web statisticsRealtime Web Statistics

Voting Third Party

I was going to write about the conventions today, but I decided to do something different. My impression of the conventions is pretty clearly spelled out on my Facebook page.

I received two questions this week alone, asking why I don’t write or comment more about third party candidates. I’m assuming these questions are rooted in recognizing that I’m not a partisan hack. I call bullshit anywhere that bullshit exists, without doing the “calling it even” crap that the main stream media does. It’s not even. One party is significantly more destructive to most Americans than the other is. Any true conservative or liberal would agree with that assessment. Real conservatives completely lost their party eleven years ago. Liberals are in the process of losing their party, as I write this.

So why don’t I talk about third party candidates? I have two main reasons. Let me start with the most insignificant, and easy to explain. I don’t like either of the two most popular third party candidates; Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. I like Gary Johnson as a person, but libertarianism is the single most childish ideology ever created by the human race. I don’t want to go on a long rant about libertarianism, so let me cut to the jugular right away. Unless you can provide an example of a single country or civilization in which libertarianism has successfully brought prosperity or growth, you’re basically advocating for the existence of unicorns. I’m not interested in your unicorn because I’m an adult. I like to form my opinions based on empirical evidence and historical precedent. On to Jill Stein. I just don’t like her, even though I agree with almost everything she says. I’ve heard a few interviews with her now, and I’ve concluded that she doesn’t listen. She’s the type of person that waits for her turn to speak, without absorbing or considering anything that is being said on the other side of the conversation. And her rebuttal to the point that voting for a third party is an exercise in futility is also childish. She thinks that even though she doesn’t have a snow balls chance in winning, that every vote for her (or any third party) diminishes any “mandate” that the victor will ultimately have. BULLSHIT. George W Bush barely got selected to be president in 2000. He didn’t have anything resembling a mandate and yet, he barreled through his presidency as if he were the imperial president.

This mandate thing is nonsense, because our representatives don’t give two shits about your opinion. I can give you a long list of examples, but let me briefly give you two. Afghanistan. We’re over it. Democrats are over it, and republicans are over it. Now that we killed Bin Laden, no one can make a cogent argument for why we’re still there. And yet our representatives, republican and democrat alike, won’t get us the fuck out because the defense companies that own them don’t want us out. My second example is social security. Three quarters of Americans (republicans and democrats combined) don’t want to see a single cut made to social security, ever. Most of those people don’t even understand that there’s an easy fix to the social security problem. If they did, that 3/4 number would go up. And yet, the vast majority of our legislators can’t fucking wait to make the “grand bargain”, which will result in significant cuts in benefits. Obama, Boehner, McConnell are all on the same page on this one. Instead of raising the cap on contributions into the fund, they want to raise the retirement age and cut benefits.

At this point you’re probably thinking that I’m making a great argument in favor of third party candidates. I’m not, and here’s where I turn it all around. Our politicians aren’t people. They’re tools. They don’t give a shit about your needs because they don’t work for you. They work for the interests that pour money into their coffers to get them elected. This is the fucked up system of governance that we must work within. We have a system in which the candidate with the most money wins their election 94% of the time. Think about that for a second. The person with the most money wins NINETY-FOUR PERCENT of the time. The ideas and the people running are irrelevant. Good guy/ bad guy, ideological purist/ pragmatist; none of that matters. The only thing that matters ninety four fucking percent of the time is the MONEY.

The irony is that I believe that a bigger percentage of third party voters know that statistic, than the rest of the population. That’s true of the third partiers I know, anyway. But when you know that fact, supporting third parties is even more inexplicable because you still have to believe that the better idea can win. That is not fucking possible, and the empirical evidence tells you that it’s not possible.

As long as we have to operate under this system, voting is an exercise in picking the less damaging, sell out candidate among the options available to you. That’s just a fact. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I don’t call myself bitchy for nothing. You need to grow the fuck up, and realize that there is no political nirvana to be had in this system.

