The Question We Must Stop Asking

I've seen it over and over again, on diary after diary. You ask about those who are a combination Hillary-Supporter/Obama-Hater about why they're voting for McCain. You want to know which of his POLICIES are so attractive, so much better than Obama's, and that will make America better than it is now.

You ask:

Which McCain policies are you voting for?

Are you voting for that $21 middle class tax break vs. Obama's $300?
Are you voting for more severe restrictions on reproductive choice, including abortion and birth control?
Are you voting for less restrictions on clean air, clean water, and endangered species?
Are you voting for abandoning improving public schools to funnel tax dollars to support charter and private schools?
Are you voting for the privatization of Social Security?
Are you voting for public policy dictated by fringe religious extremists and corporate lobbyists?
Are you voting for a preemptive war in Iran?
Are you voting for preventing expanded veterans' benefits?
Are you voting for increased voting rights restrictions?
Are you voting for secret prisons with no access to lawyers or a fair trial?

Which of these most appeals to you that you'd vote for it?

I understand that these people are voting for McCain, but by now, we've heard all the excuses, so why does anyone keep asking?

When asked,they don't address a single one of these policy differences as something they actually agree with. Ironically, though, they insist theirs is a reasoned, well-thought out protest.

They'll tell you they want to change the party by leaving it. Change comes from within. I don't like the way my townhouse association operates. So the sensible thing is for me and some of my neighbors to move? That will teach them a lesson? That'll force them to change anything? When you quit that job in protest, did the company change? At all? Did some Great Revelation happen by your absence? Or did they just go on without you? Be honest, now.

They'll tell you they don't TRUST Obama. But they do trust a guy who cheated on his wife, was admonished by Congress for his lack of ethical judgment, finished near the bottom of his class (so had to use family clout), publicly called his 2nd wife a sexist and demeaning name, made a nasty joke about a teenage girl (and her mother), and has said in one of his books that he just wants to be President for its own sake. That's the guy they want to trust.

They tell you it's just 4 years. What can happen in 4 years? Bush was halfway through his first term when we invaded a sovereign nation, opened secret prisons, and began torturing people. He signed executive orders by the bushel-full, spied illegally on Americans who had done nothing wrong, and imposed gag orders on abortion and birth control. Undoing what Bush had been able to do in as little as 3 years will be like trying to turn the Titanic around on a dime. Even with a Democrat-controlled Congress, McCain would just continue this new practice of piling up executive orders. Count on it.

So what is the usual answer to the policy question? If you persist, they may eventually admit that it's not about policy. They just don't like That Other Guy. Period. doesn't even matter what he'd do or not do. All that counts is that he beat That Other Candidate, and because he won, he obviously had to have cheated. He's clearly a very bad guy.

So they're willing to live with subsidizing Big Oil, privatizing Social Security, restricting women's sovereignty over their own bodies, attacking Iran, and giving our veterans nothing. They're comfortable with making the lives of themselves, their friends, family, and neighbors worse in the HOPE that somehow That Other Candidate will become President one day. Of course, by then, there'd be so much more to fix. And so much that can't be fixed. And if That Other Candidate doesn't follow this path they've set down for her, what will they do then?

We keep asking, "Why, WHY do you support McCain?" as if a reasoned, direct answer was forthcoming. They keep insisting they're intelligent people. Reasonable people. People who made a thoughtful decision rather than a purely emotional one. They'll tell you that's okay, as if emotion and policy were one and the same. Doesn't sound so intelligent to me.

So stop asking. Because you're never going to get an answer that makes sense.

Tags: Hillary, mccain, obama (all tags)

Comments

7 Comments

HEALTHCARE

Why hasn't Obama made a committment on universal healthcare and appointed Hillary Clinton to start working for it, NOW?

Don't give me the McCain would be worse, ANSWER

by architek 2008-09-14 04:13AM | 0 recs
Re: HEALTHCARE

Why not? Those are the two alternatives. You pick the best one. Or less bad one if that's how you want to put it.

