Election 2012 – Even With Third Parties, You Can Still Vote For The “Least Of Evils”

I wound up protest-voting for a third party as planned this election day to the stern chagrin of my uber-Republican relatives who were utterly swooning for Romney (*gag*  :-P).  Quite frankly, I knew this country was up a creek without a paddle no matter which of the Big Two won last Tuesday.  However I noticed a little something with the whole voting thing.  Even though I wasn’t “voting against the guy I hated most by voting for his rival” among the two major parties, I still wound up voting for a “least of evils” third party candidate.

The two choices in Connecticut were Rocky Anderson of the American Independents and Gary Johnson who ran as a Libertarian.  I ultimately went with Johnson because I knew who he was at least and knew what the Libertarians were all about, but had no clue who Anderson was.  After looking up his platform I found out he was way out in Left Field and I might as well have voted for Obama if I was going to vote for him.  😛  I’m no Libertarian though, nor could I ever be because even though I agree with them that government is force, I’m more the kind of person who believes that government force should be used wherever it’s actually needed rather than completely curtailed, which means the most I could be Libertarian-wise is some “wishy-washy moderate.”

Still though, here I was in the exact same boat as when I’ve “voted against someone” in a major party like I did by supporting Democrat Chris Murphy for one of Connecticut’s senate seats because I couldn’t stand Linda McMahon’s endless barrage of negative campaigning both on TV and via smear-a-grams that routinely stuffed my mailbox.  😛  I still wonder how much better things would be in America if we updated our electoral processes a bit and instituted things like runoff elections and the ability to rank candidates instead of just pick one.  I suppose if the Modern Whigs got big enough I could have a candidate I support a little more if a viable Center Party could hollow out the middle between this country’s Moderate Left and Moderate Right parties, which we know of course as the two major parties.  😛

For now though, I think Americans should be focused on getting through Obama Term 2, and seeing how much of his talk of being the next Bill Clinton in terms of how he handles the economy turns out to be either true or a bunch of baloney.  😛

Election 2012 – Where I Think The Republicans Blew It

Well, the most useless presidential election of my lifetime is now officially over, and the Republicans have thrown another la-la moderate to the wolves.  Gee like we didn’t see that coming.  Makes me wonder what’s going to happen when they run out of moderates to sacrifice every four years.  😛

Quite frankly, the minute I saw that the GOP didn’t have anyone all that interesting in their primary to combat Obama’s star power among liberals and many centrists (the OnTheIssues.org PoliticsMatch test for 2012 actually placed me closer to Obama than Romney despite me coming from a very Republican family and being a bit of a fiscal conservative myself :-P), I knew it was all over.  Even more so when Romney threw a bunch of money around and all-but hijacked the primary.  Then of course the infatuation period began when conservatives in places other than New England held their nose and supported the guy for a bit, similar to what happened with “Wishy Washy McCain” in 2008.  Hopefully now the Ann Coulters of American Conservatainment can go back to their normal “bash the RINOs” mode.  😛

Obama had this election in the bag pretty much from Day One.  The only thing that was going to cost him the White House would’ve been if he or the Democrats screwed up enough.  Instead, it was the Republicans constantly tripping over their own feet, including Romney himself.  Everything from Romney’s own problems as a candidate to the 47% comment (a massive social media gaffe on his part, which I should probably do a RadioStyle segment on later), other gaffes like the Olympics gaffes, social conservatives’ uncalled-for comments about rape etc., contributed to this loss.  The question is will party leaders actually do something to solve the ongoing problems that cause this crap to happen?

First, Mitt Romney himself did a lot of things wrong in this campaign.  Mister Etch-A-Sketch was already stumbling out of the gate with his own record as a one-term governor, a flip-flopper, and a smooth-talking political macho man who said whatever he needed to get elected.  He was a rich, somewhat condescending guy from Massachusetts who was known to flip flop on some things from time to time – basically a Republican version of John Kerry, which is why I never took him seriously.  He’s a regional joke here in New England – too bad conservatives elsewhere in the country got the memo a tad late during the primary and even afterwards.  😛

