We All Have a Choice in the 2012 Election

Guest Blogger: Joan Ruaiz

My choice – come November 6, 2012 will not be a surprise, as I will vote to re-elect the incumbent President, Barack Obama.

The reasons why I will work hard to re-elect the President and try to give him an overwhelming congressional majority in both the House and the Senate are very clear to me, and self-serving as they are, I believe my actions will also benefit a majority of Americans; even those who don’t quite know it yet.  By reading the rest of my commentary,  the reasons for my stubborn partisan stance will be made clear,  and as the election cycle progresses, I shall often make myself clearer still.

What I’d like folks to envision in the meantime is what would happen if progressives woke up the morning of November 7th, and reality hit that the President-elect is not Barack Obama?

Sure,  some on the Left would feel vindicated to witness Barack Obama defeated, believing that they had won the battle of “principles” they’d waged for four years to show President Obama their disappointment in him.  They would inevitably blame him for their choice not to donate, not to work, and/or simply not to have voted.

I believe, however, for those progressives willing to be intellectually honest, and who understand the concrete reality of political consequences (see Election 2010), we must also be willing to ask ourselves hard questions before the election, as opposed to after the fact.

You see, these questions will be answered regardless, either now, or for four long years (or eight even longer years) following November 6th.

Again, if the worse-case scenario were to occur  and we end up with a President other than Barack Obama (which is not out of the realm of possibility, as there are powerful forces working hard on this as we speak), what will happen then?

Some will say that my questions are nothing more than my cynical attempt to use fear, but I strongly disagree.  I am only asking you to picture what could very well happen.  If it is something to fear, you should duly note it.

I respectfully suggest that some of the questions we should all ask ourselves, especially those who haven’t already done so, are as follows:

How will you feel when the new President nominates partisan cabinet members like Phil Gramm for Treasury, Jeb Bush for the Justice Department, John Kasich for the Office of Management and Budget, Scott Walker for Labor Secretary, Paul Ryan for Health and Human Services, Rudy Giuliani as Secretary of State, John McCain as Secretary of Defense, and Newt Gingrich as UN Ambassador?  Sure, it may not be those particular ideologues in those exact positions; in fact, it could be worse still.  Keep that in mind.

How will you feel when the new President gets a chance to replace Justice Kennedy, or worse yet, Justices Breyer and Ginsberg?  What about all of the other judicial nominees that the new President will get to choose?

How will you feel when the new President gets to sign into law the privatization of Social Security?

How will you feel when the new President gets to sign the age increase for Medicare eligibility,  and the cutting of benefits for seniors?

How will you feel when the new President decides to nominate folks over at the FCC who would vote against Net Neutrality?  How mad would you be if the Internet became less of a factor for free speech, and more of a factor for message manipulation and propaganda?

How will you feel when the new President eliminates the mortgage modification partnership it has with banks, and you are back to being underwater, left to drown… on your own?

How will you feel when the new President reinstates the reproductive gag order on Third-World countries?

How will you feel when the new President dismantles the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

How will you fee when the new President pushes to reverse the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act?

How will you feel when the new President works to reverse Dodd-Frank?

How will you feel when the new President rescinds benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees?

How will you feel when the new President reduces or eliminates the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (aka Food Stamps)?

How will you feel when the new President doesn’t extend unemployment insurance for the unemployed, and won’t compromise on the issue whatsoever?

How will you feel when the new President reverses policy advances made in our relations with Cuba?

How will you feel when the new President signs the bill repealing the Affordable Care Act, and thereby nullifies the ability for patients who have pre-existing conditions to be covered by insurance companies?

How will you feel when the new President re-establishes a middleman for student loans?

How will you feel when the new President refuses to hold any discussion with labor, or to have anything to do with them?

How will you feel when the new President ignores the United Nations, and becomes their nemesis?

How will you feel when the new President decides that the Afghanistan timetable for bringing our troops home shouldn’t be followed?

