Election Day 2012

by Cleveland Frowns on November 6, 2012

Choose wisely.

Below are some Election Day links to help:

1.  Thanks to Republican Party policy set into motion 30-years ago by Ronald Reagan and accelerated by George W. Bush, the marginal tax rate on the nation’s highest earners (35%) has been cut to more than half of what it was for most of the last century (70-90+%).

2. Where this 30-year road to by-far-the-lowest top-bracket tax rates in modern history (including the reclassification of corporate dividends as taxable at a top level of only 15%) had taken us by January 2009 was here:

In 2008 alone, more than two and a half million jobs were lost—up to three-quarters of a million jobs a month. The gross domestic product was shrinking at a rate of nine per cent. Housing prices collapsed. Credit markets collapsed. The stock market collapsed—and, with it, the retirement prospects of millions. Foreclosures and evictions were ubiquitous; whole neighborhoods and towns emptied. The automobile industry appeared to be headed for bankruptcy. Banks as large as Lehman Brothers were dead, and other banks were foundering. It was a crisis of historic dimensions and global ramifications. However skillful the management in Washington, the slump was bound to last longer than any since the Great Depression.

3. Of course, it’s also taken us to a U.S.A. where the middle class, instead of growing, is being destroyed and replaced on both sides by an unprecedented and growing gap between the country’s richest and poorest citizens, with the latter category growing and the former shrinking to record low numbers. This divide is also growing along racial lines, with the Land of Opportunity’s minorities worse off than ever compared to its white citizens.

4. So here comes Mitt Romney, who parlayed family riches into a $250 million fortune by way of the following path to business “success”:

  • Borrow a load of cash;
  • Use the borrowed load of cash to buy a controlling interest in a corporation;
  • Use the new controlling interest in large corporation to borrow even bigger loads of cash on behalf of the corporation;
  • Then use the bigger loads of cash that he caused the corporation to borrow to pay himself huge dividends and management fees, and/or have corporation buy stock from him at inflated prices;
  • After cashing out, crash the corporation into bankruptcy court;
  • Find another company and do the whole thing over again.

No regular person would even assume that this is legal.

5. But here we are, where, thanks in main part to a completely dysfunctional mainstream media and the results of 30-years of Republican Party policy enacted to ensure that money influences law and politics at all levels of government as much as possible and in increasingly inscrutable ways, it’s acceptable mainstream discourse to suggest that folks who resent Romney’s wealth just want to “punish success.” And of course, much worse, because not only is one of only two serious candidates for President one whose platform is to aggressively double down on the same policies that have made for the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression, he’s one who accumulated vast wealth based on those very same policies. It’s like hiring the person who took you hostage and beat you to within an inch of your life to be the one to nurse you back to health.

6. None of which is to say that conservative policy doesn’t have its place at certain times; or that you didn’t build at least some important part of that. But it should still be especially easy to understand why one party is the one that aggressively courts racists, homophobes, and religious lunatics; aggressively pushes the ethos that “more money” equals “better than;” aggressively bastardizes history; and aggressively ignores the threat to the planet posed by global climate change. Also the same party that wants as few people to vote as possible.

7. And of course there’s also Josh Mandel.

With such a small portion of the observable universe being composed of human beings, these seem like especially relevant tiebreakers. Alright, big day. Fingers crossed.

  • rodofdisaster

    Personally, I think we’ve become a nation of validation-seeking, truth-bending political thinkers whose collective rigidity in that thinking borders on the insane. People don’t seek news or information anymore. We seek validation of our political thinking. Hence, the emergence of MSNBC and Fox News. I make it a point now to avoid Facebook for the very reason that I am constantly bludgeoned by left and right leaning rants about politician “A” or “B” being a “*%^ idiot”. Every issue is bogged down in non-sequitur thinking and flawed logic based on facts that very few people have the resources to really check. We are mired in a world run by the “C-students” who get together every election year to grandstand about how great they think they are.

    We all have our biases based on the issues and some people don’t even give a damn about which issue it is…they just tow a line that some party leadership told them to tow. The truth of it is that we live in a nation where the power is increasingly shunted away from the everyday common man and woman. If you don’t have a lobby, no one will speak up for your rights.

    I don’t mean to come off as cynical but it isn’t the issues that are sending this nation into the mire, it’s the process by which we deal with and debate these issues that’s maddening.

