Yes, It Matters Who Wins

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Obama Administration

I see that the usual bilge about how it doesn’t matter whether Romney or Obama wins in November has already started. You’d think after the 2000 election people might have shut up, but no.

Looking back, the only presidential election in my lifetime in which the outcome possibly wouldn’t have made much difference in domestic or foreign policy was 1976, Ford vs. Carter. In those days, a relatively progressive Republican and a relatively conservative Democrat were nearly indistinguishable.

Of course, in hindsight, one could argue that Ford’s loss helped set the stage for Reagan’s win in 1980. The choices we make in each election starts the nation on a new trajectory, and only a fool thinks he knows where any trajectory will go.

Anyway — part of the problem is that Mr. Etch-a-Sketch truly is a blank slate. His record in Massachusetts tells us nothing about what he might do as President. The fact that he appears to be relatively sane and intelligent compared to the clowns he has been running against should not reassure anyone. Especially if there are Republican majorities in the House and Senate, which Everyone Says is going to be the case, my best guess is that he’ll stand aside and let them do whatever they want. My other best guess is that he will continue to cater to the base that put him in office. That prospect should terrify the socks off any sensible person.

Here’s something else that ought to scare the stuffing out of everyone:

Mitt Romney wants the United States to get much tougher with Iran and to end what a top adviser calls President Barack Obama’s “Mother, may I?” consensus-seeking foreign policy.

With the presidential nomination all but locked up, an examination of Romney’s foreign policy pronouncements and the team advising him on those issues indicates Americans and the world might expect a Republican campaign that reprises the hawkish and often unilateral foreign policy prescriptions that guided Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

“The world is better off when the United States takes the lead. We should not be playing ‘Mother, may I?’ about sanctions on Iran and relations with China and Russia,” said Richard Williamson, a top Romney foreign policy adviser. He has advised presidents beginning with Reagan, held many diplomatic posts in past Republican administrations and was Bush’s special envoy to Sudan.

I’m saying Romney is George W. Bush without the Texas accent, people. You elect him, you’ll get tax cuts for the rich up the wazoo, huge cuts in benefit programs, and a return to foreign policy by the Marlboro Man. Of course, I realize you can find people on the Left who whine that Obama is no better than Bush. These people are asshats.

And he’ll have a Republican majority in the House and Senate, many of whom will be pushing him further Right.

President Obama had a bare majority in his first two years, but many of them were Blue Dogs who voted with the Republicans on critical issues. Congress in effect pulled him further Right than he probably wanted to go. And the twits of the world throw up their hands and say, well, there’s no real difference which one we elect.

Which is what they said about Bush v. Gore. They don’t learn.

So, we pronouncements like “I think that if President Obama had really wanted to pass a cap-and-trade plan he would have done so in the last term.” With this Congress? Are so many people really that stupid?

Jonathan Bernstein has a pretty good counter argument.

Going to Schuler’s list: Yes, both Obama and McCain will be interventionist. But if one would invade Iran and the other wouldn’t … well, that’s a massive difference, even if both would embark on Libya-type adventures. There’s a good chance that Guantanamo stays open regardless of who is elected, but Romney’s supporters include many who support reinstituting torture; that’s extremely unlikely to be U.S. policy if Obama is reelected. Again, I’d call that a massive difference. On taxes, too, one candidate supports modest increases in tax rates for upper-level taxpayers, while the other favors large tax cuts from current levels; if either party wins a landslide, it’s likely that those positions would be enacted. No, it would not be a return to 1990s levels (nor, most likely, would it get taxes quite to where Ron Paul might want them), but again, there’s quite a bit of money for both individuals and the U.S. Treasury on the line.

Right now I’d like to take names of anyone who thinks Romney would be no worse than Obama, so theirs can be the first boots on the ground when President Romney orders an invasion.

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27 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Lynne  •  Apr 18, 2012 @10:58 am

    Check. I’m reading more politics than usual today, and I am depressed.

