Monday, November 26, 2012

Week of 11/26/2012

GOP Come Claim Your Junk!
– by David Matthews 2

There comes a time in every campaign for a certain chore to be undertaken that nobody wants to have done, but someone still has to do it.

It’s the time after the ballots have been counted, after the speeches have been made, and after the losers have grudgingly conceded and the winners graciously accepted the decision of the voters.  It’s the time when someone has to sweep up the confetti, pick up the balloons, clean the hotels of used prophylactics, repair the room damage, and pick up all of those signs that were plastered both legally and illegally all over the area.  

That last part is the hardest, of course.  Nobody wants to pick up their junk, especially after their candidate lost.  Losing is bad enough; now you have to pick up all of the reminders of that loss. 

But it still has to be done.

Of course, when it comes to the GOP, they’ve left a lot more than just a few political signs.  They’ve left a good part of their campaign garbage just laying around for the rest of us to stumble over. 

Here are a few instances…

Spoilsport Business Tantrums – Bad enough that GOP nominee Mitt Romney helped to orchestrate a business campaign to intimidate employees in direct violation of Title 18 Section 594 of federal law, but after the election those same business leaders began throwing childish temper tantrums about all of the supposed million and billions and trillions of jobs that they “would have created” if Romney won, but now they supposedly won’t.

Of course I don’t expect any of them to be frog-marched off to jail by our Attorney General for breaking the law.  AG Eric Holder doesn’t frog-march corporate criminals into custody… he strikes deals with them.  But their “Going Galt” attitude that has now become a spoiled tantrum certainly shows who the real villains of the Great Recession are.  (And for you cons and neo-cons out there that still don’t get it… here a hint: go find a mirror.)

Karl Rove – I was one of the few people that cautioned about writing off the so-called “Architect” following his abysmal failure as a political forecaster.  He was far from being the only one that made a shoot-the-moon “landslide victory” prediction, but he certainly was the best example of an unchecked ego in sore need of a comeuppance. 

What makes Rove’s case worse is that in addition to his job as a “political consultant” for Fox News and the talk radio circuits, he’s also got his own SuperPAC, which is pretty much like finding out that the local weatherman is also the owner of an umbrella store.  Bear in mind this is the same supposed “fair and balanced” news organization that condemns people for simply donating money to a SuperPAC (i.e. Bill Maher) and here they are putting the owner of one such SuperPAC on their payroll as a “political contributor”.

Where is the accountability, guys?  You’re supposed to be all about “responsibility” and “accountability” and “keeping people honest”.  You don’t want your viewers to presume that it’s all just a huge con job, do you?

Fear-Mongering Conspiracy Nutcases –There are people that still believe to this day that not only did President Barack Obama not present a birth certificate, but they are now claiming that “nobody … has seen an actual physical copy of his birth certificate.”  Apparently “nobody” includes the current and previous directors of Hawaii’s Department of Health, from where both the long and short versions of the birth certificate came from and were made available at Obama’s request.

Oh, but if you think the “Birther” issue was resolved a while ago, think again, because these questionably competent people have expanded their tinfoil conspiracy theory to include school transcripts.  High school transcripts, college transcripts, elementary school transcripts, admissions forms, scholarship forms, the Columbia Record Club application forms… no matter how mundane, not matter how inconsequential, no matter how asinine the request, they want it, and if they can’t get it immediately then it’s all part of that same “conspiracy”.

And they firmly believe that at some point they will find what they are looking for and it would be enough to have Obama removed from office.  All because their fragile narcissistic egos refuse to acknowledge that they are on the wrong side of history and on the wrong side of humanity.  

Even the people that believe that the 9/11 Terrorist Attack was an “inside job” are saying that these “Birther” people are crazy!  That in and of itself should be the final word, but obviously it’s not because crazy and stupid know no limits.

What’s worse is that these guys have been bolstered not only by talk radio and Fox News, but also by folks like Donald Trump and his Twitter talk of “Revolution” and Ted Nugent and his promise that he’ll either be in jail or dead if Obama is re-elected.  Mister Trump, I hope you keep your recent public antics in mind when people stop worshiping your self-branded ego and your ego-centered so-called “reality” television program. 

