I don’t have a lot of enthusiasm about voting for Biden, but that’s compensated by my need to vote Trump out


I don’t have a cat girl alter-ego, either, but Contrapoints gets it exactly right: we’re in a fight for our survival, compromise your purity to dive in and put out the trash fire. Hold your nose and vote for Biden, everyone!

Comments

  1. says

    “I fully expect to protest the administration that I voted for
    That just about says it all for me. I hope all the kids take what they’ve learned and keep going. Not just for this election, or the next, but for the rest of their lives. It may make me sound a bit Trotskyist, but the struggle is eternal.

  2. brucegee1962 says

    I console myself that Biden will basically be a janitor president. It will probably take more than four years just to clean up all the damage that Trump has done to the nation, before even getting started on a more liberal agenda.

  3. George says

    “The Janitor President” pretty much sums it up. We’re going to be at least a decade in just cleaning up the mess from just the last 4 years. Never mind the crap from the previous 40 years.

  4. Dan says

    PLEASE STOP tamping down enthusiasm. This is a tactic the Russians used in 2016 to depress the Clinton vote. Get as many people as possible to post “I don’t like Hillary, but…” comments on social media as a way to convince many to just stay home instead of getting out to vote. If you will reluctantly vote for Biden because you think it’s important to save our Republic, just shut up and do it… Don’t make others less likely to help do what you know needs doing. Trump/McConnell will thank you if you keep this bellyaching up. 🙏🏽

  5. Ed Seedhouse says

    You’ve got to do more than just vote for Biden. You have to vote Dem up and down the entire ticket. Clobbering the Republicans is the only hope (a faint one admittedly) of bringing them back to at least a semblance of sanity. And then you have to do it again and again until they come to their senses or, better still, go away for good. Good luck.

    The light may be dying but we still have the obligation to fight for it. I’m Canadian and ancient of days, so I can’t help you. I will do my tiny bit by voting NDP in the provincial election here – actually I already have.

  6. DrVanNostrand says

    Seconding Ed Seedhouse: “You have to vote Dem up and down the entire ticket”

    They won’t be able to end the filibuster, even if they want to try, with 50+Harris in the Senate. They probably can with 53 or 54 senators. Green jobs and infrastructure, public option, expanding the ACA, will all need Democratic majorities in both houses.

  7. says

    I don’t know who said it, but I read somewhere that voting is not sending a love letter, but just moving a piece on a chess board to try and better the position.

  8. PaulBC says

    I fully expect to protest the administration that I voted for

    An administration that depends on your vote is a lot more likely to listen to your protests. This is direct democracy functioning as intended.

  9. says

    Also, it wouldn’t surprise me if Joe Biden would help usher in the first black woman president, by letting Kamala Harris take over past the halfway mark.

  10. Saad says

    Yeah, this holding your nose stuff is crap this year. There isn’t even a single argument for not voting for Biden. Not even one.

  11. says

    #4
    Dan, I think you are really mistaken. People who talk most loudly in social media they don’t want to vote Biden, who criticize them, don’t really matter. There is not enough of them and young, activist, progressive leaning people will overwhelmingly decide to vote – and there is not so many of them.
    Those who really matter are people who are silent in public discourse, who gave up on the process, who don’t care anymore.
    They aren’t usually articulate enough to give flowery speeches about politics, but they can smell bullshit better than any youtube intellectual.
    And they will not be convinced by empty rhetorics or manufactured consent, they are more likely to respond to truth.

    #10 Saad, you’re right.
    Many people believed that HRC losing will help in a long run. THat DNC will understand they need to follow their base and run someone progressive – but instead they doubled down on center-right neoliberalism with some liberal identitarian bullshit, because it is better to rule the opposition than to follow in ruling party.
    Many people believed that ruin that Trump will bring will help push people left – and they were partially right. M4A, college debt cancellation, free education, legalization of marijuana, $15/h minimum wage – all those policies are favored by majority of americans and at least plurality of republicans – but Trump’s shitshow lowered the bar so much, people are ready to vote for senile Joe Biden who opposes almost all of those issues – it’s enough he is not Trump.
    So there are two rays of hope for those who can’t stand Biden:
    1. neither FDR nor LBJ were progressive, they were both pushed with socialist party and communist party (former) and social unrest (latter) – but they were the ones that were willing to bend instead of sending military in.
    2. Bernie rose to prominence after 8 years of Obama, when people saw for their own eyes how shitty democrat administration was. 4 years of Trump helped voters to forget about that, but 4 another years of shitty Dems will bring it out again.

