Monday, August 09, 2010

If You Don’t Vote, You Can Still Complain About the Outcome: Why I May Skip the 2010 Election

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

For the first time since I became old enough to vote, I'm thinking about staying home on election day. As I write this, early voting is underway in my state.

Should I care if Republicants regain the majority in this mid-term election? Will I even notice? Congressional Democrats have squandered their majority the way President Bush squandered international goodwill after 9/11.

This Congress did pass health care reform and Wall Street reform, but both in very watered-down forms. (If a Democratic majority can’t get universal health care passed in this country, who the hell can?)

To its credit, Congress quickly jumped into action in response to the Supreme Court’s misguided decision to remove spending limits on political campaigns; the resulting legislation, however, was essentially neutered by its exemption of powerful special interests such as the NRA.

The current Democratic administration has continued and/or defended a number of Bush-era policies, including the Orwellian Patriot Act, which takes away the privacy of ordinary, decent Americans. This administration has also disappointingly kept its promise to forego investigations of the myriad crimes (war and otherwise) and costly mismanagement of the former regime.

Obama's not up for reelection this year, but as the most prominent Democrat, he needs to think about how he's alienating supporters, and how, considering both that and the fact that he's widely reviled on the right, he will keep his job in 2012. It certainly won't be by trying to be all things to all people, and disappointing everyone. He needs to take advantage of the slender majority his party now holds and affect some substantive change before he goes before voters once again.

I left the Democratic Party in 2008 (pre-election), but still voted a primarily Democratic ticket. That party should no longer assume it can "count on me" for my vote. No one should assume disillusioned voters like myself will even show up.

PS: Consternatives may be inclined to say “I told you so” here regarding Obama, but should remember that in their eyes Obama could never do anything right. The push toward DADT repeal and a few other initiatives tells me he can – if guided by the right motivation. They despise Obama as a Marxist/socialist/Islamist/foreign-born liberal. My overall issue with him is that he has not been liberal enough.

PPS: If Obama does not "repent" and change course, I believe there is still hope for this country, with a man called Russ Feingold.

9 comments:

LeftLeaningLady said...

Let me tell you why I need you to go to the polls, Pete. REALLY. Have you heard of Rick Scott or Bill McCollum? One of those men will be on the repub ticket for Governor. I completely understand where you are coming from, but THE STATE can not handle either Rick "I had to pay a fine" Scott, or Bill "God hates fags" McCollum. Unless you have moved from Florida. Really. PLEASE Vote. Please. Please.

LeftLeaningLady said...

Please.

Pete Bogs said...

LLL - I know McCollum well; I wrote to him back in '99 and told him he should lay off the Clinton impeachment stuff. And I recently saw his interview with a religious magazine, where he said gays should not be parents because they have no place guiding kids.

And of course, there are also the various state laws on the ballot.

I don't know if I can vote for anyone who's running for DC office; maybe I will come up with some write-in candidates. We'll see. I will have to "hold my nose," as they say, if I decide to visit the ballot booth.

LeftLeaningLady said...

Pete, I do completely understand where you stand and I respect it. So only vote on the Florida issues, those running for office in Florida. What happens if Bill or Rick become Governor? I didn't vote for Charlie Crist, but he hasn't sucked (how hard was it to NOT suck after Jeb?). I would like to have another Governor that just does not suck.

Pete Bogs said...

LLL - Crist has turned out to be somewhat of a "slippery moderate."

Have you gotten your sample ballot, or is it too early for that? I need to review the laws under consideration.

Polly said...

Even though I know nothing of your Florida politics (apart from Jeb of course) I implore you to vote. Even if it is a 'protest' vote by voting for an independent.
You see, Pete, there are countries around the world where people cannot vote, or where people have ONE person to vote for. For centuries women were not allowed to vote. So even if are disallusioned and angry, frustrated and disgusted, vote because you have been given this right by others who have fought for it. ( Women, black people, those who did not own land, the poor in the past etc).

I would be lead by LLL coz she looks like she knows what she is talking about over there.

We have to go to the polls Sat Aug 21. I am angry. Angry with the way our previous PM was 'ousted' by his own deputy. It was Disgusting..awful, cruel, unnecessary and wrong.
But I have to think what is best.
We HAVE to vote in Aust ( well turn up at the polling booth and have our name crossed off..whether we actually vote doesn't matter)..but I take it as a privilege as women in Aust died to get me this right.

I am worried about the outcome now. I would not have been if Kev had still been our PM. He did so much good in 2 1/2 years..more than the previous idiots did in 11 years!!

So, dear Pete, in rememberence of me, Polly (frog), Vote.

LeftLeaningLady said...

I have gotten my sample for the primaries on the 24th, but not for the general, too early.

There are issues about the laws, last I heard. You may want to Google them, but they were still "dis-allowing" (Is that a word) some of them as recent as last week, so they probably don't have a final list.

McCollum was leading the polls according to NPR this morning for the Primaries, but they keep saying that this vitriol is pushing Indpendents toward the Democrats.

Really? Not voting for anyone running for Senate? I wish I could decide there, they all seem a little slimy.

Pete Bogs said...

Polly - Nice to hear from you again. I realize voting is not something everyone has the opportunity to do. I have found, since 2008, that you can vote everyone you want into office, but that still doesn't mean they're going to do what you want them to (i.e., what they SAID they would do). So I've gotten very fatalistic about this, I suppose. I don't like supporting people who disappoint me.

But, I will consider voting, with some write-in candidates which I expect - given the contentious nature of our recent election cycles - will probably have my ballot declared void.

Thanks for stopping by!

LLL - I've grown more angry over the last year or two - so much so that I am oblivious to a lot of the candidates and issues on the ballet. Guess I have a few months to sort that out.

LeftLeaningLady said...

Wow, Polly, thank you for the reminder. I do think we don't appreciate our freedoms until they are threatened.

Pete, I do understand your disillusionment. This is NOT the change I voted for. I expected something to get done and I don't consider that health bill helpful in any way, shape, or form.

Write in your candidates, sure. But please do not let Scott or McCollum become Governor.