We voted today. Have you?

This election will be historic regardless of who wins, just for very different reasons. It’s important that you make your voice heard and it’s a civic duty one shouldn’t take lightly.

Thanks to an 11PM conference call to provide tech support to someone in India, I got to sleep in this morning and then Anne and I went to vote before I left for work.

We voted! Tah-dah!

We voted! Tah-dah!

I cast my vote for Hillary Clinton and voted blue straight down the ticket. Republicans have had a death grip on Michigan’s government for too long and, with any luck, perhaps we’ll tip the balance a little more towards the progressive side.

Hillary is most likely going to be our next President, but she’ll have a rough time of it if we don’t gain back at least one — but preferably both — houses of Congress. If you feel the same way then you shouldn’t be sitting this one out. Even if you can’t bring yourself to vote for either candidate for President, there’s still lots of other races you can make a difference in so go vote.

My attempt to explain the 2016 U.S. election.

Way back at the start of March SEB reader Dave out of the U.K. sent me the following via email:

Hi Les i would love to know what you are thinking about the current presidential campaign and especially what you and your family are making of Trumps lead on the Republican campaign.  I’m from England and am not sure we’re getting a true picture of what is happening.    Thank you

Since then I’ve started at least a half dozen blog entries and I ended up scrapping every one of them because shit keeps changing and things I thought would never happen ended up happening. Still, I promised him a blog post so I should probably post something. Keep in mind that I am no expert on Politics; or much of anything really.

The best I can say, Dave, is that the Republican party has finally lost their goddamned minds. When Trump first announced his intention to run for President most folks, and this includes many Republicans, laughed it off as a publicity stunt. There have even been a couple of people who worked with Trump in his early days who said as much later, but no one realized that the subset of the Republican base made up of poor, racist, angry white people was as large as it turns out to be. Large enough, apparently, to turn Trump from a joke into the presumptive Republican nominee.

Ladies and gentlemen, the best the Republicans have to offer as President.

Ladies and gentlemen, the best the Republicans have to offer for President.

As much fun as it’s been watching the Republican establishment eat itself alive trying to stop this train wreck from happening, there’s a frightening reality that tribalism will assert itself and even the “reasonable” Republicans will fall in line because they can’t countenance the idea of ever voting for a Democrat no matter how terrible their own nominee happens to be. If Trump is the nominee (and there’s no reason to expect he won’t be at this point) there’s a real danger he could end up President. It might be unlikely, but then I thought the same thing about him clinching the nomination and I was horribly wrong about that so I worry about the general election.

As for the Democrats, I would prefer that Bernie Sanders gets the nod as I like a lot of the policies he advocates for. Sure, the chances of some of them ever actually happening in his term might be small, but that’s no reason not to try. That said, if Hillary ends up as the nominee, as it appears she will, I will vote for her because for all her faults she’s still a damned sight better than Trump. I’m not happy with some of her ties to Wall Street and I think she’s more right of center than I’d prefer, but Bernie has dragged her more to the left and hopefully that’ll stick.

So what if the worst happens and Trump manages to win the general election? Well, that’ll be nerve wracking to be sure, but I won’t go so far as to say it would be a death knell for the United States. We’ve survived some pretty bad presidents over the years and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if both Congress and the SCOTUS kept him in check. Not that he wouldn’t do a great deal of damage however long he’s in office, but I think we’d somehow manage to survive it. I don’t expect this to actually happen as I think between Democrats and Independents there’s enough sane people left in this country to insure he doesn’t win, but I’ve been wrong before.

I don’t know if this answers your question, Dave, but it’s what I’ve got to offer. If you have any followup questions I’ll try to answer them in the comments.

I have to admit that I share these concerns about voting for Obama.

He's not a progressive and he's not particularly liberal. Hell, in many ways he's to the right of Ronald Reagan. His recent signing of the National Defense Authorization Act with it's provision allowing for the indefinite detention of American citizens is just the latest in a long line of bad decisions on his part. We shouldn't be indefinitely detaining anyone, let alone Americans.

He's counting on anyone the GOP puts forward to be worse than he is and that's probably a safe bet. I'm still hedging on whether I'll vote this year or not. I'm having real moral problems with voting for Obama and there sure as hell isn't anyone else I'd feel any better voting for. He's the lesser of two evils and I'm really sick of having to make that choice. #seb #politics #Obama #Elections

Embedded Link

Why I Won’t Be Voting for Obama
The discussion in the Rick Santorum comment thread has veered into whether Obama is worth voting for.
He’s not. Not one bit.
His civil liberties record is one of the worst in history. George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, writing in the Los Angels Times, wrote:
Civil libertarians have long had a dysfunctional relationship with the Democratic Party, which treats them as a captive voting bloc with nowhere else to turn in elections. Not even this history, however, prepared …

The Presidential election of 2008 is almost over.

We’ll be getting up at 6AM to make sure we’re in line when the polls open at 7AM. I still have work tomorrow so an early start will be crucial to minimizing the chances of being late to work, though my boss has already told me that if I’m late because I’m voting it won’t be a problem. Anne works in the afternoon and Courtney doesn’t have school or work tomorrow so they’ll both be coming home and going back to bed for a few hours while I trudge off to earn the day’s pay.

A couple of election eve notes that I thought were worth sharing. First up is an amazing Obama endorsement from The Economist which is lengthy, but worth a read. Here’s the final paragraph which I think sums it up pretty well:

He has earned it
So Mr Obama in that respect is a gamble. But the same goes for Mr McCain on at least as many counts, not least the possibility of President Palin. And this cannot be another election where the choice is based merely on fear. In terms of painting a brighter future for America and the world, Mr Obama has produced the more compelling and detailed portrait. He has campaigned with more style, intelligence and discipline than his opponent. Whether he can fulfil his immense potential remains to be seen. But Mr Obama deserves the presidency.

