John Steiner: Daniel Elsberg “Defeat Romney Without Illusions About Obama”

Politics
John Steiner

Defeat Romney, Without Illusions About Obama

By Daniel Ellsberg, Reader Supported News

Reader Supported News (rsn), 18 October 12

t is urgently important to prevent a Republican administration under Romney/Ryan from taking office in January 2013.

The election is now just weeks away, and I want to urge those whose values are generally in line with mine — progressives, especially activists — to make this goal one of your priorities during this period.

Daniel Ellsberg

An activist colleague recently said to me: “I hear you’re supporting Obama.”

I was startled, and took offense. “Supporting Obama? Me?!”

“I lose no opportunity publicly,” I told him angrily, to identify Obama as a tool of Wall Street, a man who’s decriminalized torture and is still complicit in it, a drone assassin, someone who’s launched an unconstitutional war, supports kidnapping and indefinite detention without trial, and has prosecuted more whistleblowers like myself than all previous presidents put together. “Would you call that support?”

My friend said, “But on Democracy Now you urged people in swing states to vote for him! How could you say that? I don’t live in a swing state, but I will not and could not vote for Obama under any circumstances.”

My answer was: a Romney/Ryan administration would be no better — no different — on any of the serious offenses I just mentioned or anything else, and it would be much worse, even catastrophically worse, on a number of other important issues: attacking Iran, Supreme Court appointments, the economy, women’s reproductive rights, health coverage, safety net, climate change, green energy, the environment.

I told him: “I don’t ‘support Obama.’ I oppose the current Republican Party. This is not a contest between Barack Obama and a progressive candidate. The voters in a handful or a dozen close-fought swing states are going to determine whether Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are going to wield great political power for four, maybe eight years, or not.”

As Noam Chomsky said recently, “The Republican organization today is extremely dangerous, not just to this country, but to the world. It’s worth expending some effort to prevent their rise to power, without sowing illusions about the Democratic alternatives.”

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Phi Beta Iota:  We disagree.  Obama has so thoroughly abandoned all pretense of change that it would take a series of truly extraordinary moves in the next two weeks — including a new Vice President, a Coalition Cabinet, a commitment to ending all taxes in favor of the Automated Payment Transaction (APT) Tax, and of course the Electoral Reform Act of 2012 — to give him the slightest credibility.  Much more likely is that the election will be stolen, Obama will do an Al Gore and retire quietly to Chicago to count his gold certificates, and America will have another four years to contemplate the true cost of individual disengagement.

See Also:

Greg Palast, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps (Seven Stories, 2012)

We the People Reform Coalition