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90 Days of election season reason
August 8, 2012 1:05 PM   Subscribe

McSweeney's will list 90 reasons, a day at a time over the next 90 days, on why you should vote for Barack Obama in November. Today was the first.
posted by Isadorady (205 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
I am sure some people will require 91 good reasons.
posted by mazola at 1:08 PM on August 8, 2012 [10 favorites]


#89: President Obama will make web layouts with a 980 pixel fixed width illegal.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:11 PM on August 8, 2012 [94 favorites]


With only one reason up I don't have a lot to say about the actual content, but the layout certainly seems to have some problems.
posted by aubilenon at 1:11 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm a strong liberal who could probably come up with 90 reasons not to vote for Barack Obama in November. Sadly, it really comes down to 'he's still a lot better than the alternative', which is a lame reason to vote for someone but I'll hold my nose and do it anyway.
posted by zipadee at 1:12 PM on August 8, 2012 [14 favorites]


Reason number one is pretty funny-- as though being president is about having decent beliefs instead of doing something with them. I have good intentions, too! You should write in my name.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:12 PM on August 8, 2012 [17 favorites]


Oh great. Obama has finally locked down the crucial Death Cab for Cutie vote. Their rabid fanbase among working-class whites aged 40-59 will surely make the rust belt and midwest competitive this election cycle.
posted by R. Schlock at 1:13 PM on August 8, 2012 [21 favorites]


That site doesn't validate either and they used a center tag. A center tag! I'm voting for Romney now.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:14 PM on August 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


(Vice President Biden also kind of forced his hand on the timing of this announcement but hey, who cares now?)

I care very much! It certainly raised my estimation of Biden, and made me less enthused about Obama's statement than I woulda been if he hadn't been pushed into it.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:15 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, that and the fact that he's the only legitimate, major-party candidate running for the office. Romney is not eligible to be President of the United States as he is not a U.S. citizen. Romney actually renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2002. He was spending a lot of time overseas at that point and, in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, he worried that being seen as an American would make him a potential target of terrorist bomb attacks or kidnapping. That and not paying taxes, obviously.

That's the reason he hasn't released any tax returns prior to 2010. There's nothing to release because he didn't file any returns until he decided to pretend all that had never happened and be President. He's filed returns the last couple years but he's actually been a Swiss citizen for the last 10 years.

So there you have it. Mitt Romney, coward who ran up the white flag after 9/11 and bailed on America, foreign citizen attempting to usurp the Presidency for his own twisted purposes, desperately trying to hide the fact that he is constitutionally ineligible for the office.

Doesn't matter if it's true. What's important is that I insist it's true.
posted by Naberius at 1:15 PM on August 8, 2012 [85 favorites]


Unlike 2008, I will not be voting for Obama. Instead, I will be voting against Romney.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:16 PM on August 8, 2012 [17 favorites]


90 reasons? Feh.

I got 99 reasons, and a Mitt ain't one.
posted by Zonker at 1:16 PM on August 8, 2012 [32 favorites]


I think this is great.
posted by neroli at 1:17 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Reason number one is pretty funny-- as though being president is about having decent beliefs instead of doing something with them

Yeah, that Barack Obama, not doing anything about his belief in equality for gays and lesbians.
posted by Dasein at 1:17 PM on August 8, 2012 [18 favorites]


Obama is the first president in U.S. history to acknowledge the right of gay couples to marry and enjoy the full benefits of marriage in the eyes of the law.

I thought Obama opposed gay marriage until the political winds became favourable.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:19 PM on August 8, 2012 [13 favorites]


Vice President Biden also kind of forced his hand on the timing of this announcement but hey, who cares now?

Biden's pre-announcement was a crafty way to test the waters before Obama made his announcement. This was no gaffe, It was a premeditated leak.
posted by cjets at 1:19 PM on August 8, 2012 [22 favorites]


I think that being pro rights for all people is a great reason to vote for a President but is that really going to convince people who weren't already convinced? I guess it might help with people who thought "fuck it, I'm not voting for anyone!" but I don't think anyone's saying "Oh-ho, this Romney fellow's soft on same-sex rights? I hadn't realized...quickly, to the voting booth, I must support this Obama chap!"
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:19 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought they were more a centrist site.
posted by hal9k at 1:19 PM on August 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


But really though, has anyone actually touched his birth certificate? It could have been 'shopped.
posted by Damienmce at 1:20 PM on August 8, 2012


hal9k: "I thought they were more a centrist site."

Seems like a pretty good reason for them to support Obama, then.
posted by schmod at 1:21 PM on August 8, 2012 [18 favorites]


To be fair, McSweeney's should also list 90 50 10 reasons to vote for Mitt Romney (There must be someone who could think of some) and 90 reasons to stay home and eat cheetos, because it's not like voting ever changes anything, man.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:21 PM on August 8, 2012


#1 - Romney.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 1:21 PM on August 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


I have about a bazillion reasons that I shouldn't vote for Obama, and one truly compelling reason why I should: Romney. That is enough for me, albeit grudgingly and bitterly, to vote for Obama.

This is one election where my pragmatic side and my ideological side have come squarely in conflict - and the pragmatic side has won.
posted by jason says at 1:22 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you don't have any patience, you could always go back to What The Fuck Has Obama Done So Far? (dot com) and refresh the page 89 times [previously]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:23 PM on August 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


[via MetaFilter Projects]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:23 PM on August 8, 2012


I thought they were more a centrist site.

Maybe they are but since they couldn't find a left wing or moderate candidate, they went with Obama as the closest thing they could find?
posted by VTX at 1:24 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


While I'm sure most people have already made up their minds who they favor, it doesn't hurt to get people excited about their choice. I mean, I'm sure there are plenty of people who would vote Obama but won't vote Obama because they don't, like, go out and actually vote.
posted by notmydesk at 1:24 PM on August 8, 2012


hal9k: "I thought they were more a centrist site."

Seems like a pretty good reason for them to support Obama, then.


No, see their articles are usually set down the center of the page with lots of white space at left and right and - nevermind...
posted by hal9k at 1:25 PM on August 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


I didn't read the article - is he getting Gotye off the radio? 'Cause I'm voting for him if so.
posted by randomkeystrike at 1:26 PM on August 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


#88 Pretty certain he's not a money-bot.
posted by Artw at 1:27 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


90 reasons my foot.

Romney was born in 1940 to a pair of Russian Nazis, who narrowly escaped from Germany near the end of WWII (that's the war, not the website), and didn't quite make it to Brazil--their submarine ran out of Diesel fuel at or near Haiti, and they swam the last few miles using the bloated bodies of the sub's crew as a raft. Young Mitt was trained by Cuban paramilitary airforce commando political officers to inflitrate the US government, and lead us all into communism. They gained the US mainland by getting on one of the boats brought in during the Bay of Pigs Invasion for just that reason. (You didn't think they really were invading Cuba, did you?) In the movie, Herr Romney Sr. will be played by Tom Cruise, and the young Mitt will be played by Danny DeVito.

Anyhow, if you ask me, I'll take a Kenyan over a Cuban any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Wait...is this thing on?
posted by mule98J at 1:28 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Your centrist humor isn't justified.
posted by Babblesort at 1:29 PM on August 8, 2012 [24 favorites]


Not hearing Mitt stammer for four years has got to be in there somewhere. What the hell, rich guy? Why aren't you more confident?
posted by angrycat at 1:31 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Your centrist humor isn't justified.

That's what the ragged right will say, anyhow.
posted by RogerB at 1:31 PM on August 8, 2012 [12 favorites]


Don't bother, you won't be able to make an indentation with these people.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:31 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


McSweeney's should also list...10 reasons to vote for Mitt Romney

10. You abhor the prejudice that holds that a US President cannot believe that God lives on the planet Kolob.

9. You're opposed to a marginal tax rate above 0%.

8. You're way into dressage.

7. It's all about the square jaw.

6. Obama's failure to produce male progeny makes you anxious about a stable line of succession.

5. It's well past time that roboto-Americans enjoyed representation in our government.

4. You're simultaneously comforted by and enraged at the regulation of the health insurance industry.

3. It's 1964.

2. You're Chinese.

1. Deep down, you really don't like Black people.
posted by R. Schlock at 1:32 PM on August 8, 2012 [42 favorites]


Anyhow, if you ask me, I'll take a Kenyan over a Cuban any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

jaja que
posted by jquinby at 1:32 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think that being pro rights for all people is a great reason to vote for a President but is that really going to convince people who weren't already convinced?

I know progressives who are pretty darned pissed with Obama, but are now going to vote for him instead of staying home or casting a protest vote.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:32 PM on August 8, 2012


Because Mitt Romney. Mitt Fucking ROMNEY.
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 1:32 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Exactly what I'd expect on this left-aligned site.
posted by Artw at 1:32 PM on August 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


Remember this moment people. McSweeney's is making a list.
posted by BobbyVan at 1:34 PM on August 8, 2012 [17 favorites]


angrycat: "Not hearing Mitt stammer for four years has got to be in there somewhere. What the hell, rich guy? Why aren't you more confident?"

Because somewhere along the way, and beating up @!#$ kids with long hair stopped being the cool thing to do, and nobody taught him what the next step to self-confidence was other than 'making money', and unless you're dealing with Donald Trump or a rapper, talking about that is usually considered pretty gauche too.