We have to fix the goddamned system before we can expect anything good to come out of it. Voting for a third party candidate is like flicking water off your fingers at a wildfire, and expecting to extinguish that fire. It’s actually worse because what you think is water on your fingers, is actually little tiny droplets of gasoline. The interests that control our government fucking love it when you vote third party because you’re practicing self voter suppression. You’re throwing your goddamned vote away and helping their guy win by checking out of the system. Voting third party is an exercise in futility, and it always will be.

I will be writing a lot about what we need to do to fix this monumentally fucked up election system of ours after the election, and as followers of this blog grow. It’s going to take a lot of proactive work, on the part of a lot of us. But right now, we have an election to deal with. And we have to have that election with the current system in place. We have to focus on minimizing the damage.

We can’t help to elect candidates that want to tear down our social safety nets as quickly as possible, and destroy our already pathetic education system in order to feed the corporate profits of their masters. In case you haven’t figured out yet, that would be 100% of republicans, and roughly 40% of democrats. I don’t care what a politician calls themselves. Whether they’re republican or democrat, you have to pick the one that will slow down that dismantling of our social contracts.

You have to do this until we change the system. I’m a sunny optimist. I believe that we can fix the system, and I have an idea of how to do it. But right now, we have to keep our eye on the prize and get through this election cycle.

I just don’t see how voting for a third party candidate is going to serve your best interest. I hope that answers your questions on this topic.

Share

Random Election Musings

I (like you) have some thoughts on what happened yesterday and what it means, so I thought I’d share.

First let me start with the two states that I believe made the biggest mistakes yesterday. Florida and Kentucky fucked themselves, but good.

Rand, Rand, Rand. The big question now is, will he stick to his principles? If he does, then both Mitch McConnell and Kentucky are fucked.

Let’s start with Mitch. He’s is going to have some major problems getting Rand on board with some of the republican party policies. It’s going to be fun to watch McConnell walking around with a perpetual migraine for a while! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think for a second that Rand is as principled as his father. It was apparent during the election, that Rand just parrots what he’s heard from his father his entire life. Add to that the fact that he doesn’t appear to be very bright, and you end up with someone that will eventually walk away from their so called principles. We saw him back away from his more insane beliefs during the election. People with strong beliefs don’t do that. If I strongly believe something to be true, then I explain it as long as I have to in order to show everyone that I’m right. I wouldn’t slink away from my principles because they’re costing me votes. Rand will eventually conform, but it will be fun to watch that “breaking in” period.

Kentucky is fucked because that running water they’ve become so accustomed to will stop running if Rand sticks to his guns. You see, for every dollar that Kentuckians pay in federal taxes, they get $1.82 back. Little Randy hates the federal government, and he hates federal taxes. In his little utopia, Kentuckians would stop paying federal taxes and instead, pay a 25% sales tax. Let’s think about this for a moment, shall we? Kentucky is so fucking piss poor, that they need nearly twice as much federal money to operate than they pay. How much money does Rand think poor people spend? Does he think that his constituency can spend enough to generate enough tax dollars to offset what his state gets in federal money? Is he out of his fucking mind? There isn’t even a Ferragamo  or a Chanel store in Kentucky! This is not a population with money to throw around! IDIOT. But on the upside, this is great news for me! I only get seventy-nine cents back for every dollar I pay in federal taxes. If Rand refuses to take the money, I may get my twenty-one cents back. California and Illinois can likewise keep the money they’re sinking into Kentucky. WooHoo!

You’d better start digging wells for water, Kentucky. And start working out, because those buckets full of water are going to be heavy to carry. Especially when you have to carry them through fields and dirt toads.

If you’re lucky Kentucky, you won’t get what you voted for and Rand will completely abandon his dumbass principles and you won’t get what you deserve for being so fucking stupid.

Moving on to Florida. WOW, are you guys stupid! Your Governor elect (Rick Scott) is the all time the biggest practitioner of medicare fraud ever. He has the distinction of heading the company that was successfully prosecuted for perpetrating the biggest medicare fraud in US history. His company plead guilty to fourteen felonies. The fines were 1.7 billion dollars. Since fines (as we learned from the Angelo Mozilo situation) are generally a fraction of what was stolen, I can only imagine that Scott stole the equivalent of Bolivia’s GDP!