Then, after either his team or his aggressive SuperPACs smeared all the other people out of the primary, Mister Etch-A-Sketch didn’t keep the aggression going in the national election.  Indeed, he gave angry conservative talk radio hosts a ton of stuff to holler about in terms of letting President Obama off the hook too much (I particularly heard some choice words about the guy from Michael Savage’s show more than a few times during the campaign).  The guy should’ve been an ideological mortal enemy chewing up the president in a lot more than just the second debate and on a lot more issues, but instead many times his demeanor towards Obama wasn’t much more hostile than say a rival at the golf course or something.  As if enough Americans aren’t already cynical about the Two Party system in this country.  😛

Between Romney’s background, gaffes, and lack of consistency in attacking rivals, it probably would’ve been far better if he were Paul Ryan’s running mate than the other way around.  Speaking of Paul Ryan, why wasn’t he any kind of presidential candidate himself?  Lack of experience?  Have the Republicans forgotten that Obama went to the White House out of a single senate term in Illinois, and even that Senate term was a lucky break when his Republican challenger had to withdraw because of various scandals and the GOP pulled a Hillary and flew in Alan Keyes just to have someone to run against him?  If the Obama administration has taught us anything, it’s clearly that anyone at the federal level can suddenly wind up as president.  There are plenty of rising stars in the Republican Party who we never heard about in the primary.  Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, even John Boehner after becoming speaker of the House.  Instead the GOP threw itself into retro mode and we had folks like Romney, Gingrich, etc.  Then, outside the campaign, you have Mourdock and Akin and their respective rape comments.  Both lost to Democrats in their respective races on Election Night, and no big surprise there.  😛  By the way, good riddance.  I’m sick of these social conservatives being backwoods hillbilly gaffe machines that tank the rest of the party, including fiscal conservatives with an actual head on their shoulders.  😛

Several years ago when George W. Bush won a second term I heard conservatives tossing around a line from Naked Gun 2 1/2 – “It’s ancient history, just like the Democratic Party.”  Now, the Republicans might want to consider restructuring some things if they don’t want that quote to be about their party in a decade or two.  😛

  • Adjective Conservatives Need To Go – This whole thing where if you’re a Republican in New England you’re a fiscal conservative and a Republican in other parts of the country you’re a social conservative needs to go.  The C-word needs to mean something concrete across the country, and given America’s current financial state the GOP should definitely go with fiscal conservatism over social conservatism.  These social conservatives whose gaffes keep tarnishing the party’s image should be muzzled or booted out (whatever it takes to stop such idiotic comments like, “Rape is a gift from God” or whatever it was that landed the GOP in the news right before Election time).  Heck, if social conservatives want to continue making fiscal conservatives look like backwoods idiot rednecks maybe they can create a party of their own to pollute.  The two types of conservatives are not a good combination and it’s pretty clear at this point that the social conservatives will continue to hold the fiscal conservatives back at the rate they’re going.
  • If Being Conservative Means You Support Individual Rights, That Means Support Actual Individuals – Seriously, equal pay for equal work for women is even still a debate?  In the year 2012?  Lilly Ledbetter still has to actually be argued?  And people wonder why women and minorities overwhelmingly favor Democrats.  😛  Women alone as part of the electorate are forecasted to be a significant reason why Democrats win all kinds of elections nationwide over the next several years.  The social conservatives may need to bite their tongues too about GLBT folks in case any of them ever take a liking to fiscal conservatism.  😛
  • Supporting Individuals Means Enough Being Corporate Yes-Men – Going along with the whole individual thing to be a viable alternative to the collectivists who crush individuals, it’s time for Republicans to stop being de facto lobbyists and start representing constituents again, especially Southern Republicans who shill for telecom companies who continue to keep the South behind places like the Northeast in terms of broadband infrastructure.  Speaking of which….
  • Republicans Need To Quit Being So Anti-Technology – Republicans have ticked off more than a few geeks including myself with their stalwart shilling for the opponents of technology.  Why does it have to be Democrats (Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, who got re-elected Tuesday night) supporting Net Neutrality while Republicans call it “socialist internet” or “a government solution searching for a problem” when the private sector and all the “crony capitalism” that’s strangling broadband in this country are clearly shooting the technology in the foot if you look at the hard numbers?  Then of course there was Lamar Smith as the main cheerleader for SOPA.  By the way, he just got re-elected in Texas.  >:-(  Seriously, why does supporting Technology and being any kind of Conservative in this country have to be an either/or thing?
  • Class Warfare Needs To Matter – Republicans can scoff at it and call it a Democratic cop-out all they want, but poor urban voters are costing the GOP elections these days.  Is that the trend in America, that as the population goes up and more people end up in more urbanized areas that red states will slowly start turning blue?  Is that how it works?  Republicans are doomed because towns will eventually get too big and too full of poor people?
  • The “Romneycare” Fiasco Should Never Be Repeated – It was all-too-easy for Democrats to scoff at Mitt Romney when the GOP hates Obamacare but looked the other way on what Romney did in Massachusetts.  😛  Yeah.  Not good.  Any moderates who win in their states by being slightly-less-liberal than their Democrat rivals (as often happens in New England) should not be running in national elections for this reason alone.  😛