How will you feel when the new President reverses the ban on torture?

How will you feel when the new President resumes the Star Wars program?

How will you feel when the new President cuts federal education spending, and pushes vouchers?

How will you feel when the new President declines to identify who comes to the White House?

How will you feel when the new President pushes to reverse the FDA tobacco disclosure rules?

How will you feel when the new President advocates to deny national funding to NPR and Planned Parenthood, and the National Endowment for the Arts?

How will you feel when the new President increases taxes on the working poor, and decreases taxes on corporations, capital gains and the estate tax?

How will you feel when the new President pushes to abolish the EPA, the Department of Education, and the FAA?

How will you feel when the new President denies climate change?

How will you feel when the new President sells federal lands to pay down the deficit?

How will you feel when the new President advocates for corporations’ right to accelerate mountain-top removal, and assures oil companies that they have nothing to fear in reference to their subsidies?

How will you feel when the new President decides to push for a DOMA-style Constitutional  amendment?

How will you feel when you have to look at this new President on the television. a President who talks in bumper sticker slogans, while being divisive. ideologically driven, and grossly arrogant, and who governs with regard to his own base and not all Americans?

As importantly, how will you feel that you didn’t do everything possible to assist in the 2012 re-election campaign because you rationalized that there was nothing good you could say about President Barack Obama, or you conveniently convinced yourself that someone else would handle your share (or so you assumed)? How will you justify protest then, or even be angry knowing that you always had a choice and yet you chose to do less than you could do?

Will you be glad you stuck to your principles, or appalled at the avalanche of radical changes proposed by the new administration? And what will you do about it at that time, that couldn’t have been done before?

Yes, there is a very clear choice, even if you really would rather not think about it right at the moment. I, on the other hand, have been thinking about it all along,  and  I’m sure there are even worse things that would come down the pike, unimaginable to me at this time.

But you know what? Perhaps this is the kind of reality-based exercise that we really need, especially those who claim to care about our future.  Perhaps now is the time to start  getting FIRED UP AND READY TO GO, because waiting until we are in an unthinkable position will be, for sure, way too late.


24 thoughts on “We All Have a Choice in the 2012 Election

  1. Good to see you on ExtremeLiberal, Joan. This is vitally important research you’ve done for us..thank you!~

    The Koch funded gop teabaggers have already given America a strong , bitter, ugly taste of they would do if they took over the White House, with the governors’ record of shutting down Workers Rights in Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Maine.

  2. I think that many Liberals need to stop being so cynical and realize that Slavery wasn’t ended, women didn’t win the vote, nor were Civil Rights achieved via negativity and pessimism and constant carping. Nor were any of the issues being fought for accomplished in a couple of years. I’m going to be supporting this President, because it means I am doing the best thing I can do for myself, and all of the issues I consider most important. And not only will I vote for Barack Obama, but I will actively work for his re-election. I consider the least thing that I can do for myself and the ones I love! Doing anything else, on my part, would be suicide, and I’m going there! Thanks for the reminding me as to why I wake up everyday being politically active!

  3. Thanks for the wise words, Joan.

    I was in an intense discussion back in 1961 with a German exchange student at my Indiana college. He shocked/upset/incensed us corn-fed patriotic Hoosier farm boys proclaiming that the next great world fascist power would the USA. Of course we were still quite aware then of the recent Joe McCarthy witch-hunts/blacklists and we were watching the growth of the new John Birch Society (that is still here but now called teabaggers).

    This German student had been involved in long, deep discussions with his own parents as he had become ashamed of his German heritage and wanted to hear them out. His parents described to him how they at first went along with the fascists (who seemed to have saved them from a severe economic depression), fell for Nazi propaganda, and realized too late they had helped to create a monster, but too late too for the family to escape as the Nazis had sealed all of the borders with fences and gates (think the ordeal of the Von Trapp family in the “Sound of Music”). A German citizen either went along with authorities or became political prisoners often sent to the death camps. Lothar’s words that night have stayed with me and most unsettling is that many of his predictions have since come about. I have not forgotten what he said, including, “Watch what your government does at its borders…as the machinery set up to keep contraband and people OUT can quickly be reversed to keep Americans in.”