And you know what, Floridians? Rick Scott used the money that he stole from you to fund his campaign. He bought you with your own money. Nicely done, idiots. But I’m sure that having Scott run the state that is the biggest consumer of medicare is going to turn out just fine. What could possibly go wrong there?

Let me pause for a moment here to inject some positivity into this post. Here’s a little tidbit for those of you that get queazy hearing (or saying) the words “Speaker Boehner”. There may be a little bit of relief in sight. There are grumblings within the republican party that Boehner won’t be voted into the position of leader. Eric Cantor is likely to lobby for that position. If he does, he has a good shot at getting it. This will ease our pain a little, and free up some cocktailing and spray tanning time for Boehner.

Now back to states that fucked up. I have to give California an honorable mention here. Kudos to them for staving off crazy Carly and mean Meg, but they blew it with prop 19. Legalizing marijuana is the only way to cripple the Mexican drug cartels. They earn 78% of their revenue from marijuana sales. If just California (the world’s eighth largest economy) legalized marijuana, it would be devastating to the cartels. And let me say that if prop 9 had passed, Monsanto (who have been working on genetically modifying pot for decades now) would open up marijuana strip malls all over California over night. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way, shape, or form pro-Monsanto. I know that they’re the embodiment of evil. But I have every confidence that Monsanto would succeed in killing the Mexican cartels, where two governments have failed. I hate to say it, but I would be rooting for Monsanto in this fight. Not that they’re not immoral thugs that are killing us, but at least they’re not killing us violently. And through education, we ultimately have the power to take down Monsanto. We are powerless to do anything about the drug cartels.

In the end, I would say that the big winners in this election were Goldman Sachs and the Mexican drug cartels. We, the people were the big losers.

Share

The War Within

I was surprised by how the various factions of the media handled the Sharron Angle tape that leaked over the weekend. Everybody seemed to focus in on her. Her disdain for the republican “establishment”, her willingness to make a back room deal to get the tea party candidate out of the race, and lastly, her admission that she may not win.

Personally, I didn’t think that any of that was the actual story here. Maybe because I don’t find Sharron Angle all that interesting. She’s just another run of the mill nasty bitch. She’s not the story here. But before I get to the story, I do want to point out one thing about her; she’s a hypocrite of the largest magnitude. In the tape, she accuses republicans of losing “their principles”. How rich, since this stupid bitch has spent every single day since she won the republican primary, back peddling on every fucking thing she stood for before winning the primary.

Enough of the dumb bitch. Here’s what I think the story really is. Here’s a lovely anti-Angle web video that highlights the portion of the tape that I found interesting;

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUEyJC4bV4I[/youtube]

It’s not her willingness to make back room deals that I find most interesting. She’s a politician, and a nasty one at that. Back room dealing is par for the course when you have that combination. It’s her easy access to Jim DeMint that fascinates me.

Jim DeMint is actively supporting the tea party nutbags, much to Mitch McConnell’s dismay. There is a war going on within the republican establishment, and no one is talking about it. Everyone is focused in on how the teabaggers are tearing the republican electorate apart. I think that the more interesting battle is happening among republican party elders. I haven’t seen one single shred of reporting on the DeMint/McConnell battle, but I know there’s one going on.

We all heard about how unhappy McConnell was when Rand Paul beat out his hand picked candidate for Jim Bunning’s open senate seat in Kentucky. But why didn’t anyone dig deeper? Why didn’t anyone talk about the strong support that Paul got from DeMint? Why didn’t anyone do a little digging into the relationship between McConnell and DeMint? Does the media think that party infighting doesn’t make for salacious news? I honestly don’t know why the media isn’t reporting on this. I can’t even throw out a conspiratorial guess.

And because they’re not reporting on this, I don’t know anything. This post will be made up almost entirely of conjecture and assumption (something I’m not generally fond of basing a post or an opinion on). But something is definitely happening within the republican establishment. They’re not as in sync as they would have us believe.