    We also live in a country where we are free to speak and free to vote which are two very important rights. It’s a right that my immigrant father cherished every single day of his life. That’s why I’m on my way out to vote and I won’t beat anyone over the head with why my decisions on the ballot are the best ones.

    GO VOTE!

    • ClevelandFrowns

      This polarization you correctly observe is only a direct and primary function of the Republican party’s success in replacing the vote with the dollar as the fundamental unit of democracy.

      • Believelander

        Technically, it’s the wealthy elite. Largely the problem is that most of the Democrats serve the same agendas that most of the Republicans do, because ultra rich private interests pay for their elections (which is to say buy them).

    • ClevelandFrowns

      And there’s a related point to be made about a healthy middle class being essential to healthy democratic institutions and a healthy republic. The US now compares well to South American dictatorships on this front. Something about a media that reports celebrity criminal trials as fungible “top stories” and reports on every political issue mainly with sports metaphors and solely in terms of snap judgments on how it will effect the relevant decisionmakers’ prospects in the next election …

  • p_forever

    Hopeless bias on the right side of history is the best kind of bias there is.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    it’s instructive that this post focuses on romney and says nothing about obama’s formative years, obama’s business acumen, or obama’s actual record while in office.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    HEY!! Tuesday MACtion alert!

    Ball St +6.5 at Toledo

    #cheddarline

    • Petefranklin

      Should have been 7 like I bet it atm for a cheddar play.

  • nj0

    Nate Silver has Mitt as a very dark horse indeed.

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/

    • Chris P.

      his lips to god’s ears, one hopes.

      I have a hard time picturing it being anything other than super close.

      Eh, regardless, I’m far more scared of josh than mitt. at his deep dark center, i think mitt’s an out of touch plutocrat. it makes him ward cleaverish and out of touch and bad for america, but i don’t think it makes him a bad human being.

      josh… josh may just be a bad person.

      • Chris P.

        The longer I wait the more I have a sneaking suspicion tonight is gonna suck eggs.

        I hope I’m wrong

        • ClevelandFrowns

          Wait for what? Is this based on anything other than general pessimism and paranoia or do I need to prepare the hovercraft?

          • Chris P

            Okay, unsubstantiated, because I can’t say where I might or might not have heard it, but there’s an expected turnout built into the polls based on 08 voting preference. And it basically says generally dems will lose a percentage of their 08 based on enthusiasm, and repubs will pick up some.

            And that percentage, which was built into polls , based on an early exit poll I heard, was underestimating what actually was happening. At least in Ohio.

            And that’s bad. Save me a seat on hovercraft-1

          • Chris P

            Phew

  • Ess Eh

    9. One candidate wears magic underpants.

    • ChuckKoz

      still absolutely unbelievable that Mitt never had to deal with questions about his religion. especially in light of Obama having to do so for all of 2008.

      • Beeej

        At least he isn’t a radical Christian…and a Muslim…and an atheist.

  • ChuckKoz

    all of this is true, but does not mention the absolute worst person in all of this: the fraudulent “mimbo” Paul Ryan.

    • nj0

      Damn him and his fake marathon time!

      • ChuckKoz

        I’m much more concerned about his fake budget

        • nj0

          It’s not a question of concern. It’s a question of balls. Confusing and boring voters into accepting an imaginary seems less brazen to me (and easier to succeed at) than issuing a bold-faced lie about a documented, easily accessible fact.

  • Bryan

    Any reasonable analysis of state polls has Obama winning by a large margin. Rest easy Frowns. This one is in the bag.

    Also, Dion MFin Waiters.

    • nj0

      I have been predicting a decent sized win for Obama since… oh… ever. And I still feel the same way. I honestly believe the media’s need for a horse race narrative has driven most of this election.

      If the Republican party was serious about winning elections and not just about advancing a far right agenda held by a small portion of the party and an even smaller percentage of America, they would have nominated a guy like Huntsman and probably rumbled to victory, high stepping down the sidelines a la Sam Adams after picking off Tom Brady.

      For god sake, you’re running against a polarizing Dem in a shitty economy and the guy you nominate is a silver-spoon-sucking Mormon without far right cred who also happens to be firmly ensconced in the 1% that so many Americans just happen to be livid at.

      And you’re going to trot this guy out to tell the rest of the country that the rich need more tax breaks? Who does that? How is that a winning strategy? Who thinks that will work?

