The Case for No

Very briefly:

Obama?  Are you high?  Anti-life, waging a gratuitous and stupid war on the Church in order to smash religious liberty?  Votes himself the power to indefinitely detain and murder anybody he likes on his secret and royal word alone?  Killed more civilians than any other Nobel Peace Prize winner?  Only a fool would vote for him.

Romney: favors abortion for rape, incest and “the health of the mother”.  In other words, favors abortion. Also favors gay “marriage” and adoption.  Also, shilly shallys when ask invited by a warm and inviting Raymond Arroyo to just come out and say, “I will overturn the HHS mandate”. And, as a big big plus with the Rubber Hose Right, uses the promise of torture as a huge applause line.  And he has surrounded himself with the neocons who got us into our last stupid war while ignoring the vets and classing them with Rands “Takers” when he lets his hair down among like-minded folk and makes clear that he is a proponent of the class war of rich vs poor, a program he has personally implemented by putting people out of work and getting richer off it.  The very defenses offered of him by prolifers have consisted of stuff like “HA!  Debbie Wasserman Schultz attacked him for taking seriously the RNC anti-abortion plank in the platform!  But Anderson Cooper showed that he doesn’t take that plank seriously at all!  In your face, DWS!”  Great.  What’s not to reject?

Now if we were smart, we’d be writing, faxing, and phoning R/R every day with wheedles, threats, cajoles saying, “Get serious or you lose my vote in a very close election and if you so much as *think* about betraying me you have made an enemy and one who will work to defeat you and your party in the midterms.”  Instead, what we get is enormous energy spent on constant shushing from other prolifers who fear that thought of this duplicitous man losing and who believe the myth”vote for Romney or you are really voting for Obama”. Utter rubbish.  A vote for a third party candidate is a vote for that candidate, not for somebody else.

So, yeah: I accept the case for No.

The only question is, can I find somebody I can write in?  I think I can.  Somebody who advocates no grave intrinsic evil at all, rather than somebody who advocate 5% less than the other leading brand.

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  • Gary Keith Chesterton

    I keep saying it: Joe Schriner.

    • Dan Berger

      Like like like
      And he lives down the road from me.

  • Andy, Bad Person

    Killed more civilians than any other Nobel Peace Prize winner?

    Well, there was that time when Yassir Arafat won. Not that “has killed fewer civilians than Yassir Arafat” is something to hang your hat on.

    • Hm. Political advertising, I’m told, is all about making a personal connection with the voter….

      “I’ve killed fewer civilians than Yassir Arafat. And I bet you have, too. Let’s come together over what we have in common and move this great country forward.

      “I’m Barack Obama, and I approve this message.”

      • Andy, Bad Person

        I love it. It’s like this comic:

        I’m Barack Obama, and I’ve never given anyone cancer!

  • I won’t vote for anyone whose website requires that much javascript and flash. A man has to stand for something.

  • Ann

    Yep. No thanks. Passing on this guy unless I see some radical change over the next month. I am fascinated by the lack of coverage about the pro-life weakness of Romney in the Catholic blogosphere. It doesn’t seem that people are fired up about Romney, but there seems to be some deliberate overlooking of some issues. Ah well, whatever.

  • Write in Benedict XVI

    • I don’t think he’s an american citizen (born and raised), is he?

      • James Isabella

        Well, BXVI has almost as much chance of being elected as any other third party candidate, so he’s a better protest vote* than anyone else.

        *Protest votes are meaningless, BTW.

        • Mark Shea

          So are tiny copper coins in the temple treasury–except to God.

          Someday, someone will have to reconcile the absolutely contradictory claims: “Your protest vote is meaningless–AND IT IS HELPING THE OTHER GUY!”

          • Blog Goliard

            These claims are not contradictory.

            Your protest vote is meaningless towards what is generally seen as the primary purpose of a vote: electing the candidate voted for. “Shall [person who is not Obama or Romney] be elected President?” is simply not a live question in this election.

            Your protest vote is not meaningless towards the question of whether Obama or Romney will be elected…which is a live question, at least if you live in a swing state. Not voting for Obama helps Romney. Not voting for Romney helps Obama. So you’ve effectively voted “Present”.

