A Thoughtful Rebuttal to “Two Reasons to Vote for Mitt” from an Independent Voter

 A Thoughtful Rebuttal to “Two Reasons to Vote for Mitt” from an Independent Voter

A good friend, Jeff Laurinaitis, emailed me his response to today’s "Two Reasons to Vote for Mitt" post. While many of the comments were excellent, I wanted to post Jeff’s email response to foster more discussion. What do you think? Is he right?

Thank you Jeff for permitting me to post your words:

While I agree that many who vote for Mitt are actually just anti-Obama. I'd like to offer some conjecture on the topic.

I am a man with no party. If the far right was all that existed we'd have an absence of social progress. Over the course of history, it was progressive movements that ended slavery, created Unions that essentially created the middle class, introduced child labor laws, fought for racial, gender and sexual equality. The voices of the far right make me cringe and often ring with elitism and fails to integrate a heterogenous society of varying beliefs.

Yet the far left is more socially acceptable, if our government was filled with only their policies we would pay an unacceptable amount in taxes, our debt would be astronomical and we'd lose some of the greatest benefits of a capitalist society.

The failure of our politicians to govern for the common good has crippled our country and put our collective future at risk. I believe fundamentally if the politicians don't change this unproductive behavior that we should voice opposition to amend the constitution for term limits. If we conclude that the politicians are more concerned with pleasing the special interests groups and telling voters what they want to hear just to get re-elected then we must change the game. Maybe a president should only serve a single 6 year term and senators the same. Run on your platform but give them the liberty to do the right thing and compromise for the common good then refusal to work with the other political party, bicker and be critical while omitting the constructive component.

However, with the elections just weeks away this option doesn't exist so we are left with a choice. Hindsight is always 20-20 but having just survived the greatest depression (globally) since the 1930's one could argue it wouldn't have mattered who or which party was in office as they were all doomed to failure if measurement was bases on our impatient attitudes that have been formed by Wall Street's quarterly earnings. We have become a society of quick fixes, just see the growth of diet pills and diet crazes as proof. Unfortunately our economic mess was and is far more complicated then most will admit. Our real estate and subsequent foreclosure debacle were a result of Bush policies that deregulated the market. Yet I don't blame Bush. It's been the perfect storm to dig the hole and unfortunately the bigger the hole, the more time required to climb out of the depression. Yet the past four years the Republican Party, whose policies greatly contributed to our economic demise, also created a hostile work environment that crippled our government to produce results. At a time when our country and our citizens depended on our politicians to come together, unify and act like leaders they all seemed to fight each other on everything. They all have failed our country and not only failed but failed miserably.

To me, the choice isn't about what Obama has accomplished (like the automotive bailout) or failures (sluggish growth) or what he may do (like potentially raise taxes). In my humble opinion, a vote for Mitt Romney actually doesn't condemn Obama's policies. I believe that it actually condones the despicable behavior that the Republican Party (especially the Tea Party) have exhibited these past 4 years. It rewards them for failing to work with elected officials to find common ground. The economy and job market will turn around regardless of who's in office. But voting in the party who acted like spoiled brats rewards the very behavior that will ruin our society, a government that has stood the test of time over 236 years. We need both parties as our society is represented by both conservatives, liberals and everything in between. We need and should have all voices represented. But just because an elected party wins a simple majority doesn't mean you can run ram-shod over the other party and their citizens. We need to find a more constructive manner to govern. We need a more effective balance of political policies that progresses our country for the common good, not ones that benefit solely the far left nor the far right.

Obama may not be my first choice but rewarding despicable, contentious and non-productive behavior of the Republican Party with a vote in November sends a worse message. That message would also encourage both parties to continue this dysfunctional behavior after every election results. That will set our country back and disable future progress. Abraham Lincoln said it best "a divided house can not stand". We need to be united to allow future generations the same prosperity we've had in my lifetime. A vote for Mitt rewards dysfunction and will set us back and encourage dissension. I'll pass on that. I'll vote for Obama.


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  • Jeff certainly did have a thoughtful comment, though it is not cogent in too many ways to relate here.

    Jeff wants us to believe he is a thoughtful independent carefully examining the various parties actions, but his pointed language about the Tea Party displays his obvious bias.

    Nice try, Jeff, but your rebuttal is not thoughtful but a partisan attack.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    Richard has demonstrated through his posts on other blogs that he laments not having Herbert Hoover on this year's ballot. I see he has something in the right pane about "abortion not being the only issue," but I won't give him the click count.

    Hacks like Richard are the reason we have the problem we have, and the guest commentator was especially eloquent in describing it. Just look at how the current advertising is going: Moderate Republicans are being castigated by some far left PAC for sometimes voting with the Tea Party, while apparently several Democratic candidates don't pay taxes, according to the other PACs. It is very rare to have a candidate advertise what he or she stands for. And, as I mentioned yesterday, Romney has not stated any plan.

    Then we have yesterday that Romney stands behind the troglodyte in Indiana who made the comment about how God wanted the rape victim to become pregnant. I guess Romney is such a man of principle that he needs one more vote in the Senate, should he be elected. I'm sure Richard is in favor of that. It is one thing for someone to say that they don't believe in abortion on demand, another for the two candidates who think it is o.k. to take the Name of the Lord in vain, as well as demonstrate that they are complete and total idiots.

    If someone wants to get something done, vote for people willing to do it. If you want the fiscal cliff, follow Richard over it.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack you are really hostile against me personally. Why, I do not know. Perhaps you can write a guest blog of your own and tell me why. I'll even host you on mine. You can rant and hate until you've gotten your fill.

