Democrats – now with 2% less evil!


Garry Wills:

The Curse of Political Purity

Obama was never a prince. None of them are. The mistake behind all this is a misguided high-mindedness that boasts, “I vote for the man, not the party.” This momentarily lifts the hot-air balloon of self-esteem by divorcing the speaker from political taintedness and compromise. But the man being voted for, no matter what he says, dances with the party that brought him, dependent on its support, resources, and clientele. That is why one should always vote on the party, instead of the candidate. The party has some continuity of commitment, no matter how compromised. What you are really voting for is the party’s constituency. That will determine priorities when it comes to appointments, legislative pressure, and things like nominating Supreme Court justices.

To vote for a Democrat means, now, to vote for the party’s influential members—for unions (including public unions of teachers, firemen, and policemen), for black and Latino minorities, for independent women. These will none of them get their way, exactly; but they will get more of a hearing and attention—“pandering,” if you want to call it that—than they would get in a Republican administration.

To vote for a Republican means, now, to vote for a plutocracy that depends for its support on anti-government forces like the tea party, Southern racists, religious fanatics, and war investors in the military-industrial complex. It does no good to say that “Romney is a good man, not a racist.” That may be true, but he needs a racist South as part of his essential support. And the price they will demand of him comes down to things like Supreme Court appointments. (The Republicans have been more realistic than the Democrats in seeing that presidential elections are really for control of the courts.)

The independents, too ignorant or inexperienced to recognize these basic facts, are the people most susceptible to lying flattery. They are called the good folk too inner-directed to follow a party line or run with the herd. They are like the idealistic imperialists “with clean hands” in Graham Greene’s The Quiet American—they should wear leper bells to warn people of their vicinity.

The etherialists who are too good to stoop toward the “lesser evil” of politics—as if there were ever anything better than the lesser evil there—naively assume that if they just bring down the current system, or one part of it that has disappointed them, they can build a new and better thing of beauty out of the ruins. Of course they never get the tabula rasa on which to draw their ideal schemes. What they normally do is damage the party closest to their professed ideals. Third parties are run by people who make the best the enemy of their own good and bring down that good. Theodore Roosevelt’s’ Bull Moose variant of his own Republican Party drained enough Republican votes to let the Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, win. (His voters, believing he would not “send our boys to war,” saw the prince become a frog in World War I.) George H. W. Bush rightly believes he was sabotaged by the crypto-Republican Ross Perot, who helped Bill Clinton win. Ralph Nader siphoned crucial votes from Al Gore to give us George W. Bush.

All these brave “independents” say that there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties, and claim they can start history over, with candidates suddenly become as good as they are themselves. What they do is give us the worst of evils. If Professor Unger gets his way, and destroys President Obama, he will give us a Romney deeply in political debt to the party he slimily wooed all through the primaries. He will be in a position to turn the Supreme Court from a mainly reactionary body to an almost entirely reactionary one.


Hmmm. I’m not a teacher, fireman, policeman, black, Latino, or a woman. Is there a party where I can be an influential member too?

Seriously though, I tried that “always vote on the party” thingie for over twenty years. It didn’t work out so well. When you vote for the lesser of two evils, you’re still voting for evil.

If enough people voted for a third party, it wouldn’t be a third party any more. As for not voting, if someone gave you a gift certificate for a store that didn’t sell anything you wanted, why would you bother to go shopping?


This entry was posted in 2012 Elections, Democratic Party, Politics, Republican Party. Bookmark the permalink.

87 Responses to Democrats – now with 2% less evil!

  1. myiq2xu says:

    Come November my vote won’t count. The election will be decided by other people in other states. I’ll just be a spectator. If I want to waste my vote or throw it away, why shouldn’t I?

    • myiq2xu says:

      My cheering for one side or the other will have about as much effect as my cheering for my favorite sports teams.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      Don’t worry. I’ll be vindicating you here in the Great State of Indiana! And you’ll get a twofer, because my husband can never remember to register to vote unless I remind him. We moved last year, and I’m not reminding him. He voted for Obama last time. I’ve told him to this face that if he wants a say this time, he’ll have to figure it out himself.

    • melisshka says:

      Living in PA, it looks like I have to vote for Romney. Honestly, I would love to vote for Gary Johnson, but since PA may be in play this time around, I need to make my vote against Obama count.

      • myiq2xu says:

        If my vote mattered I would vote for Romney. He’s the lesser of two evils.

        Obama is the evil of two lessers.