And Mister Nugent… “dead or in jail by this time next year” you say?  Sound an awfully lot like those terrorists that you love to hate.  Maybe you ought to take a trip over to Oklahoma City and stand where I stood, where the Alfred P. Murrah building once existed, and see the handiwork of someone who thought just like you almost twenty years ago.  You may have heard of him, Mister Nugent.  His name was Tim McVeigh.  He believed the same things you do now.  And he got both jail and death for his actions.  Go ahead, Mister Nugent, pay that reflecting pool a visit and stare out at the 168 empty chairs, including the 19 small chairs, that represented the people that were killed because of that very mindset, and try to spread that kind of message there.

“Harmless” you may say?  A 57-year old police officer in Jacksonville, Florida, recently said that he’d be willing to assassinate the President.  Yeah, “harmless” like Lee Harvey Oswald was “harmless”.  Like John Hinkley was “harmless”.  They’re all “harmless” until the tragedy happens.

Then there’s…

Mitt Romney – Remember what Senator John McCain did after he lost in 2008?  Remember what Senator John Kerry did after he lost in 2004?  Remember what former Vice President Al Gore did after he lost in 2000?  Remember what former Senator Bob Dole did after he lost in 1996?  Remember what Michael Dukakis did after he lost in 1988?  Remember what former Vice President Walter Mondale did after he lost in 1984?  They all went away, Governor.  They took the loss and they went away.  There was no public whining about fictional “gifts” and trying to rationalize that loss by marginalizing the very voters you once sucked up to.  They just accepted the loss for what it was and then they went away.  Some came back, some didn’t, but they all first went away.

And now, Governor, it’s time that you did the same.  You lost; just like all of your predecessors lost.  You’re not the first, you won’t be the last, and you won’t even be memorable.  You’ll just be a footnote for future political commentators like myself to reference when the situation calls for it.

But the worst has to be…

The Secessionists – Just when we thought Romeny’s Spoiled One-Percenters were bitter and petty with their tantrums, these guys come along and make the Business Whiners look tame.

Someone got it into their warped heads that if they can’t win the election that they were going to take “their states” and leave the United States.  So they’re using one of Obama’s online petition programs to launch what could be called their “Declaration of Secession”.

Note the arrogant self-righteous presumption that they are speaking on behalf of you and me when they demand that “their” states be allowed to secede from the United States.  Note their utter disdain for our American system when it doesn’t specifically work in the way that they want it to.  And note their pompous selfishness – not to mention laziness – in their demands that “the country” leave them instead of the other way around, which is what they’ve been demanding of others for years now.  When they win the election it’s “America: Love it or Leave it”, but if they lose the election it’s “America: Leave me I hate you!”

If there is any kind of justice in this universe, these secessionists would be publicly shamed and reminded of their secession request at every opportunity.  Every time they flew Old Glory, every time they commented on some politician not showing “enough” signs of patriotism, every time they attend a July Fourth parade, every time they sing the national anthem or recite the Pledge of Allegiance, they should be reminded loudly and publicly that they spit on that very nation when they demanded that “their state” leave the United States simply because “their candidate” lost the election.

Let’s get brutally honest here… ultimately all of these things are in the lap of the GOP.  All of these things were done under their banner and done for their cause.  They were the ones that created the “anything goes” and “do whatever it takes” atmosphere that encouraged these people to do what they are doing now.  Each of these people – Nugent, Trump, the Secessionists, the Birthers, the Tantrum 500’s – they all operated with the idea that a member of the GOP would be President, and when denied that goal of a GOP Presidency, they are now carrying out revenge on America.  You had might as well stamp the GOP elephant right on each of their foreheads.

I’m sure the counter-argument would be made that in some twisted alternate universe the Democrats would do the same thing if their people lost the election.  But they didn’t lose the election.  The GOP lost the Presidential Election.  That is reality, and it is high time that the GOP bosses and members dealt with that. 

