Foot-Bullet 'Pragmatism'

Geof Kern's 'Bullet in the Foot' photo
Pragmatic Obama Fans’ Political Strategy
(image courtesy of Geof Kern photography)

How amusing. Here’s die-hard Obama fan Karoli Kuns* at Crooks and Liars, gamely rallying the troops through the obligatory fear-based warning about Teh Preznit Romney:

537 votes. That’s all that stood between Bush and Gore. It came down to 537 votes. That’s too close. Way too close.

The past is the past. But the only way to overcome all of the roadblocks is to step up and cast a vote in overwhelming numbers. Even if you think they’re jacking with voting machines…it can only be overcome by voting in huge numbers. They can’t jack everything no matter how hard they try, but it means getting out and voting.

As a standalone appeal, there’s nothing at all wrong with that message (except perhaps its failure to make a positive case FOR the President, but that’s not really the point of such appeals as this one). In fact, it’s quite correct as far as it goes: the election of 2000 should have reminded all of us that every vote DOES matter. I’ve written about that fact many times, for example. When 537 votes is the margin of victory in a national Presidential election, there’s no doubt that every vote, every action by the campaigns, matters — and might mean the difference between victory and defeat.

But when such a message comes from die-hard Obama fans like Karoli who have spent most of the last three years essentially telling progressives and anyone who agrees with them  to fuck off:

Here’s a big sad pug face for Eric Alterman to go with his whining, entitled column over at The Nation today. Yes, you heard me right: He’s a big whiner who needs to put on his big boy pants and get with it.

…then it’s rather rich, indeed.

Should this election turn out to be as painfully close as the 2000 election, I wonder whether people like Karoli will spend even a moment’s reflection (given that her top stated goal has been to re-elect the President) speculating whether perhaps comments like hers over the last three years (or comments like these from more-official sources) could have alienated a combined total of at least 538 voters who otherwise would’ve pulled the lever for Obama?

Nah. Probably easier to just blame Jane Hamsher or Ralph Nader Jill Stein for not falling in line.


* Karoli’s words, not mine:

Twitter screenshot image

2 thoughts on “Foot-Bullet 'Pragmatism'

  1. Here’s my question:

    After we do the “right” thing and help re-elect Obama, then give him his miracle Congress, how are we going to push him? How are we going to hold him accountable at that point for the Bush policies that he’s embraced and expanded.

    The closer we get to November 6, the more I think about this. Fuck this “President Romney” argument, because it’s lazy and ignores genuine concerns. My biggest issue with Bush was his total and complete disregard for civil liberties and human rights. That remains a concern with me at this point.From the debates and campaign rhetoric, Obama is going to continue his drone program, his assassination and, probably, war with Iran. That’s a little more than the lesser of two evils for me.

    So, Karoli and the hardcore supporters, who decried Bush’s destruction of the Constitution and civil liberties, turn a blind eye to this. They are focused on what SCOTUS judges Obama will appoint. I understand that, but I still understand that Obama is not a liberal and his judges will probably be more moderate than I like. And they will undoubtedly hold up his policies which I abhor. I’m not even going to mention what happened with Plan B, which is one of their core issues, but which they threw to the wind when Obama decided to overrule the FDA and most of the medical establishment (he didn’t want it next to bubble gum? Really?).

    Here’s the thing: Without basic civil liberties– such as being protected against the NDAA– how can we hold anyone’s feet to the fire? How can we assure free speech will remain a fundamental right? How can we know that speaking out against our government won’t get us thrown in Gitmo?

    Then there’s the bullshit with the banks and the insurance companies. How is that beneficial to us? The war on legalize marijuana? The deportations of millions of people? A war with Iran? There will undoubtedly be an attempt to “reform” social security no matter who is in the White House. Medicare is looking at the same fate.

    What happened to the talk of climate change? Why is no one discussing it– with Sandy bearing down on us and earthquakes on the West coast? I just told my daughter that Ohio doesn’t get hurricanes, but we’re under a fucking warning because of a hurricane!

    We can’t talk about any of these things, though, because “OMG! The election is so close!”

    When can we talk about it? What are we going to be able to do after the election? There are no consequences after this. And in 2016 someone else is going to be elected. What happens when it’s a Republican who takes these policies and expands them even further? Because that’s possible. You and I know this. The presidency doesn’t end with Obama. His administration only has 4 more years at most. Do these folks think that there will never again be a Republican in the White house? Or worse– a Democrat who pretends to be progressive while furthering Republican causes when elected?

    This all bothers me. I already know how I’ll vote this election. But this will be the last time I cast my vote for a Democratic President– unless it’s Dennis Kucinich or someone very similar to him. There are some things I can ignore, but those things start to add up and pretty soon I can’t stand the cognitive dissonance that supporting the Democratic party requires.

    1. There’s an old saw used by the proponents of the status quo (i.e. – doing nothing), called “time, place and manner.” Those are the reasons such folk perennially object to whatever the protest of the day is. Not, they will insist, because they disagree with it (they know instinctively that they don’t want to have THAT debate), but rather because they feel that just now, in just this place, in just this particular way, is wrong. It’s like being disqualified on a technicality.

      The joke (on you, of course) is that the time, place and manner is NEVER quite right, and thus, these “very-serious” solons of propriety can never quite bring themselves to support those always-eager protesters, even though – dang – they sure are cute, with their hand-lettered signs and their outrage. But (they promise) they totally WOULD support them, if only the protesters weren’t so brash and ill-considered in their actions. It has always been, and remains, bullshit.

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