The other one that I thought was interesting was how the Religious Right is absolutely on the verge of hysterical panic over not only the possibility of Obama winning, but of a Democrat dominated Congress. I’m on a couple of mailing lists including Donald E. Wildmon’s American Family Association just to keep abreast of what they’re communicating and I must say that watching them freak out has done me much good. Consider the following missive I got from them just a few moments ago:

Dear Les,

The election of senators and representatives is very important. If the liberals win enough seats to kill a filibuster in the Senate, then there will be no stopping the damage they can do in just two years. Do we want that much power in the hands of liberals?

Activist justices who will be appointed to the Supreme Court for 20 to 40 years can make any law they wish, or override any law they wish. The liberals are already planning to remove every law prohibiting abortion, make homosexual marriage legal, and take away our religious and First Amendment freedoms.

A veto-proof Senate would guarantee that every bill the liberals want to pass, they can. In two short years, the liberals can undo every law that it has taken conservatives 40 years to accomplish.

When you vote for a senator, be sure that you keep this in mind! The election of one conservative senator could make the difference!

Oh I certainly will keep this in mind. The fact that you guys are running scared gives me hope for the future.

Most of their emails as of the past few weeks have been total fear mongering fests with repeated FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, THINK OF THE FUCKING CHILDREN! messages plastered in them repeatedly. The Religious Right has been in power for so long that they’re totally afraid of what will happen if they lose control. At least a couple of them have declared it to be the end of America or the actual Apocalypse. All I can say is I’m glad it’s almost done and over with. I’m so burned out on the whole process that I’m ready for the end. Not so burned out that I won’t be out there bright and early casting my vote for Obama, mind you, but burned out just the same.

And I hope all of you SEB regulars who can legally vote get out and do so as well regardless of which candidate you end up choosing. I hope you’ll join me in voting for Obama, but I’d be happy just to hear you participated at all. It’s important and it’s your civic duty and it’s way more patriotic than slapping a stupid flag magnet on your car.

The terrorists endorse Sen. John McCain for President. Seriously.

For all the hot air the Republicans like to push around about how Obama hangs out with terrorists the candidate that the terrorists would most like to see win is John McCain. Why? Because he’d be Bush’s third term:

WASHINGTON – Al-Qaida supporters suggested in a Web site message this week they would welcome a pre-election terror attack on the U.S. as a way to usher in a McCain presidency.

The message, posted Monday on the password-protected al-Hesbah Web site, said if al-Qaida wants to exhaust the United States militarily and economically, “impetuous” Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain is the better choice because he is more likely to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“This requires presence of an impetuous American leader such as McCain, who pledged to continue the war till the last American soldier,” the message said. “Then, al-Qaida will have to support McCain in the coming elections so that he continues the failing march of his predecessor, Bush.”

SITE Intelligence Group, based in Bethesda, Md., monitors the Web site and translated the message.

“If al-Qaida carries out a big operation against American interests,” the message said, “this act will be support of McCain because it will push the Americans deliberately to vote for McCain so that he takes revenge for them against al-Qaida. Al-Qaida then will succeed in exhausting America till its last year in it.”

So remember folks: A vote for John McCain is a vote in line with terrorist goals. That’s not hyperbole, but a solid fact. Needless to say the McCain campaign has not commented on the topic.

Elizabeth Dole is a bigot.

In a recent press release she’s attacking her opponent in the upcoming elections, Kay Hagan, for having the audacity to go to a fund raiser by the Godless Americans PAC:

“Kay Hagan is trying to run a campaign in North Carolina that casts her as a moderate but the money that’s paying for it is coming from the left-wing fringe of political thought,” said Dole Campaign Communications Director Dan McLagan.  “You can tell a lot about a person by their friends and these are friends most North Carolinians would not be comfortable having over for dinner.”

And a hearty fuck you, Mrs. Dole is well deserved for that crack. It may be hard to believe, but most of us non-believers tend to get along just fine with the rest of you folks who opt to believe in invisible Sky Daddies. The above comment is nothing less than pure bigotry and it doesn’t stop there:

Hagan’s campaign is being largely funded by labor unions intent on ending North Carolina’s status as a right to work state, liberal trial lawyers and ultra left wing groups like MoveOn.org which is a deeply anti-military organization.  Now Hagan has added anti-religion activists from Boston Massachusetts to the list.

“Kay Hagan does not represent the values of this state; she is a Trojan Horse for a long list of wacky left-wing outside groups bent on policies that would horrify most North Carolinians if they knew about it,” McLagan said.  “This latest revelation of support from anti-religion activists will not sit well with the 90% of state residents who identify with a specific religious faith.”

That’s an awfully big assumption to make and the fact that you seem to be encouraging it just proves how big of a bigot you really are. The ironic thing is that most of us have never heard of Kay Hagan prior to your press release, but we have now and quite a few of us are contributing to her campaign thanks to your prejudice.

Bush vs. McCain. Can you tell them apart?

I’m a big John Cusack fan so this has double the appeal to me:

Obama’s speech on a “More Perfect Union.”

I was going to write about the speech that Obama gave yesterday on the recent hubbub about remarks made by his church’s pastor, but ***Dave said everything I was going to say so I’ll just point to his entry and add a “what he said” to it. If you haven’t seen it yourself then the following video is worth watching:

I’ll be honest and admit that I wasn’t too sure about Obama back when he first entered into the race, but as time has gone on he has continuously impressed me with his stance on the issues and the speeches he’s been giving. Plus the fact that it would piss Moloch off to no end to have a black man as President makes voting for him very attractive indeed.