NOW Do You Think There’s No Difference Between Parties?

For the past few years, I’ve read any number of “Left” pundits, along with various bloggers and commenters on blogs saying that there’s “no difference between the parties,” and that “Obama is the same as Bush.”  I’ve watched as pompous assholes like Michael Moore say that liberals should “stay home” in the next election, or vote for some yet-to-be-named third party candidate.    What they’ve been doing is nursing a grudge because their fantasy platform wasn’t immediately enacted, or having a fit because some pet issue didn’t work out the way they wanted it to.    Hence, “there’s no difference” between the parties.  These past two weeks should have put a stop to that.

Let’s see what’s happened so far.  There was the right-wing pandering by the Komen foundation, pulling breast cancer screening funds from Planned Parenthood.  President Obama announced that health plans would cover contraception for women, and the Republicans went off on a tear.  Presidential candidates denounced it, Representative Issa held hearings at which not a single woman was asked to speak,  and Republican-held state governments were busily passing various laws – or attempting to – about “personhood” and transvaginal ultrasounds.

Let’s not forget Rick Santorum’s injection of religion into the campaign:

Rick Santorum said Sunday he wasn’t questioning whether President Obama is a Christian when he referred to his “phony theology” over the weekend, but was in fact challenging policies that he says place the stewardship of the Earth above the welfare of people living on it.

Which his spokesperson said referred to Obama’s “radical Islamic policies.”  Dog whistling, anyone?  Oh, Santorum also doesn’t like insurance companies being required to cover prenatal testing:

GOP presidential candidate and former senator Rick Santorum sharply criticized President Obama’s health-care law again Sunday for requiring health-insurance companies to cover certain prenatal tests, because some procedures are used to identify abnormalities and “encourage abortions.”

Just this one candidate?  No, it’s being echoed in various ways by the others, and by their surrogates.  At the state level, Republicans are doing their level best to implement it.   It’s not just women, Republicans are moving across the board when it comes to attacking progressive policies.  We’ve all watched Wisconsin and Ohio and their assault on unions. Michigan with its “Emergency Manager” law.  Arizona, Georgia, and Alabama passing restrictive immigration laws.  Voter ID laws in states.    Attempts to roll back or do away with Social Security and Medicare.    You name, it Republicans are acting against it.

You notice something?  Democrats aren’t doing that!  As a matter of fact, they’re doing their best to keep it from happening.  For all the griping and moaning about the “Blue Dogs,”  you knew that they wouldn’t go that far.  Some people are still fooling themselves, thinking that the “Republicans really don’t mean that,” that they’ll be “reasonable” once they’re in office.   If you haven’t been paying attention, and you should have, the Republican Party has demonstrated beyond a doubt that it’s serious about this.   The “reasonable conservatives” or “moderate Republicans” are things of the past.

Look at all of those statements, at all the actions, and if you still think there’s “no difference between the parties,” then you’re beyond hope.   Anyone who continues to say that is not a progressive!   They may say they are, they may claim to be “speaking for the base,” but given the objective reality that there is a real, and significant difference between the two parties, they’re most definitely not speaking for the base.  They have other motives to stop you from voting, and it’s not to your benefit.  It probably is to theirs.

That’s why it’s important to get out and vote this coming November.  There’s a lot at stake, and  there is a very real choice happening.   One party wants to take us into the future, the other wants to take us back to 1900.  If you don’t realize that, you need to wake up and smell the coffee.


Filed under Politics

27 responses to “NOW Do You Think There’s No Difference Between Parties?

  1. “One party wants to take us into the future, the other wants to take us back to 1900. If you don’t realize that, you need to wake up and smell the coffee.”

    reminds me of the last young guy I registered last week – a server at the Annapurna veggie restaurant here in New Mexico. Servers – often young and underpaid who could use some help getting registered. Know anyhone in that category (we still need MORE registered voters !)

    If there’s anyone out there who still thinks we should ‘teach Obama a lesson’ or ‘bring Obama down’ as someone said here, I have an inventive use for the vaginal want I’d like to show them.

    • If they’re women, and they still think that way, I have a rude (and misogynistic) response: “Really? Then here’s your lesson: Get back in the kitchen, and make me a sandwich.”

  2. Nathan Katungi

    “Anyone who continues to say that is not a progressive! They may say they are, they may claim to be “speaking for the base,” but given the objective reality that there is a real, and significant difference between the two parties, they’re most definitely not speaking for the base. They have other motives to stop you from voting, and it’s not to your benefit. It probably is to theirs.”