      That’s why I’ve been saying this thing was over before it started. All that was left was the three months of noise.

      But maybe I’m wrong. If so, I’ll eat crow.

  • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M
  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    Choices are very important today.

    Toledo (-6.5) over Ball State

  • Warburton MacKinnon

    Hmm, interesting links,though I would think if someone hasn’t decided who they will vote for by now all the info in the world probably won’t help them decide. This being the case they may not vote,or vote for a 3rd party/write in canidate, or make a choice at random based on something odd like what they had for breakfast as an example(have met folks who’ve done all 3 of these things in past elections).

    • ClevelandFrowns

      Not hoping to change votes as much as to help certain folks feel better about the likely result.

      • Warburton MacKinnon

        Well ok,that makes sense then.

  • eldaveablo

    I also think people need to realize that there’s more to being an American than voting, paying your taxes, and being a good little consumer. Standards seem to be so low these days – and seriously, how many people actually pull off all of those 3 things.

    If you want to take power away from politics, be your own force. This is a good article for perspective, especially liked this section:

    “Change can and should be effected in many ways besides electoral politics. If people put as much energy into charity, volunteerism, mentoring, entrepreneurship, and creating non-governmental solutions as they do into politics, our elections would matter a whole lot less.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/11/election-day-perspective-6-things-to-keep-in-mind/264590/#

    • technivore

      Great read, thanks for that. Those are all very good points. Especially liked the point that those with whom we disagree politically are not our enemies, they’re fellow Americans with whom we happen to disagree.

      • ClevelandFrowns

        Sure but at some level that’s a semantic distinction.

        • technivore

          I guess I don’t understand what you’re saying. I think semantics are pretty important. The words we use are important; cf. the “dog whistle” words often used on the right. I just think the military-style language lots of media folks use when describing politics is harmful and counterproductive, moreso than the sports metaphor stuff.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            I guess it depends on who you’re talking about and the context but I think it’s healthy to acknowledge that people who make the wrong political choices do impact everyone else in a negative way whether there’s malicious intent or not. Of course deciding what’s right and wrong is a separate issue. Anyway, I have some ideas.

      • ClevelandFrowns

        But yes a very good read and especially the point on volunteering, etc.

  • Brian Sipe

    Can I get an Amen?! Brother Frownie is up early preaching the good word. I like it, I like it

    Ohio better not mess this up

  • Comrade

    Frowns, your thoughts on Obama going a few steps further than Bush ever did in violating his citizens’ civil liberties? I would be interested in your opinion. Not flaming.

    • ClevelandFrowns

      Can you be more specific? I’m accessing the comments via email today so if there was a hyperlink there I didn’t see it.

      • Comrade

        Obama established one of the most reckless precedents imaginable: that any president can secretly order and oversee the extrajudicial killing of American citizens. Obama’s kill list transgresses against the Constitution as egregiously as anything George W. Bush ever did. It is as radical an invocation of executive power as anything Dick Cheney championed. The fact that the Democrats rebelled against those men before enthusiastically supporting Obama is hackery every bit as blatant and shameful as anything any talk radio host has done.

        Taken from here: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/why-i-refuse-to-vote-for-barack-obama/262861/

        This is not to say I voted for Romney. I voted for neither.

        • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

          as for the 3 points on the Atlantic website:

          1) Pakistan willfully harbors terrorists. Bin Laden was camped out less than a mile from their version of West Point, for years most likely, while Pakistan pretended to look for him. The border with Afghanistan is so porous that terrorists freely travel back and forth as they please.

          I understand that drone strikes are far from ideal, but the entire purpose in using them is to avoid carpet bombing countries for a few targets. It sounds like you’re advocating letting the bad guys go about their business unimpeded, which wouldn’t be an acceptable solution to me, or to the vast majority of the population of this country. It wouldn’t be acceptable to you either, if they took down another skyscraper or smuggled nuclear materials into this country.

          2) There is way too much to write about al-Alwaki and Samir Khan in this comment. If you want, read up on them. Khan was self described as a “traitor to the United States”, and they both openly recruited people to a country without an extradition treaty with the United States with the intent on teaching them how to build bombs and conduct assassinations.

          3) There is no war in Libya. If the resources that Obama committed to deposing a leader who openly harbored and funded terrorism for decades was a criminal act (which it wasn’t), G.W. Bush would be spending the rest of his life in prison for Iraq.

