Tuesday, November 6, 2012

time to make out with a stranger in Grant Park again

Well, I voted. I successfully resisted the urge to vote for Rupert from Survivor for Governor just because it would feel a little amazing to vote for Rupert from Survivor. Pretty quotidian and predictable ballot for a guy like me.

My official prediction is the same as it would be if Romney had been reelected: we'll have four more years of militarism, inequality, a rapacious and unrestrained financial sector, failure to do anything meaningful about global warming, low-paying and low-quality jobs, record deportations, mass imprisonment of black men, lack of major relief for homeowners, capture of our political process by the rich, privatization of education through discredited reform efforts, failure to ease the student debt burden, the steady death of civil liberties, our collective punishment of the Muslim world, two parties that are wholly owned by capital, and our continued and inevitable decline.

I also think that, in a second term, there's a reasonably high chance that Obama will either order airstrikes on Iran or put Social Security/Medicare in play in a serious way. Neither of those could be protected from criticism by being called niche issues. The scary possibility is that this would split the liberal coalition in an destructive way. The scarier possibility is that it wouldn't. Given the conduct of liberal blogs in this election season, I seriously question whether those or any other issues are non-negotiable. But there's also a much better chance of a defense of Obamacare, and probably a Supreme Court nomination or two, and those are both incredibly important. And I hold out hope that maybe a second term Obama will push for marijuana legalization or something like that. (It's not a very rational hope, I know.)

I think our politics, economy, and environment are broken, perhaps irretrievably. But you move forward. I hope that people work to make the lesser evil a little less evil the next time we choose the lesser evil, and to blame their failures on them and not on people who agree that they've failed. And I hope they all actually take up the call they've put out so loudly, which is to work in the off years to push the electorate to the left, to make primaries meaningful, and to issue actually criticisms of Democrats in a way that advances the left-wing cause. Make them earn it, make them worthy of it.

Short term goal: no more major American cities swallowed by the sea.

Update: Good for Nate Silver, and to hell with all of the people who have criticized him. But I do think the take away about the polling being accurate is not that Nate Silver is a genius but that polling isn't that hard and inferential statistics are powerful, powerful tools.

Plus: gay marriage! Legalized marijuana! Woo!

Update II: "It's a center-right country" means nothing, whether spoken by a conservative or a liberal. And "Hispanics are a natural conservative constituency" is just wrong. I mean people have been saying that for thirty years. They vote like liberal Dems in large majorities.

Oh, I got to vote against one of the rape guys, Mourdock. That was a lot of fun.

11 comments:

tongorad said...

Spot on predictions.
It's the New and Improved Same As It Ever Was - Now with Less Evil sparkles.
Barack's feeling Grand Bargainy, and Wall Street couldn't be happier.

Charles said...

Thanks for what you've done here in the lead-up to this election. Getting slammed like you have must have taken some kind of toll. Watching you stick with it was -- actually -- inspirational. And if nothing else, seeing "progressives" react to you was eye-opening.

Thank you.

--Charles

Anonymous said...

You voted anti-choice for senate? Fucking sellout.

JK said...

Here's a piece you'll probably loathe, because it's mellow and not couched in holier-than-thou moral rhetoric, and because it has some subtle points. Enjoy. Good piece.
http://jacobinmag.com/2012/11/return-to-the-countryside/

Anonymous said...

It is a center-right country in the sense that if you disenfranchise enough poor voters, the remainder is dramatically more center-right than it would be otherwise.

And as we breathe a huge sigh of relief at the Presidential level, down-ballot the implacable advance of corporate money pushes the politicians rising through the ranks further and further to the right.

Freddie said...

Thanks for the link, JK.

And who said I voted for Donnelly?

tongorad said...

Barack Obama is my generation's Ronald Reagan. A hollow and thoroughly vacant mediocre actor that has tapped into Americans insatiable need for high self regard.

Ziege said...

Freddie, you lament that according to so many Dem loyalists, it's never the right time to address America's capricious treatment of people in other countries. I think you make much better arguments than they do. But maybe what we have to face is that it's not about the right time, it's about the right place, and maybe US Presidential electoral politics just isn't the place. Perhaps no meaningful action on drones can be taken on a presidential ballot until the system of incentives that any candidate must navigate to contend for the office is changed - which cannot be done via presidential election.

Anonymous said...

You voted for the Libertarian candidate?

Freddie said...

No, I'm kidding, I voted for Donnelly. Just a little joke about the whole lesser evil/lack of choices deal. Didn't know what else to do.

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