        • angienc says:

          Matters in the popular vote count. I live in an alleged swing-state (b.s. — no way he won NC last time — 12k votes my ass) so I’m voting Romney anyway, but already the jerk offs are talking about “what if Obama wins the popular vote but no the EC?” I’ll be damned if I give them that satisfaction.

      • foxyladi14 says:

        Same here in Ohio 🙂

  2. 49erDweet says:

    I’m in the same boat, myiq2xu, and pondering what to do. Already wasted my primary vote for a candidate who no longer was, so intensely looking for options in November. Will certainly not give my vote to a party – that’s the dumbest idea since the Edsel.

  3. 49erDweet says:

    Btw,, was Gary Wills always that stupid?

  4. WMCB says:

    Perhaps a primary reason why southerners vote less and less for Democrats is not because they are racist, but because they are sick and tired of the left calling them “the racist South”.

    Oh, and for any non-Southerner on here who perhaps, at one time, at least partially bought into that meme that the South is permanently tainted, I want you to think about something:

    You know the crap you’ve been dealing with now for 4 years? The constant drumbeat of every word, every act, being publicly scrutinized under a microscope to find your dirty dirty racist heart? Yeah, well Southerners have been treated like that all our lives, daily, whether there was an election going on or not.

    • WMCB says:

      Sorry, meant to quote the part that set me off:

      Southern racists, religious fanatics, and war investors in the military-industrial complex. It does no good to say that “Romney is a good man, not a racist.” That may be true, but he needs a racist South as part of his essential support

      • Lulu says:

        And this is why the Democrats do not have any chance in the South anymore. They use this as a throw away line and repeat it endlessly. I live in a county that is 70 miles from the Louisiana border that was majority Democratic until 6 years ago. I remember violent labor strikes in my childhood here. It was also one of two counties in Texas that voted against secession during the Civil War. But we are all racist because some bigot at the New York Review of Books (to which I used to subscribe) saw Deliverance and decided to hate me.

      • leslie says:

        Just wanted to say that where I work, there is more racist hatred than nearly anywhere. I have a family member who lived in Harlem for quite a while. She used to regularly come here to visit and every time, she would tell me how much more uncomfortable she was in chicago than in NYC. Why? because of the blatant racism she saw. Maybe she was on the South Side of Chicago. Maybe that was the southern racism.

        Oh, and that is the racist support that will continue going to Obama, and upon which he relies.

    • elliesmom says:

      Half my family lives above the Mason-Dixon and half below. To the extent that there are racists in my family (we all have an uncle or a cousin or two), they live well above. Having spent a lot of time visiting said family, I think the difference is that the southern side of my family lives and works side-by-side with black people. They’ve just become “the neighbors”. OTOH, my northern family lives in small towns where black people are a rarity. They may claim to be “more enlightened” about race, but they have never really experienced integration. They feel really good because people in town have “welcomed a black family”.

      • WMCB says:

        Some of the north’s purported lack of racism is mostly a function of the fact that they really dont mix much in some cities/states.

        If one random incident of racism occurs for every 1000 interactions, and you have fewer daily interactions, its easier to say your town is less racist. Nah, you just have a smaller sample. Bump up the number of interactions, and you will have an asshole or two pop up.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          I dunno, NYC and Boston being in the top five most segregated cities in America is about as racist as you can get. But it’s institutional racism, see, delivered at the hands of their beloved leaders, like Bloomberg. So it’s not like THEY are racists. They just vote for them.

    • Excellent point. I was born down South and lived there a bit in my youth then we moved up north. I can’t stand all the south-bashing from those that have never lived there, or for that part have never lived anywhere else in their lives.

  5. elliesmom says:

    I always get a kick out of tribal members who describe Independents as people who are either too inexperienced or too uninformed to choose a political party. It never occurs to them that people are independent voters because they have too much experience with and know too much about the mainstream political parties.

  6. WMCB says:

    Former news Producer, 26 yr veteran with CBS, goes off on MSNBC:

    I’m tired.  Truly.  I’ve grown weary of trying to defend the indefensible and explain the inexplicable.  For years, people have stomped their feet and pounded their fists and snorted “Liberal media bias!” and I’ve always tut-tutted and shooshed them and said, “No, no.  Calm down.  They meant well.  It was just a misunderstanding.  A mistake.  These things happen.”  I spent over 25 years working in the oft-reviled Mainstream Media and I saw up close and personal how the sausage was made.   I knew the people who wielded the knives and wore the aprons, and could vouch (most of the time, anyway) for their good intentions.

    But now?

