Wow. Team Obama isn’t even bothering to make false promises anymore. It has become entirely about the dash for cash.
On June 24 I received a fundraising e-mail from Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s “deputy campaign manager,” titled, “We’re getting outspent.”
“For the first time in modern American history, the incumbent (that’s us) will get outspent in a re-election campaign — by some estimates as much as 3-to-1,” Cutter whines in the e-mail, asking for a donation of $25 or more.
(Um, why does Cutter have to remind us that Barack Obama is the incumbent? Because we’re too fucking stupid to know what the word “incumbent” means or because where actual progress is concerned, Obama has been so fucking invisible that we need to be reminded that he occupies the White House? Or maybe some combination of both?)
Two days later, on June 26, I received an e-mail supposedly from the Big O himself. “I will be outspent” is the title of the e-mail supposedly from Barack.
“I will be the first president in modern history to be outspent in his re-election campaign, if things continue as they have so far,” he proclaims, asking for a donation of $25 or more.
In the e-mail Obama attacks Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate Mittens Romney for Mittens’ fundraising, even though Obama broke all previous U.S. presidential fundraising records in 2008.
“I’ve got other responsibilities I’m attending to [other than fundraising],” Obama proclaims in his June 26 fundraising e-mail, which is an interesting choice of words, because when he was asked where the fuck he was when the labor movement was fighting for its life in Wisconsin, he replied, “I have a lot of responsibilities.”
The president of the United States of America has so many responsibilities, you see, that he cannot be bothered to actually do anything other than to hold the title of president of the United States of America. (And to fund-raise in order to keep that title.)
Fuck, sure, fine, let’s say, for argument’s sake, that the man is busy – but the battle in Wisconsin went on for well more than a year, from the time of the occupation of Wisconsin’s capital by angry throngs of the pro-working-class in early 2011 all the way through the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election of earlier this month.
Obama, as busy as he might be, wasn’t so fucking busy that he couldn’t have done a hell of a lot more in Wisconsin than he did (which was next to fucking nothing).
Obama didn’t do anything in regards to Wisconsin because he just doesn’t give a flying fuck about the labor movement and the working class (except for their votes and their campaign contributions, of course) and/or because he is so beholden to his corporate sugar daddies that he was too terrified to actually stand up in any meaningful, effective way for the working class and the labor movement.*
Anyway, the fundraising e-mails from Team Obama continue. On June 27 I received an e-mail titled “Get onboard” from Julianna Smoot, yet another Obama “deputy campaign manager.” In this e-mail she proclaims, “We know the other side is going to have more money in this race. President Obama will be the first incumbent in modern history to be outspent.” In the e-mail she asks for “$25 or whatever you can” give.
On June 27 I received, at my other e-mail address, yet another e-mail from Smoot, this one titled, “If we’re drastically outspent.” It says, in part:
If we’re drastically outspent in this election, there’s a very good chance we will lose to Mitt Romney.
This is a distinct possibility. The financial landscape in this race has changed over the last few weeks.
What concerns me is the Obama supporters I’ve encountered who don’t understand that this is what we’re facing.
The fundraising deadline this week is a test: Are we going to allow the other side to dominate us, or are we going to prove that elections are decided by everyday Americans pitching in what they can?
In this e-mail, Smoot asks for (“only”) “$10 or more.”
Yesterday I received a fundraising e-mail supposedly from Vice President Joe Biden in which he proclaims:
Tomorrow is the biggest fundraising deadline of this election so far. Romney and the Republicans may outraise us again — you can bet they’ll have a whole slew of special interests who want to see Romney make good on his promise to repeal Obamacare on Day One. …
Unsurprisingly, in the e-mail Joe also asks for a donation of $25 or more.
Today I received yet another fundraising e-mail supposedly from Obama himself, this one titled, “This is important.” It reads, in full:
Today is one of the most important fundraising deadlines of this campaign so far.
We might not outraise Mitt Romney.
But I am determined to keep the margin close enough that we can win this election the right way.
To do that I need your help today.
Please donate $25 or more before tonight’s deadline:
The stakes in this election are real. Thanks for all your support so far.
These people are nothing if not on the same talking-points memo: Barack Obama might be the first incumbent president to be outspent in his re-election bid in modern history, so give $25 or more today!
