Shut Up and Vote Obama

Picture: Steve Jurvetson (CC)

Michael Donnelly writes at Counterpunch:

It’s election time again and that brings on the national pastime of analytical blather from all sides. (Yours truly, like so many others, certainly feels compelled to write more during this season.) Most are “rah rah, my team rocks” missives; many mainstream media ones are Imperial “look at the grouse” deflections; some, like those found on Counterpunch are serious analyses and, then again, some are absolute partisan rubbish like Rebecca Solnit’s “Letter to my Dismal Allies”  that was posted to TomDispatch a “project of The Nation Institute” complete with Tom’s “simple (minded) warning: Reader beware; rile up Rebecca Solnit at your peril.”

Solnit starts her long-winded, paid-by-the-word-esque, piece out by setting up a straw man – a “grousing,” “poisonous,” “rancid sector of the far left” – a subdivision that might, at best, comprise about 1/10th of 1% of the electorate. She then proceeds to knock her straw man down with more name-calling – critics of self-serving, pro-corporate politicians are not only “rancid, etc.,” anyone who points out any inconsistency or, heaven forbid, an actual blatant anti-democratic contradiction from any of her heroes isn’t thoughtful or insightful, or even wrong,  for noting such they are dismissed as merely, “snarky.”

Speak Not About Evil

At its core, Solnit piece is a blatant attempt to impose “No-Talk Rules” about Obama’s very real outrages, dismissing such things as drone murders, Indefinite Detention and the loss of Habeas Corpus, Permanent War, increased deportations, failure to act on the Climate or Banksters, crackdowns on whistle-blowers and Medical Marijuana…ad naseum, as mere “dimples on the imperial derriere by now, and there are other things worth discussing.”

Solnit goes so far as to dismiss her own obvious call for voting for the Lesser of Two Evils as a “tired cliché.” She wildly dubs even noting that the choice is one of lesser evils, a type of “Left Wing Voter Suppression;” as if mere mention of the state of the Emperor’s clothing will cause vast numbers to sit home on Election Day.

Setting up another straw man, she proceeds to ask, “Can you imagine how far the Civil Rights Movement would have gotten, had it been run entirely by complainers for whom nothing was ever good enough?”

Aside from the fact that no movement is “run entirely by” anything close to that (though they’d likely yield better results if they were), one doesn’t have to imagine how far the “non-complainers” have gotten:  black incarceration up; black unemployment up; black poverty up; black education stagnant; black health down; voting rights restricted…but, no worries, “integrating the Montgomery transit system” was what mattered, the ultimate prize the non-complainers did get, according to Solnit’s calculus.

Solnit’s drivel couldn’t be any more loaded with Projections, including this monumental one: “This kind of response often has an air of punishing those who are less radical and it is exactly the opposite of movement building – or alliance building.” Substitute the one word “more” for “less” and you have a perfect description of what she is performing here.

She follows up with: “Dismissiveness is a way of disengaging from both the facts on the ground and the obligation those facts bring to bear on your life,” as she clearly does just that.

Read more here.

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    If you vote for either candidate you become a party to their crimes, and therefore can be subject to a citizens arrest for aiding and abetting the murder of American citizens (Al Awlaki pere et fils), or denial of life, liberty without due process (indefinite detention in black prisons) or perverting the course of justice by shielding fraudsters from prosecution.

    I don’t want to spend the rest of my days in the hole for rubber stamping a war criminal or wall street fraudster.

    You have no right to complain if you vote.

    • Ted Heistman

       Amen brother

    • Ted Heistman

       Amen brother

    • Andrew

      What if you vote for third party candidates?

      • http://www.facebook.com/eric.fischer.73 Eric Fischer

        You counter the “don’t complain if you didn’t vote” argument in personal political debates. That’s about it.

      • Liam_McGonagle

        If you can find one worthwhile, more power to you.  I can’t.

        P.S. Actually, I think I take that back. The mere act of voting in and of itself may endow this farce with a counterproductive patina of legitimacy.

      • Liam_McGonagle

        If you can find one worthwhile, more power to you.  I can’t.

        P.S. Actually, I think I take that back. The mere act of voting in and of itself may endow this farce with a counterproductive patina of legitimacy.

        • emperorreagan

          I can’t pass up the opportunity for juvenile glee by casting a vote for “Commander Poopy-Pants”.