  2. Stella  •  Apr 18, 2012 @11:17 am

    No people aren’t that stupid, but somebody sure wants us each to think that everybody else is an idiot.

    In a sane world, we’d spend less time with fools.

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 18, 2012 @11:39 am

    This is kind of like what I always thought was a pretty stupid saying:
    ‘Between the Devil, and the deep blue sea.’
    It’s stupid, because if there is a Devil, you ain’t gettin’ away from him.
    But in a deep blue sea, there’s a chance you can swim to shore, or a boat picks you up, or a whale swallows you whole and spits you up on shore – I’ve heard that’s happened to a couple of people – some religious guy and a puppeteer and his puppet (or do I repeat/repeat myself?).

    Mitt might not be the Devil, but he’ll sure do his best for a whole slew of them.

    And while Obama’s not exactly a “deep blue” sea, more like a light blue one – he ain’t the Red Sea, either…

    Btw – ‘Between a rock and a hard place,’ at least makes some sense.’

  4. Tom B  •  Apr 18, 2012 @11:45 am

    If dumba$$ Mittens wins, not even Canada, not even New Zealand will be safe from the swath of destruction his Republican-ness (economic, social, geopolitical) will wreak. Maybe the Cayman Islands will be spared, somewhat.

  5. Stephen Stralka  •  Apr 18, 2012 @12:56 pm

    I don’t care, I’ll say it: Mitt Romney is hosed. His only chance is if his party can prevent enough young, poor, and black people from voting, but the Obama campaign is on top of that.
    I’m aware of the dangers of complacency, and I agree it’s important to talk about what a catastrophe a Romney administration would be (basically a replay of the Bush/Cheney catastrophe, except even more destructive because Romney won’t have nearly as many resources to squander). But Obama brings all kinds of factors into play that the political scientists don’t even have models for, starting with the fact that a black man whose middle name is Hussein got himself elected President of the United States in the first place.
    The Congressional elections are what I’m concerned about.

  6. joanr16  •  Apr 18, 2012 @1:13 pm

    It’s Mittens’ pathological lying that really scares me. I mean, those really easily-disprovable whoppers that he just can’t stop himself from telling. There’s a deep vein of crazy in someone like that. Any wealthy person can look sane, with a $500 haircut and a $3000 suit, but when they open their mouths and the bats fly out, do NOT let that person anywhere near “the football,” federal agencies, or taxpayers’ dollars.

  7. Swami  •  Apr 18, 2012 @1:26 pm

    I’m reminded of moonbat’s comment a while back.Romney ( Rmoney -shout out,Beckyblue) wants to bring home the crown for corporate America. Serious implications if that should ever come to be. But if it does, it could send us back into a system compatable with the industrial revolution’s labor standards. A lot of us are gonna get to know what struggles real means. One of those repugs suggested that we do away with the minimum wage.”…to help young people enter the job market”. What a effing ruse!

    Just for the Record..I’m pledging my vote— for what’s it worth—for Obama soley because the sense within my heart is that he is a caring and sincere man.I trust him to defend my and my country’s best interests! And I firmly believe that millions of American are seeing the same things in Obama that I see. It’s Character and trust.

    It’s like Maha says…Romney is going to be ripping big holes in the social safety net…Big time. Unbridled capitalism has no room for the disadvantaged or less fortunate.

  8. Frank  •  Apr 18, 2012 @1:57 pm

    I will note that 60% isn’t a “bare majority” in any real sense of the term They had a 76 vote margin in the house and 59 senate seats (counting the 2 independents that caucused with them). Senate republicans abused the filibuster to block a clear majority from legislating, but that’s different from not having a rather significant majority.

    That the same dems decided to not fix/neuter the filibuster when they had the chance perhaps indicates that the issues go deeper, but that’s a different issue.

  9. maha  •  Apr 18, 2012 @3:30 pm

    They had a 76 vote margin in the house and 59 senate seats (counting the 2 independents that caucused with them).