And Romney, though seemingly unaware of all rules of regular human contact, is just smart enough to realize he's on the wrong side of 'things to be confident about' but way too on the wrong side to do anything about it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:37 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, in Colorado... the Obama administration's attacks on medical marijuana (the ones that were a "political no-brainer" because "nobody cares about weed") may help throw the state to Romney.
posted by vorfeed at 1:37 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


McSweeney's should also list...10 reasons to vote for Mitt Romney

11. You're a Michigan arborist.
posted by gompa at 1:39 PM on August 8, 2012


I'd love to see a list for why, as a woman, I should vote for Mitt Romney. Any reason really but especially for women.
posted by sweetkid at 1:42 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


He gave medical cannabis the shiv after falling all over himself to promise that he'd leave it alone if it complied with state law. Both parties are pushing an extreme position that's out of line with the their constituencies, but he was supposed to be one of the good guys. I'll hold my nose and vote for him when the time comes, but I'm not spending a red cent funding his campaign.
posted by mullingitover at 1:44 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, in Colorado... the Obama administration's attacks on medical marijuana (the ones that were a "political no-brainer" because "nobody cares about weed") may help throw the state to Romney.

Of all the single issues that liberals sometimes make their decisive decisions about, this is, far and away, one of the most idiotic. I won't have Romney as a president because you are angry about your recreational drug.

Look, I don't disagree pot should be legal. I disagree that it is something that should decide an election over civil rights, women's right to biological self-determination, and the economy -- combined.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:48 PM on August 8, 2012 [36 favorites]


I'd love to see a list for why, as a woman, I should vote for Mitt Romney. Any reason really but especially for women.

Well, the candidacy already create a job for one woman at least: Ann Romney.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:48 PM on August 8, 2012


Does it strike anybody else that Mitt Romney is the in-spirit Democratic nominee this year? He has the blandness of Mondale, was governor of Massachusetts like Dukakis, and has that "I can flip-flop because I sold my spine" like Kerry.
(I realize that insults a lot of Mondale-Dukakis-Kerry fans, but with the exception of Mondale, they were just not good nominees. Mondale lost because of a lack of charisma and Dukakis and Kerry lost because of lack of backbone.)
Seriously - can any Republican imagine a Romney presidency that will result in the nation being more in love with the Republican party for years from now?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:51 PM on August 8, 2012 [11 favorites]


I'm a Republican and agree wholeheartedly with you, dances_with_sneetches. He was about my fourth choice this year... (my first three picks didn't even lace up)
posted by BobbyVan at 1:53 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


D_w_s, what makes you think that wishy-washyness isn't an act, in the "i'd like to have a beer with him" vein, and that he wouldn't be just as cruel and asshole-ish as Bush II?
posted by notsnot at 1:54 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


eh, the first one out of the gate is a bit weak isn't it? Obama has hardly been a leader on the same-sex marriage debate , his "evolution" has been notably awkward, and his embracing of gay marriage seems to have largely come about because Biden couldn't keep his mouth shut and made things even more awkward, and the DCCC realized that the social conservatives were fighting an inevitably losing battle on gay marriage and it wasn't such a hot potato issue any more, especially with the kids, and so it was OK to finally come out of the closet (so to speak) with official pro-same sex marriage support.

is that really the best they could come up with as an opener?
posted by Bwithh at 1:55 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have always liked Dave Eggers, and McSweeney's does some good stuff (though too much of their content is now "knee-jerk obvious joke about this week's pop cultural phenomenon that everyone on Twitter already thought of.")

That said, why on Earth is a literary/comedy magazine telling me who to vote for?
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:56 PM on August 8, 2012


McSweeney's will list 90 reasons, a day at a time over the next 90 days, on why you should vote for Barack Obama in November.

The choir stall, it will echo like an echo chamber. Hurrah!

(Seriously, someone please find me a Republican McSweeney's reader.)
posted by DarlingBri at 1:56 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Cute, though if it changes a single vote I would be amazed.
posted by modernnomad at 1:58 PM on August 8, 2012


And yeah, Obama is going to win, because Romney is an awful candidate who please no one.

Obama's record at being president varies between mediocre and disastrous, but he's great at *running for* president. It seems to be what he was born to do.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:58 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd love to see a list for why, as a woman, I should vote for Mitt Romney. Any reason really but especially for women.

He's an alpha male with gravitas and is the better-looking candidate, so I like his chances. The better-looking candidate usually wins. If he is good-looking enough, a president can even get women e.g. Nina Burleigh to publicly proclaim their desire to service him.
posted by Tanizaki at 1:59 PM on August 8, 2012


(Seriously, someone please find me a Republican McSweeney's reader.)

I could probably find you a couple among my friends and online associates. Contrary to stereotypes, American big cities are pretty full of people who eat organic, listen to NPR, etc etc etc, and are also Republicans. I mean, look at Bloomberg. He's a New Yorker first, Republican second.

I'm sure they just gloss over the overt political lecturing and enjoy the content. The same thing liberals do when we watch South Park.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:02 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'd love to see a list for why, as a woman, I should vote for Mitt Romney. Any reason really but especially for women.

He's an alpha male with gravitas and is the better-looking candidate, so I like his chances. The better-looking candidate usually wins. If he is good-looking enough, a president can even get women e.g. Nina Burleigh to publicly proclaim their desire to service him.


What.
posted by sweetkid at 2:04 PM on August 8, 2012 [17 favorites]


Obama's record at being president varies between mediocre and disastrous, but he's great at *running for* president. It seems to be what he was born to do.

Is so strange to me that you say this like it is fact.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:06 PM on August 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'll be over here voting for Gary Johnson.
Why?
Because I'm a libertarian.
Maybe you are, too. (Link to awesome YouTube ad)
posted by THAT William Mize at 2:09 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Telling a generation of disaffected voters completely apathetic about a system of electoral politics which has cheated them, lied to them, enfeebled their political will, assassinated their belief in change and resurrected the idea that politics are the realm of the rich and powerful and not the people's that this time, cross our hearts, your vote really matters is somewhat missing the point.
posted by Catchfire at 2:09 PM on August 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


The funny thing is, even the introduction to the list acknowledges that there's really only one reason why they decided to vote for Obama, and that's Mitt Romney. So the whole 90 Days thing should just list Mitt Romney 90 times. Besides, it's probably the only reason that would sound convincing to both Democrats and Republicans.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 2:14 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


2. You're Chinese.

What? Wait, what? He's not Jon Huntsman!
posted by FJT at 2:16 PM on August 8, 2012


angrycat: "Not hearing Mitt stammer for four years has got to be in there somewhere. What the hell, rich guy? Why aren't you more confident?"

No kidding. I thought Romney was supposed to be all slick and competent (as a politician) but every time I see him speak he seems to get more and more awkward. It's kind of bizarre.
posted by brundlefly at 2:16 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


(Link to awesome YouTube ad)

Wow, Gary Johnson agrees with me 100 percent? Cool, I had no idea he favored massive forced redistribution of wealth. Weird how his YouTube omitted that but kind of cool anyway.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:17 PM on August 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Not hearing Mitt stammer for four years has got to be in there somewhere.

There's something to be said for that. George W. Bush could have been a radical left-wing socialist, and I still would have changed the channel every time he opened his mouth on TV.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 2:22 PM on August 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Romney's stammer is an affectation I think. If you watch some of his old debates and speeches from the '90s, he speaks more quickly and confidently. My guess is that a focus group once said that he came across like a know-it-all jerk, so now he sprinkles his speeches with folksy pauses, often repeating the word just before the pause to make it seem like he's thinking out loud.
posted by BobbyVan at 2:25 PM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


He's an alpha male with gravitas and is the better-looking candidate, so I like his chances. The better-looking candidate usually wins. If he is good-looking enough, a president can even get women e.g. Nina Burleigh to publicly proclaim their desire to service him.

This is . . . I mean . . I know we like to joke about the general density of the American voting public, but this is something else. Do you know that?
posted by Think_Long at 2:25 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Seriously, someone please find me a Republican McSweeney's reader.)

This is absolutely not about changing the minds of people predisposed to vote for Romney, this is about changing the minds of people currently predisposed not to vote.
posted by psoas at 2:28 PM on August 8, 2012 [13 favorites]


[Don't call people assholes. Full stop.]
posted by jessamyn at 2:32 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Of all the single issues that liberals sometimes make their decisive decisions about, this is, far and away, one of the most idiotic. I won't have Romney as a president because you are angry about your recreational drug.

What I'm angry about is the Drug War and what happens to people caught up in it, including patients and caregivers in medical marijuana states. The Drug War is "about" recreational drugs the same way abortion restrictions are "about" fetuses -- what drug laws have really done is make it easier for the government to restrict civil rights, expand police powers, and arrest minorities. As a result, we are currently running the world's largest prison system. Drugs are the primary charge for over 50% of Federal prisoners, and non-violent drug offenders make up around one-quarter of all American inmates, all in a "justice" system which is massively, massively racist. Drug policy is not a minor issue, and I think it's vital to keep pointing that out. Besides, Romney is very unlikely to win the national election, much less because medical marijuana patients and activists didn't vote for Obama.

If Obama didn't want to lose liberal votes over this issue, he should have kept his promise. He didn't.
posted by vorfeed at 2:32 PM on August 8, 2012 [24 favorites]


He gave medical cannabis the shiv after falling all over himself to promise that he'd leave it alone if it complied with state law.

So were any of the dispensaries that were raided actually not in violation of state law? There seem to be more dispensaries than ever here in California.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 2:33 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is absolutely not about changing the minds of people predisposed to vote for Romney, this is about changing the minds of people currently predisposed not to vote.

As far as I can tell, almost no one is voting for Romney. Lots of folks, probably almost half will put a check next to his name in November but I doubt too many of them actually like Romney or are really thrilled about him as president. Tons of people really really don't like Mr. Obama but that doesn't seem to translate into any enthusiasm for Mitt.
posted by octothorpe at 2:43 PM on August 8, 2012


Cynical Metafilter is cynical about politics. News at 11.
posted by mattbucher at 2:44 PM on August 8, 2012


So were any of the dispensaries that were raided actually not in violation of state law? There seem to be more dispensaries than ever here in California.

I've seen no evidence that Harborside was in violation of state law. Harborside has consistently been lauded as a model dispensary by the city council, and the Vice Mayor of Oakland stated after the raid that "The city of Oakland has developed a system to assure such distribution occurs according to state law in a fair and orderly process [...] It is most unjust to our citizen patients and distributors who have followed local guidelines to be harassed and treated as criminals by federal officials."
posted by vorfeed at 2:50 PM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


News at 11.

