Monday, August 01, 2011

When the lesser of two evils argument fails

(Note of explanation: A month and a half ago I wrote the following more as an internal soliloquy than a normal blog entry--given that my irregular posts have left this blog with essentially no readers--but I realize now, some time after the fact, that if a reader does come along, there is no clue in the post what I was talking about. Mea culpa. The occasion was Obama caving to the Republicans when they held the economy hostage on raising the debt ceiling. A more extended internal soliloquy would include ruminations on whether to vote in the Republican primary in hopes that Romney as president would do less damage to the country than Perry, or whether to seriously look at living in another country. And I would direct the very hypothetical reader to my other blog, equally irregular but far less political, at Brass nor Stone.)

In the case of this deal with the devil that Obama has made, I am not sure that for Democrats to support it, and to support Obama in the next election, is in reality the lesser of two evils, so my title is probably misleading.

If the Republicans are not bluffing, then surely for Democrats to join with them in destroying the economy gradually is better than letting Republicans alone destroy it suddenly. Yeah, maybe. You would think. But not in this instance. Two or three years down the road, the country is going to be in the same sorry state regardless of who is president, thanks in large part to Obama himself.

And the worst possible case would be for the next Herbert Hoover to be a Democrat, or rather, to call himself a Democrat.

So I've arrived at the slightly consoling thought that the next Herbert Hoover is likely to be a card-carrying Republican, and that with a Republican Congress the ex-Party of Lincoln will completely own, as they say, the subsequent catastrophe.

I knew a lot of angry liberals who refused to vote for Hubert Humphrey in 1968. I think I still believed in the lesser of two evils argument in those days, and I duly held my nose and voted for Humphrey.

In hindsight I think I made the right decision. But I feel pretty good about the idea of writing in some third party candidate's name in 2012. In defense of my 1968 vote for Humphrey, he never agreed in ADVANCE to sign on to the bombing of Cambodia, or to the Watergate burglaries. Obama on the other hand has capitulated in advance to everything the Republicans want.