We re-elected Barack Obama, who is now the first black/mixed-race President for TWO terms.
We elected the first openly homosexual Senator…and she’s a woman.
We elected the first Asian-Amerian woman to the Senate.
We elected the first combat-wounded disabled female veteran to Congress.
Maine, Washington, and Maryland voted for marriage equality.
Minnesota voted down an anti-marriage equality amendment.
Openly misogynistic rape-apologist legislators Akin, Walsh, and Mourdock were voted the hell out…two of them by women.
Record-breaking numbers of young voters, women, and voters of color turned out DESPITE extraordinary suppression efforts and hardship in many districts.
Women and the young were the majority of the electorate for the first time in history.
For the first time in history, the electorate reflected the actual racial demographics of the country, with 28% voters of color.
Mary Gonzales, a Hispanic woman in Texas, became the first pansexual State Senator.
Puerto Rico voted to petition to become the 51st State
In other words, tonight America proved that things really, SERIOUSLY do get better and that no matter how much kicking and screaming, we are stronger in our diversity.
I don’t often feel like I can say I’m proud of you, America, but well fucking done.
Surprising exactly no one, there have been many reports of problems at polling places today, particularly in swing states. It’s also clear that most of these efforts to frustrate, confuse, and trick voters are being done for the benefit of Republican candidates. Undermining the…
fuck everything. i hate the world.
Maggie just stay off the internet until it’s over. Obama has a perfectly decent chance at winning, like 75%. Just go write fic.
so you think romney’s son buying voting machines in ohio isn’t going to make any impact on the election, right? WRONG. according to at least one person in columbus, ohio on the daily beast’s voter irregularity widget, machines with votes cast for obama are reporting as votes cast for romney. this is, in joe biden’s words, “a big fucking deal.”
spread this shit like wildfire.
please let this be a lie. godfuckingdamnit.
Maggie, you know those times where I tell you to stop watching the news because it’ll upset you? This is one of those times.
Somewhere around two percent of voters are ostensibly still undecided about who they’ll be voting for in the Presidential election. These people are often ridiculed, because it’s easy to make fun of a small minority, but many voters (including myself) are balancing competing interests and also trying to make conclusions about a candidate’s true intentions, which are always masked by a degree of political doublespeak.
In general, I’m disappointed by the tone of the political conversation this year, which is too rarely about policy and too often mean-spirited. Nobody running for President wants to destroy America. Nobody is evil.
The policy positions aren’t even that different: In the end, the purportedly “pro-rich” Romney wants the top marginal tax rate to be 28%; the purportedly “anti-rich” Obama wants it to be 39%. That may seem like a huge difference, but it really isn’t: In 1962, the top marginal income tax rate was 90%. In 1986, it was 50%.
I’m not going to give you a quiz that will tell you who to vote for; these already exist. Instead, I’m going to share what matters to me, and how I decided to vote to re-elect President Obama. This is a partisan attempt to convince you to vote for my guy, and I’m not going to pretend otherwise, but it comes from a true independent who has voted for many Republicans for state and national offices in the past (and will vote for a couple this year).
Here are the issues that matter to me:
1. The Economy: The Deficit. We can’t continue to take on debt without risking the long term financial health of the United States, but it’s really important to note that almost all of our current debt is extremely cheap, because interest rates are on T-Bills and the like are very low. So our current debt poses no risk to the American economy. (Here’s a further explanation.) But debt could become more expensive in the future, which could be a big problem. Both candidates for President have plans to reduce the deficit: Romney wants to cut spending and end some tax credits and deductions while also cutting overall income tax rates by 20%; Obama wants to cut spending and raise taxes, primarily by rolling back the Bush-era tax cuts on income over $250,000 a year. (Obama also wants to raise the capital gains tax modestly, from 15% to 20%, but this will never happen with a Republican congress.)
It’s not clear whose plan would cut the deficit more, because Romney hasn’t said which deductions he’d eliminate, and neither has really outlined what kind of spending they would cut, except for rhetorical stuff that isn’t very expensive (like federal funding for public broadcasting).
But to me, Obama’s plan is a lot more balanced and measured. It also incorporates a lot of Republican ideas, especially in restructuring Medicare costs to make them more sustainable, and if Obama is re-elected, the Grand Bargain that will need to be struck on deficit reduction will probably focus on spending cuts while also rolling back the Bush-era tax cuts on income over $250,000. I think Romney’s plan is just disingenuous; you don’t cut deficits by cutting taxes. You may spur economic growth (as we saw in the Reagan years), but you’ll never see surpluses that will allow us to better manage our debt (as we saw in the Clinton years). I think the current economic climate calls for a Clinton-esque response rather than a Reagan-esque response.
Some will say that President Obama shouldn’t be trusted with the deficit after growing it so much the past four years. But deficits are supposed to grow during recessions, and even during recoveries. (Indeed, that’s one of the reasons our debt is currently so cheap.) The deficit should shrink during times of economic expansion, which I expect the next four years will be no matter who is President.
2. The Economy: Jobs. Here’s my honest opinion: Presidents don’t create many private-sector jobs. It’s true that regulation stymies some growth that might lead to more employment, but it’s equally true that inadequate regulation can hurt the job market in the long run (as we saw with the banking collapse of 2008). I share a lot of Romney’s pro-business worldview, but most facilitating of private-sector job creation happens in local government, not on the federal side. (If Romney were running for governor of Indiana against Obama, I’d have a harder time making up my mind.)
