I know this is a partisan sentiment. Still...
How the hell could this 2012 Presidential campaign be this damn close? It's a goddamn nail-biter going into Tuesday.
I know I shouldn't view myself as an Only Sane Man. There are others out there who I know are looking at this same situation and headdesking until there's a foot-deep dent in their worktable. Besides, sanity is relative: I know I'm coming to this game with some personal emotional issues - depression, social anxiety, PTSD from having survived Tarpon Springs Middle School (shudder) - but even with all that I'd like to think I'm still level-headed and possessing clarity and awareness.
But how the hell could this election be so damned close?
I know our elections are dominated by a strong two-party system, where the base choices are Republican and Democrat and where any viable Third Party choice really aren't that viable at the moment. I know this tends to force the elections to be closer than they need to be because of tribal identity: people vote their party because dammit that's how they've voted, how their families voted, how their social circles voted and they are not going to change now simply because the party's offering for candidate(s) are moronic wingnuts. This is pretty much why popular votes - outside of gerrymandered/rigged congressional districts - tend to be around the 55 - 45 percentile breakdown. But this alone couldn't explain why we're facing a situation where a good incumbent President - Obama, who has pretty much kept a solid majority of his 2008 campaign promises - is not cruising to an easy re-election. A President Obama who got a health care reform package passed, a President Obama who carried through on ending military operations in Iraq (a war he DID NOT START BUT DID FINISH ON HONORABLE TERMS), a President Obama who made getting Bin Laden a priority after the Bush the Lesser administration basically forgot Bin Laden was America's Enemy Number One, a President Obama who presides over a solid growing economy that is doing tons better than the economically unstable Eurozone stuck in austerity nightmares. I'm talking about the possibility of reliable, consistent, effective leader President Obama losing the election to the likes of Mitt Romney.
I'm talking about a candidate in Romney who for about five-six months of primary campaigning was NOT the preferred candidate for his own Republican Party. The primary voters kept flipping over to other candidates, other choices like Cain (?), Santorum (?!), Gingrich (?!?!), all in a desperate attempt to find a candidate who was Not-Romney.
I'm talking about a candidate in Romney who became the Presidential candidate while carrying the weakest likability numbers of ANY candidate since the mid-20th Century. Even Bush the Lesser had higher likability numbers in 2000, even NIXON had higher likability numbers in 1960 AND 1968. Romney is so plastic a candidate you can put him next to a statue made out of Lego(tm) and not be able to tell them apart.
I'm talking about a candidate in Romney being so much a flip-flopping panderer that there should be no honest way enough voters should believe Mitt on ANYTHING other than Romney's most consistent platform position: that of his damnable massive tax cut plan that goes far deeper AND CAUSES FAR MORE DAMAGE than Bush the Lesser's proposed plan in 2001. It's like a mass number of voters have completely forgotten already that massive tax cuts DO NOT CREATE JOBS, DO NOT FIX ECONOMIES, DO NOT SOLVE ANYTHING AT ALL. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU VOTERS! Okay, alright, gotta dial it back, but seriously people why are you still buying this tax-cut snake oil?
I'm talking about a candidate in Romney who LIES SO OFTEN and KEEPS PUSHING THE SAME LIES EVEN WHEN CAUGHT that he's already made himself the least-trustworthy candidate OF ALL TIME. This is with a candidate list that has Nixon on it (twice!), LBJ, other well-known prevaricators and dissemblers. I will admit, every candidate lies: Most of them have the common sense not to repeat the lies once caught, most of them have the common sense not to tell big whopping lies that can be easily disproved. But Romney, dear God: ROMNEY LIES AND KEEPS LYING. And he's still getting votes? Because apparently enough people prefer the lies over the facts... and that thought alone should drive any citizen possessed of civic virtue over the edge.
