Even If You Think Obamney Is a Centrist Sellout, You Should Vote for Him to Keep That Dangerous Extremist Obamney Out of Office

If you can't please the base, you can still scare them. Since Mitt Romney and Barack Obama aren't all that far apart on the most important issues of the day, from America's empire abroad to its corporate state at home, the candidates' boosters are pushing people to the polls by raising the alarm that the other team is in the hands of dangerous extremists. If you had no sources of news but the anxious emails that activists blast into the Net, you'd think Romney reclines at home in a tricorne hat while Obama secretly stalks the White House halls in a keffiyeh.

The messaging is easier when you're talking about the downticket races, where some actual ideologues have won some nominations. But even then you sometimes see weird contortions, as in Sahil Kapur's report for the liberal website Talking Points Memo this morning, headlined "The New Christine O’Donnells? Hard-Right Nominees Endanger GOP Senate Hopes":

The latest is Tuesday’s Missouri primary victor, the six-term conservative Rep. Todd Akin, who defeated two more moderate Republicans better positioned to unseat the highly vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

Akin's past includes praising a militia group linked to anti-abortion extremism in the 1990s and voting against creating a sex-offender registry in 2005. Back in 1991—

WAIT. Stop. Back up. Since when is it "hard-right" to oppose a sex-offender registry?

Also in TPM today, Brian Beutler describes the right's attempts to keep their party's nominee in line, without dwelling overmuch on the fact that they're clearly doing a bad job of it:

"We are not auditioning for fearless leader," Grover Norquist told conservatives at the CPAC convention in February. "We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget....We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don't need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate."...

By contrast, the Democratic platform in 2008 was not forced on then-candidate Obama by a liberal base. Single payer advocates were forced to settle for a far less radical universal health care plan, and the candidates adopted similar plans in competition with each other.

"The [Democratic] presidential nominee has an enormous amount of sway over the platform," says Howard Dean, who was DNC chairman at the time. "There is some push and pull, but the nominee gets his way most of the time."...

"[I]n some ways we're a more democratic party," he said.

I think it's true that the conservative grassroots, while evidently unable to prevent a guy like Romney from getting the nomination, do have more influence in their party than their counterparts on the left. At the very least they're more vocal. But the doublethink here is astounding. On one hand, we're told that the Democratic rank and file don't have as much sway over their candidate's positions as the Republican rank and file have over theirs. At the same time we're informed that the Democrats are "more democratic."

The sad joke here is that this is coming from Dean, the guy who eight years ago was the frontman of an insurgency on behalf of "the Democratic wing of the Democratic party." Speaking as someone who supports most of that wing's purported positions on war, civil liberties, and corporate welfare, I wish those activists would stop fretting about the power of the GOP's ideologues and start emulating them instead. There was a time when they were willing to try it, but now they've been scared straight.

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  • Caleb Turberville||

    "Even If You Think Obamney Is a Centrist Sellout, You Should Vote for Him to Keep That Dangerous Extremist Obamney Out of Office."

    ...Wait, I'm confused.

  • Joe R.||

    That's one of my favorite headlines ever.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Agreed.

  • John||

    Jessee they were willing to try it when they were out of power. Once their team gets into power, forget it.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    We don't need someone to think it up or design it

    So any old Manchurian will do.

  • Lord Humungus||

    it's sellouts all the way down.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Nice alt=text. Pretty much all it would take is the pipe.

  • John Thacker||

    Even sillier is that about half the 52 votes against that national registry were Democrats. Maurice Hinchey, Kucinich, Oberstar, Mel Watt, etc., all now "hard right."

  • John||

    And since when is not wanting to make people register with the government "right"? Is TPM now ceding the field in civil rights to the right?

  • Bardas Phocas||

    The Left pretty much just recognizes three rights now: Fetus killin', Sodomy (properly regulated through the state sanctioned institution of marriage) and voting without the fear of being asked to show an ID.

    The Right, on good days, just recognizes the right to self defense.

  • kbolino||

    Now, now, don't forget the time-honored right to get free shit from other people's money, up to and including employment.

  • John Thacker||

    Speaking as someone who supports most of that wing's purported positions on war, civil liberties, and corporate welfare

    War and civil liberties they at least purport, but does the leftist wing of the Democrats even opposed corporate welfare currently? I thought it was all "stimulus." Look at the rollcalls, and you won't even see the real leftists (who, as noted above, e.g. vote against national sex offender registries, or continue to vote even against war when it's Obama) vote against the Ex-Im Bank, the Essential Air Service, marketing aid for exports, etc.

  • sarcasmic||

    but does the leftist wing of the Democrats even opposed corporate welfare currently?

    Like everything related to the left, it's not "what" but "who" that matters.

    It's corporate welfare if it goes to evil profit seeking companies that produce products that people willingly purchase of their own free will. That's bad.

    Subsidies to "green" companies that produce products that no one will purchase without being coerced are good.

    Free will is bad. Coercion is good.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    They oppose coporate welfare for EVUL KOCHPORASHUNSZ, like Halliburton, [oil company name here], ostensibly all big banks [but keep the contributions coming, and no real legislation you didn't approve - thanks!] and - duh - Koch Industries.

