2012/11/01

Fellow lefties

There is a split in the Left right now, between those who feel that Republicans and Democrats are six-of-one and a half-dozen-of-the-other or Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee, i.e., there's no substantive difference between the two political parties and between those who feel that the differences between Republicans and Democrats are smaller than we'd like, but they're nevertheless real and substantive and worth getting to the voting booth for. I completely agree that Obama has played close 'n' cozy with the bankers and those who contributed to the housing bubble and that he hasn't pushed for more Keynesian stimulus hard enough and that launching drones is arguably worse than torturing suspects as drones create a lot of collateral damage that torture doesn't. A recent piece by PhillyIMC contributor Shamus Cooke and many pieces by our frequent contributor Stephen Lendman and of course, Cindy Sheehan made that case as well. A conversation between progressives on voting for Obama featured both sides arguing their respective cases.
I believe I've made the case here that yes, there is a very real and substantive difference between the parties and that it would be a terrible thing to see the Republican gain the office of the presidency, but no, this is not an issue of the Left versus the Establishment. This is an issue where, as a proud leftist in good standing, I simply don't want to be represented by those who don't see a distinction between the parties.I'm perfectly happy to be represented by other leftists under many other circumstances.
What I especially don't see is any sort of plan of action from the other lefties. As I pointed out here, we already have 90 million Americans skipping the vote, two-thirds of whom would be likely to pull the lever for the Democrats if they were to vote. What happens if a few million more people skip voting? Well, the result so far has been to keep right-wingers in office and that's been about the only result. Democrats should be up by 30 million votes, or around 15%, but instead they're running neck and neck with the Republicans. Politicians should be pandering to the political left and should be competing to see who can be more liberal, but instead, conservatives are on a more-or-less equal footing with progressives.
Yeah, I guess that makes me an incrementalist, a muddle-through, step-at-a-time kinda guy. I'll be happy to join The Revolution when it breaks out, but I think we're better off in the meantime doing what we can, when we can and not waiting for, or depending on, overnight change.

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