Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Get Out the Vote

For the past couple of weeks I've been calling and walking my precinct as the officially elected Democratic Precinct Committee guy ( that and 2 bits still won't buy you a cup of coffee :) ) and also walking the streets to help some other of our Democratic candidates out. They all are good people who want to make our community, state, and nation better.

The other side has good people, too, who believe what they are doing is for the public good, and I trust that they have good intentions, but I also believe from ideology and practical experience that they are wrong. I do believe that until I see evidence to the contrary. However, we do have one fellow, Kris Kobach, who is running for Kansas Secretary of State and who is notorious for his involvement in writing the Arizona law about illegal immigration. And our present US Senator Sam Brownback is running for Governor, opposed by Tom Holland. Brownback has done some good things for our state, but, like every other one of his Republican colleagues in the US Senate, he voted NO! on President Obama's stimulus package and then turned around asking for a piece of the money pie for Kansas, because, as he writes, it does for Kansas what he said on the floor of the US Senate it would not do, create jobs for our people.

Duplicity, however it's explained, is not on my list of character traits of someone I'd vote for.

We've all had this conversation ever since our Intel-Dump days, where some of us are done with politics, no one is worth supporting with time and money, much less actually voting for. At my part-time job when I've asked my co-workers there if they plan to vote, overwhelmingly each says no. These are folk who aren't doing very well on the economic scale and I can understand their point, that no matter who's elected, they will not see a benefit.

Who can argue with reality and the Here-and-Now about some vague future when a candidate will be chosen to run government? Yeah, I know, Life is not fair.

But that's the way Democracy works. We will never get all that we want to see in our society, and much of the time we get the exact opposite. Democracy and voting is a perpetual struggle to get the leadership and policies we want. A better world for our descendants will never be born without the sometimes back-breaking and soul-crushing exertion we do now.

I cannot imagine being in South Carolina having to choose between Greene and DeMint. But many times there are good and decent local candidates who desperately need our votes in this Mid-Term election, a time in which historicly not even half the electorate gets off their collective asses to vote. Voting, even for just one decent candidate, is true Love of Country and Devotion to America.

So this is my pitch for doing what we all do need to do.

Vote next Tuesday, and if you've got friends that think like you do, kick their butts to do the same.

Courtesy driftglass:


  1. basil-

    I won't be voting this time round. I come from Northeast Texas, up close to the Arkansas border. Ratcatcher Delay gerrymandered my district so that we have a former Blue Dog Bush buddy weasel (and I'm holding back a bit on my description of this particular lump of flesh) Representative who will be in office until judgment day or he drops dead, whichever comes first. A buddy of mine ran against him a couple of election cycles back and did good to get 38% of the vote as the Democratic candidate. I contributed to his campaign btw.

    At the national level, I'm a Wes Clark Democrat and Wes was lucky to even get invited to the inaugural back in 2009, that after doing everything that he could have been expected to help the current prez. Still have Bush's man Bob Gates as Sec of Defense . . . I asked the new Obama ambassador to Portugal about that one a couple of weeks back when I met him. He thought it was a very sly political move keeping Gates as to preclude attacks from the GOP as to being "weak on defense" . . . WTF?

    Sorry, but I would support a real opposition, but I see no real opposition.

  2. "he voted NO! on President Obama's stimulus package and then turned around asking for a piece of the money pie for Kansas, because, as he writes, it does for Kansas what he said on the floor of the US Senate it would not do, create jobs for our people."

    The stimulus hypocrisy allegations against senators and congressmen are largely fabricated.

    It's perfectly logical, sensible and not inconsequential at all to help to get some stimulus funds into the own state/district after trying to defeat the bill in the first place.

    The bill may or may not have create NET jobs. Economic science is not clear about this - no matter what some economist say who express their opinion; the econometric studies about the subject are contradicting each other and overall inconclusive.

    The money spent by the state for "stimulus" was taken from somewhere, so you need to take this cost into account when looking at the positive effects. These costs are relevant for the decision pro or contra the bill.

    Later on, when the costs were already sunk (and thus became irrelevant for decisions), it was perfectly logical, rational and sensible to attempt to maximize the spending flow into your area.

    It has irritated me for a while how websites like TP create a false hypocrisy allegation around this by not getting the economics straight.

    It's similar with subsidies. You can be against subsidies, yet accept them for your business as long as they exist. That fits together. Objective and rational analysis has no trouble with this.

  3. I still haven't decided who I'm going to vote for. I'm a resident of Florida and my choices this year pretty much suck.

  4. Well, at least now I live in a district in which a young combat veteran back from Afghanistan is trying to fill a seat vacant since March. Whip-smart with outstanding, well-thought positions and solutions to our district's and nation's problems. I do hope he'll win - despite the fact that the regional rag gave its endorsement to his opponent (a guy who made his money by legally arm-twisting those who owe debts to the medical industry). Its a r-lean district and my candidate has gotten very little notice or help from the big wheels in DC (this is probably a net positive) but I'm holding out hope in the future he represents!


  5. Mailed both ours in two weeks ago. Not optimistic about the future, but if we didn't express our desires, then we would have ourselves to blame as much as anything else.

  6. seydlitz, Texas is a whole 'nother country, yes?

    If your choice is between Candidate Full of Crap and Candidate 90% Full of Crap, there's still the Mickey Mouse option, depending of course on your ballot. :)

    Another option is to chip in a couple of coppers or more for someone else in the state or nation who seems to be decent to you and has a chance to do well.