          • nj0

            While I agree with your characterization of the individuals mentioned in #2, I still do not understand why their vileness trumps American due process or why it gives a sitting President the right to execute American citizens who have had nothing proven against them.

            That said, any electable President will end up doing vile, horrible things thanks to the rise of an imperial American presidency which allows them carte blanche on many/most decisions which, in turn, is a situation that came around because of Congressional and Judicial cowardice to enact the oh-so-necessary checks and balances.

            Which is a fancy way to rationalize supporting Obama despite his blemishes.

          • Comrade

            Right. If we squint hard enough, we can rationalize just about anything. But due process is due process.

          • Comrade

            Why was this comment eaten?

            It could not have been more innocuous.

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

            There are different arguments (legal and moral) for and against Awlaki (Khan was collateral, from what I understand) being hit like this.

            http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/30/world/la-fg-awlaki-due-process-20111001

            This Times piece does a fairly good job explaining the pros and cons of the hit.

  • Beeej

    I was disappointed that no one at my voter place thing truly appreciated my Frank Russo for Auditor shirt.

  • Warburton MacKinnon

    Haslam could honestly say something like the following: I realise that prior to the bye week I mistakenly said I would make no further changes until the end of the season,but upon further review I understand I can’t stand pat(chuckle). Change must start now,it can wait no longer, therfore I am sorry that I gave Pat Shurmer the false hope that I would retain him as our coach until the end of the season. Today being election day is the perfect time to begin to change the culture of losing in the Browns orginisation,just as I hope Amerca votes for change in the Whitehouse.
    Perfect example of taking the blame for making an honest mistake and also throwing in a plug for his Republican friends,which from Haslams point of view should make it a win-win(not that I agree with the second part but it would make an interesting prss releas or start to a press conference today).
    Something I posted on another blog I think many here might also enjoy.

    • Believelander

      Nothing that insinuates to people voting for Mitt Romney should ever be enjoyed by anyone.

      But, yes, Haslam could fire Shurmur. I wouldn’t get upset.

      • Warburton MacKinnon

        Just figure if he did it today, that this would be the type of announcement we’d get.

  • WestPalm27

    Who will everybody trust on Election Day?

    Sean Hannity? Nah. Rachel Maddow? Nope. If you want the real deal political prediction, check out my main man John Dimo. Oh, you’ve never heard of John Dimo? You better check yo-self. Do you believe exit polls, long voting lines and media coverage? Fuck all three. All you need to do is check the premier muthafucka on this politics shit. My main man John Dimo got it locked…

    http://news.yahoo.com/obama-favored-ancestral-kenyan-village-121804027–politics.html

  • Bryan

    Biggest election day pet-peeve: How partisan people say they want everyone to vote. This is the biggest lie. What they want is for like-minded people to vote. Almost every partisan person I know agrees that they would rather have low voter turnout and their candidate win than high turnout and their candidate lose. If people were honest, they would say “If you agree with me, go vote. If not, stay at home.”

    • Believelander

      That’s probably true in all cases, except for the partisans who would want everyone to vote. Which is mostly to say, Democrats, because the very, very large majority of non-voters would vote mostly or all Democrat if they inspected their own political stance, their options, and voted.

    • Wiseoldredbeard

      They would only say that if they prefered not to live in a democracy, in which place they should move somewhere else. Voting is great and everyone should do it. Even people who I disagree with should go vote and I’d help them do so. Why? Cause we can.

  • bupalos

    Since, for all the sturm und drang, national electoral politics has returned to an inverted version of the 1860′s north-south/progressive-conservative divide, I find these two quotes instructive:

    “This is essentially a People’s contest. On the side of the Union, it is a struggle for maintaining in the world, that form, and substance of government, whose leading object is, to elevate the condition of men – to lift artificial weights from all shoulders – to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all – to afford all, an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life. Yielding to partial, and temporary departures, from necessity, this is the leading object of the government for whose existence we contend,” – Abraham Lincoln

    “Liberty, indeed, though among the greatest of blessings, is not so great as that of protection; inasmuch, as the end of the former is the progress and improvement of the race,—while that of the latter is preservation and perpetuation. And hence, when the two come into conflict, liberty must, and ever ought, to yield to protection; as the existence of the race is of greater moment than its improvement. It follows, from what has been stated, that it is a great and dangerous error to suppose that all people are equally entitled to liberty.” – John C. Calhoon

    Choose wisely and clinch up those abs! Don’t let Ohio be the soft underbelly of the union!