    Forget it. I’m done.  You deserve what they’re saying about you.  It’s earned.  You have worked long and hard to merit the suspicion, acrimony, mistrust and revulsion that the media-buying public increasingly heaps upon you.  

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2012/06/memo-to-nbc-what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-you/

  7. Oh, I get it. I’m not supposed to vote for the MAN. I’m supposed to vote for a party that told me my vote didn’t count (along with 17,999,999 others) and if I didn’t like it to get out of the party, since it no longer needed me. So, I did what it told me and left. See, I am voting because of the party.

  8. pghpuma says:

    I learned you have to actually live in the South, not just visit, to get it. 1st thing I noticed was the difference between Northern and Southern Blacks. The gentleness mostly. As for the “racist” vote: face it – the explosion of population in Atlanta, Florida, Texas and the Carolinas is owed, entirely, to the migration of Northeners who left the cities to 1. escape the taxes that nurture the freeloaders and 2. get a piece of the sunbelt easy lifestyle without the California insanity.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      That’s what I noticed when I visited New England and New York (discussed down thread). I had never seen that kind of racial segregation, and I grew up in Texas and Kentucky! I had also never felt outright hostility from every black person I encountered. I didn’t blame them, though. Racial segregation can seriously warp a personality.

  9. Erin says:

    Really Greg, that’s all you’ve got – vote the tribe? No thanks – been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. I am one of those magic categories Greg mentions and for 20+ years of votes about all I’ve got for my troubles is that t-shirt. When the D’s had the majorities in congress, and could to do something about “women’s issues” they just voted “present”. You want my vote the EARN IT! Do something, don’t just talk about it.

  10. Lola-at-Large says:

    Who woulda thunk that the liberals of the 1960s would one day be promoting conformity as a lifestyle. This is the biggest load of crap ever, and reveals the sheer desperation of their efforts, and the hollowness of their ideas. Some days I wish we could just give the east coast to these idiots and eject them from the union. Their cultural hegemony is dangerous.

    • Erin says:

      I refuse to give them the east coast. I like it too much. We are not all insane here. Afterall may of us had the good sense to actually vote for HIllary instead of teh Once.

      • Oswald says:

        Hillary won NY by about 10 points

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        You must live in a nice place. I visited in 2010 and Massachusetts and NY are full of actual racist and sexist assholes. My midwestern sensibilities were quite shocked and offended.

        • Erin says:

          Like most place – we’ve got all kinds. That’s not to say that the elitest snobbery doesnt annoy me. They can go< i'm staying and my family was here first. I figure IL and IA have a lot to answer for in the last election cycle. They can go there. All the nice sane IA and IL people are welcome to come try one of the original 13 colonies.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          LOL. Fair enough. You clear out the bottom feeders and I’ll migrate.

      • lol Erin- those of us who migrated away from MA do not consider where we live in PA to be the East Coast. Philly is East Coast- but then again they live on some other planet in a universe far far away from reality.

        • melisshka says:

          Where are you in PA? I just moved back to York after living 20 something years in Philly. It’s nice living in the part of Pennsylvania that Carville calls “Alabama”. 🙂

        • melisshka- I am way way over here in NW PA- bitter clinger country. The cultural and societal difference between here and Philly is about equal to the difference between Earth and the Andromeda Galaxy.

  11. —naively assume that if they just bring down the current system, or one part of it that has disappointed them, they can build a new and better thing of beauty out of the ruins. Of course they never get the tabula rasa on which to draw their ideal schemes. What they normally do is damage the party closest to their professed ideals

    Like Donna Brazile, Axelrove, the not so super delegates and the chicago combine destroyed the entire D party?
    How’s that working out for them?

  12. Lola-at-Large says:

    Wow, I tried to leave a comment under 3 different accounts, but all my comments were “hidden due to abuse reports.” I make lots of comments, but I rarely use foul language or personally attack people. I must be pissing off all the right people!

  13. angienc says:

    OT but I am PISSED. I’ve had to put up with a lot of distortions about Greece and jokes at Greece’s expense these last few months in the US press, but this is too much. If anyone watched Fox Five tonight, when they were discussing the Mexican President telling Obama he was doing a great job on immigration, Greg Guttfeld said something to the effect of “Who cares? Are we supposed to worry about what the Greek President thinks of Obama’s job on the economy?” and that ignorant fucking asshole Bob Beckel, whose only claim to fame is running Mondale’s presidential campaign made an off-hand comment that the Greek President “can’t speak English.”

