Vote and Hope

I’ve been in transit today and have yet to see any footage of the Stewart/Colbert rallies, but I did see a figure of 200,000 on The Mall. Regardless of what happens Tuesday, this gives me hope.

In transit, I’ve started listening to Ted Kennedy’s memoir True Compass. This gives me hope, too:

(Keep in mind, Kennedy had been undergoing aggressive treatment for brain cancer, and, then, when preparing for his convention appearance, suffered a kidney stone attack).

Watch and throw back a shot

This person is favored to be elected a United States Senator by the citizens of Nevada on Tuesday.

Watch and Vote

Please watch even if you think Keith Olbermann is just another guy on TV with a big head. It’s 20-minutes long. Please make the time. The balances of the two houses of Congress are at stake on Tuesday.

And please vote…tomorrow or Saturday at your local (North Carolina) early voting site, or on Tuesday at your (North Carolina) precinct.

Vote

Here’s MSNBC.com’s website from over the weekend. They want this year’s election to be Obama vs. Palin. This is pretty ridiculous, but…ok. Voters of America, make your choice: brilliant and level-headed but occasionally spineless vs. bat-shit crazy and completely ignorant.

I’m pissed at President Obama and the Democratic Party for a number of reasons. But they have gotten some things done over the past two years. I am certain the country is in much better than it would have been under McCain-Palin and a Republican Congress. And I do think it will be disastrous if the GOP regains control of either house of Congress.

So…

Richard Burr stands for nothing and proudly thinks of himself as a roadblock to Congress. Retire Burr and vote for Elaine Marshall.

David Price has been representing the Triangle for 22 years. He works hard, albeit uncharismatically, behind-the-scenes for health care reform and jobs for his region. A vote for Lawson is a vote for a GOP Congress which is going to spend the next two years trying to gut anything positive the law Congress did, as well as launch pointless investigations into the Obama administration. Think climate change is real, and we need to do something about it? A GOP Congress absolutely will do nothing. And they’ll probably try hard to strip existing powers away from the EPA.

The stakes are huge. Vote for Republicans, and you are voting for the party of:
Rand Paul, who’d have voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, created his own ophthalmologic certification so he could be a legitimate eye doctor, and whose supports stomp on the heads of opponents.
Sharron Angle, who wants to abolish the federal income tax code, phase out Social Security for younger workers and eliminate the Education Department.
Ken Buck, who believes being gay is a choice and compared it to alcoholism.
Christine O’Donnell, who was unaware that the First Amendment calls for the separation of Church and State.
Mitch McConnell, who stated that the primary goal of the next Congress would be to make President Obama a one-term President. He did not speak to improving healthcare or even creating an improved tax code. The GOP’s primary goal is to stop Obama, at every step of the way.

And that’s all Burr and Lawson would do, content to keep this country in a ditch.

Pro-choice in the Triangle? Don’t even think about voting for Lawson

Yeah, I know people aren’t enthusiastic about voting this year. I’m not. Please do it anyway.

I know David Price isn’t the most charismatic guy in the world. He votes a progressive agenda and generally has done a good job of representing the Triangle, but…hmmm…maybe he’s been in D.C. too long… Who’s this young, chipper guy B.J. Lawson who runs every two years? He can’t be that bad. (After all, his wife looks like Tipper Gore.) A Republican running in this district has to be moderate, right?


Well, here’s Lawson on reproductive rights:

We can either be a pro-life culture or a pro-death culture. I choose life. Only in extreme cases should abortion be considered and only as a medical decision where the health and life of the mother are in jeopardy. In cases of rape or incest, I believe there is a difference between emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy versus termination of a known and viable pregnancy. In any case, I believe the federal government should define life as beginning at conception, and leave strategies for reducing abortions to state governments.

I know I’ve got friends who will vote for Lawson, in some part of large part, because of this position. But I’m betting the majority of the people I know and who will vote find this position to be at least bit disturbing.

In any event, I think we can all agree that 2/3 of B.J. Lawson’s platform is B.S.:
Less Government…really?
More Freedom…uh, huh.

If you would like to hear from the candidates, Bull City Rising is co-sponsoring a debate this Friday evening. It was this BCR post that pointed me to Lawson’s positions. If you lean left, as I do, or don’t tend to lean in any particular direction, I hope you’ll realize that it really is in our best interest to keep David Price in the House representing us.

On a related note, it sure is uncomfortable blogging about such a sensitive subject. I want to add a note to those people I know who are “pro-life” (I really do hate both the labels “pro-life” and “pro-choice”). One can think abortion is horrible and believe that one would never have one or condone a partner having one or condone anyone they know having one and still believe the government should not determine when and under which circumstances women can have the procedure. Some people are firm in being at the absolute ends of the spectrum of this debate. I don’t care to state for the record exactly where I stand. But I do know that this candidate’s position, and I do respect that he has a very specific, on-the-record position, scares the hell out of me.

Likable Republican? By a bad Democrat

I used to feel more comfortable blogging opinions that weren’t well-fleshed out. Why do I need to be right? This blog exists for me to write merely what I’m thinking at a given point in time. If I turn out to be wrong, I’ll readily admit it. And if I don’t, it’s probably because I don’t care enough and I don’t have enough readers to feel any obligation to follow u.

So, I have a confession. I think I like this Chris Christie fellow who is the Republican governor of New Jersey. Sure, I don’t agree with politically on very much at all. However, whenever I see him featured in a news story, I understand his arguments, and I get the sense that he’s sincerely concerned with being an honest, effective governor. I don’t follow N.J. politics, but politicians don’t become popular by appealing to the most knowledgeable voters. If I like him from four states away, he’s probably doing something right.