These incidents are an embarrassment to the GOP, to our political system, to the process set up by our predecessors by which we select leaders and representatives, and it is an embarrassment to America in general.  It is high time that the GOP do the right thing, step up, and clean up their campaign garbage.  It has already begun to reek.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Week of 11/19/2012

Puerto Rico 51?  Make It Happen Quick!
– by David Matthews 2

Something strange happened while we Americans were wasting six billion dollars to sustain the status quo

The citizens of Puerto Rico decided they wanted to be a full-blown member of the United States of America!

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has been a territory of the United States since the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898.  Its people became American citizens in 1917, enjoying some of the rights and freedoms as any other American but with a few notable exceptions.  They cannot vote for a U.S. President or Vice-President, even though they have a say in the primaries and caucuses.  They only have “shadow representation” in Congress.  They aren’t really covered under the U.S. Constitution because they’re not a state, but they also are not a sovereign nation.  They get Social Security and Medicare, but they don’t pay federal taxes.

It is a political and administrative “grey area” that they’re in… and, the thing is, the voters have wanted this for decades!

For years, the citizens of Puerto Rico were given a choice as to whether or not they wanted change.  They could choose statehood, independence, or continue with their Commonwealth status.  Since 1968, the citizens of Puerto Rico voted overwhelmingly to continue with their Commonwealth status.  They voted again in 1993 and 1998 with similar results.

But not this year.

This year was different.  This year they had a two-part referendum.

Question One: Do you want to continue with the current status?

Question Two: Do you prefer Statehood, a “Sovereign Free-Associated State”, or Independence?  By the way, a “Sovereign Free-Associated State” would essentially re-negotiate their Commonwealth status but they would still be in that “grey area”.

The key was the first question.  Only those that voted “No” to the first question could count to vote on the second one.

Puerto Ricans voted “No” to Question One by a 54% majority.  Of those, over 61% voted for statehood.

In other words, for the first time since 1968, the majority of Puerto Ricans actually voted to end their current Commonwealth status and become a full part of the United States of America.

But don’t start planning your statehood party just yet.  It’s still not a done deal.

You see, before we can call Puerto Rico our fifty-first state, it has to go through the United States Congress.  Yes, we are talking about the same Congress that is dominated by one party that is inept and one party that would rather see your children die before doing anything to help out the guy in the White House.  It is now up to them to actually make Puerto Rico a new state.

Puerto Rico already has a “state” constitution.  It already has local infrastructure and “shadow representation” in Washington.  They have done all of the hard work to make statehood reality.  All they need is Congress to sign off on it.

And this is probably the silliest part of it all.  This commentator checked to see if there was any special procedure that needed to be done for statehood, and apparently it just requires Congress to approve it.  No super-majority vote, no two-thirds state ratification, not even a note from Epstein’s mom!  Just a simple bill sponsored and approved by both houses by a simple majority.  Unfortunately for the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the words “simple” and “majority” are alien to this batch of Congressional grifters and shysters.

Let’s get brutally honest here… I firmly believe that Congress should not waste too much time following through with this and make Puerto Rico the fifty-first state.

There is something for both dominant political parties to gain with officially following through with statehood for Puerto Rico.  For the House-dominated GOP, it’s an opportunity to bring in much-needed tax revenue from a territory that currently doesn’t pay any of our federal taxes.  You guys continually claim you want to eliminate the so-called “welfare deadbeats”, right?  Statehood will fix that for one for the biggest welfare recipients we currently have!  And for the Senate-dominated Democrats, you guys get two new full-fledged senators to offset the GOP minority!  Plus, remember what I said about welfare recipients?  They’re not going to vote for the party that takes their benefits away, are they?

At the very least, think of all of the jobs that would be created to come up with new American flags with 51 stars!  Oh, wait, all of our flags come from China now, don’t they?  Well they can correct that mistake as well.

