Fucked-Update: Politicians are Assholes
It’s all the same shit…no matter who you vote for.
This week has been a strange one for me, so this week’s fucked-update is going to be a little different than usual. Instead of giving you a few news stories to ponder, I’m just gonna take a look at one of the big political problems right now. You guess it. The fucking election. I’ve been trying to avoid all the drama in the Democratic party for the last few months, but the closer we get to picking a nominee, the more I realize I need to figure out what I’m going to do on election day. Since I know I’m not the only person who can’t make up their mind about who to support, I decided to suck it up and devote an entire Fucked-Update to all this bullshit (well, not all of it, but I’ll try to cover as much as I can stomach this morning). Personally, this stuff makes me a little tense, so you might want to follow my lead and take a Xanax before delving into all the fucketry.
Now that the GOP has its candidate for November and primary season is winding down with Senators Clinton and Obama in a heated race, it seems that Democratic voters are getting a little testy. Shortly after Super Tuesday, DNC chairman Howard Dean started making plans to name a nominee before August in the hopes of avoiding a brokered convention. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but people are already getting a little nervous that the folks at Recreate 68 could be successful in turning the Democratic National Convention into a circus. The problem is, we may not be able to prevent a brokered convention at this point and that’s just gonna piss off the protesters even more. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about the anti-convention demonstrations–they should be a lot of fun–but we’re building up the kind of political climate where things can get out of hand pretty easily. Nobody wants a riot.*
Until recently, I thought this “split” in the Democratic party that I kept hearing about had more to do with the party leadership than the voters. After all, most people I had talked to said they would gladly support whichever candidate gets the nomination. But public sentiment seems to be changing and I’m not sure the party will get it together in time for the general election. What happened to begin the shift among progressive voters? My guess is, people have started thinking again. It’s always dangerous to think too hard in an election season. The closer we get to November, the more apparent it is that no matter who gets elected, we’re totally fucked.
Matt Taibbi has an article in Rolling Stone discussing how the Democrats took control of Congress on the basis of an anti-war stance and then proceeded to fail miserably at moving us closer to an end to our troubles in Iraq. Sure, they put on a good show trying to block war funding and stuff, but in the end they totally caved. All the promises about ending the war turned out to be more meaningless propaganda to persuade people to vote Democratic. And we did. And it hasn’t done us any fucking good. Now, it’s not entirely fair to blame them for not accomplishing everything they promised. After all, there are still plenty of Republicans in Congress who are determined to block the Democratic leadership whenever they can. And then, of course, there’s President Loves-to-Veto. But they could’ve tried just a little harder. They could’ve held out just a little longer. And because they didn’t, I have to wonder if they ever really cared about ending the war in the first place.
It wasn’t long ago that I was talking about Republicans hating on Mike Huckabee for his populist politics. For a while, it seemed as though Huckabee could be a genuine threat to the Republican party. The problem was they spent so much time convincing evangelical Christians that Jesus is a Republican, that when a man with Christian values ran for President, the Republican base went nuts over him, despite the fact that his economic policies (which, let’s face it, are the only important thing to the Republican leadership) weren’t particularly conservative.
The Democrats have done the same thing to the progressive anti-war community. They’ve told us that the Democratic party is our party. The Democratic party wants to end this silly War on Terra. The Democratic party will reverse the damage done by the Bush administration. The Democratic party is the party of change. But is any of that really true? Or is the party just manipulating progressives like the Republicans manipulated those wacky fundamentalist Christians?
The other issue here is that the Democrats seem to think they’re unbeatable in November. Now, it’s not completely deluded to think they could easily take back the White House. President Bush’s approval rating is currently at 19%. So sure, the Democrats have a pretty solid chance of winning. To those who say the Dems can’t lose, I have two words for you: John Kerry. Remember him? Remember how many people were out in the streets campaigning for him? Remember how sure people were that he could defeat Bush after his first 4 years of bullshit? And then he didn’t. He lost. Clinton and Obama would both make stronger candidates than John Kerry did, but that doesn’t mean this is locked up. Especially with Clinton and Obama both acting like giant douches.
There has been so much racist and sexist crap in this primary season, that I can hardly stand to look at either Clinton or Obama anymore. In all fairness to Senator Clinton, most of the racist comments made by her campaign haven’t come from her, but from her husband (which just goes to show he’s doing more harm than good by campaigning with her all the time). Still, they shouldn’t have happened. She should’ve apologized. And there’s Obama, who can’t stop talking about Clinton’s feelings, just to remind us that she’s a big girly girl who can’t control her emotions. Then there’s the problem of their politics. The Democratic nomination is either going to a candidate with policy ideas that I don’t like who has been given tons of money by defense contractors (never a good sign) or a candidate who never actually talks about his policy ideas, has a history of voting “present” on controversial bills to further confuse people about what he really thinks and on top of all that has somehow convinced millions of Americans to drink the Obama kool-aid and vote for him despite the fact that no one actually knows much about what he’s going to do to create all this “change”. It’s gonna come down to a potential war-mongerer or a dude with a sketchy past and a Messiah complex. Both of those choices scare me.
And unfortunately the only thing that scares me more is John “I was against torture before I was for it” McCain–a man who says he refuses to pander for conservative support and then proceeds to vote against a bill to ban waterboarding despite the fact he was adamantly opposed to the practice just 4 months ago. In addition to him being a smug, self-righteous, asswipe, it’s almost certain that the next President will get at least one Supreme Court nomination and McCain will most definitely nominate a justice who opposes abortion, thus putting the fate of Roe v. Wade in the hands of a blatantly conservative court. Not. Good.
A year ago, I was really looking forward to Bush leaving office and a new (and hopefully improved) administration. Now, I’m not sure there’s much hope. The Democrats have turned out to be completely useless in ending the war, Obama and Clinton are acting like idiots, and John Fucking McCain is gonna have the Republican nomination, which just makes the Democrats less motivated to behave because they know most liberals would rather vote for a Turd Sandwich than vote for John McCain.
All this leaves progressives debating whether or not they should vote for a candidate from one of the minor parties or just stay home on election day and refuse to vote at all. It’s certainly a tough call. Vote for a candidate that you know won’t win? Vote for the Democratic nominee that you hate, because it’s better than risking an administration run by Arizona’s favorite Grandpa? Stay home and sew anarchy symbols onto all of your hoodies?
I have no fucking clue.
*If you plan on getting involved in any of the protests during the convention, I recommend you get in touch with Denver CopWatch and get some info from them about police conduct. I’m pretty sure the last Columbus Day protest is a sign that the police are cracking down on demonstrations (especially ones that make Denver look bad on TV). So make sure you know your rights before you hit the streets.