FILM at 11.
posted by sweetkid at 2:52 PM on August 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


I thought Romney was supposed to be all slick and competent (as a politician) but every time I see him speak he seems to get more and more awkward. It's kind of bizarre.

I've said before that Romney reminds me of Michael Scott, and I think the comparison might hold up here. Michael looks the part of the suit/manager and is capable of deploying platitudes and conventional wisdom in some gross form, and that gets him a fair ways.

But he's *terrible* at sincere adaptation to context, and if confronted he will either evade, or dig in and defend the indefensible with a stream of deteriorating reason.

Of course, Romney looks more successful than many Office viewers can ever imagine Michael being, but then again, I think one of the most clever and ouchy things the office has ever done with Michael Scott is to point out that as dysfunctional and ridiculous as his antics seem to be, they may actually be more functional in the environment of office politics and management than most of us would like to believe.

I'd like to think Romney will lose, but so it may be in politics at large.
posted by weston at 2:58 PM on August 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


I've become a straight-ticket Democrat out of sheer self-defense, because REPUBLICANS ARE FUCKING CRAZY.
posted by tspae at 3:02 PM on August 8, 2012 [22 favorites]


There's one reason I'm voting for Obama, but it's a big one: I'd like to show the Koch brothers, Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch Karl Rove and all the others that there are limits to the extent to which they can distort our political system.

They have spent all of Obama's presidency trying to convince people that he's some kind of hellspawn. It's ludicrous.
posted by JHarris at 3:07 PM on August 8, 2012 [19 favorites]


Romney is not eligible to be President of the United States as he is not a U.S. citizen. Romney actually renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2002....

Naberius, you have NO idea how hopeful I am that your little screed will go viral. If only this could be one of those emails that everyone and their cranky aunt who doesn't know how to BCC repeatedly sends 'round for six months after the election. No birth certificate for Romney!
posted by BlueHorse at 3:10 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I guess I'm a little surprised that the moderators here accept this kind of single-link political advocacy, with no relevant framing or anything.
posted by Alaska Jack at 3:13 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Meta would be a good place to discuss that.
posted by Artw at 3:16 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


You are welcome to have a discussion about that in MetaTalk if you want and we'll be happy to talk about why we think this sort of thing is borderline-but-okay. Please do not have that discussion here.

On preview, yep.
posted by jessamyn at 3:17 PM on August 8, 2012


Reason #1 of why I will vote for Obama: because in his first official address to the people of the United States of America as President, he publicly acknowledged non-believers in his inauguration address.
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and non-believers."
THIS, however small it may seem, means very very much to me. Non-believers are visible members of our society, it says to me.

An inaugural first.
posted by jillithd at 3:24 PM on August 8, 2012 [23 favorites]


Also Hindus. Nice one.
posted by sweetkid at 3:26 PM on August 8, 2012


There's one reason I'm voting for Obama, but it's a big one: I'd like to show the Koch brothers, Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch Karl Rove and all the others that there are limits to the extent to which they can distort our political system.

I kind of admire Karl Rove, in a weird sort of way...
posted by KokuRyu at 3:26 PM on August 8, 2012


I know it's a lot cooler to say that you are just voting against Romney, and a it puts you in an easier position to defend, rhetorically, if you claim that you just hate Obama less...

But let me be honest: I think Obama is a great president, and if I were in the office, I'd probably be doing just about exactly what he's doing.

I'm frankly amazed that we got a guy in there who is as bloody smart and decent and, above all, reasonable as he is. We've not had anyone else comparable in my lifetime, and I don't expect us to have anyone else.

Not only is this choice not a contest, it's not merely not a contest because Romney and the GOP are so head-spinningly godawful. It's also not a contest because Obama is a damn fine President. Better than we deserve, possibly, though on some days I flatter us by thinking not.

I'm more sure about this than I am about most things.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 3:40 PM on August 8, 2012 [45 favorites]


Is an RSS feed too much to task? There is no way in hell I will remember to go back to the site every day.
posted by COD at 3:43 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought Obama opposed gay marriage until the political winds became favourable.

He didn't support marriage in a way that didn't actually set it back and the while doing more for gay rights than any other President. He came out for it when doing so wouldn't get him killed.

There is no way to know if it will actually help him politically, but it's has been argued both ways. It may actually cost him votes but get him money.
posted by spaltavian at 3:49 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Drug War is "about" recreational drugs the same way abortion restrictions are "about" fetuses -- what drug laws have really done is make it easier for the government to restrict civil rights, expand police powers, and arrest minorities.

Yes, that's what the drug war is about. But the people who vote based on marihuana are mostly about their right to smoke pot, in the same way that single-issue gun voters aren't about a well-armed militia but about the fact that they love owning guns.

Maybe you know different single-issue pot voters than I do. But the ones I have met in Minneapolis, Omaha, New Orleans, New York, and Los Angeles are pot heads first, civil libertarians second.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:53 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


"I'm frankly amazed that we got a guy in there who is as bloody smart and decent"

As I said, I am voting for the man, but anyone who effectively shreds the constitution in Gitmo, who maintains secret kill lists, or who starts drone assaults in yet another country can hardly be called good and decent.
posted by jason says at 3:58 PM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Evidence: A vote for Romney does not improve civil rights, reduce police powers, or prevent minorities from unfair arrests.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:59 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Much like the previous election, one of the candidates is so very awful that it's almost impossible to understand how anyone could support them. (In fact, I think that Romney is a significantly worse candidate than McCain - he's stiff and unappealing - but Romney would have to go very far to find a VP choice more horrible than Sarah Palin).

This is however different from the previous election inasmuch as we now know that we don't have a candidate who's going to turn America away from the ruinous path it is on. And after four years of Mr. Obama, there are few progressives now who haven't realized that we are punching bags for both political parties.

We live in New York State so it's a mathematical surety that voting for either main party is pointless, which means that we can support Jill Stein (an excellent candidate, by the way) with a clear conscience.

If you are in a battleground state, well, the choice is between voting strategically and voting your conscience. If I honestly believed that the Democratic Party would gain a clue if people stayed home, I'd urge them to stay at home, but convincing the Democrats to stop their charge towards the right is I believe impossible. On the other hand, as long as we keep rewarding them for doing the wrong thing, they'll keep doing it. The system now seems fixed to keep running to the right, and since the powers-that-be have made any form of significant change impossible, it's going to keep doing that till the wheels fall off.

there are limits to the extent to which [Rove and other creepazoids] can distort our political system.

Call me when they turn the Bill of Rights back on...

I think Obama is a great president

On the issues that I think are the key issues of our time - the Constitution, the Rule of Law, global climate change, the increasing military budget and the endless foreign wars, the War on Drugs, Wall Street, and the "prison society" - Mr. Obama has been an appalling President.

I do not believe that future generations will look back and say, "This is the man who allowed homosexuals to participate in the foreign wars and thus we should venerate him." Indeed, I expect that this period will only be remembered as the time when we blew our last chance at preventing climate change.

I'm more sure about this than I am about most things.

Good luck with that. I was fairly sure that Mr. Obama was a thoughtful man who saw the real problems facing America, but unfortunately it seems I was quite wrong. At this point, aside from wanting to be re-elected, I have no idea what he cares about at all.

But the people who vote based on marihuana are mostly about their right to smoke pot

Why would anyone vote based on "marihuana"? Both parties are united in their complete opposition to pot under any circumstances. It's particularly distasteful to me as Mr. Obama did in fact consume illegal drugs in his past, and if the rules that he seems so fond of had been applied to him, he would not in fact be President. It's also distasteful to me because the people who are getting their lives destroyed by this are in fact young males of color.

Evidence: A vote for Romney does not improve civil rights, reduce police powers, or prevent minorities from unfair arrests.

We've seen four years of reduced civil rights, increased police powers, and continuing arrests of "minorities". But I do agree, it would be somewhat worse under Romney.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:01 PM on August 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


bloody smart

and just plain bloody, too!
posted by telstar at 4:05 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe you know different single-issue pot voters than I do. But the ones I have met in Minneapolis, Omaha, New Orleans, New York, and Los Angeles are pot heads first, civil libertarians second.

Yes, well, I guess it's just terrible when people vote in their own interest, especially when doing so means opposing a tremendous engine of oppression.

Evidence: A vote for Romney does not improve civil rights, reduce police powers, or prevent minorities from unfair arrests.

Did you read the article I linked? No one discussed in it is "voting for Romney", nor has anyone here suggested that people should do so. To state the obvious, a vote for Romney isn't a vote for marijuana, either. I intend to either vote for a third party or stay home.
posted by vorfeed at 4:08 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


We live in a smug country where everyone knows everything better than anyone else does. So, yeah, we loved Obama because he wasn't George Bush. Now he's the guy doing things, so of course -- because everyone knows everything better than anyone else -- he's now doing a terrible job. At least that's what we all think. Because of course if any one of us were President, well, we'd do everything the right way. Not the wrong way, like this highly intelligent, highly accomplished, self-made man (who is currently our President) has done.

There's definitely no way we'd give him credit for actually possibly doing a pretty good job given the cards he got dealt. Because we know better how to be President than he does.
posted by chasing at 4:08 PM on August 8, 2012 [15 favorites]


Why would anyone vote based on "marihuana"?