    Just FYI: the Greek President Karolos Papoulias speaks Greek, Italian, French, German and English. He has a law degree from the University of Athens and from the University of Milan, plus has a doctorate in international law from the University of Cologne. Greece has plenty of problems, but they have a man as president who deserves to be president of a country, unlike the clown we have in the White House.

    And, PS — how many languages does Bob Beckel speak? Because from what I can see & hear, Beckel can barely speak English.

    And PPS — I also guarantee you that Papoulias has *never* said the word “fuck” in any of the five languages he speaks on live TV.

    Thanks for letting me vent. Back to your regularly scheduled program.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Cuss all you want, but please don’t insult clowns.

    • driguana says:

      This whole thread has been awesome today…..thanks….kinda made my day. Regarding Beckel, I started off really liking The Five…they’ve had some good discussions but Beckel is a complete idiot and never, I mean nevah, has anything consturctive or intelligent to say. They need to get rid of him…..soon. He doesn’t add to the discussion and his being there really seems like “tokenism”.

      As for the voting thing….wow…that’s a hard one for me personally. I know I’ve revealed this in a blog ot two but I haven’t voted since ’68 for a president….voted for Humphrey, joined the Peace Corps, that was actually his idea, left the country for 4 years and came back commited to working in local government for 35 years…..doing community plans without voting, creating real jobs at the local level, helping people understand governance and how to problem solve and create wonderful places without government handouts. I get pounded by my friends for not voting but I look at it this way….because I haven’t voted for any of them….I can say whatever I want about whoever I want….and I rather like that position.

      Having said that……I’m “evolving”. I wasn’t a Bush fan but I really can’t stomach this phony chameleon, manchild who somehow got elected president. It really is unbelievable to listen to him try to speak, try to think, try to act. It’s an embarrasment. So I guess I have to vote this time. But what’s even more galling is the Democratic Party and the mainstream media that so shills for it……very sad.

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        I know I’ve revealed this in a blog ot two but I haven’t voted since ’68 for a president….voted for Humphrey, joined the Peace Corps, that was actually his idea, left the country for 4 years and came back commited to working in local government for 35 years…..doing community plans without voting, creating real jobs at the local level, helping people understand governance and how to problem solve and create wonderful places without government handouts. I get pounded by my friends for not voting but I look at it this way….because I haven’t voted for any of them….I can say whatever I want about whoever I want….and I rather like that position.

        I totally respect that, and it’s something that started occurring to me just this year. I always bought hook, line, and sinker the idea that you had to vote, that it was a citizen’s responsibility. I bought to a lesser degree that not voting meant you couldn’t complain. But recently it has occurred to me that maybe I should just blow this whole political obsession I have out of the water and dedicate myself to the physical task of dragging more poor people up out of the squalid environment wrought by our American brand of poverty. This and women’s economic and electoral empowerment would be the issues I would want to focus on.

        I think I have come to this place because, while I am impressed with Romney’s ability to take on the Obama campaign, and I will vote for him because #ABO, I don’t really want to vote for him. And not because he’s Republican. It’s because he’s just another Wall Street waiter. I want a Huey Long style populist for the modern age, or an Andrew Jackson type, and I don’t think I’m going to get that for the foreseeable future. I could live with either Hillary or Sarah, and would work my ass for either, but really, Hillary is not even severe enough for me anymore. Sarah is closest.

        Anyway, I’ve rambled, for which we can all thank the wine. I appreciate you posting your comment and allowing me to voice for the first time some thoughts I’ve been having.

      • angienc says:

        My grandfather (may he rest in peace) was career Navy, enrolling at 18 during WW2 where he served as a gunner in the Pacific — once, the ship he was on sank & after being rescued from the water hours later, he was put down on an island, handed a gun & told to “go take this island with the Marines.” Anyway, after the end of WW2 he stayed in the Navy for 25 more years as an instructor. He never voted for the same reason you list. When I was about 10 or so I made the mistake of telling him it was his “patriotic duty” to vote — I only made that mistake once. 🙂

        • angienc says:

          BTW that ^^^ is about my American grandfather, of course. He also received a medal for bravery & 2 purple hearts during WW2 along with various other commendations throughout his Naval career.

    • socalannie says:

      Yay Angie!!! Well said! Your comment is cosigned by your half Greek sis here!

  14. Oswald says:

    Don’t confuse Big Pimpin’ Democrat with the facts:

    http://www.talkleft.com/story/2012/6/19/114544/586

    • Oswald says:

      (Did you know that “Payaso” means “clown” in Spanish?)