    That is the absolute TRUTH! Thank you Norbrook for this excellent post. Only people who refuse to face facts and the truth about what’s going on in the current political environment would disagree with your post! I may not comment much, but I really value and respect your political instincts, and especially your pragmatic approach to politics which you project without betraying your progressive values.

    • I’ve always known the “there’s no difference” argument was crap, The professional left that’s still trying to make it focuses on one or two narrow areas at best. More cynically, I also look at how they benefit personally if Republicans take office instead of Democrats, and what their actions are in light of that.

  3. Suz

    Yes, “Bring OBama down” was a woman. Make that two sandwiches.

  4. Purity trolls don’t like anybody in power. I suppose that’s because in order to win elections and get things done while in office, one can’t be “pure.” I’m not saying one has to play dirty, but to the frustrati pragmatic and dirty are one and the same.

    I’ve been reading some of the German political blogs — same thing there. For two years, certain bloggers have been wishing for Joachim Gauck as president. Now that he has been nominated, the same people suddenly hate him.

    • Or they’ll mythologize someone in the past. One of the “sure things” you can bet on is that 15 or 20 years from now, some of these same idiots will be comparing the president of that time to president Obama, and saying how great a progressive Obama was. 🙄

  5. Steve

    All you’re saying is that the democrats are different, IF they’re better… more liberal, more progressive (and that’s a big if!) then the difference is negligible at best. A vote IN a system known to be corrupt is a vote FOR that corrupt system. Progressives, especially atheists, need to fight fire with fire if they ever want to hold their ground much less make any PROGRESS.

    • Oh bullshit! Yes, the Democrats are markedly better, more progressive than the Republicans, particularly today. You know what staying home in “protest of a corrupt system” gets you? Nothing, or a set of laws that are your worst nightmare. Not voting means you don’t count, that politicians can ignore you, and your “principled stand against the system” means nothing. You might want to ask just how staying home to “send a message” worked for the people of Michigan, Florida, Ohio, and Virgina. You want to fight “fire with fire?” That means you have to have get busy in politics and work. All you’re doing is making excuses for your unwillingness to get in there and work. You see real politics are messy.

    • Conrad

      If you are not going to vote, what if anything are you going to do? You will never win the game by refusing to play. I would be curious to know if you expect to overthrow capitalism? And replace it with what? What do you want and how do you propose to get it? Meanwhile there are ongoing issues of women’s reproductive rights, health care, union rights, voting rights, and a host of other issues where the Democratic Party is the only hope in the real political world. If you have nothing, and no one you have nothing to lose. If you have a life and love anyone, especially if they are female, the Democratic Party needs your vote for their well being and yours.

  6. pmse57

    I view Obama as middle of the road. At election time, he talks a good game, but his actions, or most important ones, are not progressive. Obama’s action as President are barely liberal. But, I will still vote for him, the alternative is just to horrible. What this actually means is that the Republicans, and the media to a certain extent, have gone way to the right, and Obama has countered by moving to the center. I do not know if Obama ever was a liberal, or just another politician.

    • You need to pay attention to what he said during the election of 2008. The only people who thought he was a raging liberal are those who fantasized about what an African-American President would be like, and then filtered everything they heard through that. He hasn’t “moved back to center.” Like it or not, the President is not a dictator, and you have to understand government. If you don’t, you’re talking through your hat. As to what he has accomplished since taking office, you might want to read Milt Shook’s list. By any stretch of the imagination, he’s managed to accomplish more progressive policies than any other President since LBJ, and he’s had to do it without the massive Congressional majorities LBJ and FDR had to work with.

  7. What aout health care, taxing the rich, Guantanamo Bay, due process rights, medical marijuana, going after past war criminals, putting together a real and continuing stimulas package and on and on… These are all things he talked about when running for office, but has not done or turned 180 degrees.

    • SIGH! I don’t know why I’m wasting my time but please check Norbrook’s link to Milt Shook’s list. He provided that for you for a reason. While you are at it please refresh your understanding of Civics/government 101.

    • Steve-
      From what you’e said so far, it seems you’re an empprog. Maybe if you had continued you would have mentioned all that’s been accomplished and given a more fair and balanced picture. Giving credit where it’s due is more typical of the pragmatic progressives. Am I being unfair? 🙂
      Emo Progressive
      The Original Definition, reprinted from Urban Dictionary

      Emo Progressive (or “emoprog”) is a self-described liberal or progressive, often with strong libertarian leanings, whose primary political orientation is to be angry, dissatisfied and unhappy with the state of the nation at any given time, because in their view, liberal policies are not being implemented quickly enough or articulated forcefully enough. They have particular contempt for Democratic presidents.