Jesus, I wish I knew. As I have said before, I think the so-called undecided voter is less a problem in American politics than the single-issue voter. On the Republican side, they can be placated with a series of promises and attempts as legislation that are doomed to failure. On the left, people vote for third-party candidates or choose not to vote if their pet issue isn't addressed to their satisfaction. But if you don't think there are pot fans out who vote based on their recreational drug of choice, you have never attended a NORML meeting.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:09 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm next expecting a comment about how Mr. Obama had no choice but to continue on with Guantanamo, so let me put this link here:
In February, 2009, the Obama DOJ told an appellate court it was embracing the Bush DOJ’s theory that Bagram detainees have no legal rights whatsoever, an announcement that shocked the judges on the panel hearing the case. In May, 2009, President Obama delivered a speech at the National Archives — in front of the U.S. Constitution — and, as his plan for closing Guantanamo, proposed a system of preventative “prolonged detention” without trial inside the U.S.; The New York Times – in an article headlined “President’s Detention Plan Tests American Legal Tradition” – said Obama’s plan “would be a departure from the way this country sees itself, as a place where people in the grip of the government either face criminal charges or walk free.” In January, 2010, the Obama administration announced it would continue to imprison several dozen Guantanamo detainees without any charges or trials of any kind, including even a military commission, on the ground that they were “too difficult to prosecute but too dangerous to release.” That was all Obama’s doing, completely independent of anything Congress did.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:10 PM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


But if you don't think there are pot fans out who vote based on their recreational drug of choice, you have never attended a NORML meeting.

And your claim is that these people are supporting Romney? I am skeptical.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:10 PM on August 8, 2012


Urg, sorry, pressed send too soon - I was going to add something about "no evidence that people are supporting third-party candidates in any quantity because of pot".
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:12 PM on August 8, 2012


It wasn't my claim.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:13 PM on August 8, 2012


Urg, sorry, pressed send too soon - I was going to add something about "no evidence that people are supporting third-party candidates in any quantity because of pot".

I didn't say they did. I said single-issue voters on the left vote for third-party candidates. Which I would support if these votes were anything other than protest votes, and the Republicans who wind up winning were anything but monsters.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:14 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


> It wasn't my claim.

Urg, sorry BU, I stand corrected.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:16 PM on August 8, 2012


> I said single-issue voters on the left vote for third-party candidates. Which I would support if these votes were anything other than protest votes, and the Republicans who wind up winning were anything but monsters.

Many Americans, and most people on the left, do not live in "battleground states", and thus can vote as they please without fear that they will let the people you correctly characterize as monsters into office.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:18 PM on August 8, 2012


I'm a multiple-issue voter.

On my issues (civil liberties, endless war, domestic spying, the war on drugs, economic injustice, the prison-industrial complex, the government doing whatever it wants without repercussion, et fucking cetera) Obama is a terrible President.

I'm voting for Jill Stein. Not because I think she's going to win, but because she actually stands for things I do believe in, whereas Obama and Romney do not.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:20 PM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


And yes, oh joy, Obama finally allowed LGBTQ people to fight in our wars of oppression.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:22 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't you see, lupus? If anyone left of center ever votes third party or dares not to vote, the Republican candidate will automatically win. Because Nader. Actual consideration of the laughable odds Romney has of winning 270 electoral votes has no bearing on this, as any vote for anyone not-Obama is exactly equivalent to pulling the lever for Romney while beating a Planned Parenthood volunteer and whistling Dixie.

On preview: yep.

By the way, this is the other reason why I want to vote third party this year. It could make a lasting difference in state politics, which is more than I can say for any other vote on the Presidential ballot. This is not a key state by any means, and Obama is likely to win it, so why not vote the way I want to?
posted by vorfeed at 4:23 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama reversing the ban on federal funds for needle exchanges -- which, unlike pot dispensaries, prevent HIV infections among drug users -- and then caving to Republicans and reinstating it at the first opportunity is my perfect example if how Obama failed to realize the hope that he was finally
a progressive who knew how to get shit done.
posted by docgonzo at 4:26 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Don't you see, lupus? If anyone left of center ever votes third party or dares not to vote, the Republican candidate will automatically win.

Can I now go and restate your case, using words that are not your and representing a position that is not yours, to make you sound self-evidently like an idiot?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:27 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


And yes, oh joy, Obama finally allowed LGBTQ people to fight in our wars of oppression.

You should probably explain to the people affected by DADT that repealing it didn't really mean anything. That'd be pretty fun to watch.
posted by Artw at 4:29 PM on August 8, 2012 [12 favorites]


Can I now go and restate your case, using words that are not your and representing a position that is not yours, to make you sound self-evidently like an idiot?

...didn't you already do that?
posted by vorfeed at 4:29 PM on August 8, 2012


Obama failed to realize the hope that he was finally a progressive,

Where did this narrative come from that Obama was a progressive? Did he ever call himself a progressive during the campaign? I recall Hillary doing so (and being lambasted for abandoning the word 'liberal'), but I admit I was following Clinton more than I was following Obama.

Obama always struck me as a centrist with populist rhetoric.
posted by muddgirl at 4:30 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not interested in refuting anyone point-by-point on this issue. I reckon that, at a place like MeFi, we've all seen all the same evidence.

But if you are trying to blame Obama for Gitmo, you need to step back and reflect on the actual history of his attempts to close the thing. The President does not, in point of fact, possess a magic wand.

And to think that he has been "appalling" on e.g. the military budget and/or climate change is to completely misunderstand the real options he faces.

Sorry...not fair to deny if you're not interested in engaging in the finer points of the argument, I suppose...

The barrage of poorly-justified criticisms directed at the guy are head-spinning. I certainly don't agree with everything he's done, but when someone has established himself as an unusually reasonable person, and we know that he has access to information we don't have, as well as responsibilities we don't have, it makes a certain amount of sense to cut him a certain amount of slack...

As I said, though, I've found reasoning with people who disagree about these issues to be somewhat difficult. To my mind, there's a tendency to commit the Perfect World fallacy in this context...but perhaps that's just me...
posted by Fists O'Fury at 4:31 PM on August 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


And yeah, Obama is going to win, because Romney is an awful candidate who please no one.

I have zero faith that this will happen. I mean none. I'm going to vote for him, but it's just going to be a waste of time I could spend looking for a job (going on two years now! Woohoo!).

I want every single person who is sure Obama is going to win to pledge to me, publicly, on this site, that they will give me a dollar when he loses. If, on the other hand, he wins, you get to say "I told you so!" a lot. Perfectly fair, right? Have to buy food one way or another, and I'm almost out of possessions to sell.

(Of course, if I'm homeless by the election, you'll have a tough time finding me in order to pay up/taunt me, so I'll do my best to hang in order to be around to receive bucks/taunts.)
posted by tzikeh at 4:31 PM on August 8, 2012


First past the post systems yield results that bear no relation to the will of the electorate when there are more than two viable options — see, for example, how FPTP keeps giving the generally social-democratic citizens of Canada a weird right-wing PM. If you want to work toward moving American politics toward the left, either become active in the Democratic party and/or do everything you can to make the Constitution Party more prominent so that the Republicans get sandbagged by votesplitting.

If you don't want to work to move American politics to the left, but instead prefer to select a label for yourself that reflects your self-image, then go right ahead and vote for the Greens.

And if you don't want to work to move American politics to the left, but instead prefer to preserve your individual purity, then Stein is the candidate for you. But I'm not sure doctrines based on preserving individual purity can be described as "left" in any meaningful sense...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:31 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you don't want to work to move American politics to the left, but instead prefer to select a label for yourself that reflects your self-image, then go right ahead and vote for the Greens.

If you want to work to move American politics to the left, don't spend so much time, energy, and attention on the Presidential race, because actually-strong Left parties start in our backyards. School Board elections are more important. Your city councilpersons or your mayor or who represents you in the state house.
posted by muddgirl at 4:36 PM on August 8, 2012 [16 favorites]


Good luck with that.

I was fairly sure that Mr. Obama was a thoughtful man who saw the real problems facing America, but unfortunately it seems I was quite wrong. At this point, aside from wanting to be re-elected, I have no idea what he cares about at all.


Yes, and good luck with your whatever it is as well.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 4:36 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm a multiple-issue voter.

I'm a multiple drug user.



Sorry, were we discussing something?
posted by philip-random at 4:37 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama: making middle of the road look like leader of the pack.
Romney: putting the meh back into meh.
posted by blue_beetle at 4:38 PM on August 8, 2012


...didn't you already do that?

Nope.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:38 PM on August 8, 2012


Don't you see, lupus? If anyone left of center ever votes third party or dares not to vote, the Republican candidate will automatically win. Because Nader. Actual consideration of the laughable odds Romney has of winning 270 electoral votes has no bearing on this

Man there are a lot of people who are going to wonder what they were thinking, come November. Romney has a great shot at winning. And he has mountains of what makes America move - money. Forget thinking that this is no contest.
posted by cashman at 4:41 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Artw: "You should probably explain to the people affected by DADT that repealing it didn't really mean anything. That'd be pretty fun to watch."

There have been no end of other evil organizations that have banned LGBTQ people from joining. But in the end, it's still an evil organization. I don't think we should be holding up the repeal of DADT as a huge stride in human rights, considering the Army's entire point is to violate them.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:41 PM on August 8, 2012


I'm not sure how I would go about having a serious discussion with someone who asserts that the entire point of the U.S. Army is to violate human rights...

Wonder what the Bosnians would say about that claim...?
posted by Fists O'Fury at 4:46 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


They only care about human rights when it aligns with the national interest. And even then they screw up.

Anyway, back to McSweeney's.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:48 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Exciting claim, though false.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 4:49 PM on August 8, 2012


If you want to work to move American politics to the left, don't spend so much time, energy, and attention on the Presidential race, because actually-strong Left parties start in our backyards. School Board elections are more important. Your city councilpersons or your mayor or who represents you in the state house.

YES
posted by triggerfinger at 4:51 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


$('.text_container').html('ROBOT ASSASSINATIONS!')

They even provide you with jQuery; thanks McSweeney's!
posted by bbuda at 4:52 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fists O'Fury:

> But if you are trying to blame Obama for Gitmo,

I posted a clear refutation of your argument above, before you even wrote that, because I knew someone would pull this chestnut out again.