To wrap this note up, probably the best thing the Republicans can do at this point is continue trying to improve their ticket now that Romney’s done.  Romney of course had been one of those folks always trying to run for president for the better part of a decade.  Now that he’s off the table maybe a real conservative ticket will be able to be put together for 2016 and continue the move away from the colossal joke that was McCain Palin ’08 and back towards maybe another Ronald Reagan type ticket or something, if there is another Ronald Reagan type Republican still out there these days.  The Republicans have four years to figure this out, but if anyone right-of-center in this country still has at least half a brain, they’d better do some serious thinking over the next four years.  First, who knows where this country’s going to be after 8 years of Obama?  Then on top of that, we may be looking at a Republican trying to prevent a President Hillary in 2016…  😛

Dear Mainstream Media – The 2012 Election Being “Close” Is A Bad Thing

We’re in the home stretch they say.  The debates are over, and oh shoot this election’s gonna be close.  Yeah, too bad that’s not a good thing for an America that’s been beaten into the dirt by a miserable economy where millions of people are still suffering, including people who just wanted to work hard and do well and wound up in this miserable situation through no fault of their own.

The fact that Romney and Obama are neck-and-neck just speaks volumes of how dysfunctional our two-party system has gotten.  This race shouldn’t be anywhere near as close as it currently is, but the fact that the American people get to “choose” between “the shiniest of two turds” as the Epic Rap Battles satire folks on YouTube put it when they spoofed the election just says everything we need to hear and is no doubt contributing to this race being close in the first place.  Seriously, the fact that this election is even being contested at all just shows how bad things really are.

Democrats – The Left Has Left Us Behind  😛

Let’s look at President Obama to start with, whose rabid fanbase is overblowing what little economic progress this country has made in the past four years.  President Obama should just be having a token campaign while waiting for his challenger to run him out of Washington with how anemic America’s economic recovery has been, especially when as a Democrat his own ideology is going to ensure that a lame duck Obama term will feature more of the same.  This re-election thing should be like Herbert Hoover except with Democrats instead of Republicans – but it’s not.

First of which, as Republicans will jump all over and even made a video about it at one point a few years ago, the Obama administration has talked about creating jobs every single year this president has been in office, yet once again, actions speak louder than words.  While telling pretty fairy tales of an America with a thriving economy again and unicorns prancing in the fields (sarcasm :-P) President Obama has openly tolerated people like Mr. “We Need $8/Gallon Gas” Chu being in charge of the Department of Energy (why does that man still have a job?) and has doggedly fallen into the mold of staunch partisans these days in pushing ideology over reality, and in the case of the Democrats, social experiments over fixing the economy.

Yes, that’s right.  What else other than ideology over practicality would lead a party to ram through a massive bill like Obamacare that nobody even could read before it was passed right after our economy had crashed and burned?  Then today our energy policy continues to show that the plan is clearly to “make cheap energy expensive so expensive energy seems cheap” and other assorted things people won’t pay attention to once the election is over.  Verbally, jobs are supposedly important to these people, but their actions tell a different story, one where social experiments and the ongoing efforts to transform America into a European social democracy (because, you know, those countries in Europe whose economies and governments have been teetering like a house of cards from fiscal meltdown and crashing the world economy are sooooo more advanced than us) take clear precedence over any supposed attempts to create more of a meritocracy in America where a strong middle class exists from people working hard and being successful.