    Scary have been the correlations…the history of Germany in the 1930’s and events in our nation since that night in 1961. Scary is how a LOUD minority can possibly impose their will on the majority. In the years since, I have been witness to assassinations, racial strife, unnecessary wars of aggression. The Ohio National Guard fired upon and killed unarmed Kent State students during a noon anti-war rally. We’ve had the crimes of Watergate under Nixon, the crimes of Iran-Contra under Raygun (where George H.W. Bush then pardoned the convicted), I have seen the rise of the religious right-wing who wish to make this a theocratic fascist nation, the rise of neoconservatism here and in Israel with its corporatist, imperialist goals. We’ve seen terrorism both from foreign agents and home grown right-wingers like Timothy McVeigh. The events of 9/11 and the fear it induced gave us wire-tapping and the weakening of our civil liberties. In the past decade under Bush/Cheney, we’ve had a pre-emptive war based upon lies and torture. There are wars on the poor, on women, on organized labor, on gay Americans, on science and the environment. Now, not even under the radar in some cases, we have racism directed at our first black president who is blamed for most things not even under his control.

    American fascists attempted to undermine FDR who probably saved us from them. The anti-Semite Henry Ford and other American corporatists had great admiration for Adolph Hitler and the latter even kept a portrait of Ford on his wall. The American Nazi party even filled Madison Square Garden in 1939. Sinclair Lewis wrote a novel in 1935 about a fascist takeover in, It Can’t Happen Here:


    Thankfully, I will not be around this planet much longer, but I do have dozens of nieces and nephews whom I don’t wish to have to experience firebombings like in Dresden, atomic fire like in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Remember we are only 300 million in the USA. The OTHER 6.7 BILLION people on earth won’t let us get away with trying to exploit them forever and will eventually put an end to it….worst case scenario, a world conflagration. I don’t even wish to imagine such a picture. I don’t believe such an Armageddon will solve mankind’s problems, only add to them.

  4. That’s what needs to happen. All of the cynicism and nose-cutting isn’t going to help. The long list of progressive changes that happened in America never happened overnight.

    I’m convinced that most of the anti-Obama crowd on the Left are beholden to the idea of instant political change….which never happens. We are just now starting to see the results of the Obama Administration’s actions to help America–and these guys just want to end it before it starts?

    How can anyone have the mindset that it’s right to punish Obama and the Democrats….even if it means driving the country over the cliff and subjecting the people to four years of Republican rule? How can anyone feel that this is a good thing?

  5. grantinhouston, You’ve said a lot, and much of what you say is what I meant exactly. What I don’t understand is why activists, of all people, are feigning not to understand how critical of a time this is? Because they certainly should, if they are for real. Activists are supposed to care about causes and other people to a passion, but not till they are ready to give up and sit and sulk and watch their passion get annihilated by the opposition. But today, the loudest ones only seem to care about vindicating their opinions, no so much caring much about our shared immediate future. I don’t get that, unless they really are just poseurs, which is what I’m starting to suspect. Not really serious people, but perhaps that’s what they play on the Internet.

  6. Hi Cha! Thank you for your kind words. And yes, there are very dark forces out there, and they like power, and they want the little they’ve had to give up these last couple of years back!

    It smell like a set up. You know–the blame the Black guy routine.

    The Republicans knew they had just looted us, and so maybe they let the 2008 elections alone. Because it does seem like for election 2010, the media got started super early in telling Democrats that we were going to lose. Like a year early. Now, how would they have known? Most likely because they orchestrated the entire thing, tea party and all. Hate to think it, but looks like the Corporate media is in on this, just like they were there for election 2000, and then again for 9/11 and then the War in Iraq. Like I said, I hate to think it, but there’s no good reason not to when one looks at the evidence. I think they aim to get back in power. That’s what we are seeing, sorry to say.