  • BigDigg

    I’ve got a good feeling about things tonight. But if for some reason shit happens then I think the bigger concern isn’t who was elected and what they’ll do, but rather how this happened in the first place. Control of the masses shouldn’t be this easy when you consider what an uphill battle selling their platform should be on the face of it.

    • ClevelandFrowns

      Right. It’s bad news that this is even a race.

    • humboldt

      Agreed. The minute Romney tabbed Paul Ryan as his running mate the election should have become a referendum on the delusional and inhumane Ayn Rand worldview of the far right. It’s astonishing to me that the Obama campaign allowed Romney to position himself as a centrist and make this a competitive race.

    • nj0

      US politics just re-fight the Civil War. Liberal NE vs. Conservative South with a handful of winnable swing states. In the 60′s it was Civil Rights, now they talk about state’s rights, but it’s all the same thing – a political re-enactment of July 3rd, 1863.

      • BigDigg

        I’m starting to see it the same way. The Republican party runs a platform that openly antagonizes 50%+ of the population (women and minorities). They stand up a candidate that is least like their existing base (wealthy with privileged background, yankee carpetbagger, mormon vs. protestants, .etc.). They have a campaign that brazenly runs against the self-interests of the average citizen. And on top of that they were the party that pretty much ran the ship aground to begin with just 4 years ago. And yet this was still somehow a race?

        I think the deep irony here is that a move to the middle would have been the preferable and pragmatic approach. Like you stated, both sides appear to have entrenched bases that will vote one way or another regardless of the candidate, issues or proposals on the table. Almost doesn’t matter who the candidate is. You would think they’d both attempt to appeal to the middle yet they seem compelled to double down on stupid.

  • Art_Brosef

    We will always have shots of Beam at the Map Room, Frowns.

  • FSOhioZJackson

    Cheddar Tuesday: Toledo -6.5. Thank you.

  • Petefranklin

    5PM PST. OBAMA WINS! Its official I just heard that British bookmakers have paid out winning tickets on Obama. Remember you heard it here first, the rest is just the biggest dog and pony show on earth.

    • Art_Brosef

      The same bookmakers also paid out Tiger Woods action after the 3rd round of 2009 PGA.

      Couldnt help myself…….

      • Petefranklin

        Wanna bet?

        • Art_Brosef

          Not at all, Ive got a $500 dollar Obama ticket at -190.

          Like I said just wanted to make a point in reference to the British books.

          • nj0

            But how has Romney done ats?

          • Believelander

            As in all other things, he sucks.

  • nj0

    Frowns hit the nail on the head here, with the most sublime, Clevelander-friendly explanation of this election… http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/2012/10/mitt-romney-and-the-cleveland-browns-have-a-lot-in-common/

  • Warburton MacKinnon

    Damn,but disqus is slow and clunky today,hope my last post made it but if not Obama based on winning Ohio has won re-election tonight.

  • Believelander

    That’s a wrap ladies and gentlemen. Good work out of Pete Pattakos on this election, along with Chris M, Bupalos, and everyone else. We’d like to thank CLTIL and the rest of the Republican Party’s Best for coming out and offering well-reasoned, well thought out view points, but in the end, Mitt Romney: You Just Can’t Trust This Guy.

    Now over the next four years, we’ll see how much of a power a President can really be to shape the nation, as Barack Obama is not hindered by the fetters of re-election concerns. Here’s hoping we can keep things going in the right direction, and set things in motion to bring us up from the nadir we have reached. It’s a nearly impossible, Herculean task, but somebody’s gotta do it.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    Week 11 Cheddar lines are up.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11485578/ched_wk11.pdf

  • CleveLandThatILove

    Whoever keeps picking this country’s all-play needs to go.

    • Believelander

      It was totally me.

    • Beeej

      Sounds like you need to talk to the Executive Committee.

  • BIKI024

    great day for all, but especially those in the states of Washington and Colorado! there’s a lot of happy campers up there, literally

    • ClevelandFrowns

      #BIKILETTUCE2012

    • Warburton MacKinnon

      smoke it if you have it!

      • bupalos

        He does. He will.

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