Sunday, June 10, 2012

Liberals Who Might Not Support Obama Need A Reality Check

Longtime readers know that there have been times when I've criticized President Obama for not fighting harder for liberal causes. That, however, doesn't mean that I at all agree with some attendees of the progressive Netroots Nation conference who say that they won't support or vote for the president in November:

...Many liberals meeting Thursday at Netroots Nation — it describes the annual convention as “a giant family reunion for the left” — argue instead that Obama hasn’t fought hard enough for progressive priorities on taxes, health care and the economy.

Even more problematic for the president: With the election just five months away, some are threatening not to donate money or time or even vote in November for the man who overwhelmingly ignited their passions and captured their imaginations four years ago.

I'm reminded of the rationale for voting for Nader instead of Gore in 2000: both parties are corrupt, there's not much difference between the candidates. Every liberal who voted for Nader instead of Gore–or didn't vote at all–helped Bush. We ended up with the Iraq, torture, Katrina and tax cuts for billionaires.

Now we face another choice in November. Think there's no difference between the candidates? Think again. One will appoint another Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, one will appoint another Scalia. One will protect a woman's right to choose, one will not. One supports Planned Parenthood, one would get rid of it. One signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, one waffles on it. One wants more stimulus and hiring of public sector workers, one wants to keep them unemployed. One wants Wall Street regulations, one doesn't. One wants to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, one doesn't. One supports gay marriage, one opposes it. One set a date for withdrawal from Afghanistan, one criticized it. Need I go on? All of us know which candidate I refer to in each example.

There are real issues and differences in the November election. We must focus on these realities, not ideological perfection. Either Obama or Romney will be president next year. Liberals who don't support or vote for Obama benefit Romney. That's a chance we cannot take. I will support and vote for President Obama. I hope you will too.


Jon Rector, editor of the Oracle said...

Hi Jeff,

In my worst nightmare, this country elects a Republican president with a Republican dominated House and Senate that continues on their rampage to remove all remnants of opposition to their agenda in every-day life, government agencies, and the Supreme Court.

On the plus side, these people don't last too long before the oligarchs, their puppet-masters, purge them. On the down side, we would then have the United States of the Koch Brothers, and the country that we once knew would disappear - along with us.

I eventually wake up in a cold sweat, and mutter, "Thank god, it was just a nightmare!"

I agree with you, Obama is not and has not been perfect, but the alternative would make this country unlivable. Obama needs to be re-elected, if for no other reason than to give the Republicans a chance to re-group and see the errors of their way, and once again be the Government of the People - all the people, not just the Tea-bagger crazies, and the rich and powerful.

Even as a Democrat, I would not like to see a single party system. It may be a fantasy, but wouldn't it be great to see both parties field a candidate who is not the lesser of two evils?

I hope you are well, your friend,


Jeff Tone said...

Hi Jon,

RIght now the Republicans are so extreme that I don't put much stock in their seeing the error of their ways. Introspection is not their strong suit.

I think Obama has to be re-elected for the reasons I list, especially the Supreme Court nominations, which affect the country for decades. We simply can't afford another right winger on the Roberts court.

Always good hearing from you, my friend.