  7. Joan, it’s like you entered my mind and put my thoughts on “paper.” Again, Americans have a choice to make. I, for one, am with you. To do otherwise is to agree with those forces that want to end our Republic, destroy democracy, end individual freedoms, liberties and personal rights, and to amend our Constitution in order to control the American people.

    The results of the 2010 mid-term elections have shown us the direction that these forces wish to take America. It is a very ugly picture that no one should ignore. Couple this with the divisive, racially tinged and dangerous rhetoric and vitriol on the airwaves should cause all Americans to pause and ask the question, “Why?” The answer is frightening. However, in my opinion, too many people are ignoring the answer or feel that the answer will only affect “others” and not them. These delusional folks should pay attention to grantinhouston’s comment. A constant for me is, “They came for the….but, I wasn’t a…so, I said nothing. Then they came for the….but, I wasn’t…, so I said nothing. Then they came for me!” We are being set-up for history to repeat itself!

    We have the power to reverse this course. I, along with those who see the handwriting on the wall, will do my utmost to stop these ugly forces in their tracks by doing everything that I can to re-elect President Obama for another term. To do otherwise would not be in my, or my country’s, best interest!

  8. With Gerrymandering and GOP state legislatures successfully passing voter suppression laws (think Jim Crow), the REICH is attempting to make this a ONE PARTY nation. It is not only the Rupert Murdoch propaganda machines hating on President Obama, but also the largest of media giants….Clear Channel Communications. The former family-owned business owns around 1000 radio stations from coast-to-coast to ensure that Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Savage, etc. can spew their hate and lies to everyone, 24/7, helping to give the REICH 90% control of all radio outlets in Amerika. Clear Channel owns over 700,000 billboards where, when unrented, often display REICH-wing messaging and ads for the likes of Limbaugh. They also own Live Nation that markets music concerts and events all over. Clear Channel was bought out in part by Mitt Romney’s former Bain Capital in 2008. And one of the sons-in-law married into the controlling Mays family is Republican Rep. Michael McCaul elected to the new Texas District 10 in 2004.

    Speaking of McCaul, theHouston Chronicle just posted this morning that the richest person in both the U.S. House and Senate is REPUBLICAN Rep. Michael McCaul who has a reported a net personal worth now of $287 MILLION, UP from only a mere $73.8 MILLION in 2009, so he has DONE WELL in the Obama economy (with the help of Bain).

    McCaul’s gerrymandered 10th District covers a stretch of 140 miles between Houston and Austin and was created by Tom DeLay in 2003 to dilute liberal Travis County (Austin) by hooking onto Houston’s west side Republican suburbs around Katy, Texas. McCaul took away the Congressional seat held for 5 terms by Democrat Rep. Lyle Doggett. McCaul got over 80% of the votes in the newly aligned district, a number equal to Rep. Doggett’s old numbers when he served the earlier 10th District. Dogget’s new District 25 (which he held against a teabagger in 2010) had always been a Democratic stronghold since it was created in 1983, so gerrymandering didn’t change that picture but did create a new GOP stronghold for the neophyte McCaul.


    Below shows a new Gerrymandered proposal for Austin to make sure that city will go majority Republican. The proposed new redistricting by state Republicans this past year makes it nearly impossible for Democrats to win over 31% of districts anymore in Texas. Currently Latinos have sued the state over the new maps citing racial discrimination since Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic. Hispanics are most responsible for Texas gaining FOUR MORE seats in the U.S. Congress, YET the new GOP drawn district lines ensure Hispanics (who are majority Democratic) gain no more voice in government.

    So Joan can also add the power of Republican legislatures redrawing Amerika made possible when whiny DEMOCRATS take their toys and go home, NOT VOTING.