What is Jim DeMint’s problem with the current makeup of the republican party? Why is he looking to shift it? What are his issues with McConnell’s hand picked candidates? Is he just making a power play? Is he enamored with the tea party, purely out of self interest or does he have issues with the current establishment? I say “current” establishment because with the exception of Christine O’Donnell, all of the teabaggers that are running have embraced the establishment and are eager to walk among them. Does DeMint hope that McConnell won’t be able to control them and put them in line? Or is he just trying to boost republican populist cred with the teabaggers, all the while intending to work with McConnell to whip them into shape? If that’s his plan, it doesn’t appear that McConnell is in on it.

Anyway, I want to know what the story is with the infighting! Why won’t anyone look into this?

I’m curious as both a rubbernecker, and as an amateur strategist. I believe that this infighting may be the republicans’ achilles heel.

Will somebody please, for the love of god, go out there and report?


Share

Did You Fall For It, Gays?

Are you pissed at Obama for failing to repeal DADT? Maybe you blame Harry Reid? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, you got played.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I’m not a Harry Reid fan. You also know that I’m not an Obama apologist. After reading some of the reactions to the travesty yesterday, I felt compelled to go through how this happened.

Let me first start by saying that I viscerally wish that President Obama would come out of the closet already, and enthusiastically support gay rights in a demonstrable way. But intellectually, I feel that he would be hurting the gay cause if he did. As it was, this vote happened fairly quietly. Fox news and right wing radio weren’t hammering away at the issue. They were focused in rehabbing the nutbaggery that is Christine O’Donnell. Does anyone think they would have largely ignored DADT if Obama were out there audibly supporting its repeal? Let’s be honest here, anything that Obama comes out for becomes the epicenter of hate and controversy. I’m not saying that Obama shouldn’t take a stand on anything, for fear that he will start a political firestorm. I’m saying that given Obama’s pervasive and persistent weakness over the past twenty-one months, he made the right calculation in laying low on this one. In doing so, he increased Harry Reid’s (admittedly low) odds of making something good happen in the senate.

Here’s what went down yesterday; all forty republicans joined hands and created a filibuster. Two democrats joined them, but they were irrelevant since all forty republicans were united. As an aside, one of those two irrelevant democrats is going to get voted out of office in November. I say fuck you and good riddance, Blanche Lincoln. No one is going to remember you ten minutes after you’re gone. Anyway, back to yesterday’s vote. Republicans, and republicans alone blocked the repeal. Period. Every single one of them united to block the vote from taking place. Harry Reid (uncharacteristically) didn’t do anything wrong.

Actually, politically speaking he did make one mistake. He rolled the DREAM Act into the DADT bill. The DREAM Act creates a path to citizenship for certain illegal immigrants. Specifically, to illegal immigrants who have served in the US military for two years and minors who have been in the country for five years prior to the bills’ passage, and are obtaining high school and college diplomas. The DREAM Act is a bill written by Dick Durbin a year and a half ago, and it’s good for all of us. It’s good for all of us because it will help military recruitment and it will chip away at the skilled labor shortage in the US. Even in this crap ass economy, we don’t have the labor pool to match the jobs that are available. Our college graduation rate is going down, and we don’t have the skilled computer professionals that we need. As a recruiter, I do my best to hire a US citizen whenever I can. That hasn’t been as possible as one might think (even in the past year). I’m still having to process H1B visas for foreign workers. We need all the college grads we can get if we expect to hold our position in the world.

The DREAM Act is obviously a popular bill within the Latino community. I think that if Reid was good at playing politics, he would have called a vote on DREAM as a stand alone bill. This would force republicans to either filibuster it, thereby guaranteeing that the GOP wouldn’t receive a single Latino vote in the November elections, or passing it thereby undermining their SB 1070 rhetoric.

But he sucks at politics, so he combined them. This left Mitch McConnell with the opening to comically say that he would allow a vote on DADT if DREAM was removed from the bill. Oh, and he was going to buy every US citizen a  pony. Make no mistake, Mitch McConnell was never going to allow this vote to take place. Democrats in the senate acquiesced to republicans 170 times on the health reform bill, only to receive zero republican votes. In fact, I can count the number of affirmative republican votes over the past twenty-one months on my hands! Mitch McConnell is Lucy with her football from the Peanuts cartoons. It’s a fucking joke anytime he says he will work with democrats “if”. So he wanted Harry Reid to throw one group under the bus in order to give another group rights they should have had all along? That’s a bullshit choice, and I’m glad that Reid didn’t cave into that crap.