    • Erin says:

      Speaking as someone who works for the big bad governement, I’ve got to say something is very fishy about a 33 page form to change your address with a regulating government entity. It just doesnt pass the sniff test. There was something else about that interaction Romney was describing that was lost in translation.

      • myiq2xu says:

        That wouldn’t surprise me. Or maybe some bureaucrat gave the doctor the wrong info. But that doesn’t make Romney a liar.

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        I don’t know about the length of the form, but the postal service suuuuuuucks. We’ve filed THREE change of address forms in the last year since we moved, called everybody in charge and God himself, and they still can’t manage to deliver our forwarded mail. I gave up. But I totally get “going postal” now.

      • angienc says:

        Obviously, when the Dr. called the medicare office for the form, they sent him the 29 page CMS 855-I (mulit-purpose form) which is for enrollment & for any changes to information of provider (including a change of address) and that the Dr. really didn’t need to fill out all pages, OR Romney got part of the story wrong & the Dr. changed actual ownership info of office, not just change of address, which does require new enrollment via 29 page CMS 855-I.
        Nonetheless, the point is: the medicare office didn’t give the Dr. good help/customer service/guidance when he called & asked to be sent the form, so Romney’s point stands.
        Further, playing the “how many pages is the form” game is for suckers & I’m not falling into that trap. The really important thing here is that MSNBC — the same network that deliberately edited the Zimmerman 9-11 call to make him sound “r@cist” — deliberately edited the clip to make it look like Romney was “out of touch” being “amazed” at a touch-screen self-service system at Wawa. Mitchell even introduced it as Romney’s George H.W. Bush “scanner moment.” Turned out it was her Dan Rather moment.

  15. Lola-at-Large says:

    OT: Apparently, even the unions pay women less than men. Far less. http://www.buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/anti-romney-protesters-say-theyre-paid-to-heckle

    Neither of the representatives agreed to give their names, but two protesters said they were getting paid to stand outside of the rally, though their wage is unclear: one said she was getting $7.25 per hour, while another man said they were being paid $17 per hour.

    Wow.

  16. yttik says:

    “To vote for a Republican means, now, to vote for a plutocracy that depends for its support on anti-government forces like the tea party, Southern racists, religious fanatics, and war investors in the military-industrial complex. It does no good to say that “Romney is a good man, not a racist.” That may be true, but he needs a racist South as part of his essential support. ”

    Pardon my rant, but F- that! I am so sick and tired of my fellow Americans being called racists, tea baggers, and fanatics. And I’m sick and tired of all the stereotyping about the South. People think the North is so open minded, well bullsh&t. We have some of the worst racism and the most segregation in the country, right up here!

  17. insanelysane says:

    To quote a real American,”Can we all get along?”

  18. cj says:

    ROFL O’Reilly just called BO’s latest prime time yapping the most boring press conference he’s seen in 37 years.

  19. cj says:

    lol, he’s still going off on it.

  20. insanelysane says:

    It’s getting sickening to keep hearing people call each other racists. As if only whites/against black that is the most worst thing ever. It’s not! WE have laws to protect against it now and we have come a long way.
    Slavery is basically over for black Americans.
    But we still have slavery.
    Human traffic, abuse and discrimination of girls and women is much alive here in America.
    How about women of the world routinely raped as war. Girls who have acid thrown at them and have their faces cut off.
    How about that?

    When are going to start pointing fingers at that?

    Well, I think John Lennon said it best
    “Woman is the Nigger of the World.”

  21. insanelysane says:

    John Lennon used the N word but I go to comment purgatory?
    Fish me out, please.

  22. HELENK says:

    http://influencealley.nationaljournal.com/2012/06/issa-plans-to-move-forward-wit.php

    holder did NOT produce the documents asked for. stay tuned tomorrow to see if contempt citation is issued

  23. SophieCT says:

    What they normally do is damage the party closest to their professed ideals

    And what the F*** party would that be?

    • insanelysane says:

      LOL

      Whenever I listen to Republicans arguing against POTUS, what they are fighting against… I keep thinking, I would love to vote for the person they are describing, unfortunately that POTUS does not exist.

      It’s like the GOP is arguing against the Dem Platform I can actually support, but we have no Dems who actually follow that platform.

      I belong to the Invisible Party.

  24. DeniseVB says:

    I saw a 1% movie tonight. 😀

  25. Lola-at-Large says:

    I posted another one for the morning, Myiq. Feel free to reschedule as you see fit.

  26. myiq2xu says:

    BTW – I now have a whopping 52 followers.

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