scary. Meanwhile, I can easily give a long laundry list of why Romney is CONSIDERABLY worse. How can I do this? Because I've spent time thinking about this stuff, that's why. I used my head and this is what I came up with. Same with the other people here. You might like to think we're mindless sheep, but we're not. We're intelligent AND we disagree with you. Mind blowing, huh. 
And yeah, you're right that we need to do stuff as individuals too. Not sure why you're telling *us* this, when it's Obama's critics who seem to think he's Superman and could do anything he wanted, if he desired. Sure, Obama made a big cut to the defense budget, but that apparently wasn't enough for you, as if he could just wave his magic wand and it'd happen, with no bad political fallout from it.  
Is Obama perfect? Of course not, and I'm sure he'd say the same thing. He's made mistakes, as have we all. But he's done more to help liberalism in three years than you've done your entire life. If that's what a corporate lawyer gets us, I suppose we could use more corporate lawyers.
And another...
 And another thing that bugs me about this sort of thing: It gets the political calculation backwards.
Anyone who cares about this stuff should work their asses off for the cause, supporting as many good liberal candidates as they can find, and writing letters, protesting, etc; in an attempt to push things as far to the left as we can. But on election day, we pick the lesser of two evils and like it. Because that *also* pushes things to the left. Sure, we might not consider the Dem to be on the left, but a Democratic win is a win for the left; even if the Dem is someone like Clinton who was far more conservative than Obama is.  
Just look at what happened in 2010 and 2004, and any other election we lost. We were told that we lost because we were too liberal. That's just the way it is. Republicans lose because they weren't pure enough and Democrats lose because they're too pure. That's not reality, but that's how the results are interpreted. But if Obama wins, he's not going to think "Hey, I won because Andrew Barrett endorsed my signing of the NDAA." He's going to think "Ah ha ha. They picked Romney as their guy. Morons." 
I mean, it's not like Obama will be sifting through the ashes the day after the election and say "Hey, we didn't get Andrew Barrett's endorsement for all those policies liberals didn't like. We better shift to the left next time, so we can win his vote." And that's because they don't know you didn't vote for him, or why. Maybe you didn't vote for him because you didn't like his rightwing policies, or maybe you didn't vote for him because you didn't like his leftwing policies. They don't know.  
And if you vote for a third party, they might just think that you're a third-party kind of guy and you're hopeless anyway; which is likely the case. And since it's easier to pick up swing voters than it is to please the people at the ends, they'll just ignore you completely. While people at the far ends of the spectrum imagine themselves to be the key base of the parties, they're not. That's why being a moderate makes more sense than being on the ends; which is why Romney would *love* to be a moderate, though the base won't let him. And that's why his appeal is limited and he'll likely lose the election. Because it's a bad idea to spend too much time pleasing your base.  
And so long comment short: Voting for Obama is the exact thing we should do, regardless of how much we think he sold us out, because he's STILL better than the Republican, regardless of who the Republican is. And nobody's doing it because they're idiots who always vote for the D. Not in this election, anyway. They're doing it because they know that Obama's done well in a bad situation and that Romney will only make things worse. But even if we think Obama is a fraud, he's still the one liberals should vote for, because the political elites think he's a liberal and if he loses, it makes us all look bad.
And another...
 Searching for improved power systems? Dude, we can't even pass a budget. We've got influential people who genuinely believe that Obama is planning to take over the country and kill millions of Americans next year, and you're talking election reform.  
I mean, yeah. I agree. Things suck. This is far from my ideal system. But it's still a democracy and we're still stuck dealing with the fact that the moment a Democrat wants something the Republicans insist it's the Death of Liberty and will fight to their dying breath to make sure it doesn't happen; no matter how conservative the idea was. So...what the fuck are you talking about?  
You want to talk ideal systems? Sure, let's talk ideal systems...after the election. Right now, it comes off a bit silly. And that's putting it politely. The fact remains that Obama is the best president we've had since FDR, period. He doesn't want huge defense spending. NDAA wasn't his idea. He's stuck playing with the cards he was dealt, and doing a damn fine job of it. Meanwhile, you're drawing your own deck of cards and insisting we're all fools for not using them.  
Look, dude. We can't make our own reality. Politics is real, whether you like it or not. And were we to listen to people like you, we'd be talking about what an awful president McCain is while gnashing our teeth that our candidate is getting his ass handed to him in the polls. I'm just imagining the debate, with President McCain laughing his ass off while our guy insists that we need to change our power systems. And honestly, weren't you saying this same stuff about Gore? How'd that work out? 
And for the record: My problem wasn't that your list wasn't comprehensive enough. It was that your list started and ended with weak complaints. Cherrypicking, with a complete lack of perspective. It's like a homeless person given a free home who complains that it doesn't float. Yes, floating homes would be nice, but it wasn't one of the options and beggers can't be choosers. Obama prevented McCain from being president and gave us good things. What have you done?

1 comment:

Kevin Robbins said...

I don't feel that I'm mindlessly voting for Obama because of the D after his name. I have thought about whether I do that. If the GOP would put up candidates a sane person could consider voting for, I would (consider it anyway). Bush, McCain and Romney ain't it though.