Election 2012

Romney and Obama Are Both Unpopular, and We're Stuck With Them

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Obama and Romney

I think it's possible that history teachers of the future will tell their young charges that, however awful it is to be ruled by a network of mobile devices that have evolved a cruel, cruel artficial intelligence, things could be worse: they could have the government of the United States of the early 21st century. Taking a break from suffering the blows of their ill-tempered iPhone 5000s, students will shudder and concede the point. After, all, they'll admit, anything is better than a choice between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, who were deservedly despised even in their own day.

Well, that's my forecast, and I'm sticking to it. And it's a view of the future that is, I think, fairly well-founded in the contempt for the major party candidates shared by many of my fellow Americans. Bloomberg Businessweek/AP has a pretty good write-up on the disdain this year's voters feel for their designated choices:

Never have American voters re-elected a president whose work they disapprove of as much as Barack Obama's. Not that Mitt Romney can take much comfort — they've never elected a challenger they view so negatively, either.

Unless things change dramatically, this Election Day will mark a first, no matter who wins. The victor will be a sitting president with a slow economy, 8 percent-plus unemployment and an average Gallup job-approval rating below 50 percent. Or he'll be a challenger who isn't liked personally by a majority of the public and faces notable discord within his own party.

I think we can flesh that out a bit by pointing out that President Obama has presided over repeated downgrades in the country's credit rating, and every rating agency currently gives the United States a negative outlook. He also oversaw the economic policies that resulted in the United States dropping to 18th place — barely in the top 20 — in rankings of economic freedom. "Forward," indeed — to the brink and into the abyss.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, given the very real issue of growing dependence on the state in this country, manages instead to make a poorly crafted and ill-founded crack about who does and doesn't pay income taxes. When the in-the-bag-for-the-other guy press predictably turns this into "Mitt doesn't like poor people," he fumbles his chance to turn the conversation serious and comes off as exactly the sort of clueless rich guy he's accused of being. Romney could stand two feet from the dart board and hit the pool table every time — and then wonder what all the fuss is about.

Let's not forget that the incumbent's signature achievement — Obamacare — has never been well-regarded by the American people. That would provide an excellent opening for Romney, if he hadn't implemented a nearly identical system in Massachusetts.

Foreign policy? Barack Obama can't be blamed for the fact that much of the world is bat-shit insane, but he can be brought to task when he incoherently insists, "our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech" even as he issues an ecumenical call for intolerance of intolerance as he did at the United Nations today: "[t]he future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated …"

Romney is different. He wants to pick a fight with China, which happens to be our number-two trading partner.

Most Americans don't seem to care that much about civil liberties, but Obama and Romney are both terrible in a due-process-free sort of way that's worthy of the same sort of disdain they've so thoroughly earned elsewhere.

Yet, as the AP article cited above warns, "despite disapproval, someone will win Obama-Romney." Yes, it's a contest between the two major-party candidates to prove to us that the other guys is worse. Just you wait. Some awful day, 2012 politics will be used to demonstrate that things could be so much more terrible.

NEXT: President Obama Says We "must" Condemn "those who slander the prophet of Islam," Among Others

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  1. Worse or Worser?

  2. Romney has managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    1. for a smart guy, somehow mittens manages to step on his dick everytime he sticks his foot in his mouth

      1. Trolls feeding trolls. How cute.

    2. Is that why all of the polls are statistical dead heats even though they tend to be weighted Democratic?

    3. Sic semper Republican. On the other hand, the Democrats can shit the bed just as easily. Its like watching chimps with loaded guns. I don’t know how its going to end, but “well” isn’t a choice.

      1. I dunno. Chimp Gunfight sounds like a winner.

  3. Kang or Kodos

    amirite?

  4. Outside my cube I’ve got several Cthulhu Dagon 2012 posters.

    Why choose the Lesser Evil?

    Vote for the Greater Evil!

    We tried Change, give fear a chance!

    They think I’m weird.

      1. I think that poster very accurately describes this year’s election.

    1. In 2000 some friends and I made a “Dr. Evil for President” video using clips from the first 2 Austin Powers movies (the third POS hadn’t come out yet, thank God) with one of us doing a cheasy voice over. I might have to find that, or remake it for this year.

      “Why vote for the lesser evil, vote Mr. Evil.”

      “That’s DR. Evil! I didn’t go to evil medical school for 6 years to be called Mr., thank you very much.”

  5. Or he’ll be a challenger who isn’t liked personally by a majority of the public and faces notable discord within his own party.

    Is there a dumber reason to support any politician than “but I like him personally”?

    1. “He’s black.”

    2. I honestly don’t get how so many people say they like politicians personally. I wouldn’t want to have a beer with either of these guys. They are both egotistical ass hats.

      1. Personally, I think we should replace elections with a random lottery. It would be like the draft. All citizens are entered and randomly chosen to serve. I think anyone who wants to be president probably should not be, and this would help eliminate that particular problem.

        It could not be any worse than the current system, could it?

        1. Except for the slight possibility that Chuckie Bitchtits and Dwarf Bloomberg would be selected P and VP.

        2. “Have the winner of American Idol put a blindfold on, and stick a pin in a map of the U.S.

          Put a monkey (with a parachute on) in a plane and drop him off over the place where the pin is.

          When the monkey lands, the first person he grabs by the hand is the next President.”

          -Lewis Black

        3. It would fix a ton of what is wrong with the system from both the left-wing and right-wing perspectives. Gerrymandering, campaign finance, minority representation, term limits, voter fraud (though not electoral fraud).

          I think you would need to rework the numbers though, to mitigate the impact of having a district represented by a crazy homeless guy by crap luck.

          I don’t think we should randomly choose the president, but randomly choosing electors would work just fine. Given them a year to meet and consult try to come to a consensus on a candidate.

  6. Well, that’s my forecast, and I’m sticking to it.

    Well, your forecast is an idiot. There will be far worse meatbag overlords yet to come. (But congrats on getting a nod to the 47% terror comment in there.)

  7. As bad as the two major party candidates are, did anyone watch that new show called Revolution? Utter shit. Zero realism. I’d rather vote for one of these assholes than be forced to watch that terrible show.

    1. Life works, but chemistry doesn’t. (No guns). Fuck that.

    2. Last Resort looks pretty good, and possibly libertarian with a sub declaring itself a sovereign nation and threatening to nuke DC.

      1. Revolution has ‘the militia’ as the evil new govt and “look! you can buy heroin on sale” says the witty douchebag.

        Call me paranoid but those felt like japes at a certain political philosophy’s expense.

    3. Anything serial that has been touched by the hand of JJ Abrams seems to have the writing staff chugging cough syrup to come up with ideas by season 2 at latest.

  8. In all our faces!

  9. Maybe we’ll be lucky, and the world will end when the new-age woomeisters say it will.

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