Chris Clarke

“Why I’m not voting for Obama in 2012”

There are differences between the two parties. Despite the usual straw man, no one — except college students new to leftism and maybe Alexander Cockburn — ever really says there’s no difference between the parties except as the most shortened of shorthand. In point of fact, there’s as much difference between the parties as there is between clockwise and counterclockwise on a ratchet wrench turning a bolt. Turning rightward tightens the bolt. But you don’t want to break the handle by pushing too hard, so you relax and turn the handle back to the left. The wrench loosens a bit, if ineffectually — the bolt doesn’t move, but the pressure eases up. And then comes the next push to the right, tightening the bolt still further. Each cycle has its new status quo, its period of tightening up and release, and the result in the end? The leftward relaxation has merely made the rightward clampdown possible.

Democratic loyalists point out that if we don’t vote for their guy, the worse guy gets in. This is clearly true. But it also manifestly creates conditions by which the lesser evil will, over time, get more and more evil. We see this now in that we’re likely to be asked to vote for a man who has us involved in four concurrent wars, continues torture and rendition and denial of habeas corpus, offers up Medicare and Social Security for cuts as a compromise (another victory Bush could have only dreamed of), and would preside over the largest paving of the deserts in history — simply because his likely opponent is fucking batshit insane.

Go read the rest.

This and that down there via Pharyngula.