This isn’t just an Obama problem though.  Right in my own backyard here in the “very blue in more ways than one” state of Connecticut our own Democratic governor Dannel Malloy (who very much is an Obama kiss-up with perhaps a few future Presidential aspirations of his own) has doggedly stuck to ideology instead of anything practical and while the Nutmeg State remains infamously business-unfriendly at least the governor can occasionally beg, plead, and “bribe” businesses with tax money to create a paltry amount of jobs *cough cough CHARTER* so he can at least say the state’s open for business.  😛  Too bad while engaging in these dysfunctional economic activities his administration passed the first mandatory-paid-sick-leave law in the country, which in more prosperous times might be a nice humane thing to do, but seriously?  This kind of legislation plus tax hikes when the economy’s flat on its back and nobody has any money?  This and Obamacare are all the proof I need that Democrats only care about social experiments and agendas rather than fixing this country.

So why isn’t this election a done deal then?  How come Obama isn’t looking at a landslide defeat making him the Democrat equivalent of Herbert Hoover?  Simple – the best the Republicans could come up with was Mitt Romney. 😛

Republicans – The “Right” Might Need To Change Their Label If They Keep Being Wrong  😛

Mitt Romney has been a GOP done deal front-runner for practically the whole time he’s been running for President, which makes me wonder, if he loses, and the GOP once again throws a moderate to the wolves, what will happen when the Republicans run out of la-la moderates to sacrifice at the polls every four years?  😛  I have absolutely zero reason to trust a word Romney says – ever.  The man’s been a New England Joke for years in this neck of the woods, and I know full well he’s little more than a nice smiley guy who’ll say anything to get elected and knows how the game is played.  He reminds me of a Republican version of John Kerry, a rich somewhat-condescending guy from Massachusetts who people like to call a “flip-flopper” from time to time.  😛  He had a single term as governor and as his opponents like to point out, didn’t do so well at job creation and penned Romneycare of course.  😛  Some conservative talk radio hosts like to say, “Oh but he picked Paul Ryan as his running mate.”  Ha.  It’s called Damage Control.  😛  Paul Ryan would have become a hotshot GOP rising star with or without this campaign.  Romney needed Ryan more than Ryan needed Romney here considering how many conservatives in more socially conservative parts of the country would have to hold their nose to vote for a guy like Romney instead of someone like Rick Santorum, but at least this time around the running mate isn’t Sarah Palin.  😛

It would take an election like this to propel someone like Romney into having at least a somewhat decent chance of winning the White House.  There’s little reasons other than “He’s Not Obama” to like the guy, even within his own party.  New England Republicans are usually made fun of by other Republicans for not being “real conservatives” because here in the Northeast with all these blue states all it really takes to be a “conservative” is fiscal conservatism, which is how Republicans in New England get elected.  When people for whatever reason get sick of being taxed-and-spended to death and want a break from the death spiral that makes this part of the country one of the “worst places to retire” in article after article, you’ll see a Republican get elected in this “uber-liberal” part of the country.  It is more than possible to be a social liberal in the New England states while still being GOP simply because you don’t want to spend your state off a fiscal cliff.  😛

Of course hovering over any GOP election while this economy remains down in the dumps is the residual fallout from the Bush years when this mess began.  Yeah, remember that guy?  Heck, some people even miss him, and still others are cracking sarcastic remarks about how they never thought they’d miss Bush until Obama took office.  😛  Perhaps this is why the party keeps picking moderates to toss in the campaigns and we get to see folks like McCain and Romney go from being made fun of by snarky conservatainment opinion columnists like Ann Coulter to being uberloved as though they were the best thing since sliced bread.  😛  Perhaps one day we might see an actual conservative run again to challenge a liberal, but for now, we have Romney.  Yay.  I think I’ll toss in a protest vote for one of those “third party folks who never has a chance of winning” this November.  Heck, even Roseanne’s running for prez.  😛