I'm talking about a candidate in Romney who got caught on video at a private fundraiser with fellow super-millionaires (I think some of them in attendance were below the $1 billion cutoff for billionaire status, the slackers) disparaging what he called "The 47 percent" - an arbitrary percentage of Americans who do not pay federal income tax because they are impoverished, not earning enough income that could or should be taxed. Mitt basically pissed on every poor family, every single mother struggling with two jobs and twenty bills, every disabled citizen in need for federal aid to help pay medical costs, more than just that "47 percent". It's said that "Character is what you are when you think no one is looking (it's actually "What you are in the dark," but Romney was in a well-lit room so the exact analogy would get nit-picked)," and in that moment when Romney thought no voters were looking he bared his soul to people he thought were like him. He openly stated he will as President IGNORE such people, he would ignore roughly half the nation, just to indulge the ones he felt he should represent. Even though the job as President means you're supposed to REPRESENT THE WHOLE NATION, EVEN THE ONES WHO DISAGREE WITH YOU. Romney spoke his disdain, with a disrespect that would have should have disqualified him for the candidacy right then and there... and yet the SOB is thisclose to becoming President anyway.
And it can't be only because he's the Republican offering on the ballot in a two-party-dominated electoral system. The entire Republican Party shouldn't be doing this well considering the damage they're still accountable for as a party from 2001 to now.
I'm talking about a Republican Party that has proven over the last 10 years to be fiscally irresponsible, creating massive amounts of debt when they were in charge of the purse-strings and yet still screaming that Obama is going to create even larger amounts of debt. The hypocrisy of it reeks.
I'm talking about a Republican Party still dominated by neocons regarding foreign policy, claiming that Obama is making the United States un-liked among our allied nations - a blatant lie - and claiming American greatness can be restored by STARTING MORE WARS in places like Iran and Syria. I'm talking about a group of neocons still convinced that torture is legal and would go back to that regime within a heartbeat of getting Romney into the White House (for all the woes on the civil liberties far left side that Obama is a terrible civil rights President, just remember: THE REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN AND WILL BE FAR WORSE. Yes, degrees do matter. Work with the ones you can trust more than the Cheney acolytes).
I'm talking about a Republican Party that has been so openly obstructionist to where this session's Congress (the 112th) had its popularity numbers around 11 percent approval. THERE WERE DISEASES MORE POPULAR THAN THIS CONGRESS. And yet not enough voters woke up to the fact that the persons to blame for our weak economy is not the President - he can enforce the laws, he can propose budgets, but he can't pass them - but the Congress that passed ZERO jobs bills and voted 31 times in a useless gesture to overturn health care reform. To any voters still out there who are going to vote on Tuesday, please remember this: THE REASON OUR JOB GROWTH WAS SLOW THE LAST FOUR YEARS IS BECAUSE OF CONGRESS, NOT OBAMA. Please, God, let the voters hear this and remember this...
We're talking about a Republican Party that has been so open and blatant about their voter suppression efforts in key swing states that the entire Party should be charged with violating the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (and other voting rights laws).
This is what we're up against this year. This is what's at stake this Tuesday November 6th. We're voting for a candidate in Obama and a party in the Democrats that have us on the right track in domestic, economic, and foreign policies, against a candidate in Romney and party in the Republicans that would take us back to the domestic, economic, and foreign polices that FAILED during the Bush the Lesser regime. Worse, if the Republicans win anything, such as the White House or the Senate, they are going to be emboldened by the belief that it was their policies and NOT THEIR LYING, OBSTRUCTION AND YES VOTER SUPPRESSION that won it for them. Thus emboldened, they will continue to act this way: getting worse with their lying; getting worse with their obstruction; taking away voting rights for minorities, college age citizens and even women, voting rights that we as a nation fought and bled for over 200-plus years to EXPAND not retract.
This is why I keep screaming DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN. Because this Republican Party is not a party, it's a radical ideology betraying every civic virtue an honest political party would uphold. Sullivan's been noting for years that this GOP is not conservative, and he's right: the Republicans are dogmatic-obsessives, convinced of the purity of their quest to cut all taxes, kill off government, and form an impossible utopia.
This Tuesday is key. November 6th is key.
GET THE DAMN VOTE OUT.
DO NOT VOTE REPUBLICAN. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT VOTE REPUBLICAN.
I can only pray now that Obama wins. Right now, that's the best any of us can pray for...