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Why I Am Probably NOT Voting For Obama

Right before the 2008 Primary, I was going inside the local public library when an elderly man asked me if I would consider voting for Barack Obama during the primary election. When he saw that I was not that interested, he told me that he thought Obama would be the next Robert Kennedy and he was not alone. Robert Kennedy’s own brother Teddy also claimed to see Bobby in Barack Obama. I did not.

In 2012, I do not expect to see that elderly man outside the library and if he is there, he certainly won’t be comparing Obama to a Kennedy. In fact, it would be easier to compare Obama to a Bush or even to the godfather of Republicanism Ronald Reagan than it would be to compare him to a Kennedy.

Back then, I remember warning everyone what Obama was an appeaser. My view was that Obama just wanted everyone to like him… especially the Republicans. I also thought that Obama would bend over backwards to please the Religious Right in particular. Still, I had been wrong before. In 2004, I remember thinking that John Kerry despite letting the Republicans walk all over him, would easily win the Presidency because Bush was so far out there no one would be stupid enough to vote for that guy again.

So let’s get too it. I was wrong in 2004 and right in 2008. In 2012, the Republicans have become batshit crazy. Sure Palin, Bachmann, and Huckabee are nuts, but Gingrich, isn’t far behind and now even Trump has taken a turn toward Crazyville. Romney hasn’t even made a peep yet and few people have heard of the other probable candidates… none of which are much saner than this crowd.

The Republicans have become more racist and over played their hand with the unions. Now they are losing the support of police, firefighters, and any teachers who might have been on their side. Even some teabaggers are losing their hard-on for the right wing since Republicans really haven’t done much at all the help the economy and haven’t made the deep cuts where it actually counts.

I am not someone who only votes for a perfect match to my ideals. That has never happened and will never happen. I do however want to vote for someone and not just against the other guy. I didn’t like John Kerry, but I still voted for him and strongly supported him and campaigned for him. On the other hand, I didn’t like Al Gore and I couldn’t stomach voting for or supporting him, so I didn’t. There is a line somewhere in which I was able to vote for Kerry, but not Gore. I voted for and supported Obama in 2008 and thought he was a better candidate than Kerry, but I still didn’t like him and thought he was an appeaser.

On Health Insurance Reform, Obama caved in to the insurance lobby and despite his great speech in which he claimed that we would never have to address this issue again because we were going to do it right the first time, he did it completely wrong. The Insurance companies have already found loopholes for laws that don’t even go into effect until 2014. Obama said that he wanted to change the game and not just play the game better, but instead of changing the game he played us all. Everyone is required to buy insurance, but insurance companies aren’t required to actually provide service. They are just required to take our money.

Fiscal reform was a little better, but not by much. The tax payers bailed out the banks and the banks took our money as bonuses and invested the rest overseas instead of lending it out to small businesses.

On the issue of the gay rights movement, Obama finally did get Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repealed (after progressives badgered him about it constantly and pretty much force the issue without Obama lifting a finger). But even though Dick Cheney, Cindy and Megan McCain, and one of the Bush twins (Barbara I think) have all come out in favor of gay marriage, Obama still opposes it for religious reasons.

We are still in Iraq and Afghanistan. Guantanamo is still open. Bush’s warrentless wiretapping of US citizens is still going on under Obama. The Bush torture programs are still in full swing. The office of faith based initiatives is still operating against the Constitution.

So why should I vote for Obama’s re-election? Some Democrats tell me that I better because a Supreme Court Justice might retire and we need Obama to appoint the next judge. This has been the frequent argument of the status quo Democratic appeasers for a long time. It no longer works. Obama had his chance twice and both times he picked moderates on a Supreme Court stacked with Hard Line Republicans. When Bush appointed those hard line Republicans, Democratic appeasers accepted it with little fight. Meanwhile, Obama had to fight for his moderate appointees. The job of protecting the Supreme Court from lunatics should be the job of the Senate. Obama should have picked real progressives when he had the chance. He didn’t and I want someone who will. When it really counted, Obama didn’t do the right thing. So yeah, if a Republican wins because Obama is an appeaser and couldn’t earn Democratic votes, then the Republican might pick a wacky candidate, but it will be the job of the Senate to oppose that appointment.

The bottom line is that progressives have sent a message to the President that he can expect us to vote for him no matter how much he caves into the Right Wing. As a result, the President takes our vote for granted and instead of trying to appease progressives, he tries to appease right wing Republicans who just don’t like him. So, if we want the President to stop letting the Republicans walk all over him, then we need to stop letting the President walk all over us. It’s time for some tough love. I can’t let the President take my vote for granted. I have to make a stand. If he wants my vote, he will have to earn it. He has a year and a half to do it and pretty speeches aren’t going to be enough. He is the fucking President now. Instead of telling me what he would do, he needs to just go and actually do it.

Instead of strong arming progressive Democrats to vote his way, he needs to start strong arming blue dog Democrats and even Republicans in moderate districts. For the blue dogs, all it takes is letting them know that he will not campaign for them if they don’t tow the line and that he might even find a primary challenger to back in their district if they aren’t on is side. For the Republicans in moderate districts, they need to play ball or the President will campaign for their opponent extra hard and use his bully pulpit to put extra attention on that race. They already are on the fine line being in a moderate area.

Finally, Obama needs to stop negotiating away the nation. Don’t make deals with the Republicans unless you actually get something out of it. No more of this tax cuts for the rich so that the Republicans will allow the extension of unemployment benefits. Let them try selling that to the voters. If they want to make a stupid political tactic, let them and take it to the people! Now the President has to defend the Republican tax cuts while he struggles to pay for Head Start Education.