    I put my opinion out there and you can agree or disagree, but please do so sans personal attacks. This is something you do not seem to be able to do. Show some tolerance; be a good progressive.

    I simply stated my opinion of what Jeff stated. No more or less; yet you can't just counter you have to denigrate. What's up wit dat?

    As far as "click" counts? C'mon! This is a non-paying gig, and I could have a million clicks and it wouldn't net me a dime.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    Maybe if you didn't express yourself in the manner as you did on "Get Employed" I wouldn't come to such conclusions.

    And I see that you had all sorts of name calling against Jeff, but in no way said in a logical manner how he was not cogent, or even incorrect. You tell us how the Tea Party, and especially troglodytes like Mourdock add to the conversation of how to fix this country's problems, yet somehow you attack, without any support, Jeff's comments about the Tea Party.

    Sure sounds like me that you are the pot calling the kettle All Clad.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    I can understand your point Richard. The irony is that I actually am really attracted to many of the values held by the Tea Party (specifically the fiscal responsibility, less taxes and smaller forms of government). What I find and tried to state as irresponsible their whole hardline position where "it's our way or no way" and not leaving any room to compromise. Asking elected officials to sign and agree to not compromising is taking an idealistic position that they're way is the only way. That's not governing, that's egotistical and irresponsible. So it's not their message that I have any qualms about, it's their method. I'm a fiscal conservative and believe that there is rampant waste within our government spending. But their methods diminish the value of their message.

  • So everything is the Republican house's fault? Faulty logic.
    Regarding slavery, that ended with Abraham Lincoln under the Republican Party and minorities voted religiously Republican until FDR.
    In regards to helping the poor, the poor have suffered greatly under Obama. Just giving a good speech isn't enough. In the mean time Romney gives 30% to charity.
    In regards to bad behavior in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid get a free pass?
    Jeff's response was clearly biased IMO. Either way this is a tough election as both parties and candidates carry a whole lot of baggage.

  • In reply to James Kirk Wall:

    I don't really have a dog in the fight, but I am a bit of a fact-checker. Romney doesn't give 30% to charity. He gives 10% of some unknown number (he hasn't shared his tax returns) to the Mormon Church. Although they enjoy favored tax treatment, few people consider the Mormon Church a charity.

  • In reply to RJ1340:

    True, I would consider the Mormon Church a cult.

  • In reply to James Kirk Wall:

    I welcome constructive criticism James and just wanted to ensure that you referenced my whole thesis, not just the points that support yours. I never said I was giving Pelosi or Reid a free pass. I actually said the contrary, that both parties and all leaders have been failing us. There's a plethora of reasons for dissatisfaction of both parties. I'm not a straight party voter and for the record, I've voted for Bush in the past.

  • In reply to James Kirk Wall:

    James, I'm 100% with you that both parties and candidates carry a lot of baggage. Please don't take this next statement the wrong way, as a history major I truly I appreciate your historical reference except that if you check the details, the Republican party began in 1854 as an anti-slavery party that was an off-shoot of the Whigs. It comprised people mostly from the northeast, was progressive, and included the middle class, farmers and former slaves. Not exactly depicts the same party today. It was actually FDR and his "new Deal" that changed the Democratic party into the one that we are familiar today and the Republican really altered their platform after WW2. The poor have suffered but that would have been regardless of who's been in office, it's called the Depression. My point for bringing some of that up is that our world needs some liberal voices, some conservative values and the moderates in between. One party on their own will ruin the balance as that balance is reflective of the communities within we live. I wish the political environment was healthier and we had better choices. I also think we put politicians in a position where failure is more likely than success. Getting elected is their job, it's their income. So they don't necessarily represent their communities as much as their campaign donations. If they tell the truth, the often get chastised so they end up telling the media and voters what they want to hear. I think the system itself has become flawed. Look at the state of Illinois, the democrats and republicans in this state are pathetic as a bunch (both party governors have gone to jail).

  • In reply to jlaurinaitis:

    "our world needs some liberal voices, some conservative values and the moderates in between." - Agreed.
    It's fascinating how both parties have changed over the years. There does appear to be more of an extremist element in the Republican Party right now. People who don't believe in the separation of church and state, people who are pushing for creationism in public school science classes, and that rape is a gift from god. Scary stuff.

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    "...the Republican Party (especially the Tea Party) have exhibited these past 4 years. It rewards them for failing to work with elected officials to find common ground."

    Help me out. What party controlled both houses and the WH in 2009 & 2010? The Dems, correct? But it's the GOP's fault, almost entirely. WOW! Is Steve aware that there weren't any elected "Tea Party" Republicans until 2 years ago? So they couldn't have been in the Presidents way.

    I'm old enough to remember Presidents (Reagen & Clinton) who worked with Congress' that weren't of their party and got quite a lot done. I guess President Obama is not held to that standard. Sad.

  • In reply to Ken Roucka:

    Ken, you make a great point about the Tea Party timing. I never said I was giving democrats a free pass (if Pelosi was from Illinois I wouldn't be voting for her). I haven't really heard any great, innovative ideas or platform out of the republican camp. I've seen a strategy that has been built on the failures of this administration. So if that's how they wanted to frame this election, while Obama has made errors he's also had successes. But their refusal to work together, getting secret commitments to not negotiate and their method is a toxic way to run the government and in my opinion worse then what Obama represents. It's not the Tea Party's messages that I have any issues with (in fact I like many of their stances) it's their methods.

  • "a vote for Mitt Romney actually doesn't condemn Obama's policies. I believe that it actually condones the despicable behavior that the Republican Party (especially the Tea Party) have exhibited these past 4 years. It rewards them for failing to work with elected officials to find common ground."

    BOOM. **crowd cheers**

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