To summarize, Harry Reid didn’t make any mistakes that would have changed the outcome yesterday. Don’t let Mitch McConnell tell you otherwise. This vote (as with every other vote) was, for Mitch McConnell, about making people hate Obama. Did you fall for it, gays?

There will theoretically be another attempt at a vote on this issue after the election, during the lame duck session. I suggest focusing your Obama/Reid ire on a target that deserves it; Scott Brown. Why do I single him out? Because he represents the bluest of states, where gay marriage is legal. He did not represent his constituents yesterday. We need to put a world of hurt and pressure on Scott Brown. And you should start putting pressure on the ladies of Maine, since they’re low hanging fruit.

My guess is that if we can peel off one single republican, Reid will get all of the democrats in line since Obama explicitly stated that he would repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell this year. Once republicans united, the two democrats that joined them were irrelevant so I’m guessing that Reid didn’t fight as hard for them as he would if he had a republican. We won’t know for sure, until we get a republican.

So you can misplace your anger with Obama, or you can do something constructive with that anger. Call everyone you know in Maine and Massachusetts. Start Facebook pages pledging to vote against Brown, Collins, and Snowe. Organize rallies and money bombs to raise money to run commercials in those states.

Don’t fall for the “hate Obama” ploy. Let’s work together to get er done!

Share

As Goes Kentucky, So Goes The Nation?

Hardly.

Primaries are my favorite part of the election cycle. Yes, I’m a dork! And like every other dorky political junkie, I was watching yesterdays primaries closely. Here’s what happened in my estimation; nothing surprising.

I get that cable news has to make it all sound like we saw a stunning upset last night. Boring elections make for lower ratings, and fewer reasons to roll out the pundits. But nothing unpredictable happened yesterday.

Everyone is focused in Pennsylvania for some reason. To me, Pennsylvania was the least remarkable result yesterday. But the focus on Pennsylvania is a means to “scrutinize” the Obama administrations efficacy in getting people elected. Personally, I don’t believe that Specter’s loss last night had very much to do with Obama. I think that Specter’s chances of winning a democratic primary after switching parties was compromised right from the beginning. It just seemed like such a self serving maneuver. He was going to have a hard time overcoming that all along. I phone banked into Philly on behalf of the Sestak campaign. I was surprised at how many people had no idea who Sestak was, even a week before the election. Specter’s loss wasn’t about Obama, and it wasn’t about Sestak. It was about Specter. I believe that he lost because he couldn’t overcome the impression that he’s self serving, and because he fell victim to the anti-incumbent fervor that we’re seeing across the country.

The Mark Critz victory was no more a referendum against republicans than the Specter loss was a referendum against Obama. Mark Critz is the democrat that ran for Jack Murtha’s congressional seat in Pennsylvania. This is a decidedly democratic district that, for some reason, republicans thought they had a chance at grabbing. I have no idea what they were thinking! This is not a district that  republicans would normally dump money into. The fact that they did this time, tells me that they are completely out of touch with what’s going on in the country. Republicans lost a race that they never had a chance of winning. There was no “statement” being made here by the voters in that district.

The Rand Paul victory was the most interesting thing that happened last night, even though it wasn’t a surprise to anyone that was watching the polls. It wasn’t interesting because of the tea party angle (not to me, anyway). It was interesting because Mitch McConnell was the real loser yesterday. When the candidate backed by the leading republican in the senate loses in his own state lost by twenty four points, I’d say that a message was being sent. Mitch McConnell got spanked last night. I don’t know Kentucky politics all that well so I can’t speak to how much of this victory was a tea party thing, versus a “Ron Paul’s son” thing. But I do think that it’s clear that republicans are not happy with the republican party.