            Of course, as you rightly point out, your vote–whether for a protest candidate or not–is never meaningless in regards to what it says, and what effect it has, on your own soul. But that’s a topic separate from the “contradiction” claim.

            • ivan_the_mad

              “towards what is generally seen as the primary purpose of a vote” Ah, the ad populum. Go ahead. Quantify that, then cite your source.

              That may be what you see as the primary purpose of voting, BG, and that’s fine. Some of us vote for a candidate based on how they align with our morals and principles.

              And if you choose to see the election as a zero-sum game between Barack and Obama, that’s fine too. But that doesn’t change the fact that it isn’t. There are more people running than those two.

              • Blog Goliard

                You miss my point here, ivan.

                Mark contended that two particular claims were contradictory. I attempted to demonstrate that they are not…that it is consistent to argue that a third-party vote is meaningless in context A, but also helping Obama in context B.

                Your fulminations against the definition of context A are beside the point here.

              • Blog Goliard

                And your implication that I’m not voting based on morals and principles is both wrong and insulting.

                And I am voting based on how candidates align with my morals and principles. That is why I am choosing Romney over Obama. You may not think there’s a dime worth of difference between them, and that is your right. But I believe there is…that as crummy a candidate as Romney is, and as disappointed as I would expect to be in a Romney administration, that it is still worth choosing him over either Obama or abstention.

                • ivan_the_mad

                  That wasn’t my implication at all. But you want to play that game? Fine. Here’s you, from another thread: “Politics is the art of the possible in a fallen world, not the self-righteously quixotic pursuit of the spotless good.”

                  So now I’m a self-righteous ideologue rather than a guy who doesn’t see a dime’s worth of difference between Obama and Romney? Two can play that game.

  • As I’ve said, for the first time since I was old enough to vote, I’m seriously considering not voting for the presidency this time around. I’m still not there, since to do nothing bothers me as well. Since we are one of the ultimate swing states, I can’t rest on the idea that no matter what my state always goes to X party. And I can’t convince myself that voting for someone without a ghost of a chance is anything other than doing nothing. Even as a protest or whatever. The stakes are so high, I’m working this one out with prayer. Who knows, maybe something will happen between now and November to change it around. It is a hope I have.

  • Patrick

    I had a dream last night where I accidentally wrote in McCain. In the dream, I had been drinking vintage champagne that I grasped from the jaws of a huge shark swimming in my parents’ backyard.

    No to Romney, no to Obama, and no to pizza before bed.

  • Michael F.

    I’m grateful you’re taking this issue on and getting people to try to think and vote like faithful, informed Catholics. From a Catholic standpoint, I think there’s no question that a person could vote for either a 3rd party candidate or Romney. If I vote for Romney it will be while holding my nose and because I want Obama out.

    But, as an Independent, here’s where I disagree with your analysis, Mark.

    I agree with your general premise that if there’s not much difference between Obama and Romney then it would be better to vote for a third party candidate. But I don’t agree that you’ve actually demonstrated that Romney is only “5%” better than Obama. I think there’s still a significant difference between them. The things you mention about Obama are indisputable, objective facts (although more could be added). But, imo, some of your evidence against Romney is exaggerated, inaccurate or unjustified.

    In Obama’s case, you could have also added that he’s so pro-abortion that he opposed a bill that would protect children who managed to survive a botched abortion attempt and another that would have stopped abortions that target unborn children merely because they weren’t the gender that the parents wanted. This is really sick stuff. You could have also added that he’s using the power and purse of the United States to promote abortion and contraception world-wide. He did that by executive order. He’s inarguably the most pro-abortion president in history. He’s even managed to unite the U.S. bishops – which is really something – in their myriad lawsuits against his immoral HHS mandate. Again, he did that by executive order.

    It’s gotten to the point that the Pope has come out and pretty much said, “Obama scares me and we need to catechize our Catholics better to fight people like him.”