    You may enjoy this site and the news it carries:

    I saw Maddow last night interview Harry Reid of Nevada. 2 years with him in the Senate and Obama in the WH and Nevada suffering like it is, I'm sure many there are thinking the same as you. Things surely do seem more hectic if you're unemployed and about to be homeless. I'd give someone like that leeway about their intentions this election.

    Not much of a choice between what Keith Olbermann enunmerated last night:

    and walking talking 2-legged hunk of soggy white bread.

    We all have some dog in this fight next week. There are some who are proposing the privatization of health care for our vets. Come home from war with your physical and mental injuries and try to wrangle with a corporate bureauocracy out to make a profit off your health.

    My issue is Social Security. I think I'll be fine in the next couple of years when I can start suckling the public tit. I'm a 60-year-old professional with a few years of ability left doing part-time weekend work hauling fans and towels and rolling drunks out of a bar. And an online teaching gig for 10 hours a week at 15 dollars/hour that I expect to fold next year.

    I'm not going down without a fight and by God I intend to screw the evil bastards at every chance and means I get.

    Ds and Rs both.

    Thanks for the help in screwing, Al.



  7. Don't vote, it only encourages them.

  8. "Don't vote, it only encourages them."

    I never thought of it that way! Worth pondering ;)

  9. basil-

    I don't really see where I have a dog in this fight. My dog was unfortunately run over by a GOP steamroller some time ago. As to donating money to a campaign somewhere else? How exactly is that "democracy", rather is it not the "money = free speech" argument which I wholeheartedly reject?

    "Politics" is the problem in the simple way that politics is defined as "who gets, what, when and how" and we have little to no say in how those questions are answered, since our "elected representatives" feel little or no responsibility to the people, but rather to the interests behind them. The elites have simply given up on democracy and think that the current mixture of pleasure and pain conditioning will keep everyone fat, dumb and increasingly comatose.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't see this a positive trait on my part, I'm not more cynical or disinterested than most others. I'm actually more the kind of "true believer" is feels a sense of duty to keep trugging on . . . But the last election cycle and how the hope was so cynically betrayed have turned me off just about completely. Not to mention how the National Security State and the Washington Rules have been reinforced, the illegalities of Cheney/Bush legitimated . . .

    Did you watch Obama on Jon Stewart the other night? Just another con job.

  10. I don't really see where I have a dog in this fight. My dog was unfortunately run over by a GOP steamroller some time ago.

    Assuming you have family and friends here in the US, yes you still do have a "dog" in this fight.

    As to donating money to a campaign somewhere else? How exactly is that "democracy", rather is it not the "money = free speech" argument which I wholeheartedly reject?

    This argument relates to that SC decision concerning the legality of donations from corporations and wealthy people to campaigns, which preceded the infamous "Citizens United" decision.

    Assuming you're not a major corporation or extremely wealthy person to whom a million is pocket change, it is perfectly sensible and legal for you as as private individual citizen to donate a bit to the campaign in another district, for the purpose of combatting the catastrophe in your own district.

    The same thing happens when you donate to one of the national parties.

    As for Obama, I am disappointed in him, enough that I plan to support his primary opponent for 2012. Allow me to add the recent, AND continuing, calamity in the Gulf Coast.


  11. Basil-

    All my family and friends in the US usually vote GOP, gotta love the South, right? By telling them that I'm not voting and that the system sucks I might actually get some of them not to vote . . . thus I have a more positive effect by not voting, than by voting . . .

  12. Bless their pea-pickin' hearts!

    But ( and if it's too personal, don't bother ) what the hell happened to you?


  13. One of my sisters and I now live in Europe. I left the GOP due to Iran-contra and it was a difficult decision for me - both sides of my family are rock-ribbed Republicans, and that going back to the days when Reps were rare in the South. That, and I changed careers - no longer served/worked in the military . . . have a much different perspective than before, although being in Humint collection was one of the best ways to develop "out of the box" type thinking . . .

  14. "I cannot imagine being in South Carolina having to choose between Greene and DeMint."

    Well, that's what I had on the ballot. I did not vote for either of these individuals. DeMint's win was a foregone conclusion, but if you ever checked this guy Greene out, you'd say, "Oh, boy." You wouldn't want to vote for him either. There is a lot of suspicion here in South Carolina that somebody was doing some hanky panky with the voting machines. I agree. The Greene win in the primaries was bizarre, even in this most bizarre state.

    But that was the only block I left unchecked. I live in District 2, home of Joe Wilson, he of "You lie," fame. Rob Miller, Democrat and pretty right wing for a Democrat—a generation ago, he would have been a moderate Republican—opposes Wilson. Wilson beat Miller 54-46% in 2008. It may be tighter this time around. I voted for Miller, but I don't know. Ain't no sense left in the American polity anymore.

    This shit is getting old. I'm getting tired of having my life and my kid's future in the hands of stupid people. My country has lost it.



  16. Ael said...
    "Don't vote, it only encourages them. "

    Yes, because the GOP guys will say "Wow, most people didn't vote, so technically I was elected by a small marjoity of the people. I guess I'll resign and have another election."

  17. To all,
    In every election to include emotional ones , the American people vote by not voting.
    If you think about it the elected officials really represent the will of about 28 % of the voting voters.
    If only 50 % vote then the election is decide by 26% of the population.
    So , when have we ever had representational democracy?
    BTW, i couldn't pass commenting since Publius weighed in.

  18. To all,
    Correction; i meant ..28% of the eligible voters.
    The point is that most voting eligible Americans do not feel that there is anything meaningful gained by voting.