Do read that, think about it for a bit, and let me know your reactions.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:00 PM on August 8, 2012


Romney is not eligible to be President of the United States as he is not a U.S. citizen. Romney actually renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2002. He was spending a lot of time overseas at that point and, in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, he worried that being seen as an American would make him a potential target of terrorist bomb attacks or kidnapping. That and not paying taxes, obviously.

I reposted your screed in its entirety on Facebook, and encouraged my friends to do likewise. Is Romney so rich that the so called legitimate news media will let him steal the presidency? Why hasn't Romney addressed these rumors?
posted by longtime_lurker at 5:02 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Many Americans, and most people on the left, do not live in "battleground states", and thus can vote as they please without fear that they will let the people you correctly characterize as monsters into office.

So what about those of us that do live in battleground states? You think Virginians or Ohioans or Floridians or Coloradans should vote for candidates who we know have zero percent of winning and could provide someone vastly worse than Obama just...because?
posted by zombieflanders at 5:03 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


School Board elections are more important.

This seems to be an ongoing argument here - that if we start small now, in a couple of decades we can make progress. And as I say each time, there are two huge issues with that - the first one is that we on the left tried this, and it goes us somewhere locally, but absolutely nowhere globally.

But even more important, we don't have another generation to waste.

> You think Virginians or Ohioans or Floridians or Coloradans should vote for candidates who we know have zero percent of winning and could provide someone vastly worse than Obama just...because?

Can you link to the post where I said anything at all like this, please?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:06 PM on August 8, 2012


Man there are a lot of people who are going to wonder what they were thinking, come November. Romney has a great shot at winning. And he has mountains of what makes America move - money. Forget thinking that this is no contest.

This is kind of why it is important to preach to the choir like this McSweeney's project is trying to do - to mobilize the base, to convince previous supporters of Obama to make to the polling station and make their vote count.

Mind you, as a Canadian, I'm not entirely happy with Obama's performance on the international trade front. Trade agreements are ignored, or are put on the back burner. However, a Republican administration makes another war more likely, so I guess we Canadians will have to suffer for now.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:08 PM on August 8, 2012


#79 you won't get 4-8 years worth of Nader/whoever voters playing the martyr because nobody appreciates how well they used their vote.
posted by Artw at 5:10 PM on August 8, 2012


"One man, one vote" is really out of step with the spirit of this, The Second Gilded Age. I propose instead "one vote per $100,000 of net worth."

Fair?
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:14 PM on August 8, 2012


Gosh, did I say "start small, and in a couple of decades we can make progress"?

Winning seats on your school board IS progress. Electing strong left-of-center Democrats (rather than 'blue-dog' democrats) to your statehouse and as Representatives IS progress.

Here in Texas, the right (not just Republicans, but right-wing conservatives) has almost completely dominated politics from the ground up. I think $1 from any Democrat in the country to elect, say, Rebecca Bell-Meterau to SBOE District 5 will make more of a difference than donating the same amount to President Obama.

And as I say each time, there are two huge issues with that - the first one is that we on the left tried this, and it goes us somewhere locally, but absolutely nowhere globally.

And as a Texan, I just don't see this 'getting somewhere locally.' None of my coworkers can even name the Democratic candidate for Kay Bailey Hutchinson's seat in the US Congress. The ground has been almost completely conceded.
posted by muddgirl at 5:14 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


"One man, one vote" is really out of step with the spirit of this, The Second Gilded Age. I propose instead "one vote per $100,000 of net worth."

Yeah, so I actually had a conversation (which devolved pretty quickly) with a guy a few months ago who seriously advocated going back to a situation where landowners had more of a say in government. Yes.
posted by gaspode at 5:20 PM on August 8, 2012


This seems to be an ongoing argument here - that if we start small now, in a couple of decades we can make progress.

And as my evidence to refute you, I give you the last two decades of state legislatures, precisely timed for census redistricting.

And as I say each time, there are two huge issues with that - the first one is that we on the left tried this, and it goes us somewhere locally, but absolutely nowhere globally.

Really? When did we try this?

Can you link to the post where I said anything at all like this, please?

Sure:
If you are in a battleground state, well, the choice is between voting strategically and voting your conscience. If I honestly believed that the Democratic Party would gain a clue if people stayed home, I'd urge them to stay at home, but convincing the Democrats to stop their charge towards the right is I believe impossible. On the other hand, as long as we keep rewarding them for doing the wrong thing, they'll keep doing it.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:29 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


lupus_y:

I take it that the response is obvious, but I can type it out if you really think it's necessary...

Which is not to say that anyone should be anything less than despondent about Gitmo...
posted by Fists O'Fury at 5:29 PM on August 8, 2012


gaspode: "Yeah, so I actually had a conversation (which devolved pretty quickly) with a guy a few months ago who seriously advocated going back to a situation where landowners had more of a say in government. Yes."

Was this guy named Judson?
posted by brundlefly at 5:33 PM on August 8, 2012


I thought Obama opposed gay marriage until the political winds became favourable.

Obama announced his support for gay marriage just as a swing state, North Carolina, voted against it. Also, you've had this entire Chick-Fil-A appreciation day nonsense.

I don't think its fair to say that political winds have become favourable for gay marriage, because it demonstrably isn't. All that has changed is that immediate political consequences for support are less severe, because there are no new referenda in states like they were in 2008. It being politically safe is different from it being favorable.
posted by the cydonian at 5:36 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Nope.

OK then, I didn't either. Glad we could clear that up.

...to be serious, telling me that I'm "angry about your recreational drug" and then responding to "no, this is about civil liberties" with "Maybe you know different single-issue pot voters than I do. But the ones I have met in Minneapolis, Omaha, New Orleans, New York, and Los Angeles are pot heads first, civil libertarians second" sure seems like "restating your case, using words that are not your and representing a position that is not yours". This is not about drug-use-over-civil-liberties for me, and it's probably not for your friends in Minneapolis, Omaha, New Orleans, New York, and Los Angeles, either. Last I checked, marijuana was widely available in all of those places, and even legal for some populations (likely including many single-issue pot voters) in several of them.

Marijuana activism is not about using the drug, as I'm pretty sure nobody at those NORML meetings needs help with that (and open activism makes an arrest for said use more likely, if anything.) It's about making it legal, which is about the War on Drugs, which is about civil liberties. There are hundreds of thousands of pot smokers who don't give two shits about changing policy on this matter (or any other, given the level of political apathy in this country), yet you're upset at the ones who do... for what? Caring too much about an issue which isn't being addressed by the major parties, despite polling surprisingly well with both?

Right. I'm sure your incisive "pot heads first, civil libertarians second" critique will convince everyone to run right back to the Democrats... who aren't addressing either issue.

So what about those of us that do live in battleground states? You think Virginians or Ohioans or Floridians or Coloradans should vote for candidates who we know have zero percent of winning and could provide someone vastly worse than Obama just...because?

Personally, I think everyone should vote the way they want to, taking the entire situation (including polling, state demographics, the candidates' position in the race, and the issues) into account. I'm not sure when this became such a radical idea, as opposed to the way voting is supposed to work.

I don't want Romney to win, but if he does it will not be the fault of third-party voters, especially given how few there actually are. It will be the fault of a party which had the sitting-President advantage and a buffoon for an opponent, yet still couldn't win the national election. The Democratic party had four years in which to fire up their base, plus a nascent youth movement which they could/should have courted, and instead we got another stirring rendition of We're Not The Republicans.

Which is fine, except that it's pretty easy for disillusioned Democrats to notice that third parties and/or not voting are also Not The Republicans.
posted by vorfeed at 5:37 PM on August 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Apparently Mitt's net worth is a mere $200 million. This gives me newfound regard for the Koch brothers: who'd have thought they'd have it in them to work so hard to give a job to someone so far below them on the socioeconomic ladder? It fair unto brings a tear to the eye.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:41 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


telling me that I'm "angry about your recreational drug"

Let me be clear: You're a single-issue voter who makes their decision about who they are going to vote for primarily based on their stances on pot?

If not, I really, really clearly wasn't addressing your viewpoints, and do not know what they are. If you are, man, get some perspective.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:43 PM on August 8, 2012


Let me be clear: You're a single-issue voter who makes their decision about who they are going to vote for primarily based on their stances on pot?

As I told you the first time you accused me of this: no. Like most voters, I make my decision based on the best intersection of a number of issues which are important to me, which include prison system reform and civil rights. I'd say my overall position looks a lot like dunkadunc's above.

If not, I really, really clearly wasn't addressing your viewpoints, and do not know what they are.

I told you what they were, in detail. You replied that the marijuana activists you've known in several cities don't truly have those viewpoints. Well guess what: many of us really do.
posted by vorfeed at 6:06 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


As I told you the first time you accused me of this: no. Like most voters

Then I'm not talking about you, and you should let this go, because you've started to make this thread into a derail about yourself.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:28 PM on August 8, 2012


[Folks, take this to MeMail from this point forward or drop it, thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 6:42 PM on August 8, 2012


I don't think its fair to say that political winds have become favourable for gay marriage, because it demonstrably isn't.

A majority, if a slim one, supported gay marriage before Obama chose to jump on that bandwagon. Don't get me wrong: I'm thrilled that he has started the process of acknowledging I'm a human being with certain inalienable rights, despite my numerous sins, but if he gets re-elected, what happens to our rights if the social pendulum suddenly swings back hard and quick? It sucks to live at the whim of a mob, you know?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:12 PM on August 8, 2012


It sucks to live at the whim of a mob, you know?

That was the argument as to why America is a Republic and not a Democracy made back at the 2nd go at making America.

And until a few weeks ago, we were more or less in this camp, too. We had attended no rallies, donated no funds. No one we knew had. Everyone—no matter how inspired they were in 2008—was watching from the sidelines.
Then we had a revelation, which sounds less like a revelation and more like a plainly obvious reality: if this doesn’t become an all-hands-on-deck movement to re-elect President Obama, he will lose.