Done! End of this! I am putting my foot down. Don’t blame me if the President can’t earn my vote and then loses. It isn’t my fault he is a terrible President. Don’t blame his probable defeat on any third party candidate either. The President can earn my vote. There is still time for him to actually start doing stuff and fight back against the Republicans. If he doesn’t and loses the election, it is his own damn fault!

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  • http://improbablejoe.blogspot.com Improbable Joe

    But but but… He’s Obama! He looks good in a suit and can read off a teleprompter better than Bush could! Aren’t his kids cute? If you don’t vote for him, Sarah Palin could be president!

    I wish I could argue for Obama based on the issues, but since he’s been as bad or sometimes worse than Bush on just about everything, I’ll stick to irrelevancies and fear mongering!

  • Sarge

    As far as I am concerned, if you get that high in the echelons of the powerful, your job is to advance the monied interests, continue their agenda, keep the hoi polloi in their place and make them like it, and indulge in the political theater necessary to keep things rolling in that direction with as little friction as possible.

    We got sold a brand, openned the bright shiny wrapper of the candy bar that promised much, and we got another turd.

    Vote? Whatever for? It just validates choices that you really never had a voice in in the ffirst place. When has any vote caused real change except for the backers and hangers-on of a particular figure? Emma Goldman was right about it.

    The slogan, “if you don’t vote you can’t complain” is pure bullshit. Go to the polls and pull a lever to select between a kick in the cubes or a ball bat over the head? C’mon. The satisfaction one would feel, the empowerment of selecting the body part to be abused!
    That’s what the vote is all about.

    The only way to gain from an election is to find the one that declares himself “pragmatic”, and prepare a “pool” chart. Get your co-workers, family, friends, and neighbors to put some money on when and how bad you’ll get sold out.

  • http://wordsonwoodcuts.blogspot.com/ Martha Knox

    Good for you for speaking your mind on this. The saddest thing about this is that the right would have demonized Obama as a leftist extremist no matter what he did. So he might as well have had strong, liberal principles and worked as hard as possible to put them into action. I agree with all of your criticisms. I’m still voting for Obama in the next presidential election because I do think a Republican candidate would do more harm (I didn’t vote for Gore when he ran against Bush, and I think he definitely wouldn’t have done as much harm as Bush!) but it isn’t a vote that moves me or gives me much hope.

  • http://theperplexedobserver.blogspot.com Tim

    I will not go so far as to say I will not vote for Obama in the next election but I have a lot more reservations now than I did during the first round however you make some good points.

    Kucinich would have been a great president but when he dropped out of the primaries I decided to support Obama over Clinton. Two + years later, I think Clinton might have had a stronger backbone. Some positive changes have been made since Obama took over from the disastrous Bush Administration and he’s gave us nonbelievers a couple of reacharounds but he has failed miserably to live up to his promising rhetoric.

    My most recent disappointment with his administration was its support for the Supreme Court ruling dismissing the challenge to State aid to Arizona religious schools.

    Unless he changes course soon, I am going to have a difficult time voting for him but I get really creepy chills down my spine when I think of another wingnut in the Oval Office. Since he probably will not have any Democratic opposition in the primaries, I sincerely hope a decent Republican candidate emerges but the GOP is just to tied-up with the Religious Right and Tea Parties for that to be very likely.

    It’s too bad a third party candidate is incapable of being elected…I really hate our two party system

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  • JZ

    The Liberal Left And Conservative Right are the two wings of a flightless bird known as our political duopoly. This bird is destined to go the way of the dodo so long as the duplicitous “progressive” agenda continues to maintain the status quo and tacitly support the monied special interests. Obviously there is no real progress within the current system, so the fear of wasting one’s vote by following one’s conscience and supporting third party candidates will soon outlast its usefulness.

  • DeafAtheist

    When I voted for Obama in 2008 I had a lot of hopes for our future. I did envision him as another Kennedy who could really turn things around and fix a lot of problems with this country. But I’m quite frankly disappointed in his job performance to date especially with healthcare. I saw this as a chance for us to finally have a universal healthcare policy like many other countries enjoy, but of course we didn’t get that.

    I’d rather have Bill Clinton back getting blown by interns than Obama bending over for Republicans. I know that part of the problem Obama faced was unrelenting Republican criticism as well as Republicans circling the wagons and blocking nearly every decision Obama tried to make that they didn’t agree with. And it certainly didn’t help that in 2010 the voters gave the Republicans the House and Senate. But Obama could have made more of an effort to change the shit he promised to change in his campaign before the elections and if he had, then Democratic candidates for the House and Senate might have had more votes in 2010.

    I share your disappointment in Obama, but that being said I am still reluctantly likely to vote for him because after 2 Bushes and Reagan, I really do not want to see another fucking Republican rape this country and while my vote may not prevent that from happening, I can remain content in the fact that I at least made an effort to prevent it.

    I think Obama is trying to find common ground that both Democrats and Republicans can accept, which may look good in theory but in practice he does come off looking like a Republican appeaser and he alienates the voters who believed he would give us hope and change.

    Voters need to stand behind more independents. A lot of voters who agree with the positions of an independent candidate won’t vote for them due to the fact that they expect a Democrat or Republican to win and they end up voting for one of those even if they like the independent candidate better. I’m guilty of this myself because I’ve feared that voting for an independent is a lost cause and makes for one less vote that prevents a Republican from taking office.

    If we want real change in the White House we need to change the people… not the politicians. American voters feel that the government has all the power… and they do… because we freely and willingly give it to them. We cower in fear of the government rather than standing up and demanding the change we deserve. The government is meant to work for us… not control us.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    And that should lead you to today’s blog where I talk about how Democrats can’t negotiate for shit.

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