    So the worse Biden is in your eyes, the more the reason to vote for him over Trump.

  12. PaulBC says

    Many people believed that HRC losing will help in a long run.

    Yes, and many people believed a good bloodletting was salutary for all kinds of ailments. I’m not sure if those quacks ever stopped believing it or merely took the belief to their graves. I expect a similar dynamic to play out here.

  13. F.O. says

    Even most anarchists seem to be willing to vote for Biden.

    The thing that worries me is that most people, in particular in the US, worship voting as if it was the weapon that makes the Powers That Be cower in fear, while it is largely a spectacle to keep people both entertained and too busy.

    Yes. Please do vote for the lesser evil. Yes, it does make a difference. But it won’t reverse the downward spiral, it will slow it down. Fuck, did Americans forget already about Bush?

    We “westerners” need to go beyond voting, it is necessary but obviously insufficient.

  14. says

    Threatening not to vote has some game-theoretic value, but in practice I can’t see how it’s worked out for third party people at all. It mostly just gets other people mad at them. For this strategy to be effective, you’d need a lot of voting reform, and the Republicans are trying their hardest to reform voting in the opposite direction.

    Anyways, here in California, we’re totally disenfranchised in presidential elections, so when I tell people to vote I mostly emphasize voting the entire ballot, including the boring parts.

  15. seedye says

    There’s plenty of reasons to like Biden for president, even for us unrepentant socialists. Have you looked at his platform? I’d be thrilled to vote for any candidate that had half of what he’s got. Put the Public Option back into ACA? Yes, please. Tighter controls on pharma pricing? Hell yeah. Expand coverage for contraception, and roll back anti-abortion restrictions? Gun control? COVID relief funds to state and local gov’t? Roll back tax cuts on the wealthy? Expand 5G to every American? Bankruptcy reform? Shifting police funding to social services that reduce crime? Reduce sentencing disparity for minorities? Public defenders? Decriminalize pot? Expunge all pot convictions? End the death penalty? Green New Deal? Fucking sign me up!

    Wait, now, you might be thinking, isn’t Biden against some of those things? Well, not anymore. FUCKING GO READ HIS PLATFORM at joebiden.com.

    Biden was near the bottom of my list of preferred candidates during the primary, but he’s shifted quite a bit to the left since then, not just to get people like me to vote for him, but because several crises have emerged since the primaries, and he recognizes the urgency to address them.

    I’d also recommend the Pod Save America podcast by former Obama guys. It’s informative to hear their take on mistakes they made in the Obama years, and their interviews with primary candidates greatly improved my perceptions of them. I’d prefer Warren as our next president, or the one after that, but after hearing them on PSA, I’d be content with Booker, Harris, Gillibrand, and others, too.

    We’re not just holding our nose to vote for one candidate, we’re voting for parties with vastly different ideologies, with a gap that is increasing in both directions. Not just in what politicians are saying, but how they’re voting. It’s empirical fact. https://voteview.com/parties/all

    How you vote matters greatly, even if you can’t get your ideal candidate.

  16. mattandrews says

    @10 Saad:

    <

    blockquote>There isn’t even a single argument for not voting for Biden. Not even one.

    <

    blockquote>

    LOL, you should go read the Vicar’s posts on the subject.

    It’s basically “As a true liberal progressive, I refuse to vote for a warmongering, senile serial rapist,. Which is why I want Trump to win. That’ll show everybody!”

    Part of me is still convinced they’re a Russian troll trying to dampen Democratic turnout.

  17. PaulBC says

    @15

    Threatening not to vote has some game-theoretic value, but in practice I can’t see how it’s worked out for third party people at all. It mostly just gets other people mad at them. For this strategy to be effective, you’d need a lot of voting reform, and the Republicans are trying their hardest to reform voting in the opposite direction.

    It’s a threat you don’t need to make good on either, since it’s a secret ballot and highly unlikely anyone will tease out the number of idle threats statistically or remember for the next election. So why not vote for the least bad viable candidate anyway?

    It’s not really an ethical issue either, because we’re allowed to change our minds. I suppose it could have the downside of discouraging other people from voting, and given the marginal effect, I don’t see much benefit even to making an intentional bluff.

