I’ve made up my mind gentle reader. I made it up a long time ago. This is the year I get off the Two Party Merry Go Round. As a life long Democrat who first voted for a former peanut farmer (and Rickover submariner) I have staid faithful and partisan until 2008. 2008 was when I started to loose the thread.
In that election I latched on to my dream date; the oh so handsome and oh so metrosexual John Edwards. I loved Edward’s One America meme. I loved the home cooking he was providing. But then Iowa intruded and Edwards was out of the race. I was left with Hillary and Barack. The choice did not thrill me. I deeply distrusted Hillary because of her cowardly vote on Iraq. She knew that war was a dog, but she voted for it anyway because of purely political considerations.
In the end, I held my nose and voted for Hillary because she was marginally better that Barack Obama. Obama’s utter lack of leadership on Iraq was clear to anyone paying attention. He risked nothing on his speech on the war because he represented a very liberal district in Chicago. True grit and leadership would have been Obama speaking out in favor of Iraq. As the primaries advanced, I clearly saw there was not a dimes worth of difference between Obama and Clinton. Having actually listened to the semi-fictional, semi-autobiographical, and all political books “Dreams Of My Father” and “The Audacity Of Hope” I was even less enthused by Barack Obama’s candidacy. Both books were pure piffle wrapped in pointless centrism, and spiced with hippy punching. This was a cautious, spineless compromiser at best, and a Conservative in NeoLiberal clothing at worst.
As the general approached I found myself indulging in the worst sort of partisan hackery possible. Utterly unimpressed by Obama, I still supported him by default because McCain and Palin scared me witless. That John McNasty would elevate the Alaska Airhead to the VP slot was the worst kind of political malpractice imaginable. Plus there was McNasty himself. Watching McCain run was a lot like watching a ADHD five year old who just drank a two liter bottle of Jolt Cola. It was a hot mess. And when the bottom fell out of the economy, Johnny boy lit his hair on fire and proved to any doubters that here was a man who had no business being in the Oval Office.
So on a beautiful day in November Oprah Winfrey and Jesse Jackson had a good cry and Barack Hussein Obama became the first man with a permanent tan to occupy the White House and not be part of the help. Happy days, no? Well no-- not really.
Granted Barry started out strong with signing the Lilly Leadbetter Act into law, but the bloom was fast off the rose. First there was the economy and the craven way Obama was cowed by the Republicans into passing a jobs bill that was far too small. The Sub-Prime melt down blew a three to four trillion dollar hole in the economy, but Obama only proposed a one trillion dollar patch. For far too long Obama sat on his hands as Congress dithered, debated, dithered some more. Congress held the jobs bill up for ransom. Three Senators, two from Maine, one from Pennsylvania cut the real stimulus out of the bill while larding it up with pointless tax cuts that provided no real help. But what the dynamic duo of Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins want, they get. And what these two wanted was for their fellow citizens to suffer four years of pain and grief for petty right-wing ideological reasons. Right out of the gate Obama started out weak, and ended even weaker on job one-- the economy. But Barry was not done screwing the pooch on the domestic front. No, there was Health Care to bungle, and bungle badly.
Once more, right out of the gate, Obama compromised core Democratic principles and came out weakly. The dirty deed was done in the worst kind of back-room deal with the worst kind of political insiders. Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Big Business were all invited, but not one representative of ordinary citizens. Single Payer, what Obama primary voters wanted, and what Obama ran on in the General, was traded away for a pocket full of mumbles. The lobbyist got their first win without even firing a shot. For the rest of 2009 Obama was AWOL from Health Care ceding ground to Simple Sara, and other lying charlatans, who told such huge whoppers as “Death Panels” and “Socialized Medicine.” Only at the last minute was Obama able to deliver his wet, sloppy kiss to the Insurance Lobby, and only after tossing millions of poor women under the bus via the Stupak Amendment.
But it was the continuing of the Bushite assault on human rights in the US and abroad that finally ended my Donkey leanings. I can put it no clearer; to me Barack Hussein Obama needs to join George W. Bush in the orange jump-suite frog-march to the Hague. They are both war criminals. They are both murderous thugs who should spend the rest of their lives caged like animals. They are utterly evil because they have allowed an utterly evil Drone War to continue and flourish. They are utterly evil because they have allowed an utterly evil policy of indefinite detention to continue and flourish. They are utterly evil because they have allowed an utterly evil policy of torture to continue. They are utterly evil because they have allowed an utterly evil policy of extraordinary rendition to continue and flourish. They are utterly evil because they have allowed an utterly evil and systematic violation of our privacy to continue. These things are flat out wrong. These things are inexcusable. These things are a betrayal of everything we as a nation stand for.
Salafi extremism as expressed in random acts of terror is not even close to an existential threat to the United States. It the actions of a tiny nihilist minority using jihad as a cover. This is not the threat the former Soviet state posed to our nation. It is not even the remotest shadow of that threat. It is a bunch of unhappy campers striking out like a ill-behaved toddler who has had his binky taken away from him. Obama is blowing up innocent people in lands far away for no good reason. And in doing that, he is only making more and better terrorists.
Casting my lot with Jill Stein, was one of the easier decisions I have ever made. As someone who shares deep sympathy with Occupy Wall Street, Jill Stein speaks to me, to my values. We need to reign in the Corporatist Oligarchy. We need to rebuild the public sphere. We need to restore democracy. We need to close down the Military-Congressional-Industrial Complex, to end our pointless hegemonist misadventures far from our shores. We spend far too much on things that kill and not enough on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have given into pointless fear and have forgotten our natural optimism. Most importantly we have let our nation grow corrupt.
The reek from the political swamps of the Potomac are of our own making. We have allowed our utterly corrupt elites shamelessly lie, cheat and steal with no consequences. Our own cynicism is our worst fault, our own worst enemy. The political duopoly has failed us. The pointless compromising between the dead ideas of Red and Blue is no answer. The “Third Way” centrism of Bill and Barack (Clinton and Obama) have only made the situation worse. Radical change is required, change that goes to the roots. I’m voting for that radical change, for a change that goes to the roots of our situation. It is past time to kick both the Donkeys and the Elephants to the curb. They have no real answers; they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.