Why this election matters

Here’s something I just hammered out on Facebook in response to a friend posting a link to a spoof of election rhetoric:

Hard to know, though I suspect that a president Gore would have (1) invaded Afghanistan, but not responded to 9/11 by attacking a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 (2) given slightly more shits about things like not torturing people.

AFAIK those went pretty far beyond anything that went wrong in the Clinton administration.

As for this election–I’ve heard Obama plausibly called a moderate Republican, the problem is that the Republican base has decided they hate Obama and therefore hate anything he does, even if it’s things like Obamneycare that many Republicans used to support. There’s a real risk that Romney, beholden to his base, could be forced to do some crazy shit in office because of that.

I know you’re a libertarian, but from where I stand, a Romney win would be the one thing that could make me seriously consider staying in Korea. Their healthcare system isn’t perfect, but it’s a huge improvement over the current (given that Obamney care hasn’t fully kicked in yet) state of affairs in the US. This isn’t isn’t “OMG I couldn’t stand living under a Republican!,” this is something that could have a real impact on my life and that of my partner.

In short, make fun of the rhetoric all you want, but important shit is up for grabs in this election.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Odds seem pretty good that a hypothetical President Gore would have listened to the national-security establishment’s serious concerns about al-Qaeda and prevented the attacks of 9/11, and thus would not have invaded Afghanistan.

    (But he still would have been a politically inept corporate tool.)

    • timberwoof

      And surely he would have been such a corporate tool that he would not have produced “An Inconvenient Truth”, right?

  • http://physicalism.wordpress.com Physicalist

    Back in 2000 I thought there wasn’t much difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, so a vote for Nader couldn’t do much harm. I’ve since learned that even though the differences in the two oligarchical parties aren’t great, those small differences can nevertheless be very important.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ZenoFerox Zeno

    Back in 1960 the “cool kids” of the pundit class were certain there was no significant difference between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, both of whom were World War II Navy veterans and anti-communist cold warriors. The not-yet-venerable Eric Sevareid described both men as “sharp, ambitious, opportunistic, with no commitments except to personal advancement.” As it turned out, both men served as president. Kennedy gave us the Apollo program, Medicare, the Civil Rights Act (actually signed by LBJ), and a greater presence in Vietnam (bad move). Nixon shut down the Apollo program with indecent haste (scrubbing Apollos 18, 19, and 20, even though the hardware for them already existed), expanded the Vietnam War into Cambodia and Laos (worse move), created the notorious “enemies list,” approved the Watergate break-in and cover-up, and invited Dixiecrats and other racists into the GOP by means of the brilliantly successful Southern Strategy. Some of these differences seem significant.

    There’s always a difference.

    • http://youcallthisculture.blogspot.com/ vinnyjh57

      Zeno,

      Actually, there wasn’t much difference between Kennedy and Nixon in 1960. Had Nixon been elected, he likely would have governed as a moderate Republican like Eisenhower who favored national health care. It was only after LBJ got the civil rights act passed (Kennedy supported it but lacked the legislative skill to push it through) that Nixon came up with the Southern Strategy to capture disaffected conservative Democrats. Even so, Nixon still gave us OSHA and the EPA.

  • dukeofomnium

    The biggest reasons are on the SCOTUS. Scalia’s wicked heart has got to stop beating sometime, as does Kennedy’s nearly-as-wicked heart, and Ginburg’s almost kindly heart. The next POTUS may nominate as many as four Supremes. Plus, whichever party wins in 2012 will probably win in 2016, when the economy will have recovered enough for the President’s party to bask in its glory. This is a very important election.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      Plus, whichever party wins in 2012 will probably win in 2016, when the economy will have recovered enough for the President’s party to bask in its glory.

      I’m not so sure about that. Current Republicans have fully embraced supply side “voodoo economics,” claiming that the way to create jobs is to give tax breaks to rich people. Strangely, the rich are paying some of the lowest taxes in a long time, and have a greater share of the wealth than ever, and yet the jobs don’t seem to be appearing. If they continue to pursue disproven economic theory, the economic recovery may not go very far or fast.

      • KG

        Moreover, recovery of the US economy is by no means wholly in the power of American decision-makers. If the Eurozone falls apart, there would be a financial crisis dwarfing that of 2008; and currently, it is clearly on track to do so, largely thanks to Angela Merkel’s idiocy.

    • BethE

      Ginsburg was working on the ACA judgement with broken ribs! Death will come for her, knock her down and turn away…and then find her behind him, saying, “You fool…”

  • Reginald Selkirk
  • StevoR

    One thing I am pretty sure of is that a President Gore had he come into power in 2000 would have acted a lot more for environment and especially taken action to mitigate and slow HIRGO* than we’ve seen.

    Which itself has major implications for our future.

    Wonders about a parallel universe where Gore was POTUS from 2000-2??? and how different it might be.

    +++++

    * Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating as I prefer to call it since “anthropogenic:” is a bit of a technical weasel word, “warming” is too mild a word and the rapidity of the climate changing being a major part of the problem.

  • http://www.skepticblogs.com/musingsfromtheskepticalleft/ bluharmony

    Excellent point, and one of many that can be made as to why Obama is the only reasonable choice in the next election. And yes, it matters very much.

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