  18. garnetstar says

    I remember when Barney Frank (practically the Oscar Wilde of congress at that time) suggested a new bumper sticker for the Democratic party:

    “Vote Democratic: we’re not perfect, but they’re crazy.”

    To which I can only say, yes. Just update it to “We’re not perfect, but they’re fascists.”

  19. hemidactylus says

    Before even watching the video I’m just glad to see Natalie creating content again. Cool.

  20. DrVanNostrand says

    @17 seedye

    While I do think Biden’s green infrastructure and jobs plan is pretty good, he emphatically does NOT support The Green New Deal, a fact he repeated several times during the first debate. That said, his $4 trillion proposal is quite good, and a vast improvement over the $0 proposal offered by Trump and the republicans.

  21. hemidactylus says

    Natalie didn’t disappoint. Understood why MBNA Biden is unsavory but did an apt critique of leftist idealism that would not unseat Trump. Very pragmatic and realistic on her part. Great stuff!

  22. vucodlak says

    @ Dan, #4

    PLEASE STOP tamping down enthusiasm.

    The one thing that made me seriously consider sitting out the 2016 election was Clinton’s most fervent supporters, who would brook no mention of anything remotely negative about Clinton. There was a blog I’d been following for nearly a decade, which had become my first stop on the web every day. The would shut down any discussion of Clinton that wasn’t positively worshipful… while also posting 2-3 articles a day about how Sanders was the superlative evil (this continued until well after the general election).

    That’s not what made me seriously question voting for Clinton, however. The moment that did is the day that Clinton was giving an interview around Nancy Reagan’s funeral, and she praised the Reagans for being leaders and pioneers in the response to the AIDS pandemic. The main blogger, which I’d started following in no small part for the bloggers’ excellent handling of LGBT+ issues, posted about how appalling that statement was. And it was- being disgusted by the statement was proper response.

    Then, a few hours later, some campaign staffer tweeted out a hand-wavey non-apology about how Clinton had misspoken, whoopsy-daisy. First of all, that was a blatant lie- Clinton very deliberately told the lie she told. Anybody who saw the interview could see that there was no way to interpret what she said as accidental. Second, what the staffer said couldn’t be construed as an actual apology, and this blogger always made a big deal of calling out of the insincere garbage that politicians and celebs put out instead of real apologies before. Lastly, Clinton couldn’t even be bothered to mouth the non-apology herself, or even tweet it from her official account. It came from some flunky who realized it looked really, really bad.

    It was pretty fucking clear that the Clinton campaign’s attitude was: “The (insert homophobic slur here) will vote for us anyway- they don’t have a choice. We want those sweet, sweet conservative-homophobes-who-like-to-pretent-they-aren’t-homophobic votes.” When commenters on the blog started to get angry about the non-apology too, the blogger posted something along the lines of “Oh well, Clinton apologized, there’s nothing more to say” and closed the thread.

    I was honestly shocked. This was someone I’d long considered an ally, and their response to whole thing was essentially “FOAD (insert homophobic slur here), you should be glad we even tolerate your existence.”

    That is what made me seriously reconsider whether voting for Clinton was the right thing to do. Not anyone “tamping down enthusiasm,” but the people who’d happily step over my, and most of the people I’ve cared about in this world’s, corpses just to make sure their team won.

    For that matter, the one time I’ve seriously considered not voting for Biden was after encountering a frothing-at-the-mouth rage-junky Biden zealot here, who claimed that they knew my hometown, my neighbors, and the politics of the place I grew up better than I do, who spent thousands of words insulting and screaming at the enemies of the party for not singing its praises.

    This person was certainly enthusiastic for Biden, to the point that I was honestly a little worried that I’d said too much about where I used to live. I’m not comfortable knowing that someone who seems positively eager for an opportunity to step over my corpse to vote Democrat could easily find out where I live now. I’m also not eager to be on the same side as people like that.

    In both cases, I got over it. In 2016 I voted straight-ticket Democrat, from Clinton on down, and encouraged everyone I knew to do the same. In 2020, I’m encouraging everyone to vote for Biden, and Democrats all down the ballot. I am not, however, going to lie and say that Biden will suddenly govern like a completely different person when he gets into office.