    Some bishops are getting to the point where they’re pretty much spelling out that a Catholic shouldn’t vote for Obama – which is remarkable in light of their manifest fears of the IRS and losing 501c3 status:

    When things have gotten to the point that a president can elicit that kind of united response from the Holy Father and the U.S. bishops (lawsuits, warnings), then it would seem to me that we should be doing whatever we can to get that man out of office.

    And there’s only one other viable candidate: Mitt Romney.

    Is there any real evidence of anything approaching that kind of reaction to Romney from the Pope or the bishops?

  • Michael F.

    (continued from above)

    So, now I’ll try to show you what I’m talking about in regard to the evidence you’ve brought forward against Romney.

    1) You write, “In other words, [Romney] favors abortion.”

    This statement completely ignores the substantial difference between Obama’s and Romney’s positions on abortion. Romney’s position on abortion would result in about 1.3 MILLION abortions becoming illegal (94% of all abortions have nothing to do with abortion, rape, life of the mother). Obama’s position is that abortion should be legal at any time and for any reason. The implication that there’s no real difference between Obama’s position and Romney’s position on abortion is untrue.

    2) Does Romney “favor abortion” for “the health of the mother”? You seem to be basing that conclusion on one statement he made in which he included that phrase. Yes? But it was later publicly corrected. That one statement does not reflect his official position and seems to have been a simple mis-statement (kind of like when Obama accidentally spoke about “my Muslim faith” rather than “my Christian faith”).

    For one to agree with your assessment, one would have to conclude that Romney is lying. Could he be? Sure. But saying that you don’t trust that Romney is being truthful on this point is different than stating, as a fact, that he supports abortion “for the health of the mother.” Here is Romney’s official, public position:

    “I am pro-life and believe that abortion should be limited to only instances of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.”

    Official campaign correction to the statement you singled out:

    “Gov. Romney’s position is clear: he opposes abortion except for cases of rape, incest and where the life of the mother is threatened.”

    His campaign’s posted position on abortion:

    You’ll notice that he also publicly supports the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Another substantial difference between him and Obama.

    (continued below because your spam filter didn’t like all the links….)

    • Sheila

      I agree. I willvote R/R for the same reasons that you state. A vote for a third party candidate or a write in will cause less votes for Romney in a close election, of course, we could look at a brighter side, a vote for a third party by people who voted for Obama last season is good for Romney. I believe Romney will take the election, of course this just my opinion. We will keep a careful watch on his administration.

  • Michael F.

    (continued from above)

    3) You write, “[Romney] shilly shallys when ask invited by a warm and inviting Raymond Arroyo to just come out and say, “I will overturn the HHS mandate”.

    Again, your view (on Romney and the HHS mandate) requires one to take the least charitable interpretation of this interview. He and his campaign have repeatedly and publicly stated that he will overturn the HHS mandate – even very recently:

    So, if this is the best evidence you’ve got against Romney, I don’t think you’ve come close to proving that Romney is pretty much just as bad as Obama. If you want to make the case that Catholics should be voting 3rd party, at least for me, you’ll need much more solid evidence than that in light of the manifest evil that Obama represents.

    I do agree with you in regard to “writing, faxing, and phoning R/R every day with wheedles, threats, cajoles saying, ‘Get serious or you lose my vote in a very close election and if you so much as *think* about betraying me you have made an enemy and one who will work to defeat you and your party in the midterms.’”

    I think that’s great advice and I’m taking it to heart.

    But that’s different than trying to publicly convince people that there’s no real difference between Romney and Obama and that it would be a mistake to actually pull the level for Romney.

    • Jay

      I’m a little more leery of Romney than you seem to be, but I still agree with your basic premise. Rather than “5% less evil” than Obama I’d say he’s a good “60% less evil” — still significantly evil (at least in policies — not judging on his soul), but so enormously better that it would be entirely worth it to put him in place of Obama.

  • B.E. Ward

    I’m writing in Mark Shea.

    It’s really the people in “swing states” that should be pressed to call the Republican ticket. I’m rarely a defeatist when it comes to elections, but the campaign doesn’t care one whit about what someone from Washington State says. We might as well be calling from Burundi.