What is most disturbing about these e-mails from Team Obama is that while we might get a throwaway line such as “The stakes in this election are real,” there is no mention in these fundraising e-mails of what the stakes actually are, no mention of the working class, the middle class, the struggling. No mention of how our perpetual warfare for the war profiteers and for Big Oil in the Middle East has destroyed the middle class here at home (because, of course, the drone- and assassination-loving Obama has only perpetrated such perpetual warfare); no mention of the beyond-ridiculous income gap between the richest and the rest of us (which persists in no small part because Obama puts Wall Street weasels in charge of his fiscal policy); no mention of the Homo-sapiens-threatening environmental catastrophe that we face; no mention of the persecution at the hands of fascistic wingnuts that women and minority groups, such as “illegals” and other non-whites and non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals, still experience today in the so-called “land of the free” that values “liberty and justice for all.”
The focus on fundraising was bad enough when John Kerry ran for president in 2004.
I remember that when my brother and I organized Meetups for Kerry’s campaign here in Sacramento (quite independently from the actual Kerry campaign), when Kerry was still an underdog, the attendees mostly wanted to talk about the issues that were important to them.
But after it was clear that Kerry, who came back from the dead like Lazarus, was going to win the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, a self-serving Democratic Party hack, who had never attended any of the previous Kerry Meetups, wholly hijacked the Meetups and made them into Democratic Party presidential fundraising events. Gone were the discussions of issues, and all that she did was ask the attendees to give money.
It was because of that deeply negative experience that I was not active in Obama’s 2008 campaign at all, except (stupidly, in retrospect) to give him at least a few hundred dollars (primarily to knock Billary Clinton out of the primary race) and (stupidly, in retrospect) to vote for him.** (And of course I blogged in support of Obama defeating first Billary and then John McCainosaurus and Sarah Palin, and I did talk him up with friends, family and associates, for whatever sway I might have over anyone else’s vote.)
This time around, though, I have been unable to give Obama a fucking penny, I could not in good conscience tell anyone else that he or she should support Obama’s re-election (even by just casting a vote for him), and in November I plan to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein for president (Obama’s e-mail remark, “Thanks for all your support so far” notwithstanding…).
I don’t give a flying fuck whether or not Barack Obama is outspent by Mittens Romney, because I don’t see what I got in return for the at-least-few-hundred dollars that I gave Obama the first fucking time.
(I already hear the Obamabots’ chorus, so let me respond: “Obamacare,” Obama’s “signature” “achievement,” even assuming that it’s a good thing, won’t/wouldn’t kick in until 2014. Giving Obama credit now for having turned around the healthcare mess is as stupidly premature as was was giving Obama the Nobel Fucking Peace Prize in 2009. [You'll agree with me when the drones are attacking you...])
On the issues nearest and dearest me — such as the preservation of the working class and the labor movement and the reversal of beyond-ridiculous income inequality; stopping the corporate war machine that is only sucking this nation dry in the holy names of “national security” and “national defense”; and the expansion of equal rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals — Barack Obama has been a dismal failure, maintaining the steadily decaying status quo at best.
“Hope” and “change” are what Obama promised. What he has delivered is more of the same.
I still expect him to win re-election, however. I expect him to garner no more than around 51 or 52 percent of the popular vote in November, but a win is a win. (Indeed, George W. Bush didn’t garner even a full 48.0 percent of the popular vote in 2000, which showed us that if one has the right-wing U.S. Surpreme Court on his side, actually, a loss isn’t always a loss, and Bush garnered only 50.7 percent of the popular vote in 2004, while in 2008 Obama garnered 52.9 percent of the vote, which is 2.2 percent better than Gee Dubya Bush ever did.)
The fact that Americans are fairly evenly split between Obama and Romney — most recent nationwide polls show that both of them are at 40-something percent each, with Obama usually no more than a few percentage points ahead of Romney – is, I think, evidence of the fact that the pro-corporate Democratic Party and the pro-corporate Repugnican Tea Party are so similar to each other (I think of them as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party) that a good chunk of Americans see no huge difference between the two.
Regardless of which party occupies the White House, the rich get richer and the rest of us get poorer, and the United States of America continues its decline into collapse. A “Democratic” president might slow down that slide a little bit, but the downward slide continues nonetheless.
So: All other things being more or less equal, Presidential Election 2012 will come down to, I think, which candidate is considered by more voters to be more likeable.
Obama, despite his abject failure to use the office of the presidency to benefit the most number of Americans, is considered by most Americans to be more likeable than is the weird-ass Mittens Romney, whose status as both a multi-millionaire and a Mormon*** makes him alien to most of us, because most of us are neither a multi-millionaire nor a Mormon.
