12.06.2009

why i no longer vote democrat*

I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank.

Barack Obama, October 27, 2007

Video here.


* Only one reason of many.

23 comments:

redsock said...

Neo-Cons Get Warm and Fuzzy Over "War President"

... foreign policy hawks who have accused the president of "dithering" in making a decision on Afghanistan are praising the administration's willingness to make the "tough" commitment to escalate the U.S. commitment in the war in Afghanistan.

Indeed, their approval of the White House's decision to commit 30,000 troops is the culmination of a campaign led by the newly formed Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI). ...

The newly formed group is headed up by the Weekly Standard's editor Bill Kristol; foreign policy adviser to the McCain presidential campaign Robert Kagan; and former policy adviser in the George W. Bush administration Dan Senor.

Kagan and Kristol were also co-founders and directors of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a number of whose 1997 charter members, including the elder Cheney, former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, and their two top aides I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Paul Wolfowitz ...

***

Kristol: "By mid-2010, Obama will have more than doubled the number of American troops in Afghanistan since he became president ... and he will have retroactively, as it were, acknowledged that he and his party were wrong about the Iraq surge in 2007 - after all, the rationale for this surge is identical to Bush's, and the hope is for a similar success. He will also have embraced the use of military force as a key instrument of national power."

***

redsock said...

Agence France-Press, December 3, 2009:

President Barack Obama's administration said that a July 2011 target date to begin withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan was not set in stone. ...

"I do not believe we have locked ourselves into leaving," said [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton ...

[Defense Secretary Robert] Gates said ... that the target date could change.

***

Glenn Greenwald, Salon, December 2, 2009:

Comparing video clips of George Bush's 2002 West Point speech on Afghanistan with the one Barack Obama delivered last night, Rachel Maddow argues that Obama has now embraced the fundamentals of the dreaded "Bush Doctrine": namely, we will fight wars even in countries that are not posing any threat to us in order to prevent some future threat that may (or may not) emerge. ...

Obama did not even mention -- let alone hype -- the issue of women's rights in Afghanistan. ... There were no promises to guarantee freedom and human rights to the Afghan people. ... [H]e made explicitly clear that we are in Afghanistan to serve our own interests (as he perceives them), not to build a better nation for Afghans. ...

UPDATE: Dan Froomkin astutely documents that Obama -- back in January, 2007 -- aggressively criticized Bush officials for failing to address numerous questions about the Iraq Surge Plan which Obama himself has now studiously failed to address.

***

Greenwald: "In The Guardian yesterday, the courageous Malalai Joya -- who might actually deserve the Nobel Peace Prize -- explains why escalation and ongoing occupation are so devastating for her country."

West End Bob said...

Guess that promise - along with many others - was just words with no action.

Now the masses know that the "Change We Can Believe In" is just politics as usual. "Branding" has taken over politics to the detriment of truth, and I don't see any improvement in the future.

There are a lot of USian friends of ours that are determined to no longer vote. They're tired of the game . . . .

Nigel Patel said...

I'm too afraid of theocracy not to support keeping republicans away from power.

Marky Mark said...

If the Dems had picked Hillary you wouldn't have had such raised expectations for transformative politics...

Stephanie said...

From Common Dreams


"We have strategic interests in South Asia that should not be measured in terms of finite times," said Gen. James L. Jones, the president's national security adviser, speaking on CNN's "State of the Union." "We're going to be in the region for a long time."

deang said...

we will fight wars even in countries that are not posing any threat to us in order to prevent some future threat that may (or may not) emerge.

Do USians realize that that kind of thinking can lead to trying to wipe out all non-USians everywhere just so USians will feel safe? I mean, anybody anywhere could potentially be a threat to the US at some point in the future.

But maybe USians wouldn't mind having the rest of the world depopulated. Then they could continue to dump their toxic waste and play war games anywhere on the planet without risking inhabitants whining about adverse effects.

L-girl said...

If the Dems had picked Hillary you wouldn't have had such raised expectations for transformative politics...

And by "you", I'm guessing you mean "they"? I don't vote in the US anymore.

I feel sorry for my USian friends who expected transformation. Then on the other hand, I wonder why they are so ignorant of history. (But I still feel sorry for them, because I know many people are so bitterly disappointed.)

L-girl said...

But maybe USians wouldn't mind having the rest of the world depopulated. Then they could continue to dump their toxic waste and play war games anywhere on the planet without risking inhabitants whining about adverse effects.

First they'd have to acknowledge that there are other people on the planet, and that those people are human beings just like they are.

redsock said...

If the Dems had picked Hillary you wouldn't have had such raised expectations for transformative politics...

As any reader of this blog should know, L fully understands (and has understood for decades) that the Democrats are worthless when it comes to transforming anything (except transforming it for the worse ...).

Maybe she should have titled the post "reason #8,974 why i no longer ..."

redsock said...

"We have strategic interests in South Asia that should not be measured in terms of finite times"

... or in terms of "democracy" or "freedom" or fighting "terrorists" or etc.

M. Yass said...

And this is on the foreign policy side. On the domestic side, look what passes for "health care reform." Right off the bat Obama said single payer was off the table, as was negotiating with Big Pharma for lower drug prices.

So what are we left with? A proposal to force people to buy health insurance that they already can't afford. And what happens when they don't choose health insurance over paying rent? They get fined, so now they won't have health care or a home.

Change I can believe in my achin' ass. More like further proof that the country is a writeoff.

Nitangae said...