    Tl;dr- It’s not the people who speak honestly about Biden and the Democrats many flaws who have ever made me reconsider voting for them (Trump and the Republicans are worse by every metric), it’s the zealots who’d happily see me and mine dead to secure victory for the Party.

  23. anat says

    In addition to voting blue all the way down the ballot, if your state does initiatives please pay attention to them and vote like they matter to people’s lives. This year Washington’s King County has 7 proposed amendments to its charter, 2 of which (#5 and #6) are opposed by the sheriffs’ union because they seek to give the county council some control over policing. I voted to approve. I also voted to approve Referendum 90 to require that all public schools teach comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education. (There are additional referenda, but neither of them are controversial).

  24. hemidactylus says

    ContraPoints 2024– She’s Back With a Vengeance.

    Ok too soon given the four year gap. Still she takes far deeper dives into stuff than the typical slate of nitwits.

  25. PaulBC says

    vucodlak@25 I dismissed a lot of Clinton’s specific rhetoric (notably her praise of Henry Kissinger) with the thought that she still believed she was running a campaign for 1996. She believed that Reagan was still an unassailable folk hero to a majority of voters (even Democrats) and that her most important goal was to deflect charges of being too liberal. Even Obama, though I think he gets the 21st better than any Democrat his age, felt the need for a little throat-clearing praise of Reagan.

    In reality, the middle-aged Reagan fanboys (about my age) are people like Scott Walker and very definitely Republicans. The millennials don’t know Reagan from any other past president. You might as well be talking to me about Eisenhower. So she could have avoided that kind of crap, and she may even be smart and informed enough to know it, but it still didn’t feel right to her. Like, probably the people around her were also running the 1996 campaign they’d been dreaming of.

    And who knows… she probably does like Reagan more than I do. I thought he was an idiot and hated his guts. Don’t get me started on the stupid things he said that are taken as profundity. “Trust but verify” Well, sure verify. I agree, but hey, genius, that means you are not trusting. or “Tear down this wall.” Yeah, there’s a brave stance. Because all us liberals really loved the Berlin Wall. But I digress. I would love to have a candidate who detests Reagan as much as I do, but it’s not something I can wait around for.

    (Why she would bring up one his worst disgraces and HW Bush’s, namely their negligent and inhumane AIDS response and tell a blatant lie about it, is an interesting question, but I’d need to see the context.)

    There was a little bit of proto-Lincolin-Project commentary that the DNC 2016 convention was “The best Republican convention they’d ever seen” and praiseworthy for that reason. It’s also true that pulling in “suburban Republicans” benefited Clinton. She did win previously Republican suburbs and even Orange County, California.

    This is the candidate we had. This is the candidate I knew we had. It wasn’t my choice, but it wasn’t a shock either. There are things I like about Clinton too. She’s smart. She works very hard. She would have see “the presidency” as something much bigger than herself. She was serious about healthcare, about women’s rights, and about alternative energy. All huge advantages over Donald Trump. In fact, she has high integrity by the standards of national-level politicians. This has been tabulated (I don’t have a link handy). Sometimes she lies, and she is less likely to get away with it.

    Biden is a little bit different maybe just because he is more personally malleable and an enthusiastic glad-hander. But optimistically, I’d add that Biden was changed by the experience of being VP under Obama. I know that from a leftwing perspective, Obama may not be considered progressive. However, he is at least modern. He is not living in the past century. I do not mind if the Biden presidency is more of a restoration than a revolution.

  26. PaulBC says

    To be clear, Hillary Clinton was my “choice” in the sense that I voted for her in the primary, but it was from a limited slate and I was not sold on Bernie Sanders at the time.

  27. hemidactylus says

    @29- PaulBC

    FWIW I voted Bern in primaries and Hillary in the one that meant something. I voted against Trump then and again now.

    If it were Jeb…or now…

  28. logicalcat says

    @Vukodlak

    I remember that thread well and Leftsidepositive was not a frothing at the mouth rage fueled zealot. Thats a bullshit characterization.

    I also remember Clinton stupid shit about AIDS and Reagen. Pissed me off too.

  29. logicalcat says

    @PaulBC

    From a left-wing perspectove Obama seemed progressove as fuck. His campaign was progressive as hell and even pulled out big progressove wins like ACA* and gay marriage.

    Things changed, things…progressed (heh) and now Obama seems in hindaight to be milquetoast at best.