Or, gosh, the man could have done things that would actually inspire people to go and vote for him again.

(and over in the latest gun thread I note that a response to 'you can't get rid of guns' a response was 'even so, we should try'. Just because the choice seems to be either one or the other - why not actually work for your values VS picking the lesser of 2 evils? Voting for the lesser of 2 evils is still evil.)
posted by rough ashlar at 7:25 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stop voting for nincompoops.

I know that a lot of you think that if you don't "hold your nose" and vote for a lizard, the wrong lizard might (will) get in. But seriously, we would be better off if we all just voted based on our preferences and not based on our calculations as to which candidate everyone else is likely to vote for.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 7:46 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


the increasing military budget and the endless foreign wars

Obama proposed defense cuts and a smaller military in his 2013 budget; ended the war in Iraq; and has reduced US troop levels to 87,000 from 100,000, on track with his plan to withdrawing all US troops by 2014.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:15 PM on August 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


02 Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 79 years old.
03 Anthony Kennedy is 76 years old.
04 Antonin Scalia is 76 years old.
05 Stephen Breyer is 73 years old.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:20 PM on August 8, 2012 [20 favorites]


Beating a dead horse here, but one more couldn't hurt.

I probably lie somewhere left of the left of the Democratic party. Nobody represents my views in the American political system, because it's apparently radical to think we should all get free education and not have to refinance loans if we get cancer and that people should be able to fuck or marry whoever they want and that everyone should just shut up and leave each other alone.

I've been saying for a long time that I wasn't going to vote for him again. The marketing effort to sell Obama as some kind of progressive party candidate was not exactly surprising but off-putting to say the least. Most of Obama's "accomplishments", esp. in the "civil rights" arena, are carefully targeted political posturing against his nastier opponents. He repealed DODT, but it took him years to "decide" on the issue, at a pivotal moment in the election cycle, which, when you come right down to it, means that Obama denied military service members their rights for his own political advantage, assuming that the whole "making up his mind" thing was a fabricated excuse to appeal to a key constituency of moderate Christians, which it was.

In the end, though, I see Obama as representing the center-left finally growing some teeth and going on the offensive and actually succeeding, something that hadn't happened in over a decade. Even if Obama himself doesn't usher in an era of prosperity (how could he? things are going to get much worse in the U.S. before they get better) at least he is opening the political floodgates to someone who might. Progressives might actually someday get organized along the lines of the mafia and the G.O.P. Politicos advocating on behalf of workers and the debt-saddled should be every bit as manipulative and terrifying as their neocon forebears. Obama is a career politician and a product of the Chicago machine, but he may be the only reason our children have medical coverage. I feel that in voting for him I am less being manipulated by the bipartisan system into selecting a "lesser of two evils" and more that I am in a casino with one chip and I am throwing my money on the guy who just might clean everybody out and give me a chance to play.
posted by deathpanels at 8:58 PM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


That was the argument as to why America is a Republic and not a Democracy made back at the 2nd go at making America.

I keep telling myself I will put this in a text file so I don't have to keep rewriting it every time this canard comes up.

The U.S. is a republic because it is not a state monarchy. The U.S. is also a democracy because we vote for our political leaders. These are two totally different considerations. If you actually want to talk about the values of representative democracy (we elect people who in turn make choices for us) or liberal democracy (we institute laws that protect minority rights and civil liberties irrespective of political winds) vs. mobocracy, that's wide open but these terms actually have meanings.
posted by psoas at 9:04 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I tried like hell to read this whole thread, but I was too put off by all the immediate "Well, I'll be voting for him, even though he's a huge disappointment" "I'm not voting for him, I'm voting against Romney" "I will hold my nose and vote for him" comments. People, do you REALLY think McCain/Palin would have done any better over the last four years?
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:10 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


ITT: yet more people that think Dave was a documentary.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:34 PM on August 8, 2012


(Seriously, someone please find me a Republican McSweeney's reader.)

Amazing. It's almost as if you don't have any conception of the difference between a persuasion program and a turnout program.
posted by dersins at 12:14 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Single issue voters. Some guy in Podunk votes in the liberal camp so he can smoke a joint.

Enter The Ripple Effect.

He incidentally votes against medieval laws that support a multi-billion dollar crime industry at odds with a tax black hole called the drug war, with the secondary effect of boosting our prison population by some 30 or 40 percent, while alienating the (how many is it really?) percentage of folks who've ever fired up a fatty, and decided to have a snack and watch the game at home on the widescreen, instead of going down to the Dew Drop Inn and having a few depth charges with the boys before drag racing home in a drunken stupor.

Okay, I exaggerate.
posted by mule98J at 12:59 AM on August 9, 2012


Fists O'Fury:

> I take it that the response is obvious, but I can type it out if you really think it's necessary...

Now, is this arguing in good faith on your part? I've twice posted this - the first time you ignored it, when I pointed you to it again, you tell me that the refutation is obvious.

Clearly, if the refutation were obvious, I wouldn't post it twice, would I?

Here it is a third time. Now please explain to me how Mr. Obama attempted to shut Guantanamo but was prevented by others.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:31 AM on August 9, 2012


39. He used his avatar to personally slay Osama Bin Laden on Pandora.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:32 AM on August 9, 2012


> Obama proposed defense cuts and a smaller military in his 2013 budget;

The military budget in 2013 will be significantly greater in real (inflation adjusted) terms than it was in 2009. The tiny defense cut in 2013 does not nearly make up for significant increases in the 2010 through 2012 budgets.

> ended the war in Iraq;

...just a little behind the schedule proposed by Bush for the same thing.

> and has reduced US troop levels to 87,000 from 100,000, on track with his plan to withdrawing all US troops by 2014.

Here's a nice interactive graph of the troop levels in Afghanistan up until 2011. In January 2009, when Mr. Obama took over, there were less than 35,000 troops in Afghanistan.

It seems to me that Mr. Obama has significantly increased military personnel and spending for three years, and then made small cuts for the fourth, on the theory that people have short memories and will only remember the last year; and it seems that that short-memory theory is completely correct.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:48 AM on August 9, 2012


after falling all over himself to promise that he'd leave it alone if it complied with state law.

Really? I guess I was watching a different candidate then. Because I remember him saying it should be prescribed by real doctors in hospitals and not by mom and pop dispensaries.

I also remember Holder announcing that they wouldn't go after dispensiaries unless they broke some other law, i.e. recreational distribution. Which is what is happening with dispensiaries. Hence the crackdown.

What he said was this:
The way I want to approach the issue of medical marijuana is to base it on science, and if there is sound science that supports the use of medical marijuana and if it is controlled and prescribed in a way that other medicine is prescribed, then it's something that I think we should consider.
I agree weed should be legal. But medical marijuana was never gonna be the way this was going to get done--at least for recreational use.

http://reason.com/blog/2008/05/15/obama-on-medical-marijuana-get?nomobile=1
posted by Ironmouth at 2:52 AM on August 9, 2012


> Because I remember him saying it should be prescribed by real doctors in hospitals and not by mom and pop dispensaries.

Can you give an example of a "mom-and-pop dispensary" that "prescribes" pot - or anything, for that matter?

Is there in fact any state in the Union that allows people who aren't doctors or pharmacists to write prescriptions?

From your link: "I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It's not a good use of our resources."

Here it is 2012 - and we get this.

Can you really claim that Mr. Obama's stance in 2012 is anything like his stance in 2008?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:59 AM on August 9, 2012


And again, because this just doesn't seem to be clear - I am NOT proposing that a Romney presidency would be anything other than a disaster for the United States and the world - I don't think anyone is.

But if, fortune forbid, Mr. Obama fails to be re-elected, the fault won't be us pathetic few "progressives" remaining for not supporting him, because all the progressives are going to hold their nose and vote for him; it won't be Congress' or the Senate's fault for blocking Mr. Obama's work, because if he'd fought the good fight but failed we'd be even more eager to support him; it will be Mr. Obama's fault and his alone, for turning his back on his core principles both in word and in deed.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:17 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


just a little behind the schedule proposed by Bush for the same thing

Hey, way to move the goalposts. You said "endless" wars when he's ended one and is in the process of ending another. Also, a smaller defense budget is smaller.

In January 2009, when Mr. Obama took over, there were less than 35,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Right, and he sent more troops into Afghanistan, just like he said he would during the 2008 campaign.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:18 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


But seriously, we would be better off if we all just voted based on our preferences and not based on our calculations as to which candidate everyone else is likely to vote for.

Actually, I think we'd be a lot better off if we simply had more people voting. We have a piss-poor voter turnout and so many of the people who otherwise have sense are staying home because somehow they think their vote doesn't count. It Does.

But to bring things to a lighter note:

This reminds me of a feature that the late lamented Spy magazine did back in 1992 - it was a list of 100 or so reasons why readers should NOT vote for George Bush Snr. I remember most of the reasons being a series of exhaustive political commentary and strings of misdeeds, interspersed with the occasional quote from one or another political pundit. And then buried somewhere towards the bottom, reason number 86 or something, was the simple sentence penned by the authors: "He is just such a fucking twit."

I want McSweeney's to do something similar.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:24 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


> Hey, way to move the goalposts. You said "endless" wars when he's ended one and is in the process of ending another.

"In the process of ending" - it's been four years, and there are a lot more troops in Afghanistan than there were when Mr. Obama took office.

He has also participated in one full-out new war, in Libya, and, as we have endlessly discussed here, has started small scale hostilities and thousands of drone attacks in places like Yemen, Somalia, etc. and increased hostilities in places like Pakistan, Afghanistan...

> Also, a smaller defense budget is smaller.

As I remarked before, in real, inflation adjusted dollars, the Defense Budget will be larger by the time Mr. Obama leaves than when he came into office.