          I’ll be the one who takes 20 minutes to vote and spends the entire time trying to stifle giggles.

      • Jin The Ninja

        while i am no fan (to say it ‘diplomatically’) of these representative politics- i actually think roseanne has a good platform. the problem i’ve encountered with a multi party system (and my experience here is limited to the nation-state i reside in) is that it ALSO is too easily co-opted (namely by forces within the trans-national capitalist heading), and all mainstream parties become a version of eachother, differentiated only by a few degrees on a narrow right-leaning spectrum.
        however, i think if the party represents a viable policy alternative; it’s infinitely better to vote 3rd party, rather than giving a vote to one of the corporate oligarchs….

    • Apathesis

      Damn straight.

    • Apathesis

      Damn straight.

  • Guest

    A vote for any but the God Emperor is a vote for heresy and treason.

    Especially Obama, that Tzeentch loving cultist.

  • Guest

    A vote for any but the God Emperor is a vote for heresy and treason.

    Especially Obama, that Tzeentch loving cultist.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      But I must know: does the God Emperor have a chainsaw sword?

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      But I must know: does the God Emperor have a chainsaw sword?

      • DeepCough

        No, but the God-Emperor has SPICE!

      • DeepCough

        No, but the God-Emperor has SPICE!

      • Guest

        Nah, just a flaming sword and lightning claws. Also, he can kill you with his mind should he be too lazy to use his sword.

      • Guest

        Nah, just a flaming sword and lightning claws. Also, he can kill you with his mind should he be too lazy to use his sword.

  • Anarchy Pony

    I’m half tempted to vote (R)money, in a vein attempt to hasten the collapse of the Empire.

    • Nunzio X

      It might not actually be such a vein attempt; my Imagination Circuits suggest to me that (R)money as prez would be equivalent to balancing and blueprinting the USA’s Engine Of Collapse.

    • Nunzio X

      It might not actually be such a vein attempt; my Imagination Circuits suggest to me that (R)money as prez would be equivalent to balancing and blueprinting the USA’s Engine Of Collapse.

    • Simiantongue

      I wonder about the assumption that Obama is the lesser of two evils. No Republican could have gotten away with the things Obama has done I don’t think. When someone like (R)money or Bush are in office, by default they have opposition to just about anything they want to do. So they are somewhat hindered. But in the case of a president like Obama, well, he has much of the left running interference for him and all of the right pushing and complaining that he doesn’t go far enough.

      Strangely you have the left arguing that it’s okay to kill citizens of the US by the use of extrajudicial kill lists, happily trouncing basic tenets of civil liberties that were introduced at the time of the Magna Carta. And you hear no qualms from the right, only complaints that Obama’s too hesitant.

      If it’s a hastening of collapse you want I think Obama is your man. He can accomplish with ease what no Republican could accomplish. He does it with deafening applause from the left.

      • Andrew

        Don’t forget the massive deficit spending Romney will be able to pull off with the right’s applause, just like Bush did.  Obama would and will never be able to get away with that.

        Really, conservatives should be voting for Obama and liberals should be voting for Romney.  But if they knew that, it wouldn’t work.

      • Andrew

        Don’t forget the massive deficit spending Romney will be able to pull off with the right’s applause, just like Bush did.  Obama would and will never be able to get away with that.

        Really, conservatives should be voting for Obama and liberals should be voting for Romney.  But if they knew that, it wouldn’t work.

      • Anarchy Pony

        No, I tend to think that that direction will lead to a much longer and painful collapse. It really doesn’t matter who is at the reins, it’s gonna crash, but how and when are slightly different.

    • mannyfurious

      I love you Anarchy Pony, but you’re wrong. The Empire has already collapsed, but the bad thing about it is that nobody has seemed to notice. No Empire that I know of has ever collapsed overnight. Voting for Romney will just make the post-collapse that much worse.