Oh well. I am glad I don't have to worry about voting, or not voting, for the Democratic Party. But I think that it is really dangerous to disengage yourself from the democratic process. It is not as if either party is terribly worried about the loss of legitimacy they suffer from low voter turn-out. On the whole, I think they like low voter turn-out. An angry but disengaged and cyncial electorate is exactly what they and their corporate masters want. Vote, and then protest, and organize.

In so far as it is possible to judge, I think that, if I were a US citizen I would vote for the Democratic Party for president (for fear of something worse; exception made for really ghastly candidates, and I certainly understand people who vote for third party candidates) and for smaller parties for Congress (unless the Democratic congressperson in question is really reliable.) I can understand why people did not vote for Gore, for instance, but it clearly was a mistake not to.

However depressing the choices, not voting should not be an option. In a run-off-free presidential system such as US has, of course, the options will inevitably horrible. I am just glad I can vote NDP.

L-girl said...

Seriously, does it look like I've disengaged myself from the democratic process? Quite the contrary, I'm more engaged in it than most people who feel their responsibility comes around every four years for the amount of time it takes to vote.

I simply do not vote Democrat anymore, because they are evil and make me sick, and I am done voting for evil and sickening.

Also, the US electoral system is bankrupt, fraudulent and completely corrupt. Nothing can change until it does.

L-girl said...

I can understand why people did not vote for Gore, for instance, but it clearly was a mistake not to.

Not only was it not "clearly" a mistake. It was not a mistake at all.

The "voting for Nader got us Bush" line has been disproved beyond any doubt.

Perhaps you don't follow this stuff, I don't know. But that statement is simply untrue. (And I don't have time or patience to debunk it right now.)

L-girl said...

Also: I will never again vote for a party of war. They are murderers, and I will not be part of it.

L-girl said...

Nitangae, I just realized that may have sounded like I didn't have time and patience for you. I apologize if I seemed to be snapping at you, I totally did not mean it that way. Just rushing. Your thoughts are most welcome here.

Nitangae said...

L-Girl, no apology expected or needed. I also agree absolutely that "voting Nader brought us Bush" is nonsense. I think I would have voted for Nader myself. The proper response of the Democratic Party to people voting for Nader should have been to stop and wonder why people are voting for Nader (or for other third party candidates), not to blame them. Please to confuse my view with that silly view.

And no, I realize that you are engaged, which is why I come to this blog so often.

That being said, I think that voting should be part of engagement, including voting for Nader or other 3d party candidates. There is a reason why right-wing politicians, including Harper, deliberately try to reduce the number of people voting - it is because even a broken democracy is a threat to the them and their corporate masters should people actually take their rights seriously.

But I think it helps that Canada still has a social democratic movement of some sort. It means that I still feel a bit shocked when people say they are not going to vote at all - sort of a deliberate abandoning of the social contract. If Canadian social democracy dies, who knows how I will respond?

Yours,

Adam

"Nitangae, I just realized that may have sounded like I didn't have time and patience for you. I apologize if I seemed to be snapping at you, I totally did not mean it that way. Just rushing. Your thoughts are most welcome here."

L-girl said...

Thank you for understanding! I value your comments and wouldn't want you to think otherwise.

That being said, I think that voting should be part of engagement, including voting for Nader or other 3d party candidates. There is a reason why right-wing politicians, including Harper, deliberately try to reduce the number of people voting - it is because even a broken democracy is a threat to the them and their corporate masters should people actually take their rights seriously.

I very much agree. It's one of my favourite things about Canada, one of the most important things about it: more than two parties. I criticize the NDP, because I feel that they should hear from us and we should hold their feet to our own fire, but I am so grateful for their presence.

It means that I still feel a bit shocked when people say they are not going to vote at all

I am, too. Especially here, where there's an actual difference among the parties.

Ah, if only the Conservatives would split back into their factions, too...

redsock said...

But wait -- there's more!!!

Obama Administration OKs Oil Drilling in Arctic off Alaska

The Interior Department today gave the go-ahead for Shell Oil to begin drilling three exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea, a move that opens the door for production in a new region of the Arctic.

"This is progress," said Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. ...

***

Looks like Obama reviewed the Bush-approved leases and gave them the thumbs up!

Drill, baby, drill!

Some Person said...

I voted for Nader in 2000, a largely symbolic gesture as I was living in South Carolina at the time. Neither Gore nor Bush were speaking to my concerns as a socialist. Though I wouldn't call Nader one, he at least included questioning corporate influence in his campaign rhetoric to a meaningful degree.

I joined Obama's presidential campaign the day he announced his intentions - February 10, 2007. I thought I was getting change I could believe in. Now I'm just getting policies that don't piss me off as much as what McCain would've done. That's what I call "strategic political support", not anything close to the vibrant democratic engagement that we deserve.

M. Yass said...

In their latest whimpering surrender, the Dems have agreed to drop the public option.

My natural inclination is to be angry beyond words at this, but I've just learned to shake my head. I've also learned to just close the browser window and say, "you know, I'm glad I don't live there anymore." Gawd, the Democrats have the American equivalent of a majority government and they make the Liberal Party of Canada look as firm as the Rock of Gibraltar.

I. Give. Up. I'm just glad I don't live there anymore.

Now if we just get rid of thatprickHarper and his racist redneck asshole of an immigration minister Kenney, we'll be back on the right track.

redsock said...

Doesn't "surrender" imply that there are two opposing sides battling each other?