I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Thoughts on Election day

I am expecting an Obama win, though with the kinds of blatant voter suppression efforts underway in Florida and Ohio, one can never be sure. You could be sure of an overwhelming Democratic victory if the registered voters actually showed up for them instead of the just the likely voters, and it is those missing voters that have me annoyed once again this cycle. Over at LGM, Erik Loomis puts into words something I’ve been feeling for a while myself:

Scott has provided the fundamental case for Obama’s reelection, no matter how disappointed with him you might be. I want to build on that a bit by summarizing a few thoughts I’ve had about the left during the election cycle. Frankly, I’m a bit disappointed in many of those who consider themselves to be on the left. We have created some self-mythology that we are the reality-based community, the ones who have an understanding of history and government, and who take policy seriously and learn from the past and present.

This is obviously not true.

Within left politics in 2012, the big story has not been Occupy or any other social movement. It hasn’t been building on the Wisconsin protests to create long-lasting change. It’s been a discussion of this question: Has Obama been so horrible that we can’t vote for him?

I’m really disappointed in the left in this conversation.

Disappointed may not be strong enough a word in my case. Particularly in the case of Wisconsin recall efforts, or even the Chicago teachers strike, I looked to see who was banging the drums for the left to get out and take action, to raise funds, to do really anything to support the workers and fight back against the forces working to further undermine workers’ rights. I looked particularly at those whose previous complaints about Obama and the Democrats included exclamations that progressives should work on building their own independent power structures and movement to force the conversation in their direction. And what I saw was a wasteland.

No posts, no extortions to assist the efforts in Wisconsin and elsewhere, nothing at all in many cases. Their focus remained on how much a disappointment Obama has been and never mind the people fighting for their future at the state level. The only blogs and bloggers I saw doing what they could to drum up support for those efforts were from the ones derisively dismissed as ‘Obots’ by the folks who feel they’re too good to vote for Obama today.

Disappointment really doesn’t cover my feelings there.

I still hope Obama wins, and the Dems gain overall, since four more years of progressive whining beats the hell out of the horrors a Romney/Ryan/Tea Party Congress would bring, and besides, most of that whining can be discounted by the (in)actions of its authors.

If you’re interested in real change, read the rest of Erik’s post linked above, and the one he links to. The history is there. The path to real change is there. Maybe it will happen, but given what I’ve seen the last year or so, I’m not as optimistic as I once was.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, BJ. Those enthusiastic supporters who put Obama into office include too many who had no idea how tough the challenge would be. Even had he not spent so much political capital on PPACA (which will be remembered, along with Medicare and Social Security, as one of the most important parts of our social safety net) he would still have faced the same opposition in the mid-term elections just the same. His opponents were breathing fire well before he took office. Limbaugh now brags openly how he was the only one to speak the words "I hope he FAILS" because he was only saying out loud what many of the Republican base had in mind.

    He may not have designed the vehicle but he sure learned how to drive it. He has beaten the GOP at their own game by doing as they advocated and doing it even more assertively. Check this:

    ...President Obama has taken a position so strongly in favor of unremitting military violence that he has left his Republican rival, struggle though he may to shoulder his way past him, no place to stand. On the lingering war in Afghanistan and the possible one in Iran, Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan have harshly criticized Obama’s policies even as they have largely embraced them. Caught in a vise of Obama’s devising, the Republicans find themselves pressed on one side by the president’s surge of troops into, and now withdrawal from, Afghanistan, and by his strong sanctions on Iran; and on the other side—should they be tempted to advocate perpetuating the Afghan war or starting a new one against Iran—by the country’s lingering fatigue with the wars begun by George W. Bush.

    Obama’s dramatic escalation and prosecution of the drone campaign, his “surge” of troops into Afghanistan, his embrace of many of George Bush’s national security policies (including warrantless wiretapping and military commissions and indefinite detention) that he bitterly criticized during his election campaign, even his failure to investigate and perhaps punish the use of torture, or to pay the political price to fulfill the promise, embodied in his executive order, to close Guantánamo: all these policies, even as they have disappointed and appalled supporters of human rights, have served to fortify the president’s right flank, making him the first Democrat president since Harry S. Truman to enter a reelection campaign with few if any vulnerabilities on national security.



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