I must applaud Mr. Obama. I feel that he quite correctly said, "If I steadily raise troops in Afghanistan and the military budget for three years and then drop them a little at the end, everyone will only remember that I dropped them."

I would never have guessed that myself, I'd say, "People would figure it out," but I am very bad at predicting regular people sometimes.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:34 AM on August 9, 2012


Actually, I think we'd be a lot better off if we simply had more people voting.

If I could favorite this one thousand times, I would.

The only reason that the Republicans at every level have been so very active in vote suppression is because they know that if there was a universal turn-out that they'd never win an election again, because the people who don't vote are disproportionately young, poor, non-Caucasian - and Democrat.

With a 57% turnout last Presidential election, if all the people who didn't vote suddenly got out to vote for, say, Jill Stein, she'd be President in a heart-beat.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:44 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


the Defense Budget will be larger by the time Mr. Obama leaves

Bah. I meant, "the Defense Budget will be (significantly) larger by the end of Mr. Obama's first term".
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:46 AM on August 9, 2012


Actually, I think we'd be a lot better off if we simply had more people voting.


Have you ever thought that the reason why so many people stay at home is because the choices are so terrible? And it's not just "voters" who decide who runs, but a massively entrenched two-party system that does everything it can do write election laws clearly designed at preventing third party candidates or any sort of outsider from running.
posted by predius at 6:55 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Have you ever thought that the reason why so many people stay at home is because the choices are so terrible?

Have you ever thought that the reason WHY the choices are so terrible is because no one shows up at the primaries?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:13 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Whatever. Obama's the clear and obvious presidential choice, though fair from a perfect President. The only indicator that matters, the Electoral College, points to decisive victory for him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:26 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


it's been four years, and there are a lot more troops in Afghanistan than there were when Mr. Obama took office

Obama repeatedly said during the 2008 campaign that Iraq had been a distraction from Afghanistan and that he would send more troops there.

July 14, 2008: "Obama promises 10,000 more troops for Afghanistan."
July 15, 2008: "Obama declared this morning that if elected president, he would redirect attention and US forces to Afghanistan." (emphasis added)
July 20, 2008: "The presumptive Democratic nominee said he believes the United States needs to send at least two additional brigades to the country, a call he’s been making for a year." (emphasis added)
posted by kirkaracha at 8:13 AM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is a Huntsman Spider btw (don't click if you don't like big spiders)

Huntsman spiders aren't dangerous and actually eat cockroaches and other vermin, so I'm not sure why they had to kill it.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:28 AM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


whoops
posted by KokuRyu at 8:28 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]




As far as I can tell, almost no one is voting for Romney.

Yeah, pretty much. I live a very red county in California and the anti-Obama stickers outnumber the pro-Romney stickers very handily.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:44 AM on August 9, 2012


Obama repeatedly said during the 2008 campaign that Iraq had been a distraction from Afghanistan and that he would send more troops there.

I certainly remember that.
posted by philip-random at 9:11 AM on August 9, 2012


> Obama repeatedly said during the 2008 campaign that Iraq had been a distraction from Afghanistan and that he would send more troops there.

We all know this, what's your point?

Above, it was claimed that Mr. Obama was winding down the war in Afghanistan, but in fact there are a lot more soldiers there now than when he took office four years ago.

Mr. Obama was something of a militarist when he campaigned. Many people including myself didn't like it, but held our noses and supported him. Even knowing what we do now, could I have brought myself to support a McCain/Palin presidency? Never.

I do honestly believe that if he'd said in the election, "In 2012, there will be twice as many troops in Afghanistan than there are now," then that would have been a serious problem to a lot of voters.

My honest theory here is that it's very clear to him and everyone else who advises him that they aren't going to get out of this with anything that looks like a "victory" and instead of saying, "OK, we're going to rip the band-aid off," and take the hit early in his administration, he decided to let it fester until after this election.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:22 AM on August 9, 2012


Have you ever thought that the reason why so many people stay at home is because the choices are so terrible?

The way we make clear that we want better choices for voting is by voting. Nothing is accomplished by not voting.
posted by sweetkid at 9:48 AM on August 9, 2012


I think Obama's plan for handling Huntsman spiders is the reason I would vote for him (if I weren't disenfranchised).
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:48 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huntsman dropped out of the race back in January. Come on, people, keep up.
posted by brundlefly at 9:53 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


My concern is that the left base is so terrified of an Obama loss that they are willing to allow Obama to do the very things they excoriated Bush for. I believe that Obama is going to be better than Romney, but that does not automatically forgive him for the vile things he has done and which his base seems willing to overlook. If the 90 reasons wishes to be taken seriously, it needs to hold our President's feet to the fire over the the negatives as well as laud his positives.
posted by jason says at 10:27 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


You're free to provide examples of "the left base" (which could probably use a definition as well) explicitly saying that they're happy to let Obama do those things. On a individual level, Metafilter is a great example where people don't let him off the hook. Same goes for major publications on the left, or for journalists from the left who work at mainstream publications.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:56 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]




Yeah, pretty much. I live a very red county in California and the anti-Obama stickers outnumber the pro-Romney stickers very handily.

We can argue semantics all we want, but a vote that goes to Romney is counted the same whether it's from an Obama hater, a libertarian, a religious conservative, or a yellow-dog Democrat with a clumsy hand.

Back to the main link, I encourage everyone who hasn't been following it to check out The Long Walk, another of McSweeney's regular columns and a good companion to the 90 Days project. The latest is pretty sobering.
posted by psoas at 12:13 PM on August 9, 2012


> Because I remember him saying it should be prescribed by real doctors in hospitals and not by mom and pop dispensaries.

Can you give an example of a "mom-and-pop dispensary" that "prescribes" pot - or anything, for that matter?

Is there in fact any state in the Union that allows people who aren't doctors or pharmacists to write prescriptions?

From your link: "I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It's not a good use of our resources."

Here it is 2012 - and we get this.

Can you really claim that Mr. Obama's stance in 2012 is anything like his stance in 2008?


How exactly is Obama prosecuting "medical marijuana users?" I haven't heard of any crackdown on medical marijuana users, at all.

Like a lot of situations people have listened to a lot of hearsay and bull crap on what the President promised, then declare him a sellout. Dude went on national TV to say he'd go after bin Laden without telling the Pakistanis first. Multiple times. Yet everyone got all mad.

I'd like to see what evidence you actually have regarding (1) what Obama promised; and (2) what was delivered re: the pot issue. So far, I'm the only person to provide his actual words in this debate.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:01 PM on August 9, 2012


has started small scale hostilities and thousands of drone attacks in places like Yemen

Obama’s Counterterror Chief: What War in Yemen?
posted by homunculus at 1:27 PM on August 9, 2012


> How exactly is Obama prosecuting "medical marijuana users?"

Better quote then, again from your own link:

""Obama supports the rights of states and local governments to make this choice— though he believes medical marijuana should be subject to [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] regulation like other drugs," LaBolt said. He said the FDA should consider how marijuana is regulated under federal law, while leaving states free to chart their own course."

The fact is that under Mr. Obama's Administration, there have been more drug arrests, more money spent on the DEA, and a systematic crackdown on medical marijuana, even in states where it is legal. To claim otherwise is simply ridiculous.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:31 PM on August 9, 2012


> even in states where it is legal.

Sorry, I know I need to be ultra-careful about exact wording here. "Even in states where the state itself has decriminalized medical marijuana."
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:32 PM on August 9, 2012


he fact is that under Mr. Obama's Administration, there have been more drug arrests, more money spent on the DEA, and a systematic crackdown on medical marijuana, even in states where it is legal. To claim otherwise is simply ridiculous.

Do you have a link to anything on that? Because you've presented no evidence to support that claim. None.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:40 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


has started small scale hostilities and thousands of drone attacks in places like Yemen

The US has, at maximum, conducted 413 drone strikes from 2004 onward

http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/07/02/june-update-us-covert-actions-in-pakistan-yemen-and-somalia/

These numbers come from the left-wing Bureau of Investigative Journalism, not the government.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:46 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see what evidence you actually have regarding (1) what Obama promised; and (2) what was delivered re: the pot issue. So far, I'm the only person to provide his actual words in this debate.

Plenty of observers have noted that there appears to be a change in the Federal government's rhetoric on medical marijuana -- the "problem" has gone from non-compliance with state law to the size and/or profit levels of dispensaries, even when they do not violate state law.

For instance, I consider the Ogden memo to be the clearest statement of Obama's "promise" not to focus federal resources on people whose actions are in compliance with state medical marijuana laws. It stated that "prosecution of individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen consistent with applicable state law, or those caregivers in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state law who provide such individuals with marijuana, is unlikely to be an efficient use of limited federal resources." Melinda Haag's comment on the recent Harborside raid was this, though: "The larger the operation, the greater the likelihood that there will be abuse of the state's medical marijuana laws, and marijuana in the hands of individuals who do not have a demonstrated medical need". Note that she doesn't actually claim that there was any abuse of state law or inappropriate dispensing at Harborside, merely that large dispensaries create a "greater likelihood" thereof.

The "Cole Memo" sent to the NJ attorney general lays out the government's spin on this explicitly. Personally, I think it's iffy to claim that "the Department’s view of the efficient use of limited federal resources as articulated in the Ogden Memorandum has not changed", when large dispensaries did not exist at the time the memo was written and have been operating according to state law since (note that no violation of state law has actually been alleged in the Harborside case). The Ogden memo laid out criteria for whether medical marijuana activity is "not in clear and unambiguous compliance with applicable state law", and I've seen no evidence that places like Harborside were in violation of those, either; certainly no more or less so than any other dispensary in the state. But that's the problem -- the Feds are now trying to claim that dispensaries are inherently in violation, because they're not "caregivers", despite the fact that they are permitted to act as such under state and local law. Likewise, Federal officials have used the "money laundering" and "too much cash" provisions of the Ogden memo to frown on dispensary operations... while pressuring banks and credit card processors to turn dispensaries away, thus ensuring that they have no alternative but to lie about the nature of their business (money laundering!) or operate as a cash business (too much cash!) The same goes for the IRS, which recently ruled that dispensaries are traffickers in controlled substances, and thus cannot take business deductions.