    Yeah, but too many of those 76 were Blue Dogs who forced Obama to move right to accommodate them. And one of those 2 independent senators is Joe Lieberman. And do look at the chart that compares what FDR had to work with to Obama’s first Congress.

    Senate republicans abused the filibuster to block a clear majority from legislating, but that’s different from not having a rather significant majority.

    That was not a “rather significant majority” by historic standards. See chart. Actually look at it. Please.

  10. buckyblue  •  Apr 18, 2012 @4:31 pm

    IT MATTERS WHO WINS!!!!!! I cannot imagine what a republican house/senate/presidency would do to this country. Hell, here in WI, it has been devastating. My wife and I have 10K less this year because some stupid a##holes thought that they were mad at Obama for not performing some miracle and didn’t get out and vote. Studies showed that if we had voter turnout that was even approaching 55% (presidential years are 75%+) then the good guy wins. 50% showed up and Scott Walker got his chance to wreck the state.

    I really do get why so many, men, especially, are turned off by the democrats and can’t see supporting them. We can be such whiny pussies. The republicans are at least cock-sure of what they believe. For men, that’s appealing. It’s all wrong, of course, but a lot of men can’t think beyond Obama black.

  11. Bill B.  •  Apr 18, 2012 @5:30 pm

    Maha, if this column were tattooed onto the eyelids of every idiot in the country, it would double the deficit to pay for the ink, but it is the kind of real shovel-ready project that would save the nation. Or would they all just spend the day trying not to blink? Yeah, I thought so.

  12. moonbat  •  Apr 18, 2012 @8:16 pm

    What y’all said. I’d add that Romney was governor of liberal Massachusetts, which I’m guessing tempered his tenure there (after all, ObamaCare is based on the MA/Romney plan). I too am terrified by this pathological liar, and by how he’d enable the far right’s worst policies, given the makeup of Congress. I’m also hopeful that Obama will pull off a second term.

    I can only hope that the national Democrats contact the people who did CA governor Jerry Brown’s ad, which, like David and Goliath, effectively eviscerated MegaBux Meg Whitman’s bid for governor. I wish I could give you folks links, but whoever did them should win an award. We really do have some talented people on our side, and Jerry had some of the best media people working for him.

  13. Swami  •  Apr 18, 2012 @9:37 pm

    moonbat…I liked the “buy it now” option…and the Quaker Oats guy.

  14. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Apr 19, 2012 @4:53 am

    Yeah, it matters. In two more years, we’ll finally have some semblance of sanity in our health care system.

    If Romney wins, we might lose that.

    If Obama wins, we won’t. That matters.

    I’m 45 years old. When I have a medical issue, there’s a large part of my brain that thinks “how acutely dangerous is this? Can I ignore it for now, expecting it to go away?” because if the ACA goes away, each and every chronic condition I have becomes a bigger risk of my simply being unable to get insurance, at all, unless I work for a large company.

  15. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Apr 19, 2012 @4:56 am

    And one of those 2 independent senators is Joe Lieberman

    Yes. Remember, “With us on everything but the war, and on the belief that it was okay to criticize the war, and in believing that anyone who criticizes the war is a potentially decent American” Lieberman was the one who decided that *buying in* to Medicare – paying the *cost* of Medicare coverage, so that Medicare doesn’t lose a penny, but gains even more buying power – at age 55 was too much like socialism.

    So we lost it.

  16. justme277  •  Apr 19, 2012 @5:50 am

    Hell yeah it matters…are these people smoking crack?? But you know what I think? I think Obama will eat this guy for a snack once you stand the two of them before the American people , side by side, and let them speak. I say it is over for mittens right then and there.