I’ve never seen a more useless United States presidential election in my life.  I just only hope that the cable news industry enjoys all the viewership and ratings they’ll get from this thing being a “oh-so-close fight to the finish!”  😛  Really, this race shouldn’t even be any contest, but no thanks to just how dysfunctional things are these days, we actually get to lose sleep over seeing who wins in a little under two weeks.  Woohoo!  😛

October 2012 Economic Numbers And Stuff In The Election – Did I Call It Or What? :-P

Here we are.  October 2012.  The home stretch of the campaign before Election Day, and what do you know?  7.8% unemployment.  :o)  President Obama is absolutely on the warpath about this.  Did I call it or did I call it?  :o)

Just shy of 8 months ago, I predicted that Democratic strategists in the Obama 2012 campaign would take the official unemployment number and run with it because U3 favors the incumbent in a situation like this.  Well…. here we are.  The September jobs report finally gets U3 under 8%, but as I mentioned earlier, the economy does not need to get better for that number to drop because U3 doesn’t include discouraged workers, and if we check the charts, the numbers and trends are actually mixed at best.  Actually because the numbers aren’t moving drastically in either direction you actually have to zoom in on the charts to see if the number went up or down. Let’s go over what the results were:

Civilian Unemployment Rate:https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UNRATE

We know this one is down of course.  🙂

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate:https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CIVPART

Still at levels not seen since the 80s.  Some of this of course is because of baby boomers retiring, but the trend is still in line with the sharper drop since the crash and not the more gradual drop of the 2000s.

Of Total Unemployed, Percent Unemployed 27 Weeks And Over:https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/LNS13025703

Still at an all-time high.  Actually went up from last month.

Median Duration Of Unemployment:https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMPMED

Still in all-time-high territory.  Has actually been going up over the past 2 months.

Number Of Unemployed:https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UNEMPLOY

This number is *almost* down to the level of the worst 80s recession, but at least it’s dropping, though I wonder if this metric might be subject to the shenanigans that some state unemployment numbers are prone to where the number is based on people receiving benefits rather than people who can’t find jobs.  :-\

U6 Rate: https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/U6RATE

Still in all-time-high territory, and flat from last month.  This is the most interesting number because U6 includes “people employed part-time for economic reasons” which covers your people with part-time jobs who would rather have full-time jobs but can’t find any.  After one of the recessions during the Bush years, I remember Democratic pundits going on about what they called a “Bush recovery” where President Bush was giving speeches about job creation yet the jobs that were being created were lousy low-wage jobs and not anything someone could make an actual living off of.  Now of course the partisan folks hollering about that stuff seem to have vanished…  😉

Civilian Employment-Population Ratio:https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/EMRATIO

Still at 70s levels, but going up, though much like CIVPART I expect retiring Baby Boomers to keep that number from returning to what it once was.

That’s the current state of the numbers.  Now let’s look at the stuff I was talking about last February to see what’s come true.

  • Democrats going nuts with U3.  Check.
  • Republicans dodging U3.  Check.  Now the motto is that because President Obama promised 5.6% unemployment by this time and we’re at 7.8% that he’s a failed president.  Predictable from them of course.  🙂
  • The economy not having to improve for the president to get his sub 8.0% unemployment by Election Day.  Check.  The results are mixed at best, with multiple metrics still in all-time-high territory, meaning we’re not anywhere close to pre-crash levels on these charts.
  • People snapping up crappy jobs and that counting as “economic recovery.”  Check.  I called this in August after the July numbers posted.  Now we have U3 dropping while U6 is flat from last month.  I rest my case.  😉

So…. what’s next?  Well given early-month holidays’ tendencies to delay jobs report numbers (4th of July, Labor Day, etc.) I’m now watching for the next jobs report to be delayed until after Election Day next month, maybe even to the point where the news breaks right after the polls close on that Tuesday night.  For bonus points, because of U3 not including discouraged workers watch the unemployment rate be back over 8% after the election because enough discouraged workers hear the press clamoring on about alleged economic recovery and the president running wild with these U3 numbers that they start looking for jobs again and U3 goes back up.  That’s happened before, this year actually, but by then it’ll be too late of course.

Well played, Obama administration.  Well played.  😛  That’s not going to change the fact though that poor people like myself are still getting beaten into the dirt.  =(