But Congress needs to act on this, and they need to act now before the citizens of Puerto Rico realize just what the hell they’ve voted for and change their minds with another referendum vote.

Understand that Puerto Rico’s current status as a “territory” instead of a state is not unique.  We acquired it along with Guam and the American Samoans back in the age of “manifest destiny”, when American leaders decided to expand our “American Exceptionalism” like our counterparts in the European nations of England, France, and Spain.  We were a little late in the whole “empire-building” thing, but at least we still have ours!  And we treated these territories like we treated our own District of Columbia… it’s “ours” but not really “worthy” of being a full-fledged part of the United States.  We get our imperial cake and get the rest of the world to eat it too.

But just like we did with former territories Hawaii and Alaska over fifty years ago, we now have an opportunity to expand as a nation and bring in a new state whose people are now willing to be a part of.  And unlike the Middle East or Asia, we get to do it without needing to wage a war.  In fact, we already waged that war over a century ago… it’s just long past time that we finished collecting on it and to do away with the antiquated notion of having imperial-like territories.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week of 11/12/2012

The 2012 Presidential Morass Is Over!
– by David Matthews 2

It’s over!

The 2012 Morass is done with!

Our long-running nightmare has finally come to its conclusion.

And… shocker of all shockers (all sarcasm intended)… the status quo remains intact.

Much like the ending in “The Matrix Revolutions”, this commentator is left with this somewhat numb feeling, of being told that it’s “over” and trying to be elated by it, but still being puzzled by the outcome.  Sorry “Kid”, you may be saying “The war is over”, but it doesn’t feel like that’s the case.

President Barack Obama has won his re-election campaign.  As I said in a previous column, this was always his race to lose, and he proved it.

But I’m not going to gloat about it, mostly because I didn’t vote for him.  I voted my conscience instead of according to a party script.  I’m also not going to throw a temper tantrum over his win, for pretty much the same reason.

Am I happy that he won?  There’s a part of me that says “yes”.  I won’t deny that. 

There is a part of me that is happy that Obama won because of the naked narcissistic arrogance and blatant hypocrisy of those in the GOP that were shoving their candidate down our collective throats.  The egos of a political faction that has been pompous and self-serving even back when I was a card-carrying member of the GOP is something that has they have never been able to address.

And why the conservatives and neo-conservatives and theo-conservatives indeed lost, it wasn’t a truly “humbling” loss for them.  It wasn’t a clear loss for them.  They still hold the House of Representatives in their hands.  They still have filibuster power in the United States Senate.  Congressman Paul Ryan, aka “Mister Budget”, still has a job in Washington.  So does fellow Representative and Presidential Wannabe Michelle Bachman.  They can still create trouble for Obama’s second tenure, and they vowed to do just that long before the first ballots were cast.

So, no, they’re not humbled, and many of them truly need to be.

But let’s see where they went wrong.  Let’s start with…

The Man They Had:  Willard “Mitt” Romney was not the man that the GOP really wanted on the ticket.  He’s the man that the voters in the primaries and caucuses chose over all of the others; even though the diehard evangelical GOP extremists vowed on a stack of bibles the size of the Washington Monument that they would “never” have him on the ticket.  Not only did they go back on their promise from this past January, but they then carried on and championed his campaign as though they were on his side from day one.  The word “hypocrisy” in this regard would be an understatement.

“It’s My Turn”:  Once again we have a candidate that believed that it was simply “his turn” to win, as though the Office of President of the United States was a matter of “paying your dues” and “waiting your turn”.  John Kerry thought this was the case.  So did Bob Dole.  So did Vice-President Al Gore.  Mitt Romney just found out that it just isn’t so.

“Birth Certificate” Meet “Tax Returns”: While Romney tried to stay away from the whole “Birther” issue… operative word being “tried”… Romney wasn’t as transparent when it came to his tax returns, only deciding to make the most recent ones public and staying away from anything connected to his former workplace, Bain Capital.  This was a sore spot from the primaries that never went away, and from the same political party that made a whole mountain pass out of Obama’s birth certificate.  Again, the word “hypocrisy” would be an understatement.