Why is McCain being worse not a good answer?

by dtox 2008-09-14 05:24AM | 0 recs
Re: HEALTHCARE

because it does not answer the central utility question and only is intended to generate anger and marginalize others who really are on your side but you will not accept yes for an answer.

by zerosumgame 2008-09-14 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: HEALTHCARE

On the stump, during his economic speeches, Obama has been consistently raising health care as a vital issue, one related not merely to household economies but also to the national economy. It's  been clear for many months that making health care accessible and affordable will be a central aspect of his administration, and part of his broader economic strategy to make American business more competitive in the international marketplace.

We know for a fact that meaningful health care reform is a central plank in the Democratic platform and a clear priority for Obama, whose proposals have been public for over a year. We can be sure that Clinton and others in the House and Senate will be busy from day one working with the Obama White House to craft a budget and legislation to make sure health care is not only accessible to everyone, but that the costs be a burden to neither individuals nor businesses.

However, you may have noticed that he's currently in the late stages of a general election campaign.

It would be the height of folly to suddenly announce that he's going to set Hillary Clinton to work tomorrow crafting a universal health care plan. Talk about throwing your campaign off-message and handing your opponent an issue and a target that only gets his base even more energized. If you require that the last six weeks of the campaign be dominated by this issue, and that it be underscored by a stunt like appointing a member of the Senate to start working on your administration's proposals before you've even won the election (not to mention someone who the opposition will happily point out was unsuccessful in her first attempt), I dare say you'll have to resign yourself to being disappointed.

But if health care is important to you, and you're still wondering which candidate will move the country closer to the goal of universal coverage, I suggest you take a look at each of their proposals, and make your decision after careful review. I believe the choice is clear.

by BobzCat 2008-09-14 01:50PM | 0 recs
Re: The Question We Must Stop Asking

Right you are. But what you may fail to understand (except in your conclusion) is: it's one man one vote. Some people vote for rational reasons, others not.

If you take Obama and Hillary as oranges and apples, then some people like apples, plain and simple. With Hilary on the ballot Barack gets 100% of her supporters (even if he suffers in other states, perhaps).

Barack supporters shouldn't whine about why Obama will only get 90% of her supporters. Those supporters  were voting for HER, not "what she represents" and this is their right. This is America. We all have the right to be stupid.

by Hedda Lettuce1 2008-09-14 07:10AM | 0 recs
Actually...

the right to be stupid has been over used by the entire United States of America with the second election of George Bush.  So we can no longer afford that right.

by tonedevil 2008-09-14 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: The Question We Must Stop Asking

"They'll tell you they want to change the party by leaving it. Change comes from within. I don't like the way my townhouse association operates. So the sensible thing is for me and some of my neighbors to move? That will teach them a lesson? That'll force them to change anything?"

This passage is probably the weakest part of your argument. I am sure some expect the corrupt Democratic party to change, but after seeing Howard Dean, Donna Brazile and Leah Daughtry turn the party into a junta whose mantra was "we don't need your stinking vote", "we will reshape the map", etc., I have simply left to spare myself the agony.  I don't expect a "great Revelation to happen by my absence". The party is way too screwed up for any real change to occur. I just got tired of being called a racist, call me silly.  

I have also seen enough of Nancy Pelosi to know that even if she advocates for sound democratic policies she and her allies don't ever have the fuckin stones to fight for any of them.

The apparatchiks in charge of the Democratic party are a bunch of scheming militants who no longer represent me. Truth is, as a voter I have been, over the years, moving more to the center than I realized, and it only took the shenanigans of the Dean/Brazile show to make it patently clear that this party can't be fixed, it is as corrupt as the Republicans.  Period.

But the postscript to all of this is that Obama's essential phoniness, his synthetic appeal, is finally dawning on a wide swath of voters in the center.  They are the voters who will make the difference in this election - not Hillary supporters.  You are wasting your time dredging up the fuck-those crazy-PUMAs shpiel.  

New York, for god's sake, is actually in play for McCain as of today.  New York! Don't blame the PUMAs for that.  The great middle has finally started to examine Obama and they just don't like what they see.  I know it is convenient to blame us out of desperation, but you have much bigger threats out there to your guy's candidacy than us.

by Sabrina Duncan 2008-09-15 07:40AM | 0 recs

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