  9. How that old saying goes? Those who ignored history are doomed to repeat it. The Republicans aren’t even trying to hide their policy goals, Tax cuts for corporations and ways to further weaken labor unions and outside the legislation a President Perry or Romney will go after you gotta think about 6-3 or 7-2 right wing majority on the supreme court and right wing activist judges being place on lower federal courts.And once Liberals realize they made a mistake by sitting home in 2012 we all gotta deal with a far right wing president and probably a far right wing congress until the fall of 2014. They’re going to have control of all 2013 and until January of 2015 because even you clean the house of every single tea bag Republican you still got Republican senators who got elected in 2012 with another four years left in their term and they can passed every right wing wet dream bill with a lame duck congress. Principles don’t mean shit when you enable a party that spend what the last five decades trying to undo the New Deal. If you got parents or grandparents on social security and or medicaid how can you look them in the eyes after you enable the people who wants to destroy those programs get more power? I tell those liberals who follow Michael Moore, Cenk Uygur. Arinna Huffington, Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald not only they can ride out another failed Republican presidency many of them will make more money off that failed Republican presidency.

  10. I get daily email from the likes of Common Dreams, Reader Supported New,s Truthout and you’d think they had become Republican blogsites like Townhall or Drudge (except the REICH sites don’t slime their own!).

    Today, Michael Moore is quoted that he may not vote for Obama and is leaning towards Jon Huntsman, saying now in Newsweek, “it’s crazy time over there” in the GOP and Huntsman is the only “sane candidate.” “If the Republicans were smart, they would nominate [him].” Moore says, “I don’t understand why he’s [Obama] chosen the path he’s chosen, why he did not come in fighting for the working people of this country. He could have been a great president. He could have pulled us back from the abyss. Instead, he came in more as Neville Chamberlain, wanting to appease Republicans.”


    In Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi has gone full throttle hating Obama, saying he cannot even stand the sound of Obama’s voice anymore (likes the speech patterns of a Bachmann, Palin, or Perry better?) and refuses to listen to Obama’s speeches.


    Wonder which Republican Taibbi wants to see sitting in the White House, appointing our federal judges, etc.?

  11. This one excellent article. The best I’ve read on this subject. We have scheduled a local county Democratic Party meeting in early October. Would it be possible for me to cite some of your points, or maybe just hand out your article? In any event, thanks so much for writing this.

  12. I am probably back in hot water with some in my mostly Republican family. Seems the younger generation is more right-wing than some in my generation, some of the latter admitting even voting for Obama. Since the youngsters get their news anymore on-line, my “20 something” grandniece posted on Facebook that Obama had denied aid to Texas fires linking to an old May article (the date was almost obscure) when Obama did turn down Gov. Rick Perry’s request to declare some fires in Texas MAJOR disasters. The federal government gave Texas 22 grants THEN anyway. The May hot spots were deemed minor meaning they weren’t out of the range of being taken care of by LOCAL firefighters and funds. Obama has now granted MAJOR disaster relief for the current fires in the form of $23 million in grants. And here I thought the teabaggers liked LOCAL! /snark

    Some of the responses on my grandniece’s Facebook page are most often simply “DEEP” words like “Bastard”, “Obama’s a moron” and also this “wordy” comment:

    “So I guess the 2.2 million acres that had burned by May weren’t major enough for the gracious assistance of the QUACK we call president. Obama/Osama has proved he is nothing more than a disgrace to the office and title know as commander and chief.”

    Another poster after I asked in my posting “why” the extreme hatred for Obama from the right, his race possibly playing a part?

    Well first of all he isn’t black or maybe he is or maybe if we had a real birth certificate we would know, and I’m glad you went out and wasted your vote and intend to waste it again next year. I am not saying Obama is to blame for all those disasters but his slow action leaves a bad taste in the mouths of the people affected by these fires.

    I answered this 20-something jerk that Obama declared Texas a MAJOR disaster area September 3, immediately after the fires got out of control when Tropical Storm Lee winds began burning down homes by the dozens. But these punks won’t believe FACTS.