    But it's different for Solyndra, GE, GM/Xler, stores in downtown Holland, MI, etc. Those are GOOD companies that create or save GOOD jobs at GOOD wages for GOOD, HARDWORKING AMERICANS®.

    See the difference? Look HARDer...see it now?

  • Jesse Walker||

    does the leftist wing of the Democrats even oppose corporate welfare currently

    Some of them are pretty selective about it, which is part of why "most of" and "purported" are in there. (The other main reason is Citizens United. And gun control, to an extent, though a number of the netroots were actually fairly sensible on that subject.)

  • Hyperion||

    Leftists do not care about civil liberties, except, as has been stated innumerable times before, when it comes to killin some unborn childins, and bein geh.

    I am now totally convinced that I have seen into the deep recesses of the leftist consciousness and it is a dark and ugly place indeed. And what I saw was an angry malcontent who wants to see everyone punished who is more than equal to them in any way whatsoever. Hence, all of their unhinged ravings about social justice and equality.

  • o3||

    something specical about the unborn which exempts them from being kilt?

  • Hyperion||

    So, it would be ok if we just abort you right now?

  • o3||

    u know who else was retroactive?

  • Hyperion||

    It's Rombama, dummies.

    And, 2 words: Gary Johnson

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Almanian for President, 2012

    "What I Lack in Knowledge I Make Up for In Enthusiasm and Certitude"

    Almanian - 2012

  • Hyperion||

    Is he anything like his evil twin?

  • Marshall Gill||

    No goatee, duh!

  • Hyperion||

    Hmmm, well, I could still vote for him as long as he looks good in a monocle and top hat, and makes liberals cry like little girls.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "The [Democratic] presidential nominee has an enormous amount of sway over the platform," says Howard Dean, who was DNC chairman at the time. "There is some push and pull, but the nominee gets his way most of the time."...

    "[I]n some ways we're a more democratic party," he said.

    Huh?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I'll give the Democrats this - at least they were never nuts enough to nominate Howard Dean.

  • ||

    Dean would have made the 2004 campaign far more interesting and would have saved us the creation of the over- and mis- used term "Swift Boating"

  • Mr. Soul||

    now post the pic of Obushma. That act aint tiresome at all.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The minute Romney takes office he will approve Peabody Coal's plan to demolish every wind powered electrical generator. Then he will give the go-ahead for Boise Cascade to begin clearcutting Yosemite.

    After that, he will convert all VA hospitals into commodities brokerages.

  • John||

    What are you trying to get the people on here to vote for the guy or something?

  • Hyperion||

    And where is the problem with any of that?

  • Bardas Phocas||

    He'll repeal the 19th Amendment too?
    That's the only reason I'd vote for him.

  • John||

    and the 13th. Don't forget about the 13th. He wants to go back to the days of slavery. My liberal friends told me so.

  • Hyperion||

    And in other news

    Big Sis Butchy Dyke Gets Sued

    Sooprise, soooprise, Napolibutchy could be a man hating Dyke?! Who coulda thunk it!

    Time for executive order number 1 zillion and 3 to hide the decline...

  • John||

    And the women who did all of that will never suffer a single thing. The tax payers in contrast will no doubt be paying millions for her actions. And she will get a new position in the next Dem administration.

  • Hyperion||

    All of that

  • Mike M.||

    Next I suppose you'll tell me that Liberace was gay as well.

  • Ted S.||

    He was no more gay than Tab Hunter! ;-)

  • R C Dean||

    After seeing the polls show that their "Romney kilt muh wife" ad worked, Obama is rolling out a "Romney don't pay no taxes" ad.

    No reason that one won't work, too. America: It's All Chicago, Now.

  • Calidissident||

    There's this guy on the OT forum of a sports website I post on that tried to make a similar argument recently to convince me to vote for Romney. Even though I live in California, which is obviously going blue, I should vote for Romney because "If Romney gets a large enough margin of victory it will give him a mandate to undo all of Obama's policies and you can influence him in a direction you would prefer." As if I'm supposed to trust Mitt Romney. Obama supposedly had a "mandate" to be the anti-Bush and instead he's been Bush on steroids. And when you vote, there's no box for you to write in the reason you voted that way, and then have Mitt Romney know why you voted for him. And the thing is, this guy's pretty libertarian-leaning. He's sincere on fiscal issues, against the drug war and laws like the Patriot Act, moderate on foreign interventions, etc but he couldn't support Ron Paul because he's "unelectable and he blames America for 9/11." And now he's supporting Romney so we can move things in the right direction (Ha!) and he can continue working with groups like the Tea Party to get "true conservatives" elected in the future. Apparently he doesn't see how voting for the same old status quo guys every election undermines the latter goal.

  • Hyperion||

    The thing that your friend fails to realize, and he is in the majority, is that RP is only unelectable because the GOP establishment convinced enough people that he is. The lesser of 2 evils ploy is working like a charm, no reason at all for either party to deviate from it. Then we will continue to have no real choices.

  • Calidissident||

    I've explained both of the things in your post to him, and he still doesn't get it.

    And I almost forgot, another reason he's voting for Romney is "for his children." Seriously.

  • Hyperion||

    Uh oh, once the 'for the children' insanity sets in, all hope is lost.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    there's no box for you to write in the reason you voted that way, and then have Mitt Romney know why you voted for him.

    Racism.

    duh

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