Money does not mean everything in an election, which 2010 California gubernatorial candidate Nutmeg Whitman, a billionaire and a long-time personal buddy of Mittens who ran on the Repugnican Tea Party ticket, discovered when she outspent her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown.
Nutmeg spent more than $140 million of her own money in the gubernatorial race, breaking all records for a self-financed political campaign for any elected office in American history. Despite that fact, on Election Day Brown beat her soundly, 53.8 percent to 40.9 percent.
True, in October 2010 California’s voter registration was 44.1 percent Democratic to 30.1 percent Repugnican, which gave Brown a decided edge, but after all of the votes were counted, Nutmeg still trailed Brown by double digits even after she had smashed all previous self-financed-campaign-spending records.
It wasn’t just California’s voter registration statistics that did Nutmeg in. Repugnican Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger, after all, still won California’s 2003 gubernatorial recall election even though at the time the state’s voter registration was 43.7 percent Democratic to 35.3 percent Repugnican.
Baby Daddy’s popularity, his status as a testosterone-movie star and his perceived status as a real he-man, and the perception of the then-incumbent Democratic Gov. Gray Davis as a weakling, overcame the difference in voter registration.
After all, many if not even most voters wanted to be like Schwarzenegger — the way that they perceived him to be, anyway.
Similarly, more of the state’s voters in November 2010 wanted to be like Jerry Brown (who still more or less is considered to be a cool cat here in California, for his age, anyway) than wanted to be like the weird-ass, overprivileged Nutmeg Whitman, whose status as a billionaire CEO whose money gets her (almost…) anything that she wants and with a years-long housekeeper whom she apparently cold-heartedly fired for being an “illegal” because she thought that it would hurt her gubernatorial campaign to have an “illegal” as her housekeeper, were things that the majority of California’s voters, especially in our protractedly shitty economy, could not and still cannot identify with and did not and still do not wish to emulate, any more than the majority of the nation’s voters can identify with or wish to emulate Mittens’ purchasing an elevator for his cars or his making jokes about factory workers being laid off (ha ha ha!).
That, I think, is what Team Obama should be focusing on if Barack Obama wants to win re-election: Not on the fucking money race, which indeed, Obama might not be able to win this time, but on how much Mittens isn’t just like the rest of us.
Mittens is an overprivileged, out-of-touch freak who should not be put in the Oval Office, and while it’s too bad that Team Obama can’t run on Obama’s accomplishments, since he hasn’t found it necessary to even partially deliver on his 2008 campaign promises until his fourth fucking year in office, at least Team Obama has Mormon multi-millionaire Mittens’ freakishness and Obama’s “likeability,” which, if exploited enough, should get Obama his second term, even if he only ekes by.
*Obama said of the battle in Wisconsin that eventually saw Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett lose to Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker in the June 5 gubernatorial recall election:
“My goal has always been if we can bring parties together, there are ways that we can manage through tough fiscal decisions whether on the federal level or at the state level, but make sure that everybody is a part of it and everybody is doing their fair share, nobody is carrying the entire burden of sacrifice. I think that’s what the American people are looking for – balanced approaches that take everybody’s interests into account.”
Jesus Fucking Christ, in year four of his woefully unremarkable, disappointing first term, Obama still is talking about holding hands and singing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors.
Um, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors want to annihilate what little is left of our labor unions. That is their goal. Their goal is not to “make sure that … everybody is doing their [sic] fair share, [that] nobody is carrying the entire burden of sacrifice.” Their goal is to make damn sure that the haves get even more and that the have-nots get even less.
You cannot take a “balanced approach” with an insane opponent who has no interest whatsofuckingever himself in taking a “balanced approach.” All that you can do with such an opponent is to crush him. You don’t negotiate with terrorists.
**Even then, I was not sure, until I actually completed my ballot, whether I was going to vote for Obama or vote for independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. If I could do it over again, I would have voted for Ralph Nader again, as I did in 2000.
***No, Mittens’ Mormonism certainly isn’t off limits, just as Obama’s being called a “Muslim” very fucking apparently was not off-limits for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors. Fuck. Obama isn’t a Muslim, but Mittens is a fucking Mormon, and I’m hard pressed to say which group of patriarchal, misognyist, homophobic theofascists I’d prefer to have in charge of the White House: the cabal of stupid old evil men in Salt Lake City or the fucking Taliban.