|Obama's Corporatist Salute (Source: TheWashingtonFancy)|
The moral, civil and political implications of lending legitimacy to the Democratic party should be enough to give anyone pause. This is especially true in this election, when Obama has proved to be the most reactionary Democrat, unwilling to do anything to make Jobs at home. Romney's criticism is spot-on here, and this is why I scoff at some of my friends who act like Virginians are "idiots" for voting for Romney - with Obama, at least we know his economic policies are vapid. His foreign and domestic policies are totalitarian and brutal, :
Whistleblowers - Surprisingly, he has the worst record of any US president. Notable cases include the UBS tax evasion whistleblower Birkenfeld and the US military whistleblower Bradley Manning.
Foreign Policy - Obama is playing the role of the "tough on Israel" president, but he tried to offer a deal to stop Israeli settlement expansion for 30 days. The caveat was that the US agreed to "never again" ask to halt settlement expansion. Even this brief halt was too much to ask of Israel, which apparently views all such requests as empty. US material support to Israel has expanded even while cuts were made to every other program, even annual military budget expansions (that is to say, even the US military budget started to grow by marginally less while military aid to Israel expanded).
The brutality of the drone program is known: what is striking is that the media actually discusses this, probably because they think it makes Obama look tough. But this is a program meant to excise the superfluous population from the path of the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline. This is genocide and cultural violence; most tribal cultures have rich diversity from centuries, even millennia of contiguous settlement. The war on Iraq, also an attack on populations and institutions in the way of corporate wealth extraction, saw many of the cultures and artifacts from the "cradle of Western civilization" destroyed. I expect that we'll be lucky to have even a partial picture of what is being lost in Afghanistan.
Obama has endorsed the corporate coup de tat in Honduras. Recently 2 pregnant women were killed in a 3-nation joint DEA operation including the US in Honduras. When the regional US DEA official is asked how he views the operation, he says it is a "success" because of this international cooperation. These civilian casualties are no longer on the radar for operational analysis.
The 2-sided response to the Arab Spring needs little exposition. The fact that Bahraini police and US police have had joint training operations is revealing to the goals and strategies both forces can be expected to employ. A notable point about the hypocrisy between the US's treatment of Iran and Egypt is that in this AJE program, the leading proponent of the US's position on Iran chastizes the Iranian
Domestic Policy - Despite lofty liberal rhetoric, Obama has overseen the expansion of warrantless wiretapping, signed the NDAA revoking habeus corpus (high profile lefties like Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg, who released the pentagon papers, have started a lawsuit against it). He has attacked whistleblowers using the archaic and barbaric Espionage and Sedition acts, and engaged in a full frontal assault on labor unions, to the point of inviting a leading attacker, Rahm Emmanuel (also a militant Zionist), to be a headline speaker of the Democratic National Convention.
In fact, the Democratic National Convention has rejected its own flimsy democratic structure. With no clear 2/3 majority in a voice vote (in fact, the "nos" are more vociferous), the DNC forced through pro-Israel language in what was a surreal, naked example of Israeli white nationalist graft.
What is to be done?
None of this is to say that there are no instances where voting for a bad politician can be a good tactic. But the differences between Romney and Obama are not even clear. Your local elections almost certainly carry different dynamics - here in Virginia, for instance, Wayne Powell may be a good political horse simply because he has been able to promote a "Not for Sale" pseudo-Jacobin political rhetoric opposed to corporate graft.
Why is there never a choice? It is true that our democratic process is absurdly totalitarian. But it has devices, including a write-in field, which make it theoretically pliable to popular input. The only legitimate argument for not voting is that the costs outweigh the benefits - but frankly, our civil society is weak enough in the US that if you're not voting, chances are you're not doing anything more constructive, either.
And there are other options beside the "2-headed hydra." This site (though apparently Libertarian-slanted) helps to provide alternatives with an interactive survey: http://www.isidewith.com/. In elections in which I have no comfortable choice, I write-in "No Confidence." If you only have bad options, at least make it known that you support none of them.