When will they learn?  Everything brought out in the primaries can and will be used against your nominee in the general election!  That’s the Political Miranda Rule and it is proven time and time again!

October Mega-Storm Surprise:  Who would have thought that the “October Surprise” of this election would be Mega-Storm Sandy?  It certainly gave Obama the opportunity to demonstrate how he handled a natural disaster compared to his processor, not to mention give him some unexpected public kudos from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. 

Oh, and word of warning to President Obama: you need to follow through with that support now that the election is over, lest you back-end yourself into making the mistakes of your predecessor.

Etch-A-Romney:  Romney’s leaked-out “Etch-A-Sketch” tactic - while far from being new, original, or surprising - did make public something that was long talked about by pundits under their breaths; namely that a candidate will pander to the extremists in the primary season and then “flip-and-shake” and start all over again by pandering to the moderates.  It’s one thing for the audience to figure out how the magician does his trick; it’s another to stand on stage next to the magician and walk the audience through how he does it.

Picking on Big Bird: Imagine sitting down next to a friend of your boss and this “friend” tells you “I like you.  You’re a great person.  You do great work.  I have nothing but praises for what you do, but I’m going to get your boss to get rid of your job so he can fund my pet projects.  Nothing personal.”  That’s what Mitt told Jim Lehrer during the first debate when he said he would de-fund public broadcasting, and thus supposedly “fire” both Lehrer and Big Bird on “Sesame Street”.  Maybe that kind of cutthroat attitude is normal for Wall Street, but not for Main Street.  You don’t tell the moderator of your debate that you’re going to have him fired if you get elected, and you don’t tell kids that you’re going to take away their TV show. 

Oh and for the record, the folks at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting said that “Sesame Street” is funded by corporate sponsors, not through Congress.  But the imagery was more than enough to turn people away from Romney.  This outrage has been sponsored by the letters “F” and “U”.

Corporations Are People Too”: Sorry, Mitt, but you are out-and-out wrong.  Corporations are not people.  Corporations are business entities run by people that are able to use money that is not theirs.  Sound a little familiar?  They are no more “people” than you could proclaim that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts – which you once governed and you couldn’t even carry in this election – was a “person”.

That was, though, just one of many Romney-isms that did him in, and not all of them came from his own mouth.  The “Etch-A-Romney” was another example.  So was the proclamation that “This campaign will not be dictated by fact-checkers”.

Speaking of corporations, it also didn’t help Romney’s campaign any to have his friends in Corporate America try to intimidate their employees to vote for him or face possible layoffs.  This was unprecedented, folks, and a more-capable Attorney General might even call that a violation of federal RICO laws.  Oh, and just a word of warning… should that happen, it’s not the corporations that end up getting arrested and their assets seized.  It’s the actual people behind them.

The Company Mitt Kept:  This election was more than just Mitt, much as Mitt would probably like to think otherwise.  Mitt Romney represented the GOP, and that dominant party was just chock full of “colorful characters”… like Congressman Todd Akin, who believed that women had the same kind of “rape prevention” biology as a duck.  Or Richard Mourdock, who believed that pregnancies caused by rape are things that “God caused to happen”.  Or Congressman Allan West, the expelled Iraq War officer that invoked the ghost of disgraced Senator Joe McCarthy by claiming to have a list of known “Communist Party” members.

I haven’t even gotten to Super-PAC contributor Sheldon Adelson, who funded Newt Gingirch’s primary run that loaded him up with all of those anti-Romney nuggets and then funded Romeny’s campaign.  Think about it: a casino magnate funding a Mormon, whose own church condemns gambling… and nobody called “BS” on it!  I’m sure that convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff was bouncing off a few walls over that bit of realization.

Oh, it should also be noted that Akin, Mourdock, and West were each shown the door by the voters.