    • mannyfurious

      I love you Anarchy Pony, but you’re wrong. The Empire has already collapsed, but the bad thing about it is that nobody has seemed to notice. No Empire that I know of has ever collapsed overnight. Voting for Romney will just make the post-collapse that much worse.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    Obama repeats himself, first as revolution, second as farce
    Main Event : Kicking off with high stakes competition
    The Second City Saint Obama emphasized the fact that he has defeated McCain & The Bimbo four years ago but still does not garner the respect he expects. Romney retorted by saying he plans to silence the WWE Champion Obama with a jackboot to the face.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    Obama repeats himself, first as revolution, second as farce
    Main Event : Kicking off with high stakes competition
    The Second City Saint Obama emphasized the fact that he has defeated McCain & The Bimbo four years ago but still does not garner the respect he expects. Romney retorted by saying he plans to silence the WWE Champion Obama with a jackboot to the face.

    • Guest

      I enjoy the Kayfabe as well.

    • Guest

      I enjoy the Kayfabe as well.

  • http://twitter.com/jfqbsh Jason F Quackenbush

    I dunno that the Incoherent Left Donnelly calls a straw man is all that much of a straw man. I see it on display all over this site in particular.

  • http://twitter.com/jfqbsh Jason F Quackenbush

    I dunno that the Incoherent Left Donnelly calls a straw man is all that much of a straw man. I see it on display all over this site in particular.

    • http://www.facebook.com/eric.fischer.73 Eric Fischer

      Yet you still haven’t fucked off. Why is that?

      • http://twitter.com/jfqbsh Jason F Quackenbush

        Because I enjoy pissing off you jackasses.

    • Jin The Ninja

      if you find the left as incoherent as i found your essay on identity politics (without even a single citation of frantz fanon no less), i sincerely empathise with you.

      • http://twitter.com/jfqbsh Jason F Quackenbush

        Once again you make my case for me more eloquently than I ever could.

      • http://twitter.com/jfqbsh Jason F Quackenbush

        Once again you make my case for me more eloquently than I ever could.

        • Jin The Ninja

          you’re right, i’m far more eloquent than you.

        • Jin The Ninja

          you’re right, i’m far more eloquent than you.

      • http://twitter.com/jfqbsh Jason F Quackenbush

        Also, I’ve never written an essay on identity politics, so bless you for your bizarre hallucinations now including me in them.

      • http://twitter.com/jfqbsh Jason F Quackenbush

        Also, I’ve never written an essay on identity politics, so bless you for your bizarre hallucinations now including me in them.

  • Noah Way

    There are three kinds of votes.

    1) Those that you cast in an election. These are entirely unreliable due to the paucity of real candidates, corruption of the process, corporate media manipulation to maximize advertising revenue, corporate / financial control of the election process, susceptibility of the results to manipulation (digital, legal, etc,), and so on.

    2) Every dollar that you spend is a vote for whatever you spend it on. Cable TV service? If you get FOX, your cable supplier is paying FOX a fee, so you’re voting for FOX. Might as well just write them a check directly and cut out the middleman.

    3) Personal behavioral. Every action is a vote for or against something. What you eat, what you wear, movies you see, products you buy, the way you treat other people, etc., etc.

    example: Do you take a reusable canvas bag shopping, or do you take home the shitty plastic store bags and then throw them out?

    Rocky Anderson 2012. Stop voting for the supposed lesser of two evils.

  • Noah Way

    There are three kinds of votes.

    1) Those that you cast in an election. These are entirely unreliable due to the paucity of real candidates, corruption of the process, corporate media manipulation to maximize advertising revenue, corporate / financial control of the election process, susceptibility of the results to manipulation (digital, legal, etc,), and so on.

    2) Every dollar that you spend is a vote for whatever you spend it on. Cable TV service? If you get FOX, your cable supplier is paying FOX a fee, so you’re voting for FOX. Might as well just write them a check directly and cut out the middleman.

    3) Personal behavioral. Every action is a vote for or against something. What you eat, what you wear, movies you see, products you buy, the way you treat other people, etc., etc.

    example: Do you take a reusable canvas bag shopping, or do you take home the shitty plastic store bags and then throw them out?

    Rocky Anderson 2012. Stop voting for the supposed lesser of two evils.

    • okOkay

      1) Never have voted, probably never will.
      2) I only pay for internet (besides other bills, NOT including TV) and I torrent everything.
      3) Not perfect here. Not even going to go into it.

      Overall though, I feel good about myself. Thanks for posting!

    • okOkay

      1) Never have voted, probably never will.
      2) I only pay for internet (besides other bills, NOT including TV) and I torrent everything.
      3) Not perfect here. Not even going to go into it.

      Overall though, I feel good about myself. Thanks for posting!

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