    Electoral reform could help some of this. Get rid of the Electoral College. Force the candidates to treat the entire country like they matter in an election. They would also save money on “political strategists” whose sole work is to decide what to say where in order to get elected.

    Ultimately, the two-party system has to go. We need a new party on the right that’s not Republican or of the Tea Party. One that tries to adhere to Catholic social teaching and works to preserve life in all areas from abortion to war to helping the poor. Then you go to Christian politicians and ask them, “who do you work for?”

    • Blog Goliard

      Get rid of the Electoral College, and the election will be fought exclusively in the biggest urban areas, instead of exclusively in swing states. And you’ll put another nail in the coffin of federalism (we elect a President as states, just like we do everything else as states).

      I say nuts to that.

      I would support the awarding of Electoral Votes by Congressional district–as Maine and Nebraska do–as a universal practice.

      • ivan_the_mad

        “I say nuts to that.” I second that. Have the six biggest metropolitan areas in the nation elect the president? BRILLIANT.

      • B.E. Ward

        But then aren’t you saying you’re relying on the Electoral College (or at least the popular vote at the state level) as a crutch against, well, democracy?

        It’s not like state boundaries are worth anything anymore anyway….

        • Blog Goliard

          Of course the Electoral College is in part a restraint against democracy.

          That’s sort of the way our whole system was designed. (see The Federalist)

          • B.E. Ward

            I understand that, but we’ve gotten the point of contrived elections pitting plutocrats against each other to wield enormous power without actually doing anything. A little more democracy might help.

            • Blog Goliard

              If the demos genuinely wanted something different, they’d get it.

              As I’ve long said: The voters talk a good game about how much they hate their elected officials, but we’ll know they’re finally serious when name recognition becomes a bad thing.

              Until then, they’re just blowing smoke. (Or are too stupid to identify the simplest cause-and-effect relationships.)

  • Lloyd Petre

    Although he was man enough to turn the prize down, I believe Le Duc Tho may be credited with a pretty impressive body count.
    There’s an easy way to vote 3rd party and prove that you’re not throwing away your vote. Cast it for the weakest 3rd party which has automatic ballot status and claim that your vote is to help them maintain it.

  • Anya

    Ok, my husband has decided to vote for Obama, simply because of the Dream Act, he feels it’s the one humane thing the man has done and does not want to see it undone. Somebody give me an argument, please. Or should I just vote R and cancel his vote out?

    • Blog Goliard

      Yes, here’s one response to that: Obama didn’t get the DREAM Act passed through Congress.

      What he did, instead, was attempt to illegally implement a law that Congress had explicitly voted down.

      Even if you think the DREAM Act is a good idea (I don’t, not entirely), this isn’t “the one humane thing the man has done”. It’s an impeachable offense.

  • P ADams

    ‘You can’t win.’ ‘What difference will it make?’ ‘It is impossible.’ ‘You are living in a dream world.’ ‘It is a pipe dream.’ ‘You need to deal with REALITY.’ I wonder how many times while on the road to sainthood did the saints here such statements. And I wonder, if in our day and age, if we aim for the best and for the ULTIMATE REALITY, or do we settle. In this day and age of technological scoffers, can we really raise saints? Do we live as though this is the only reality that counts, or do we will as citizens of the Ultimate Kingdom?

    All I am asking is that those who support Obama or Romney SHOW ME that their candidate beats mine when it comes the Church’s teachings about Intrinsic evil. Now, I will say, NO ONE has met this challenge. They want to talk about winning, or supporting our two-party system, but NO one wants to talk about being FAITHFUL to the Church’s teachings. Why is that?

    And as far as the Church being persecuted, welcome to being awake. The Church has always been persecuted when it speaks out about issues (sometimes by members of the Church). So what? Whoever gets elected, I’m going to live my life as a CATHOLIC. However if my candidate wins (Thomas Hoefling), I will have a BIG smile on my face. He is the one candidate that recognizes the Kingship of Jesus. Read the statements by all the candidates who are on the California ballot. Tom Hoefling talks about God.