    Look , Obama has not done everything I wished he would have, for whatever reason, I dont care about reasons I care about results and he had not always gotten the ones I would have hoped for, bottom line. BUT I am not a spoiled baby who is gonna throw her self down on the floor and throw a tantrum cause I didnt get MY way. And I am certainly not going to cut of the nose of the country to spite its face to make an example out of who ever DARE to not cater to me..and thats what I am hearing is a lot of petty non-sense whinning from a lot of people who dont remember , already, where we were before Obama.

    Recall the bush jr years. If you slept at night with that insane man “in charge” and you felt sure you would wake up tomorrow to not find out he nuked the planet and the last moments were now you were not paying attention! Sweet Jesus I was afraid for every soul on this planet for 8 years.Honestly I was afraid they would take over and refuse elections here and that we might never have what we had before again in this country( like it couldnt have happened..he hijacked the supreme court to get elected and he could have again to STAY).

    You couldnt go anywhere without fearing another terrorist attack, because they DIDNT do their job ONCE and it cost the lives of thousands of Americans, you trusted them not to let it happen again? When they kept us in a constant color coded state of fear?? Yeah that screamed confidence in their own ability to keep us safe huh? Was that a good time for anyone? Yeah sign me up to relive that!!!

    Let me tell you what.I can sleep at night trusting Obama not to start WW3 while I sleep.This ” we make the reality and you deal with it” crap we put up with via bush jr isnt the non sense we face anymore.It doesnt matter who wins? Really? Cause I aint about going back to that BS!

    I can go to a public event and now my concern is all the nuts with guns , not color coded fear( a night mare to coordinate with fashion too by the way). Do I want to go back to being the hostage who learned to trust(not) her captor? No friggin way.

    We are talking about ISSUES this election and THAT is the reason I will vote for Obama… Because we CAN talk about issues.Obama has DONE his job on national security. I no longer need to live in color coded panic instead I have the LUXURY of complaining about the price of Gas, or the state of the economy..Hello!!! Wake the hell up!!! If you have taken the things I mention here for granted then YES it matters!!!

    Are you enjoying the luxury of not thinking bin laden may “get you”? Isnt it nice not to be hated on the world stage and to know we are working towards solutions as partners with the rest of the world instead of making a million new bin ladens? Yeah lets put some spoiled rich guy on the world stage to bully the rest of the world like servants and breed more enemies..that sounds like a bright plan! Or we could spent the next four years making our children safer..It doesnt matter my behind!

  17. Bill B.  •  Apr 19, 2012 @8:49 am

    OT: Jason Linkins on HuffPo has a great article on the misreporting of information about Social Security and what it means to decision-making about retirement. Short and well-done.

  18. Davis X. Machina  •  Apr 19, 2012 @9:20 pm

    Nach Romney. Wir!

  19. Stephen Kriz  •  Apr 21, 2012 @11:21 am

    Obama is better than Romney, but not by a lot. If someone would have told me in 2008 that Obama would be using drones to slaughter people in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan without benefit of trial, evidence, etc. I would have called them a liar. Mr. Nobel Peace Prize, my ass. If someone would have told me ten years ago that a Democratic president would be the first to negotiate away Social Security and Medicare, I would have said they were crazy. But, there it is. Don’t kid yourself that Obama is a friend of progressives. Both political parties suck in a very large way, the Democrats only slightly less so!

  20. Felicity  •  Apr 21, 2012 @12:35 pm

    The big, Republican, 30-year snow job is that the rich don’t have enough money and the middle-classes and poor have too much money. Absurd? Of course, but millions of voters continue to vote into office those who preach this absurdity. Why.

  21. maha  •  Apr 21, 2012 @3:21 pm

    Don’t kid yourself that Obama is a friend of progressives.

    Don’t kid yourself that any other Democrat who might be electable is any better, including Hillary Clinton. But while Obama may not be perfect, he has pushed the nation in a more progressive direction in several ways. Romney would repeal all of that and drag us backward.

    We’ve got to stop punishing Democrats who fall short of what we want by allowing Republicans to win and screw everything up worse.