    So we have a nation increasingly getting their news not from real journalists, but from bloggers and their social media “friends”. Like I have said, I am almost glad I don’t have much more time on this planet. Our nation is in a dire straits.

    BTW, most of the lands burned in May were grasslands being burned up by the drought anyway that Perry hasn’t been able to pray away. There were a few homes burned but it was not major conflagrations we are seeing now with hundreds and hundreds of homes burning down.

    And this assault from the REICH is to make folks remember that Gov. Perry CUT firefunding by 75% this year along with his assault on teacher, first repsonders, healthcare providers.


  13. Dear God…I guess Moore and Taibbi have both, it seems, “lost it”.

    If they prefer the crazies in the GOP to Obama, then they have no right to call themselves liberal or progressives.

  14. The Republican “debate” is a bore. Right off Newt Gingrich proclaimed that nobody should tear down another, that they are not opponents but on the same side and should only work to defeat Obama. Nothing comparable to some of the fireworks in the Democratic debates of 2008, especially between Clinton and Obama.

    I bet the GOP would love to hold every debate in the Reagan Library so they can make each event a religious gathering, playing homage to their dead “god” and the fragile Nancy.

  15. disappointed in Nancy. I thought she wanted to see good things out of out healthcare system and seeing these guys talking like they did about social security really depressed me. I am just depressed right now about the thought of any of these idiots becoming president, they act like spoiled children and can’t even come up with a coherent idea for job growth.

    Obama’s plan is a good start but their needs to be more. Of course the republicans will never go for it, but I could give a fuck less what these koch snorters have to think.

  16. And Dick Cheney has come out calling for Hillary Clinton to challenge Obama in the Democratic primaries! The Dick is correct when he says Bachmann needs to bow out but. However she took herself out last night with her debate answers, which were only her much repeated talking points we’ve heard ad nauseum.

  17. In the MSNBC homage to the Reagans, it was emphasized that Nancy was a fervent fighter in her role as First Lady, not only against illicit drugs, but also an advocate for STEM CELL RESEARCH which went over like a lead balloon compared to the outpouring of applause and cheers when Gov. Rick Perry touted his killing 234 human beings on the Texas death row. Perry also said he slept well “KNOWING” for sure that he had not executed an innocent man.

    But there has been much controversy that he indeed killed Cameron Todd Willingham who may have been innocent but for whom Perry spent much effort in fighting the evidence that he had been wrongly executed.


    Also last year, Anthony Graves was released from death row in the nick of time after DNA PROVED he was an innocent man. After spending 18 years in prison for an offense he didn’t commit, the Perry government attempted to deny him any monetary compensation for two decades of a lost life!


    The REICH is Pro-life for a fertilized egg…after birth, not so much!

    Also nobody made any connections last night when it was brought up that Gov. Perry issued an executive order that all girls 11 years old and above in Texas schools be FORCED to be vaccinated for HPV, the human papillomavirus (without parent’s OK but supports that all parents of girls under 18 be notified about abortion). The Christian Right was outraged that such a vaccine would cause young girls to become sexually promiscuous.

    Not brought up was that Merck Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the vaccine, at the time DOUBLED their lobbying funding in Texas. Perry had several ties to Merck and the GOP-dominate Women in Government­­ lobby. One of the drug company’s three lobbyists in Texas was Mike Toomey, Rick Perry’s former chief-of-staff. His current chief-of-staff’s mother-in-­­law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, who is a state director for the Women in Government lobby­­.


    Perry who has lived on GOVERNMENT paychecks for most of his life starting with five years in the Air Force, has become a multi-millionaire as a politician “serving the people”!

  18. Rita, of course you are welcome to hand this article out The point is for people to start thinking about what they are really doing to themselves and to each other. We talk about Morans all of the time, being low wage Republicans voting against their own best interest. Many Progressives are now thinking of doing some of that. Why would they start thinking in that backward way, when they are better and smarter than that?

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