But perhaps the biggest thing that did Romney in was…

Romney’s World: Mitt Romney’s biggest enemy was his own bubble of delusion.  A delusion bubble that said that Obama started his tenure with an “apology tour” that never existed.  A delusion bubble that said that Romney could create twelve million new jobs before turning around and proclaiming “Government doesn’t create jobs”.  A delusion bubble that said that Obama coddled terrorists when Obama actually green-lit the mission that killed Osama bin Laden and had the Navy cracking down on Somali pirates, not to mention doubled-down on the PATRIOT Act in ways that even liberals are crying foul over.  A delusion bubble that accused Obama of not willing to work with Congress when it was Senator Mitch McConnell that proclaimed that it was the primary mission of the GOP to make Obama a one-term president.  A delusion bubble that said that Obama “had no plan” on dealing with unemployment when Obama would offer program after program that would be shot down in Congress.

It’s not hard to see where this delusion bubble would come from, of course.  Fox News, the late Andrew Breitbart, talk radio, conservative think-tanks, take your pick; any or all of the above will suffice.  It’s the same bubble from 2008 only with an extra dose of bitterness.

When you put all of these things together, though, you can see just where Romney went wrong.  Mitt Romney was a flawed candidate in a flawed party operating on a flawed premise that anyone – even a flip-flopping delusional Mormon – was better than Obama.

But while I’ll admit that there is a part of me that is glad to see that pompous arrogant faction lose, the rest of me is very bothered by the outcome.

Let’s get brutally honest here… despite the rhetoric, despite the outrage, despite the frustrations, despite the misery we have been enduring these past four years… the American people voted to maintain the status quo… again!

Yes, the really extreme members of the GOP are out.  Or, some of them, anyway.  The “Rape is God’s Will” and the “Legitimate Rape” and the “McCarthy was right” fundamentalist extremists are out.  The truck-driving conservative Scott Brown got replaced with the former TARP overseer Elizabeth Warren.  Even liberal Allen Grayson got his job back in Florida.  But Congresswoman Michelle Bachman still has her job.  So does Congressman Paul Ryan, even though he lost his brief run to be Vice-President. 

House Speaker John Boehner still keeps his job and his grasp of power in the House.  So does the perpetual surrender monkey, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  Both legislative halves retain their respective party dominance and still with the filibuster threat looming over them to guarantee nothing passes.

If there was a fundamental shift in party dominance in Congress, that would have been one thing.  Then the claim could be made that the voters “accepted” or “rejected” any one party or philosophy.  As it is, the only thing that the voters seemingly rejected was Willard “Mitt” Romney and his delusion bubbles bought and paid for by Super-PAC money.

That is probably the biggest of the insults in this whole sordid Morass; the sheer volume of money wasted.

Quite literally billions of dollars were spent by K-Street and C-Street lobbyists and Corporate America on this election.  Billions that could have been spent on jobs.  Billions that could have been invested in other businesses to get Americans working again.  Billions that could have been put into expanding current businesses and improving employee conditions, thus raising the tax revenue base, and providing the revenue needed to reduce government dependency.  Instead, that money was wasted on TV ads and on overpaid and over-exaggerated political consultants like Frank Luntz and Karl Rove and Dick Morris.

Money that could have turned the Great Recession around was instead wasted on an election season that ultimately changed nothing.  Billions wasted to feed elitist egos instead of getting us all out of our economic death spiral.  Those aforementioned egos won’t see it that way, of course.  And now we all have to pay the price for their stubbornness. 

But don’t worry… the same people behind the 2012 Presidential Morass are already hard at work setting the stage for the 2014 Mid-Term Morass, and also for the 2016 Presidential Morass.  After all, overpaid consultants still need to make their money, and pompous egos still need to be stroked.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week of 11/05/2012

Vote Your Conscience!
– by David Matthews 2

This article is being published the day before Election Day 2012.

That said, I know that I probably won’t be able to influence you at this point about whom you will vote for on Election Day.  Most people have made up their minds a while ago, and some people (like myself) have even been able to vote early so they wouldn’t have to deal with the hassles of waiting in line on Election Day.