As for the idea that this is only about dispensaries: Matthew Cohen is a model caregiver who was busted late last year. The DEA confiscated 99 plants marked with Mendocino County Sheriff's Department zip-ties... the exact number he was permitted to grow.

I'd say that the overall picture is in fact one of "a systematic crackdown on medical marijuana, even in states where it is legal". The Feds really, really do not like non-state-licensed dispensaries (state licensing systems in DE, NM, AZ, etc. have dispensaries but have not been targeted with memos or busts, presumably because that would mean challenging the states' right to directly license dispensaries), and they want them shut down whether they're in compliance with state law or not.

That flies right in the face of Obama's promise. At best, going out of our way to bust model dispensaries and caregivers who were approved of by local law authorities and well-liked in their communities is a massive waste of Federal resources... just what the Ogden memo was meant to prevent.
posted by vorfeed at 3:07 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The President has said this about the enforcement issues:
Let me ask you about the War on Drugs. You vowed in 2008, when you were running for election, that you would not "use Justice Department resources to try and circumvent state laws about medical marijuana." Yet we just ran a story that shows your administration is launching more raids on medical pot than the Bush administration did. What's up with that?
Here's what's up: What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana. I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana – and the reason is, because it's against federal law. I can't nullify congressional law. I can't ask the Justice Department to say, "Ignore completely a federal law that's on the books." What I can say is, "Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage." As a consequence, there haven't been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes.

The only tension that's come up – and this gets hyped up a lot – is a murky area where you have large-scale, commercial operations that may supply medical marijuana users, but in some cases may also be supplying recreational users. In that situation, we put the Justice Department in a very difficult place if we're telling them, "This is supposed to be against the law, but we want you to turn the other way." That's not something we're going to do. I do think it's important and useful to have a broader debate about our drug laws.
http://m.rollingstone.com/entry/view/id/25455/pn/all/p/0/?KSID=804c418b7f9814c5bb73b76582fc578b&ints_viewed=1

So the question is this--if pot is leaving the medical distribution chain and getting into criminal distribution, what is the government supposed to do?

I've *seen on tv* that some of the pot being illegally sold is from dispensiaries. What is the government supposed to do?
posted by Ironmouth at 3:52 PM on August 9, 2012


They should do what they said they'd do from the beginning -- bust dispensaries in flagrant violation of state law. Not "large" dispensaries, not "for-profit" dispensaries, not dispensaries which take credit cards or do banking, and not "people who do high-profile things the Feds don't like", but dispensaries which have actually been demonstrated to have broken state law in a meaningful fashion. Otherwise the rule of law means nothing.
posted by vorfeed at 4:07 PM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


For profit dispensiaries are illegal under California law.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:55 PM on August 9, 2012


Then you can have that one, too. That's my point: let's see the evidence.
posted by vorfeed at 7:38 PM on August 9, 2012


Huh, I'm going through the code and you know what? The dispensiaries the US attorney is going after are actually in violation of California law.

I read all your links vorfeed (great collection, BTW--my kind of discussion) and then the California Code. It turns out you can't have a for profit dispensiary and you can't have it 600 feet from a school. Which is exactly what the US Attorney announced in her new program. They talk this big game about large , but immediately turn around, claim limited resources and say they're only going after dispensiaries within 600 feet of a school. So basically, the government is only going after dispensiaries in violation of state law. That's exactly what the notices said that were sent out.

Also three seconds perusing the California code make it clear that a dispensiary is not a caregiver:

11362.7
(d) "Primary caregiver" means the individual, designated by a
qualified patient or by a person with an identification card, who has
consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or
safety of that patient or person, and may include any of the
following:
(1) In any case in which a qualified patient or person with an
identification card receives medical care or supportive services, or
both, from a clinic licensed pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with
Section 1200) of Division 2, a health care facility licensed pursuant
to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1250) of Division 2, a
residential care facility for persons with chronic life-threatening
illness licensed pursuant to Chapter 3.01 (commencing with Section
1568.01) of Division 2, a residential care facility for the elderly
licensed pursuant to Chapter 3.2 (commencing with Section 1569) of
Division 2, a hospice, or a home health agency licensed pursuant to
Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 1725) of Division 2, the owner or
operator, or no more than three employees who are designated by the
owner or operator, of the clinic, facility, hospice, or home health
agency, if designated as a primary caregiver by that qualified
patient or person with an identification card.
(2) An individual who has been designated as a primary caregiver
by more than one qualified patient or person with an identification
card, if every qualified patient or person with an identification
card who has designated that individual as a primary caregiver
resides in the same city or county as the primary caregiver.
(3) An individual who has been designated as a primary caregiver
by a qualified patient or person with an identification card who
resides in a city or county other than that of the primary caregiver,
if the individual has not been designated as a primary caregiver by
any other qualified patient or person with an identification card.
(e) A primary caregiver shall be at least 18 years of age, unless
the primary caregiver is the parent of a minor child who is a
qualified patient or a person with an identification card or the
primary caregiver is a person otherwise entitled to make medical
decisions under state law pursuant to Sections 6922, 7002, 7050, or
7120 of the Family Code.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:13 AM on August 10, 2012


Huh, I'm going through the code and you know what? The dispensiaries the US attorney is going after are actually in violation of California law.
It turns out you can't have a for profit dispensiary and you can't have it 600 feet from a school. Which is exactly what the US Attorney announced in her new program. They talk this big game about large , but immediately turn around, claim limited resources and say they're only going after dispensiaries within 600 feet of a school. So basically, the government is only going after dispensiaries in violation of state law. That's exactly what the notices said that were sent out.


This is where Harborside is. It's not within 600 feet of a school (the one which looks close is the Aspire Public Schools home office, i.e. not a school). After the turnaround you mentioned, Harborside thought they were safe precisely because they're not that close to a school, as they point out on their page. And again, no state-law wrongdoing has been alleged, not even in the forfeiture complaint. If Harborside did break the law regarding schools, why hasn't Haag suggested such? This is the problem with forfeiture: the King's warrant of the 21st century, guilty until proven innocent.

The for-profit thing was my mistake -- I was trying to post quickly from my phone and said something stupid. Harborside is non-profit.

As for whether dispensaries are caregivers: the Feds are trying to spin that section of the Ogden memo as an exhaustive list of the only things they ever meant to permit, but that's clearly ridiculous: the memo says "pursuit of these priorities should not focus federal resources in your States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana". Medical marijuana co-ops are permitted under SB 420/11362.775, and the schools provision you mentioned explicitly applies to "a marijuana cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider". People vs. Colvin and People vs. Urziceanu also upheld the idea that dispensaries acting as co-ops under state law are protected:

Thus, the Legislature also exempted those qualifying patients and primary caregivers who collectively or cooperatively cultivate marijuana for medical purposes from criminal sanctions for possession for sale, transportation or furnishing marijuana, maintaining a location for unlawfully selling, giving away, or using controlled substances, managing a location for the storage, distribution of any controlled substance for sale, and the laws declaring the use of property for these purposes a nuisance. This new law represents a dramatic change in the prohibitions on the use, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana for persons who are qualified patients or primary caregivers and fits the defense defendant attempted to present at trial. Its specific itemization of the marijuana sales law indicates it contemplates the formation and operation of medicinal marijuana cooperatives that would receive reimbursement for marijuana and the services provided in conjunction with the provision of that marijuana.

The section in the Ogden memo about patients and caregivers also starts with "for example", so it was clearly not meant to be an exhaustive statement. If this was meant to be an exhaustive list of the people protected from Federal interference, then there are a lot of City Councilmen who could also be prosecuted for their involvement with the system, given that they're not primary caregivers or patients... then again, this is exactly what's been threatened, so maybe the Feds do intend to push things that far.

At any rate, I fail to see how busting well-liked dispensaries which have gone out of their way to partner with state and local law enforcement is "efficient and rational use of its limited investigative and prosecutorial resources". When the Feds go out of their way to bust high-profile, legal dispensaries rather than fly-by-night shops or people running medical MJ across state lines, the message they send is simple: we don't care whether what you're doing is legal, and there's nothing you can do to protect yourself from us. Shut down before we destroy you. If you think that's a wonderful use of Federal funds, then we'll have to disagree on that -- I don't think law enforcement should be used to intimidate business owners or state officials, nor to attempt to influence state policy.
posted by vorfeed at 11:11 AM on August 10, 2012


Down in Smoke: "Oakland, California. Ground zero for a medical marijuana fight between states and the federal government that has only been heating up. Graphic journalist Susie Cagle surveys the impact of recent DEA raids in 'Down In Smoke', her third piece for Cartoon Movement. Incorporating real audio from activists, Cagle portrays what 'feels like class war' as local growers, patients and city officials fight against losing their jobs, medicine, and tax revenue."
posted by homunculus at 12:18 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


To bring this back to the original subject, today's submission should be something we can all agree on. Or at least I think so. One can hope.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:43 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dudes. I am making special non-dispensary brownies right now. If a woman in her forties in a wheelchair can make a connect, I think you can. Forget about the weed, will ya?
posted by angrycat at 3:47 PM on August 10, 2012


Holy crap. The reports are that he's gonna pick Paul Ryan! Handing us a giant gift! Unbelievable!
posted by Ironmouth at 10:44 PM on August 10, 2012


Obama should offer to debate Ryan and Romney.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:45 PM on August 10, 2012




Is an RSS feed too much to task? There is no way in hell I will remember to go back to the site every day.

Yes, I find it frustrating, too, that sites don't create a feed. This URL, though, converts the list to RSS: http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=90days90reasons
posted by anothermug at 10:54 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


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