Monday, July 02, 2012


Alas, the New York Times this morning ran with a front page article headlined, “Stung by Recession, Young Voters Shed Image as Obama Brigade.”

The kids, recently out of high school or jut out of college, at best feel ambivalence to the President, and some feel worse toward Obama than that. They’re leaning either undecided or Republican – an alarmingly far cry from the youthful enthusiasm four years ago that help sweep Obama into

Who can blame them? So many are unable to find work, see a grim future for themselves, and emerge into voting age bereft of delivery on a bucketful of Obama’s election campaign promises.

Well, I blame them, not that they don’t have a point, or a quiver full of points. One letter to the Time from Dave K of Cleveland, Ohio, that is appended to the New York Times article sums up the indictment of young voters:
As one of the younger voters who has been disappointed with Obama, let me give you an idea as to what candidate Obama promised that president Obama hasn't come even remotely close to doing:

     - Close Gitmo and give those imprisoned there a fair trial (or release them).

     - End large no-bid contracts. He didn't even need Congress for this.

     - Increase taxes on those making over $250K a year, including eliminating the payroll tax cap and increasing top-bracket capital gains taxes.

     - Increase the minimum wage to $9.50.

     - Work with the states to give same-sex couples the same rights as opposite-sex couples.

     - Make polluting companies pay for cleaning up their mess.

     - A public option for health care.

     - End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
     Iraq is kinda over, but with several thousand troops still there. Afghanistan is no closer to ending than it was 10 years ago.

That's why I'm strongly considering voting for Jill Stein (Green Party) this year. Not because I want Mitt Romney, but because for many of the things I care about Obama has done exactly what I'd expect Mitt Romney to do.          Obama's strategy, pulled straight from the Clinton playbook, is to just flat out ignore the liberal wing of his party assuming they'll just hold their nose and vote for the Democrats as the lesser-of-two-evils. Well, I'm not playing that game.

While David has a point, some of the campaign promises sailed far out of Obama’s political reach after the first two years. More gravely, David also represents a line of thinking that would make matters so much worse if Romney wins or the Senate turns Republican that I shudder to contemplate them. I’m talking about matters such as:

-  Killing off unions, which fight to establish reasonable standards for working conditions, pay and benefits. Not to mention the only significant funding there is to put up against the Republican money machine that in effect buys legislative votes for right wing purposes.

-       Gutting Medicare, Social Security and Medicare.

-       Making health care a “privilege” which only the privileged rich will be able to afford.

-       “Permission to poison” the air, sea, land, and municipal water supplies of America by gutting government regulation.

The list goes on, but I’m certain you get the idea.

Obama bears some blame for allowing these dangers to come so close. He rejected the advice of economists like Paul Krugman who told him his job stimulus bill and budget were too puny to do the job. He kow-towed to Republicans, in effect, as the papers put it a few years ago, “negotiating with himself.”

Instead of drawing a line in the sand and telling Republicans and a few recalcitrant Democrats, “step over this and I’ll gut you politically,” compromised, and then compromised many of the compromises with Republicans who clearly were simply out to make him fail.

Nevertheless, and at the risk of repeating myself, if voters, most especially including the youngest voters, fail to support Obama and the Democratic Party, a nightmare future is lurking just over the hill we’ll get to on election day.

My cranky advice: Hold your nose. Vote for Obama and for every Democrat on the ticket, and then make the President’s political life utterly miserable if he shilly-shallies on delivering on last election’s promises as well as this election’s promises.

Occupy the White House and Congress if necessary. But first vote in the only President and a Democratic congress that is likely to listen.


Victor said...

"While David has a point..."

Yeah, it's on his head.

If thinking of an every shrinking liberal minority on the SC, from 5-4, to 6-3, to 7-2, to 8-1, down to 9 foaming-at-the-mouth Bork and Scalia clown-cloness, doesn't motivate people to vote for Obama, I don't know what will.

Roberts decision on ACA may very well be a "one-off."

He's just as steadfast a Conservative and corporatist today, as he was the day before this decision came his way.

Unknown said...

"Who can blame them?"

You actually ask, "Who can blame them?"

Anyone can blame them!

You can blame them!


BH said...

Like Mr. Auclair said.

Tom Hilton said...

Let's keep this in perspective: according to the poll cited in the article, the President has a 12-point lead among 18-24 year-olds. Yes, it's smaller than his lead among 25-29 year-olds, and presumably smaller than his lead in 2008, but it's a huge leap from there to saying that demographic is rejecting the President.

(Also: there's a neat trick you can do to make it look like the President is in trouble in any poll, which is to exclude a huge chunk of the population: "among whites, his lead vanishes".)

And DavidK is a complete fucking idiot, without even the ghost of a point.

Anonymous said...

The quoted bit isn't an example of "young people" having particular feelings about Obama, it's the same litany recited by the critics "from the left" irrespective of age. I just about guarantee that "young people" are irritated about their economic situations much, much, much more than stuff like Guantanamo and no-bid contracts. The next person I hear say one word about no-bid contracts will be the first.

BH said...

Just noticed: "DaveK" is from Cleveland. Reckon he's former Rep. Kucinich's nephew?

Nah, just kidding. Dave just happens to sound like Dennis.

Zandar said...

"Well, I'm not playing that game."

Well then Mitt Romney ends up President, you stupid fuck. Not only do you get somebody who will never lift a finger to correct any of your concerns ever, but his stated policies include reversals of everything Obama did accomplish, and in fact a planned rollback all the way to the first Giided Age.

One of these two guys, Romney or Obama, will be your President. Your protest vote for the Green Party will go unnoticed, unremarked, and unmourned. If you think Obama is ignoring you now, voting against him is an excellent way to marginalize yourself in the future.

Grow up, kid.

Anonymous said...

mortice lock

Obama can still hold a grip on the new generation of voters vote if he'll do what he promised. If he just be an excellent President who do can give progress and prosperity to the country.

PurpleGirl said...

- Make polluting companies pay for cleaning up their mess.

Hey, that's been an extremely hard thing to do since the 1970s. Those lawsuits started many an environmental unit in many, many law firms.

Erik A. Prince said...

I understand his frustration on most, if not all of his points. I'm pretty disappointed myself. But the point HE is missing is that NO Republican would even discuss those issues, much less act on them. And voting third party, as much as we all might wish it weren't true, is functionally a vote for Romney.

David and others like him have to realize that a tiny sense of satisfaction at flipping the finger to both parties will be cold comfort when Romney and the GOP march into DC and crank this country into a 90 degree right skid that some of us may never see the end of.