But if you haven’t early-voted yet, I have some things I want to share with you about this 2012 Election Season.  Whether it changes your mind or not is up to you, but I’m not going to hold my breath while waiting on hearing about anyone doing that.

First of all, if you’re supposedly voting for real change, then you will never get it by voting for either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama.

I know that goes against the GOP script.  I know that it also goes against the Obama script.  But that is all that it is.  It is a script.  It is fiction, fantasy, a delusion whipped up by overpaid political consultants and reinforced by propaganda mills pretending to be cable news channels.

Mitt Romney has been running for President since 2006, back when he first decided to run for the job.  Remember that?  Remember how he campaigned back then?  Since those days, he has morphed and regenerated himself and his positions more times than Doctor Who, and all without changing actors!  He has flip-flopped so many times on so many positions that he should have the word “Croc” stamped on his forehead and be kept away from escalators.

So which Mitt Romney would we end up with should he win on Election Day?  All indications are that we’d end up with the Mitt Romney that would cater to the evangelicals like Bush Junior did for eight years, and like what Obama did passively these past almost-four years.  He’d cater to Big Corporate like Bush Junior did.  Gitmo?  He’d keep it going.  PATRIOT Act?  He’d sustain it and probably even expand on it.  The TSA?  Hope you enjoy those shoeless lines while they go over your luggage and check your tats through the body-scanners.  “Too Big To Fail”?  The gravy trains there would continue.  The Great Recession?  Oh that would be declared “done and over with” right after Election Day.  “Obamacare”?  You’d be lucky if that was repealed, but, then again, this was the guy that gave Massachusetts “Romneycare”, Obama’s supposed blueprint.

We’ve seen what Barack Obama has done since he took office.  He promised change and then put in a whole bunch of career insiders that kept the status quo going.  Not exactly the kind of change the American people were looking for.

Where Obama fails, more than anything, though, is his idea that the recession was short-term.  This is an economic wreck in the same league as the iceberg-gouge of the Titanic, and he operated on the premise that our economic-ship-of-state was simply taking on “a little water”.  Add to that Big Corporate playing their parasitic games and the GOP continuing their orchestrated sabotage, and it’s safe to expect the same systematic dysfunction to continue.

Not much of a choice if that is all you believe that we have.

I know the GOP script says that this is a choice between “freedom” and “socialism”.  That, however, is a bold-faced lie, and they know that it is a lie. 

This is the party that enacted and defends to this day the PATRIOT Act.  This is the party that shoved the Transportation Safety Authority down our throats, forcing us to wait in line without shoes just to board a flight.  This is the party of perpetual war ripped right out of the pages of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”.  This is the party that invented the Drug War – coined by Richard Nixon no less!  They wouldn’t know what freedom really was even if America’s Founding Fathers crawled out of their graves and bitch-slapped them.  By falsely claiming to be the party of “freedom” they are knowingly and willingly engaging in a fraud on a level that would make Bernie Madoff look like a rank amateur in comparison.

While not on par in terms of the fraud being perpetrated by the GOP, Obama’s campaign idea of “Forward” only makes sense if people really were moving forward instead of struggling just to keep from going under.  As mentioned in an earlier column, America finds itself rowing against an economic maelstrom, and the maelstrom is winning.  And rather than confronting the forces behind this man-made economic maelstrom, Obama’s subordinates broker sweetheart deals that allow criminal acts to be excused for nothing more than corporate pocket change.  His ideas have been sabotaged by a legislature that is one-half hostile and one-half incompetent, and by corporate executives that have been screaming like spoiled children in a toy store. 

All this while Americans suffer through the continuing effects of a recession that nobody wants to admit is still going on!  There’s nothing “forward” about where we are or where we’re heading.

Again, not much of a choice.  If that is all you believe that choice to be.

The problem is that for many American voters, there are other choices on that ballot.  Choices that are truly clear alternatives to the misery we’ve been going through with both the GOP and the Democrats.  But you consciously choose to ignore them… in favor of a script, no less!

