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When all is said and done

vastleft's picture

After two years of agonizing over it, I've made my decision.

This morning, I'm voting for Barack Obama. For two reasons:

  1. To say "fuck you" to the Republican Party. The satisfaction — once devoutly to be wished for — is now incredibly muted, because Obama himself says nothing of the kind. He calls them the "party of ideas," and he even praises their handling of the environment. Jesus Fucking Christ! He stokes the myths of the "transformative" Ronald Reagan, and as a neo-liberal he will challenge few of Ronnie's ideas. And, most significantly, he gives these rat bastards air cover by perpetuating the Beltway myth that our problems stem largely from too much partisanship on the left instead of the obvious truth, which is the precise opposite. This pisses me off and fucks up our world more than you can imagine (well, some of you can imagine it, and that's why I love y'all). And with every important decision Obama has made this year, he has proven correct those who see no difference between the Democrat Party and the Republicans. Nonetheless, Bush's party needs to be put down, and there is only one candidate who offers the nominal satisfaction of doing this.
  2. He's half-black. We could have had a far better candidate, a different and similarly important "first," but the powers that be in the Democratic Party — and the candidate they coronated — rode her dirty. I will never forget, and may never forgive that. A symbol is a damn sight less than I was hoping to vote for in these troubled times, but my other available options are symbolic, as well. I would have felt much better about the symbolic value of his presidency if he hadn't leveraged misogyny and false charges of racism to get to this point. As Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond put it, "Nobody's perfect." Our process sucks, our media sucks, and our party sucks. And that's the way it is. Be all that as it may, I still like the idea of a first black president. As all liberals do. Even the ones who were slandered as racists.

Obama has run on a platform of hope, and given the way he's trashed his party's sense of fair play, reneged on his promises (including the one to uphold the Constitution), and held back the Overton Window from moving left, hope is all we're going to get as the numbers tally up in his favor today.

We can hope he can and will use his smarts to do something good, rising to the crisis-filled occasion. I may be holding my nose, but I'm not holding my breath.

I know some will be disappointed with my decision. If it wasn't for disappointment, I wouldn't have any appointments during this campaign season.

However you feel about it, I hope you'll join me in looking for ways to assert a progressive agenda with a new President who, with or without my vote, doesn't seem to like progressives very much. Same as the old boss.

Let's break out the booze and have a ball. If that's all there is.

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Comments

dr sardonicus's picture
Submitted by dr sardonicus on

As we have never had a progressive President during my lifetime, nor do I expect to see one before I die, looking for ways to assert a progressive agenda is simply something I've tried to do all my adult life.

...for the rest of us

foxx's picture
Submitted by foxx on

So long

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I'm in the honest critique business. Sorry if I didn't satisfy your who-to-vote-for litmus test. It's a tough choice this year, y'know?

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Since no one wins, I really couldn't care less how this ends, but I'm so glad that this part of it is over. Now, we'll be able to focus better.

Thanks, VL, for your honest-as-hell commentary. I can always count on both an honest and well written blog entry from you.

I offer you my condolences, just as I have to every liberal, this season. Now, here's to hopin'...

It's time that we all learned Teh Precious' prayer:

Our Leader, who art in Chitown,
Blessed by thy name.
Thy government come.
They will be done,
On earth as it is in Chicago.
Give us this day our daily
waffles...

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Waffles. That reminds me.... I've been wondering what symbol Garry Trudeau is going to use for President Obama. I'll try to remember to do a call-for-ideas post on that, once the polls are closed.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

was pretty brilliant, no? For Obama, he could be potrayed as an amorphous, low-flying cloud of sorts, or a torn/ripped yin yang sign.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I'll sleep on what Obama's symbol should be. And sleep I should. It's almost 4AM here. Even Hillary's gone to bed, but the aftershocks of this decision have kept me up all night. And yes, it will be good to get past this day.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

To paraphrase you: "I don't like him, his stupid message or the horribly misogynistic way her ran his campaign. Furthermore, I don't think he's qualified to do the job nor is he progressive. In fact, he seems more like a Republican to me. But thank Chtulu he's *not* a Republican because that would be the pits."
Uh-huh.
Thank you for clearing this up for me. I no longer have to take you seriously again.
You run along and vote now and put that last nail in what is left of the Democratic party that secures it to the blue dogs once and for all.

Come together at The Confluence

Stellaaa's picture
Submitted by Stellaaa on

But still hard to vote for him. God, imagine, Axelrod, Obama's brain, being on TV for years gloating makes me cringe. Time to cut off the cable and I will be saving money. Axelrod and the Movement.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I see no reason to change that policy for any Obama Administration. It was nice when I could stand to listen to the President and other leaders and sometimes even look forward to hearing what they had to say. But, hey, that's so 20th Century and I'm over it. Almost.

scoutt's picture
Submitted by scoutt on

It's absolutely part of my world outlook on the dark days. And today feels like a dark day for sure.
"Is that all there is to the messiah?" This will make a great youtooobz in about 6 months.
Thanks for all your writing VL.
I've agonized over who I'll vote for. I'm writing in Hillary.
I think i'll play this song at this office today. My next door neighbor has been a giant prick this entire election and will be cheering and drinking champagne today.
He quotes Huffpost...need i say more? And even though I asked him on several occasions that we not talk pOloticks, he insists that "we're grown up enough. We should do this". And as the grown up in the conversation, he would inevitablly resort to "you're spinning" or "you're not being objective".
Oh jesus christ, someoone on a bike just rode past my house chanting ,"I feel drama for Obama". AHHHHH H!!!!!

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Is your #1, and you said it as well as it could be said.

When I saw Hillary speak at a small fundraiser recently I determined that I wouldn't insult her by writing in her name. Only because that is not what she wants. She wants to destroy Republicans.

So do I.

I still intended not to vote for anyone at the top of the ticket, but now I'm not so sure. I will have to think about this further and I still have a few hours. Mainly I wonder how I will feel about this 2,3,4 years from now. Will I be more pissed at myself for voting for Obama than embarrassed that I didn't? It's a tough call and I can't hate on anyone no matter what their choice this year.

I take that back, I can hate on all of those people who thought that Obama's Dem primary campaign was just fine in how they treated Hillary, the Democratic Party courtiers and the disgusting media and blog-types who, as you so aptly put, "rode her dirty".

-----------------------------

Around these parts we call cucumber slices circle bites

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

1. It'll be a "Fuck you" to the Democratic party and our ideals, not the conservatism that Obama and the rest of the "establishment" still respects and embraces; and
2. Bigotry is inexcusable--always--so voting for a black president when it means voting to validate bigotry, in effect, against women (and girls) is not justifiable to me. Also, a "first" must be a success for any progress to be made or it'll be a major setback. This is why, even if I didn't give a damn about women or girls, or gays, or Democratic policy, I wouldn't vote for Obama: he's not qualified and the current crises demands almost heroic levels of competency.

Here's Matt Santos at the DNC. The good part starts at around 4:57

"It's been suggested to me that party unity is more important than your democratic rights as delegates. That's right: it's not...Vote for the person who shares your ideals, your hopes, your dreams..."

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

All I can say is that there were no good choices available, and I went with the option that provided a couple of specific benefits.

There are many terrible lessons to be learned from this campaign. I'd wish 'em all away if I could. But I made the choice I can most live with, even if it's encumbered with the countless objections I note in the original post, objections of the sort you're well aware of.