  22. Lynne  •  Apr 21, 2012 @3:59 pm

    I just Unlliked Seniors for a Democratic Society (FB) because I objected to the wording of “Another Big Lie from Obama”. I was told I was killing the messenger and my tactics resembled those of Karl Rove.
    Too bad, as I AM a senior doing what I can to protect democracy as best I can. What I objected to, and what these fools can’t see, is that, if progressives act just like ultraconservatives,our message will be utterly lost, and the people who say we are all the same will have considerable ammunition to use.

  23. pwoggie4  •  Apr 21, 2012 @11:03 pm

    So as I see it, we must genuflect to the Ben Nelsons and Joe Liebermans of the world because not doing so is politically unrealistic. We must settle for half a loaf, because if we don’t, we may not get any….you know…perfect, enemy, good, all that shit. So if our heartfelt political desires go into the dustbin, we should just stop whining and go along….and then “poof” one day all of our dreams will come true. In the meantime, work hard within the party to elect more and “better” democrats, and shut your mouth about single payer or, god forbid, dismantling the American Empire. The Prime Directive remains: Always vote for the Donkey, because otherwise, your treachery will cost the Dems the election (Nader, Florida, 2000, yadda, yadda).

    Oh, and always, yes always, remember that even though the progressive left voted for the Donkey in 2010, the wipeout was all their fault.

    Do I have this about right?

    So answer this, professor…..why, if our votes are so important, so vital, and mean so much to the outcome, doesn’t the Donkey genuflect to US?

    Hmmmm?

  24. maha  •  Apr 22, 2012 @7:17 am

    So as I see it, we must genuflect to the Ben Nelsons and Joe Liebermans of the world because not doing so is politically unrealistic.

    Or, we can continue to attack the Liebermans and Ben Nelsons of the world and work our butts off to upset them in primaries, which some of us did. The effort failed, but at least the two of them are going to retire. I’d like to think opposition from the Left was part of that decision to retire.

    So if our heartfelt political desires go into the dustbin, we should just stop whining and go along….and then “poof” one day all of our dreams will come true.

    Here’s the truth of it, child — usually it takes several election cycles to effect real change in Washington. One election doesn’t mean that “poof” all of our dreams will come true. Little children like yourself who seem to think a president can wave a magic wand and make everything better in spite of what Congress thinks are a big reason progressives can’t make any headway against the Right, which has a long-term strategy to dominate politics that it began back in the 1970s. If we don’t instantly get everything we want after just one election, we whine whine whine and bitch and moan and complain and vote for Nader.

    Oh, and always, yes always, remember that even though the progressive left voted for the Donkey in 2010, the wipeout was all their fault.

    Too many of the “Progressive left” sat on their hands and didn’t try to win in 2010, because they are whiny little babies like yourself who didn’t get everything he expected between 2008 and 2010. So instead of building on 2008 and pushing Congress further Left, we let it slide back to the Right. That’s why we don’t even get half a loaf, and why the Right continues to obstruct everything we might want to happen.

    why, if our votes are so important, so vital, and mean so much to the outcome, doesn’t the Donkey genuflect to US?

    Because we can’t be trusted to deliver the votes (see 2010).

    Oh, and I don’t let idiots comment here. Good-bye.

  25. Lynne  •  Apr 22, 2012 @12:46 pm

    Absolutely, Barbara. And if we can’t muster up the kind of patience the Republicans have exercised these past several decades, we will never win against them. I am so sorry so many people seem to think tantrums are the proper response to not getting all they want. You have to start with the most likely candidate, and then keep the pressure on. I don’t think this means Romney!

    Taking single payer for an example: We are still working for this in PA and I know a number of other states. These movements take time, time and more time. The Republicans understand the importance of power right down to the township level – we seem to forget that.

  26. sherifffruitfly  •  Apr 23, 2012 @1:39 am

    see, i liked the article, but it was the author’s newassholetearing on the firebagger a couple comments up that really makes me like this place. :)

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