Tis the Season…

…of trying to decide which bad, unsatisfying choice to make with one’s ballot. Vote big and ugly, or small and gestural/protest?

Personally, Biden’s breath-taking denunciation of democracy in Seattle last weekend ended any last glimmers of hope for a nose-holding Obama vote by me. In Oregon, where there are mail-in-only elections (no polling stations available), I just voted C-Mac (not J-Mac!) — Cynthia McKinney. In 2002, McKinney was targeted for the boot from Congress because of her outspoken rejection of post-911 war hysteria. In her second Congressional stint, she actually “introduced articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush as (H Res 1106)” in 2006, when the nation was about to elect the Democrats, thinking — oh-so-mistakenly, as always with the modern, Clintonoid, “triangulating” Democrats — that they were about to do such things. And, unlike Nader, for whom I’ve previously voted twice, McKinney is also trying to help build the Green Party, which I think isn’t a bad idea, given the state of the planet.

Nevertheless and meanwhile, for the best statement of the conundrum I’ve seen, I refer you to my friend, colleague, and teacher, the Gandhi scholar and freelance writer, Niranjan Ramakrishnan. On today’s edition of CounterPunch.org, Ramakrishnan writes:

My fundamental problem with Obama is not with his solutions but with his diagnoses. The problem is not partisanship, as he keeps harping. If anything the problem is the lack of partisanship – partisanship with the Common People. Partisanship with the Constitution against the Corporations. Congressional Partisanship against a usurping Executive. Partisanship of the press against those in power. Unlike Obama, I think that before we can go forward, we must first go back.

Click here to read the whole of this wonderful, thoughtful piece.

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One Reply to “Tis the Season…”

  1. I voted for C-Mac a few weeks ago on the Oregon mail-in ballot, which was mailed to me in Luxembourg early enough so that I could vote, but was stamped “FEDERAL” and limited to just the three federal races (President, Senator, and Congressperson). Since Obama is sure to win Oregon’s 7 electoral votes (www.fivethirtyeight.com now shows a 100% chance of that), joining the herd and voting for Mr. Bait-and-Switch and Robo-fucking-Biden would be an unnecessary waste and throwing away your vote anyway. So why NOT vote for McKinney and Clemente. I voted for the Green in Eugene’s seat in Congress too, though Pete DeFazio is a shoo-in to continue in that post (and I guess I’m mostly okay with that). The race with suspense is Oregon’s open Senate seat, and I went for Merkley in that one, who has a good chance of winning (fivethirtyeight.com now gives him a 75% chance of that).

    I couldn’t vote for Mr. Bait-and-Switch anyway, he’s already so disappointing to me and he isn’t even President yet! And yet, to his supporters, apparently, he is not only not disappointing but is the beacon of so much hope for change. Did you see this video from September,
    Les Misbarack ( http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/09/les-misbarack.html )?
    Interestingly, Bill Clinton’s campaign used that very same song, “One Day More”, in 1992, and the following 8 years of his administration certainly met all the progressive (dare I say “revolutionary”?) hopes of his supporters. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, NAFTA, ending welfare as we know it, bombing Yugoslavia, and enforcing crippling sanctions on Iraq that killed even more people there (especially children) in the Clinton years than were later killed by war and occupation in the Bush II years. And yet, having learned nothing from experience, many Obama supporters in 2008 hold out revolutionary (“barricades of freedom”) hope that he and the Democrats would, this time, ensure that “every man will be a king”.

    I noticed at the time I first saw the video the interesting detail that although it had people portraying McCain and Palin, it had nobody portraying Obama or Biden. (One might have expected Obama himself rather than an anonymous staffer to say “Will you take your place with me?”) Perhaps the only reason for that is that the maker of the video had no black friends to appear in it – or perhaps at some level the maker of this video knew that casting Obama as a revolutionary just didn’t fly with the facts. Another detail I noticed at the time is that McCain is soon suddenly wearing an Obama campaign badge in order to secretly infiltrate and spy on them (like Javert in Les Miserables). I thought it might have been more fitting, and realistic, to have Obama himself pretend to be a revolutionary (or even just a progressive) for his own cynical and secret reasons!

    I wonder whether next time the makers of this video, and the people in general, will yet again place their hopes in politicians or instead on themselves (and eventually revolutionary barricades). “There’s a new world for the winning / There’s a new world to be won.” (I also wonder whether it’s already too late.)

    In our heart we know it’s true: the Dembots are not on our side, any more than the Repugs. They say they are, but action speaks louder than words. Ignore their words (intended for the public, at least!) and consider only their actions!

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