How Obama loses...and I have nothing to do with it
So over at TBogg's place, he posted a query to folks like me who can't abide Obama and semi-snarkily asked us to explain how we think Romney will be better for us than Obama. I decided to join the fray, at comment number 37 and boy oh boy did TBogg's minions who believe in their fella go wild. They were just screaming with their fingers in their ears until a few decided that maybe we should explain ourselves a bit more. I did so around the 200 comment and while TBogg made a nice point about my pushing the Putin-flexible scenario too far (I should have said Obama's flexibility in foreign affairs will be more trade treaties and another war), I think the good Obama fans at TBogg's place are starting to see I'm not dumb in my thinking.
And my thinking is this: If you live in a State like CA that votes reliably Democratic in presidential elections, see how things look in October. If it looks like Obama would win anyway, vote for Jill Stein of the Greens (or for any Libertarian Party stalwarts, vote for Gary Johnson). If you're in a state like Ohio, it's still a tough call.
The best argument an Obama fan can make is that Romney is worse on the cultural issues like abortion, gay marriage and the Supreme Court nominations. The answer here is that we'll just have to fight rear guard actions with the filibuster and, if the Republicans have the guts to do what Democrats lacked and kill the filibuster, then in individual Senate races. Not a pretty picture and one that gives me pause about not re-electing Obama. Of course, if the Dems hold the Senate this year, then Romney will have a real hard time getting an anti-abortion justice to replace Ginsburg.
But that is and remains the best argument for Obama.
The best argument for voting Green, Libertarian, etc. is that even if it results in a President Romney, Romney's attempt to undermine Social Security and Medicare will fail because Democrats will line up more strongly to oppose such an attempt than if Obama is re-elected. If Obama is re-elected, Republican Senator Tom Coburn has already spilled the beans (scroll down the link to the last question and answer) that Obama will pursue the Grand Bargain that fatally undermines Social Security and Medicare. He gives the Democrats in the Senate and House cover they don't have if Romney is pushing that agenda.
On civil liberties and war, anyone who reads Glenn Greenwald knows Obama has embraced the essential positions of Cheney-Bush administration. So Obama buys us nothing but exposing our party tribalism of "It's only okay if my party embraces such policies."
So there it is. It's a lot closer question than we might imagine. Women's rights vs. saving Social Security and Medicare.
There is no hope that Obama will stop the decline of the American middle class. Instead, that class will continue to decline under Obama. Will it decline further and faster under Romney? Maybe. I won't discount that. But the degree is not so significant as we see what happened when Scott Walker tried to muscle out public employees in Wisconsin. Walker may survive the recall, but he was wounded.
I think the argument that most got TBogg and his buddies (and I have to say I enjoy TBogg's invective most of the time and he is on my Blogroll) is where I forced them to recognize that Obama hates them, too, and David Axelrod positively despises them too. Yes, they truly hate and despise you and me. I quoted David Frum, GW Bush's former speechwriter, who memorably said: The Republican Party leaders fear their base. The Democratic Party leaders hate their base.
The sad part is that I know I won't believe Obama even if he suddenly pivoted my way for this election campaign. I distinctly recall the Austin Goolsbee mini-scandal in the spring of 2008. The Obama camp denied it at the time, but it was clear when Goolsbee and Geithner were chosen to lead his team of economic advisers that the story was true. And then the way Obama rammed through the anti-worker trade pacts with places like South Korea and Columbia gave final proof to the lie during the campaign (MF Blog readers knew Obama was a "free traitor" way back in 2006). By the way, Columbia has led the world with murders of labor leaders over the past two decades (see here and here) and continues to lead in murders of labor leaders. Funny how this topic of clear human rights violations does not make the Sunday morning discussion shows, the nightly cable talk shows, etc. Corporate media sure knows how to prioritize our thinking...
Anyway, the Obama administration announced in April of this year they would move ahead with complete implementation of the trade pact with Columbia, relying on an empty promise that has obviously not been fulfilled in the two years since the Labor Action Pact had been signed with Columbia.
To take Frum's formulation into something specific: Obama and his administration advisers hate labor unions as much as Romney does. They have to deal with them in the same party, unlike Romney, but the Obama administration never misses a trick to insult and ignore the pleas of the labor leaders and labor unions at home and abroad. But they are cultural liberals, which so far means a gay or lesbian soldier can scream on the frontiers of Afghanistan before getting killed: "I"m queer and I'm here!"
So how does Obama lose? Because the 20% of American voters who are low information voters who swing back and forth between the two wings of the Property Party (Democratic and Republican) are going to look at themselves, decide the economy did not improve under Obama and vote for "the other guy." Same way the independents as they are called swung for Obama in the last weeks of the 2008 election. People like me have NOTHING to do with it. We don't count except as helpless whipping boys and girls of corporate Democratic Party elitists who again already hate us.