Monday, November 01, 2010

Please Just Hold Your Nose and Vote Democrat

roflbot picture

I remember when the rightly-infamous David Duke ran for Governor of Louisiana as a Republican, several years ago, he was running against a Democrat who was as crooked as Frankenstein's dog's hind leg. It was a clear case of bad versus worse and no one was happy about it.

So some enterprising soul sold Official Bags for the gubernatorial election: the idea was that you could go vote for the crook over the klansman, and then either hide your face in shame, or be sick. As luck would have it, David Duke lost, and nothing he has said or done since then has ameliorated any of the concerns most rightly-thinking people had about his potential turn as Governor.

Flash forward to 2010. The Democrats are disappointing. But the would-be replacements waiting in the wings are a disaster waiting to happen. In a choice between disappointment or disaster, one would think the wise choice would be to vote for the former.

And yet, in what proves to be an important election -- maybe the most important yet -- many progressives want to throw their vote away by either throwing it behind a third party candidate, or else not voting at all.

How reckless can you get?

The bottom line is this: as much as the Democrats need to have some sense slapped into them, the Tea Party and their cronies (and their backers) MUST BE REPUDIATED AT THE POLLS. And this has to happen NOW, not after two years of a Republican/Teaparty-led Congress that has had ample opportunity to take the good that has been done over the last couple years, and throw it under the bus.

It goes beyond certain candidates ignorance, stupidity, or sociopathy. It goes beyond firefighters watching someone's house burn and the National Review's writers saying that it was not only okay, but a "teachable moment" to the Left. It goes beyond Birtherism, crypto-racism, curb-stomps, and arresting reporters.

It goes to the very heart of our system of government. Do you believe that the Government is there to help, but sometimes harms, or do you think the Government can ONLY EVER HARM, and needs to be shot in the face by an angry mob who, like the angry villagers in Frankenstein, have decided to get torches and pitchforks rather than let the party members of a (insert latest tea party jibe about Barack Obama here) hold onto Washington for one more day?

If you are any kind of thinking progressive, I would hope your answer is the former. It should then follow that we should do everything we can to ensure that, as nauseating and disappointing as their antics may sometimes be, we have to vote for the Democrats tomorrow.

Third parties? Forget it. As of right now, there are none who have a fireball's chance in Hel of pulling off enough votes to block the Republicans from office. None. Maybe in a few years, if enough average voters -- that is, left-leaning rather that leftIST -- abandon the Democrats, they could just have enough. But that is not now.

Vote strike? Get to !#$%. The only thing that does is not only disenfranchise yourself, and give you no right to legitimately complain over the next few years, but also negates your ability to vote for state and local issues, which are also critically important.

You can stand on your tub and pound about the need for a credible alternative to the two big, lumbering giants of American politics, but tubthumping only gets you so far when most people would rather buy into one or the other. The change of attitudes necessary to pull off such a switch is several years in the making. It does not happen overnight, and will definitely not happen in the wake of a disastrous election result, as some have encouraged: the Dems will just obstruct for the next cycle and then say "see what happened? vote us back in." And we'll be back at square none all over again, along with pipe dreams of a Green win.

There is only one party to effectively block a Republican takeover of the House and Senate, tomorrow, or at least ensure that they do not win a huge majority. It is not one of the third parties. It is not NO party. It is the Democrats.

So here's what I am suggesting: go to the polls and vote for the Democrats. You may want to hold your nose when you do so, or go be sick afterwards -- if so, good. Take that nausea and turn it into anger, and then turn that anger into energy. Then, take that energy and use it to either fix what's wrong with the Dems, or create that credible alternative.

Of course, you could always do that NOW, too. But we have to think strategically. When that alternative or fixing takes place, two, four or six years from now, after two, four, or six years of being in thrall to the Tea Party and its cronies (and backers), things will be so screwed up that it will take many more years to effectively fix. And in the meantime, those voted out will sit on their hands, be obstructionist, and claim that the mess is all OUR fault, and we should be voted out.

(This DOES sound familiar, right?)

So yes, for some of us it's a choice between tweedledumb and tweedledumber. Maybe even tweedlevil, if you consider it that way. But it's not defeatism if you look at it as a strategic exercise, and it's not cynicism if you know what you're getting and have a plan to make it work for you.

But we have to get ourselves the breathing room to fix what's broken. We will not get that unless we keep the Dems as healthy as possible this cycle.

So please. Please. PLEASE go and vote Democrat tomorrow. Wear a bag if you have to. Just make sure that people like Rand Paul et. al. are not the face of America's lawmakers for the next two or more years, and, even if we are stuck with them, it will not be so much that they can completely dominate the dialectic.


Post a Comment

<< Home