  30. PaulBC says

    logicalcat@33 Sorry, I mostly channel my sister-in-law (whose facebook posts I don’t follow anymore) to understand the far-left viewpoint. I don’t think ACA was ever progressive since it’s a pretty bad attempt at healthcare reform, but I agree it’s a start and something to preserve even at this late date after sustaining 4 years of heavy damage.

    I think it would be hard for anyone to question the LGBTQ progress on Obama’s watch, but from the standpoint of other issues such as wealth inequality, he is viewed as empty rhetoric and kind of a sell-out. I just say that if you had read Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope you’d get a pretty clear picture of his beliefs, including an occasional paean to Reagan (mostly in the latter) and nothing about his actions as president would come as a surprise. From the latter book

    Nevertheless, by promising to side with those who worked hard, obeyed the law, cared for their families, loved their country, Reagan offered Americans a sense of common purpose that liberals seemed no longer able to muster.

    I mean the “nevertheless” follows some nuance, but there was no false advertising here. Obama has always been exactly who he claims he is, but he’s not a Sanders-style progressive.

  31. PaulBC says

    And she also thinks Ta-Nehisi Coates cannot hold a candle to James Baldwin, who she reveres. I’m not sure if this is a leftwing trope or just hers (but I see this in The Atlantic. My rebuttal (which I don’t think I ever bothered writing) is that they’re writing for different audiences. Coates is a compelling writer, but I would say less literary and more engaged in pop culture. He’s also still alive and able to address current issues. (Though I he’s been less visible in Trump America, maybe too busy writing comics, who knows? Kind of his business and I wish him success.) What I find odd is the need for comparison at all. It would not occur to me.

    I would possibly be able to write this off as the quirks of a relative I have only met in person once or twice, but given all the pre-fab memes, I have to assume there is an entire movement who shares these views.

  32. logicalcat says

    @PaulBC

    I definitely get where your coming from. Those left wing purists yoive experienced forgot that progresivism requires progress. And Obama for all his failings regarding wealth inequality really made progressive strides. I know im besting a dead horse and repeat myself a lot but right wingers really do understand how progress works akd we leftists dont. Each one of their candidates was more progressively right wing than the last. Their version of progress is regressive but you get what i mean. And they achieved that by voting and supporting their party.

  33. says

    Definitely vote Dem up and down the ticket. Then next election cycle in two years start primarying every single neoliberal and none progressive democrat you can, in addition to all the GOP.

    It needs to go blue this year, but we can make it more blue and less purple if we just keep at it.

  34. snark33sian says

    Good to see that she can take time out of her busy schedule of bullying “ugly dumptrucks” for their insufficient femininity and white-washing abusive conmen to state the bloody obvious!

  35. seedye says

    @23 DrVanNostrand

    Maybe not in all the specifics, but…

    https://joebiden.com/climate-plan/

    “Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face. It powerfully captures two basic truths, which are at the core of his plan: (1) the United States urgently needs to embrace greater ambition on an epic scale to meet the scope of this challenge, and (2) our environment and our economy are completely and totally connected.”

    There’s more detail at his site.

    But here we are.

    Whiny-ass purity liberals: If only there were a SINGLE reason to be excited to vote for Biden.

    Other liberals: Here’s 12 incredibly good reasons. There’s a lot more. All you have to do is look for them. It’s really easy. I’ll even tell you where to look: https://joebiden.com

    Whiny-ass purity Liberals: Yeah, but I bet you can’t name a 13th, so he’s still garbage.

  36. unclefrogy says

    She did win previously Republican suburbs and even Orange County, California.

    while it is true she did win Orange County ca. the Orange County of old is fading there is much more development and an increasing latinx population all of which is changing the demographics to the left I doubt she got many of the old “Newport Beach” republicans vote at least not many that had ever had dealings with agent orange.
    uncle frogy

  37. says

    I’m glad it’s not just YouTube nobodies like me doing these sorts of videos. Some More News also encouraged folks to look at the bright side of voting for Biden, in their usual style.
    I maintain that if southern conservatives can take over the Republican Party to preserve white supremacy, the left can take over the Democratic Party in order to promote justice—but it will take the kind of sustained effort that’s worked so well for conservatives.

  38. logicalcat says

    @38

    Any evidence for this? We all remember how woke twitter decided to act like gamergate and harrass everyone woth face characterizations and bullying. Makes me sceptical.

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