I feel like the republican strategy of obstructing and obfuscating is blowing up in their faces. They should have taken the 2006 and 2008 elections to heart and realized that they are a broken party. They should have rehabbed themselves by going back to the basic tenets of conservatism. They should have come up with creative solutions to remedy the enormous problems they created during the Bush years. And most of all, they should have done a mea culpa for having lost their way. They should have been working hard to show the American people that they learned a lesson and were prepared to massively change course. But instead of doing any of that, they chose to pretend that they made no mistakes. They adopted a strategy of waiting for the democrats to suck more than republicans have. They decided to do everything they could to make the democrats look bad, rather than to elevate themselves.

Mitch McConnell was one of the chief architects of this strategy, and I believe that Kentucky sent him a message yesterday. Maybe I’m being a sunny optimist here, but I feel like republicans aren’t happy with their party taking the “we may suck, but they suck more” approach.

I have to admit that I was surprised that Blanche Lincoln didn’t win last night. Not because I like her, I actually think she’s a flaming piece of crap. But she’s a “conservative” piece of crap, who is actually perfectly suited for the political landscape in Arkansas. I thought that she would win the primary, and then lose the general election.

Onto my prediction for November.

I do believe that democrats are going to lose seats. Historically speaking, it’s a foregone conclusion. But I don’t believe that democrats are going to lose control of either the house or the senate. The number of seats lost will ultimately rely on job creation. If Obama can create a million jobs between now and November, I believe that the total loss of seats will be around twenty. I think that if they create NO jobs between now and November, they will lose around thirty seats, which still keeps them in control of the senate and the house.

I just don’t see a huge anti-democrat ground swell out there. Not because democrats have been great on anything, but because republicans haven’t done anything to make themselves more attractive to voters. I anything, they’ve dug their heels into their crappiness. When given the option of choosing between a heaping, stinky pile of turds and a slightly less aromatic and smaller pile of crap, you have to pick the lesser of two evils.

And sucking less is what will keep democrats in power or more accurately, in a majority state of powerlessness.

Share

BondageGate

Did you really think I wasn’t going to talk about it? This story is just too much fun not to comment on! My first thought when I heard about the head of the RNC expensing a large tab at a West Hollywood bondage club was, "Is Ken Mehlman back?" Then I realized it was a straight club, so Ken is definitely NOT back. My next thought was, there’s a straight bondage club in West Hollywood? And then my mind had to explore the horror that is wondering what Michael Steele’s safe word is. Is it Reagan? Tax cuts? WMD? After I got my mind out of the gutter (it took a while), I had to wonder what kind of moron would expense something like this? Don’t you know that the FEC looks at this stuff? And then I realized that we’re talking about republicans here. They’re self entitled and hypocritical so it would naturally make sense to engage in this sort of behavior on someone else’s dime while preaching family values to the donors that made it possible. The next thing that occurred to me is that they took what could have been a brilliant and lucrative idea and turned it into a minor scandal. Instead of spending their donors’ money on watching fake bondage, they should have given perspective donors the opportunity to make big contributions in exchange for the opportunity to flog some of their members. Think about the untapped revenue potential! I would pay untold sums of money to put a ball gag on John Boehner and then go to town on his ass with a wooden paddle. I would! And I wouldn’t care that the money will ultimately go to fund Michelle Bachman’s campaign. Four more years of Michelle Bachman, just to be able to shove a butt plug right into John Cornyn? YES, YES, it’s worth it! YES WE CAN! SIGN ME UP! You think I’m kidding, but I’m NOT. The very idea makes me happier than I’ve been in months. Screw long term thinking! I want instant gratification! And I’m pretty sure I can’t be the only one. There must be millions of people out there that would never donate to the RNC under any other circumstances, who would gladly open their wallets for this type of opportunity. They could even do an auction to ensure that they got the maximum contributions from people. And if the bids aren’t high enough, they could sweeten the pot. Think about it, how much MORE would you pay to spank a ball gagged Mitch McConnell if you had the ADDED option of nipple clamps? Don’t pretend like you’re above it all. You know you want to as bad as I do.

Share