It’s like some demented soap opera story where the young female character is asked to choose between two abusive suitors while ignoring her soul-mate.  And then she complains that she never finds love, when she consciously spurns those that would truly love her.

That is the kind of social sadomasochistic abuse most Americans put themselves and the rest of the nation through!  And all for a script!  A script that favors politics and corporate money over actual human beings!

So the question I want to really ask you is this: are you ready to live with that choice, no matter what it may be?

If you vote for either Obama or Romney, are you prepared to live with the screwjobs that will follow?  Are you prepared to have the powerful continue to screw over the powerless without any accountability whatsoever?  Are you prepared to be disappointed when those political promises they make do not come true?  That is what you will be facing after Election Day regardless of either Romney or Obama winning.

Let’s get brutally honest here… you pretty much forfeit any legitimate right to complain about a lack of choices if there are more than two on that ballot, especially if that other option better reflects the kind of person you want to represent you in government.  And if you say that he or she “can’t win”, then you have not only bought into the script, but you have proved you are a miserable excuse for a conscious human being.

Here’s a little nugget of reality: we vote for people who “can’t win” all of the time!  We call them “underdogs”.  We tell stories about them and make movies about their continual struggle to defy the odds.  Just look at the Cleveland Browns and the undying support their fans have no matter how bad of a football season they end up with.  You wouldn’t tell the Cleveland Browns to just not bother playing football, would you?   You wouldn’t walk into the Cleveland Browns Stadium and tell the 73,000 or so fans in attendance to just go home, would you?

And yet that is precisely what the script demands you to do when it comes to politics.

What I’m ultimately asking you to do is really very simple: I’m asking you to vote according to your conscience.

If you feel that someone else’s script is more important than your own values and your own expectations of how your chosen candidate should represent his or her constituents, then so be it.  I just want to know if you’re ready to live with the consequences of that choice.

You will not be any freer with either Romney or Obama.  They have proven this in both words and deeds.  Guantanamo Bay would still be there.  So would the PATRIOT Act and the TSA.  The economy will not just miraculously “heal” because of who wins or loses.  All of the hype generated from overpaid consultants will not change any of that.  If you are suffering now because of the recession, you will continue to suffer after the election, regardless of the outcome.

Are you ready to live with that? 

Are you ready to live with disappointment?  Are you ready to have promises broken?  That is precisely what you will be facing. 

If you’ve decided to prostitute your values for a party script, you’re going to find that you’re easier than a Craigslist whore in that regard.  You’ll find that you’re getting nothing out of something that is so precious for just one moment in one day that the political parties will spend billions to influence it.

Think about it.  Billions of dollars have been spent this year to own your vote.  Billions on consultants and ads and debates, billions on cable news programs to control what you think, billions on the messages you freely regurgitate on Facebook.  Billions of dollars that could have turned the recession around three times over…

And you don’t get one single penny of it.

Cheapest whores ever!

I’m just asking if you can live with that reality and the consequences of your actions.

The magical thing about voting is this: it is the one time, the only time, when politicians ever care about the masses, because it is the only time the masses have the power outside of a revolt.  All of the special interest groups, all of the overpaid political consultants, all of the ego-driven cable news personalities that pretend to be journalists, all of the forces that would otherwise influence government on a daily basis have no power once you enter that ballot box to cast your vote. 

If they chase you away from voting, then they have won.  If they convince you to sacrifice what you believe in so their candidate can get elected or re-elected, then they have won.  The only change they will accept is the one through their chosen candidate.  If you want real change, then you have to vote for the candidates that would actually provide it instead of what the script says. 

By the way, here’s the other magical thing about voting: if you vote for true change, even if your choice doesn’t win, you still have an effect on the outcome.  If enough people vote according to their conscience instead of what the script demands, then the powers-that-be start to pay attention and start supporting that actual change.  We saw this in 1992.  Remember the Reform Party?  We can see it again, but we each have to vote according to our conscience instead of a script.

It’s up to you now.  Choose wisely, and be ready to deal with the consequences either way.