      Emoprogs are ideological purists who disdain compromise and incremental change, which they see as “selling out” classical liberal ideas like full employment, an end to all wars, state secrets, and liberal social policy.

      Emoprogs dislike Republicans but reserve their greatest disdain for Democratic presidents, whom they relentlessly attack for not meeting a set of ideological goal posts that are constantly adjusted to ensure that the president will be deemed a disappointment, “not progressive enough” or “just like a Republican” no matter what policy achievements are made.

      Emoprogs routinely dismiss or ignore congress’ role in making or impeding policy, believing presidents can simply “use the bully pulpit” and “fight” in order to overcome constitutional or legislative obstacles.

      Emoprogs have a strong affinity for third party politics as a way to punish Democratic presidents. They are especially hostile to President Barack Obama and deem anyone who expresses a lack of ill will toward him to be “Obamabots” and enemies of liberalism.

    • Jesus, but you’re stupid. He passed the Affordable Care Act, which is rolling in ever more provisions as we speak, leading to the first steps in having everyone with health insurance. No other president has ever come close to getting that. In case you didn’t pay attention, and obviously you haven’t, it was Congress that blocked the closure of Guantanamo. In fact, liberal icon Bernie Sanders was one of the people voting against closing it. Define “past war criminals,” would you? Medical marijuana is not a major priority, it’s a nice to have, but not mandatory thing for a president. Oh, and you might note that Congress has to pass appropriation bills, like a continuing stimulus. You might want to note that Congress didn’t do that, and that in 2010 the Tea Party Republicans took over the House. Now, you want to explain how you’re going to get something like that through that Congress? Right, didn’t think you could.

    • Dr. Squid

      Anyone who criticizes Obama for Guantanamo is automatically labeled a moron and I don’t need to listen to another word.

      • Ethanol: Obama’s fault…high gas price: Obama’s fault…no birth certificate: Obama’s fault, Guantanamo: Obama’s fault….abortions: Obama’s fault… new jobs: Obama’s fault…….ETC, ETC, ETC,
        …….OK people I have friends to the right of Rush Limbaugh and these are just the tip of their iceburgs and they will VOTE………..will YOU?
        12-15% turn outs in every election is not going to get positive change; it may bring a compromised change, but that is not what those of us speaking here want. WE WANT POSITIVE, PRODUCTIVE, EQUALITY WITH FREEDOMS AND CROOKS OUT OF ALL ELECTED OFFICES. WE WANT PERSECUTION OF THE CROOKS IN PRIVATE SECTORS ALONG WITH OFFICE HOLDERS APPOINTED TO THE SECURITIES COMMISSION. We don’t have to be atheists to get this done. Use your brains and not your hot buttons of morality. Oh so now you get it…they (repubs) run to the morality hot buttons. Let them go and hide and watch as they are bounced out of office one by one or two by two. VOTE!

  8. Donna Braendel

    And that is the point. Our elections have been decided by a deplorably small number of people who vote. Nothing whatsoever is proved by not voting, and I suspect that this indifference is counted upon by a very radical minority who ALWAYS vote. “It doesn’t make any difference”????, Maybe not greatly (I don’t personally believe that) but you certainly won’t make a difference if you don’t vote.

    • One of the things I’ve said in the past is that “a base” of any party consists of those who are willing to roll up their sleeves, work at the local and state party level, and reliably show up to vote. The evangelicals and other social conservatives took over the Republican Party in just that way.

  9. Obama *is* another Bush.

    Bush wouldn’t stand a chance of getting the GOP nomination currently, he’s far, far too far to the Left of where the GOP base is now. They’ve descended into lunacy.

  10. greenspider

    I can give wide berth for a lot of things that have and have-not transpired thus far in his term, but I have only ONE thing to say;

    • Oh, I have a lot more words about that. As in “much ado about nothing, and get real, would you?

      First off, there is nothing in this bill which is “new.” I know that Winning Progressive has a new post up saying it sets a “precedent”, and as much as I usually agree with them, they’re wrong. Yes, it puts into an authorization statements, but they simply say that the existing powers and capability are still in force. That’s not “precedent.” That’s the status quo.


      The bill passed 86-13. So, even with that “odious” language, no, the Senate would have been able to override a veto. It passed the House by 283 – 136, by the way, also a greater than 2:1 margin. What people forget is that this is the bill that funds the military. It’s considered a “must pass” bill.

      There seems to be a notion that if President Obama had vetoed it, Congress would have gone back and redone the bill. The vote totals say something quite different. They would have simply voted to override, and they had the votes to do it.