Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Veep debate scattershooting

-- Snoozefest or something substantive?  You decide.  I'll be live-Tweeting it so you don't have to watch; just check the Twitter feed, top right, if you're inclined.  If you're as intelligent as you have demonstrated just by reading here, you should stop watching teevee news about the presidential election.  I am not kidding.  You'll be less scared, more calm, and better able to enjoy the cool weather, your pumpkin spice whatever, the MLB playoffs or the fall festivals or just life in general if you do.  Seriously.

-- The insiders are saying that the Trumpbatross around Pence's neck is too heavy a lift.  Democracy Now! will feature the Green Party's Ajamu Baraka participating in the debate, as Jill Stein did with Clinton and Trump last week.

-- Voting is already under way -- always two words, please; it's not your underwater underwear, after all -- in 20 states plus the D. of C.  Mail ballots are going out and being returned in Harris County and throughout Texas (the deadline to register to vote is fast approaching; visit your nearest taco truck.  Hopefully there'll be one on every block next election).  These ballots are important tools for the Democrats and Republicans, as most of these voters are seniors, strongly partisan -- which is to say they vote straight-ticket -- and very reliable.  The Ds have upped their game statewide and erased the R's advantage in recent cycles due to the workhorse efforts of people like Glen Maxey.

-- This is, by a long distance, the worst thing I have read in the entire 2016 cycle.  After reading all of it -- turgid, ponderous, uses every single logical fallacy in the book -- I must say that I certainly hope I read nothing worse.  And then he doubled down on it today.

Here's Fred Rogers with some advice to that guy.

And here's Ted Rall speaking for me.

To my many friends and readers who plan to vote for Hillary Clinton: please stop bullying me.

Also please lay off other people, progressives and liberals and traditional Democrats and socialists and communists, citizens who identify with the political left, who plan to vote for Dr. Jill Stein or stay home.

I’m not going to vote for Donald Trump. I agree with the mainstream liberal consensus that he should never hold political power, much less control over nuclear launch codes. He’s dangerous and scary. But that doesn’t mean I have to vote for Hillary Clinton. ...

1. The main reason that I’m not going to vote for Hillary Clinton is the same exact main reason that I’m not going to vote for Donald Trump: I don’t vote Republican. Being age 53, Nixon was the first president I remember. Hillary Clinton’s politics (and her paranoia and insularity) remind me of Richard Nixon’s. I can’t bring myself to think of a Democrat as someone who solicits millions of dollars from Wall Street or votes with crazy Republicans (like George W. Bush, whose stupid wars she aggressively supported) to invade foreign countries just for fun. She plays a Democrat on TV, but we know the truth: she’s a Republican.


3. There’s a big difference between an impressive resume and a list of accomplishments. Hillary has the former, not the latter. I hold her resume against her: she has held tremendous power, yet has never reached out to grab the brass ring. As senator, her record was undistinguished. As Secretary of State, she barely lifted a finger on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, contributed to the expansion of the Syrian civil war, and is more responsible than almost anyone else for destroying Libya. What she did well she did small; when she went big she performed badly.

  1. She still hasn’t made an affirmative case for herself. By clinging to President Obama, she’s running as his third term. The standard way to pull this off is to present yourself as new and improved: the old product was great, the new one will be even better. Her campaign boils down to “I’m not Donald Trump.” No matter how bad he is, and he is awful, that’s not enough. Watching her in the first presidential debate, at the beginning when Trump was besting her over trade, I kept asking myself: why doesn’t she admit that the recovery is good but has left too many Americans behind? Why hasn’t she proposed a welfare and retraining program for people who lose their jobs to globalization? A week later, the only answer I can come up with is that she has no imagination, no vision thing.
  2. She has made no significant concessions to the political left. Frankly, this makes me wonder about her intelligence. Current polling shows that the biggest threat to her candidacy is losing millennial, working class, and Bernie Sanders supporters to the Green Party’s Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson. She would not have this problem if she’d picked Sanders as her vice presidential running mate. Even now, she could bag the millennial vote by promising the Vermont senator a cabinet post. Why doesn’t she? For the same reason that she won’t embrace the $15-an-hour minimum wage (she gets $225,000 for an hour-long speech but wants you to settle for $12) — she’s a creature of the corporations and therefore the political right. She’s not one of us. She doesn’t care about us.
  3. My vote is worth no less than the vote of someone who supports a major party nominee. So what if the polls say that Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be elected president? Why, based on those polls, should I strategically vote for someone whose politics and personality I deplore? By that logic, why shouldn’t they change their votes to conform to mine? I have my vote, you have your vote, let Diebold add them up.
I don’t have a problem with you if you plan to vote for Hillary. This year is the best argument ever for lesser evilism. But the fact that we are selecting between two equally unpopular major party presidential standardbearers indicates that the two-party system is in crisis, if not broken. We need and deserve more and better options. The only way to get them is to start building viable third parties — voting for them, contributing money to them. What better time to start than now?
Anyway, there’s absolutely no way that my refusal to vote for Hillary will put Donald Trump into the White House.

That is game, set, and match.  But here's your memory jogger, just in case.

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