3. The Supreme Court. The next presidential term will likely see one or two Supreme Court appointments, and while all the ink will be spilled about abortion rights and marriage (both very important issues), the biggest question facing the court to me is about the role that corporations play in our country and whether they should be treated as people under the law. Romney has implied he is likely to look to conservative justices who believe in corporate personhood; Obama has shown that he is likely to appoint judges (whom to me seem centrist but to conservatives seem liberal) who argue against corporate personhood. This is a defining issue of our time, and I don’t think corporations should have the same set of rights as individuals, so this is a big push toward Obama for me.
4. Foreign policy. This is pretty simple: Governor Romney wants to increase defense spending at a time when I don’t think it needs to be increased. I think the Afghan War has been poorly managed under Obama, but it was also poorly managed before. Vitally, he brought an end to the Iraq War (although again, we were put on that road by the Bush administration).
My biggest foreign policy concern is that Governor Romney has advocated for more intervention in Syria and Iran. I don’t think the US should act unilaterally anymore on the world stage. I also don’t want to see us return to the aggressive and hawkish rhetoric of the Bush era. We can’t afford it, and it doesn’t make us stronger.
5. Social issues. I believe in marriage equality and abortion rights, which line up with the President’s positions better than Governor Romney’s.
So that’s how I decided. A lot of people are going to choose differently, and that’s okay. I think President Obama is a better choice at this historical moment, but I don’t think Governor Romney is evil or even that he’d be a bad President. In short, I don’t blame you for being undecided. Thanks for reading.
Reblogging because tomorrow is election day.
I’d like to add that if Romney wins, the man a heartbeat away from the presidency will be one who really, really likes Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. (And then disclaimed it when someone pointed out the atheism, but that’s campaigns. Aquinas, yeah right.)
Just think about that. Or don’t, just that much is making my headache come back.
I am finding everything about this so upsetting. I don’t know why I keep reading election coverage.
Romney campaign bringing up welfare to rile up the racist white people.
“People who receive payments from the government are going to be required to do work, not as a punitive measure but as a gift. Work is enhancing; work is elevating.”
Obviously having something to do with your life helps with the not-feeling-useless-and-depressed but … please don’t say anything that sounds so much like “work sets you free.”
Please just don’t.
According to governor Scott Walker:
- “You could argue that money is more important for men. I think a guy in their first job, maybe because they expect to be a breadwinner someday, may be a little more money-conscious. To attribute everything to a so-called bias in the workplace is just not true.”
- “today almost anybody is a protected class.” As a result, he says, many companies are forced to pay fired employees to go away.
My counter-point is a bunch of barfing sounds, preferably into Scott Walker’s car on a hot day.
God Bless America
You can argue all kinds of things, without the argument being valid or the premises true. Now if you’ll just…
Where we rewrite the Constitution, since the drafters only expected it to last like twenty years, and we could clarify everything that’s been giving us problems (though probably we won’t outlaw guns like civilized countries do, because we are barbaric and what about zombies?) and maybe also get rid of first past the post voting, because this ultra-polarized bipartisan system is driving me nuts.
But no, we could never manage anything that logical and lacking in sound bites. We can’t even get rid of the penny.
This would drive me to ice cream, if I had any.
“Canada is scrapping the penny, ending production of the country’s smallest unit of currency this spring.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, whose department described the penny as a “nuisance” in budget documents, said the coin is now more trouble than it’s worth.
The Royal Canadian Mint will stop distributing pennies to financial institutions in the fall of 2012 and the government will work to withdraw one-cent coins from circulation.
The Harper government said the production cost of each penny exceeds its face value. “It costs taxpayers a penny-and-a-half every time we make one,” Mr. Flaherty told the Commons. “Therefore we will stop making them.”
In the United States, you never hear politicians or members of the cabinet saying things like, “It costs taxpayers a penny-and-a-half every time we make one. Therefore we will stop making them.” We don’t make politically neutral, factual statements.
This is why we still have pennies. It’s also why we can’t make sensible reform to medicare*, or end tax subsidies to oil companies**, or even agree to a long-term road building budget***.
Our government is so paralyzed by mutual distrust and ideological rigidity that it can’t implement even the most obvious long-term policies, which is a huge drag on our economy.
Anyway, congratulations on getting rid of your penny, Canada. Even though ours cost our taxpayers far more each year, it looks like we’ll be keeping ours indefinitely.
* The current Republican budget does pretty much dismantle medicare, the American program to get health care to seniors. But in the past few years, Republicans have proposed some sensible reforms to medicare. Medicare is far more efficient in some states than others, often while getting better health care outcomes. But the Democrats refuse to talk about it, because it would “hurt seniors.” (The President is an exception here.)
** I know of no economist who thinks ending these tax subsidies would result in the price of gasoline going up. It is insane to offer billions of dollars of tax breaks to oil companies that already have billions of dollars in profits; it does not incentivize them to do business in the US, and it does not affect the price of gasoline, and it is just insane. And yet Republicans refuse to act because it would mean “raising taxes.”
*** By far the most insane thing the US government is doing these days is refusing to agree to a long-term highway budget. Instead, they’re sending it out piecemeal. This means that states building roads must make short-term contracts, which cost much more per mile of road than long-term contracts. But if we agreed to a long-term roads package, it would mean agreeing to some huge number—400 billion dollars or whatever—and then one’s political opponents would be like, “S/he voted for 400 billion in GOVERNMENT SPENDING,” and … yeah. So we end up spending much more on roads than we need to so that it will SEEM like we are spending very much. That basically sums up the whole affair.