Friday, October 26, 2012
Barack The Vote
Have you heard the one where Obama squeaks into a second term with an
Electoral College victory, but Romney wins the popular vote? That poli sci-fi scenario has been bandied about by the chattering class for a while. But I've always dismissed it. I mean how could that be? How could the worst presidential candidate in modern history, and one so clearly unpopular even among his own party, this political hologram, the love child of Thurston Howell III and Monty Hall, walk off with more votes than the man who consistently leads him by double digits in affability and values?
Ah, but now I see how a cynical nexus of voter suppression (you bet they're still trying to steal Ohio!) and apathy could trigger such a depressing event,. Okay, sure, I'd rather wind up on the winning end of such a deal than repeat 2000, where Al Gore won the popular vote and W. was handed keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in a neat little box filled with hanging chads by the Supremes.
So, yeah, we'll take an Obama victory any way we can get it. But to loosen the Beltway's legislative gridlock and avoid the patina of illegitimacy the fright wing has been dying to bestow upon his presidency, Obama needs something akin to a mandate. And here's where we all come in. It will all come down to turn-out.So no matter where you live, you have to vote. Even those of us residing in the deepest of deep blue states: New York, California, Illinois, Oregon, Vermont, we have to get off our duffs and out the door. Every single vote counts.
I know we feel slighted, because the antiquated Electoral College hands sway to a few chosen states. This year it looks like Ohio, and probably Virginia and Florida and maybe Colorado will play heavily into the finale. But if every vote counted equally more people would vote and Obama would win. Maybe even by a landslide.
Alright, maybe not a landslide. Sure, I know a lot of progressives are disappointed in Obama. That hope and change seems like a lot of hype now. Okay, so the guy isn't exactly Superman. But let's be fair: he 's started to dig us out from under that flaming pile of reckless rubbish he found on the doorstep of the White House back in January 2009. We may have a long way to go, but we're moving in a positive direction.And why anyone would want to revert to the tried and tired policies that nearly brought this country to her knees boggles my mind.
If you can't imagine voting for Romney, a man who flips and flops with such alacrity he must suffer from chronic vertigo, than you can't just stay home. Or cast a protest vote for Roseanne Barr. Or Gary Johnson. Remember how that Ralph Nadar for reform business went in 2000? Only the truly cynical or naive can sit this one out. There is a huge difference between Obama and Romney. We simply can't trust a man who consistently airbrushes history, runs from his own record and then embraces it, often within the same day. There's a reason--beyond the commonwealth's electoral blue hue--Romney is losing in Massachusetts by 20 plus points. He wasn't nearly as good a governor as his propaganda suggests. His landmark health care legislation--the model for the national reform he so desperately promises to repeal--was largely crafted by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. And his mythic "reaching across the aisle' has been debunked by those who lived and worked in Massachusetts during his tenure. It essentially came down to vetoes and running Republicans against Democrats. He never considering running for a second term because he knew he'd never win one.
So pretend your vote really means something. Especially if you care about a future with a thriving middle class, health care reform, education,equal pay for equal work, reproductive rights, gay rights, medicare, social security, the environment, energy,world peace. Oh, and the trajectory of the Supreme Court for the next generation or two, which, by the way, will most certainly inform all the aforementioned.
I know you don't want what Mitt's hiding behind Door Number 3.If it was anything other than an ill-tempered chicken and a year's supply of Rice-A-Roni he wouldn't so evasive. It's, as Obama calls it, a "sketchy deal," one that will surely continue big time bennies for the wealthiest, while the 47% Mitt so clearly disdains and the rest of us in the middle continue to bear the burden. Wait until he repeals Obamacare and your pre-existing condition once again bars you from insurance and your college grad kid gets tossed off your plan and your parents have to shell out more for prescriptions.
Wait until Ruth Bader Ginsburg retires and Robert Bork handpicks the next Supreme Court Justice.
So, yeah, your vote for Obama matters. It really matters. No matter where you live.