I found this July quote from Peggy Noonan:

Christie has gotten “closer than most national Republicans have come—or Democrats will come—to satisfying the public desire that someone step forward, define the problem, apply common sense, devise a way through, do what’s needed. He’s going to break through in a big way. The answer to our political problems lies in clarity, competence, and courage, not a visit to crazy town.

This actually sounds a lot like Barack Obama, if Obama were not constantly afraid of shooting from the hip and telling people unpleasant trutsh. If Obama were a liberal Chris Christie, his approval rating would be 70%.

I certainly have my political ideology. I’m still pretty far left. Ideally, I want politicians who represent this ideology in office. But I might take a blunt, sensible, moderate Republican over a timid, conforming moderate Democrat. Might. We don’t have any of those Republicans in North Carolina, so this really hasn’t been an issue.

Feel free to go on and tell me why Chris Christie is awful. This is just an observation I’m making from four states away.

Meanwhile, I am trying to get motivated to support Elaine Marshall for Senate in North Carolina. I really am. But I’m pissed right now. I can’t help but think that Democrats would be doing so much better nationally if they just had some candidates who were more like this:

(As I typed that last sentence, I realized that Democrats have Alan Grayson in Florida, and he’s likely to lose his seat, but that may be because he called his Baptist opponent “Taliban Dan”. I think it’s funny, but most of the folks in conservative Orlando probably don’t).

Toastie Still Likes Politics For Some Reason

Do I LIKE politics? I don’t know. I can’t seem to stop following politics, though.

I was staring at electoral-projection-guru Nate Silver’s Senate projections and hoping there was a chance he was just wrong. And then I looked at his 538.com posts from 2008. Five weeks out, his projections for the Senate were pretty much dead-on. Virtually nothing changed between early October and Election Day.

I went through the 2010 Senate races and gave the Democrats the benefit-of-the-doubt that they can win Nevada and Illinois, and then the Dems control the Senate 53-47. This is pretty pathetic considering where they are now and where they could be.

I went through the races and gave them the seats that I think they SHOULD BE winning in a world where Democrats have some spine, where the Democrat is within 10 points or less and either the Dems have a strong candidate or the GOP has an inferior candidate. In this scenario, they control the Senate 62-38. They actually GAIN seats. I don’t blame the economy or the Tea Party or the uninformed electorate for the ass-kicking the Democrats are going to get in November. I blame Obama and his team and the leadership of the Democratic Party.

In ’08, only Al Franken came from behind in the final few weeks, and he only won by 0.01%. Whille 5-6 point leads seem surmountable, it is unlikely that the likes of Russ Feingold (WI) and Joe Sestak (PA) will prevail. Obama and the Democratic Party leadership would need a historic midterm election GOTV effort, led by their mostly-progressive-leaning base. But they’re acting like they just don’t give a damn. Obama really seems to relish the idea of having more evenly-split houses of Congress, like he wants to give bipartisanship another round.

If Obama cares so much about being a bipartisan leader, maybe he should consider running as an independent in 2012.

Yeah, I know that’s not gonna happen.

I’m glad I never got that Obama-Biden magnet

You see those round Obama-Biden magnets all over, especially in Durham. I donated some money after Joe Biden was picked as Obama’s running mate. The deal on the site I donated through was that I was supposed to get one of those magnets. It never came. Then again, the feeling that Obama can really turn this country around, not just economically, but philosophically, hasn’t really ever come either. You need patience if you’re going to be a fan of the President. You have to believe that he really knows what he’s doing. He sits out a national debate for months, let’s the right tear him and his party down, and then he makes a vigorous speech that seemingly reminds you that he is, possibly, fighting for the things you believe in, after all.

And then he says something like this, to an audience of supporters:

Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get — to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed – oh, well, the public option wasn’t there. If you get the financial reform bill passed — then, well, I don’t know about this particular derivatives rule, I’m not sure that I’m satisfied with that. And gosh, we haven’t yet brought about world peace and — (laughter.) I thought that was going to happen quicker. (Laughter.) You know who you are. (Laughter.) We have had the most productive, progressive legislative session in at least a generation.

Really, Mr. President? His laugh and applause lines, for some time now, have been at the expense of his own party. Are there not people within his party who have legitimate reasons to be disappointed? Obama just want us to settle for not having a Republican administration? Things had gotten so bad in this country that we’re supposed to be content that a Democratic President with huge congressional majorities has passed legislation that has been, every time, watered down in order to appeal to the opposition party without actually garnering meaningful opposition votes? It’s not that he aspires to be more of a centrist leader; it’s that his arrogance seems to have made him tone-deaf to the reasons why Democrats supported him in the first place. Among those reasons was certainly not compromise followed by compromise and more compromise.

As the leader of the Democratic Party, he has challenged my longtime need to identify as a Democrat. I struggle to find Democrats in Washington who do represent the party I want to support. I really don’t think I’m that far to the left. But I’m disgusted by how dismissive Obama is of Democrats who are at where I’m at or a bit farther to the left. Dismissive and insulting.

I will be even more disgusted when Republicans control the House in four months. I’ll still come out to vote for Democrats in six weeks, but it will be obvious to me why many others will stay home. Pundits who have their heads up Obama’s ass will blame the energy of the Tea Party, the motivation of Republicans. However, there really aren’t enough Tea Partiers in the grand scheme of things to decide these elections without the apathy of Democrats.

The apathy of Democrats is ultimately President Obama’s responsibility. I’ve seen little evidence that he cares.