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Marion On December - 13 - 2010

My mother’s oldest brother never voted in his life. He went to his grave, having never cast a vote for a single politcal candidate, Democrat or Republican. That didn’t stop him from having opinions though, about every man who ever sat in the White House, and he could have voted in every Presidential election from Roosevelt’s first to Nixon’s last. At every family gathering, be it holiday, birthday or funeral, he could be found someplace in the corner, drink in one hand, vociferously complaining to some poor sod about the injustices of the current government, whilst jabbing the guy dangerously in the chest with his free hand, which held a Marlboro precariously between his forefinger and middle finger.

Finally, one day, the exasperation got to my dad.

“Bill,” he yelled across the room, at the wedding reception of one of my numerous cousins, “Shut the fuck up. You don’t even vote. You don’t vote, you don’t have a voice, and no right to criticize those people.”

When I registered to vote at 18 in 1972, that message stayed with me and has stayed with me ever since, ensuring that each year I make sure I receive some sort of absentee ballot with which I might make my voice heard. It might be an insignificant one, but at least I’m exercising my right to have it heard, to remain an active part of the political process in my own country.

Keith Olbermann is a powerful man with a powerful voice and the ability to influence a lot of people who watch his program daily. Keith Olbermann’s program is dedicated to what he considers to be the most controversial and important political stories of the day. It’s fact-based political news, heavily laced with opinion – Keith’s opinion and anyone else who happens to be a guest and who echoes that same opinion. Sometimes, at the end of his program, he gives a lengthy and erudite “Special Comment” on some particular subject which, he feels, affects him greatly.

Last week, in the wake of the President having reached a compromise with the Republican leadership of the House and Senate regarding the extension of the Bush tax cuts, amongst other things, Keith registered his idealogical displeasure with this compromise in no uncertain terms.

Like everyone else inhabiting the fashionable fringe of the Progressive Left, inhabitants of metropolitan and otherwise areas of the so-called “Left Coast” and the affluent urban areas of the Northeastern corner of the U S, he ranted and railed about the President “caving in” to the Republican Party. In one Special Comment, he referred to the President as an American Neville Chamberlain, meaning he was nothing less than an appeaser. That was on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday night, he openly referred to the President of the United States as a quisling.

Oh, really?

To say directly that Barack Obama is the epitome of the worst kind of traitor, to liken him to a man who betrayed his country and delivered his people into the hands of the worst kind of fascist regime, the Nazis, is not only pretty heavy going, it’s absolutely worse than any rhetoric or hyperbole the Tea Party have attempted. That sort of accusation actually places our President on a footing several floors below the lower extremities currently occupied by Bush 43 and Richard Nixon.

On Thursday night, when two Republican Senators, aided and abetted by the Senate’s newest Blue Dog, reneged on a promise to vote in favour of the repeal of DADT, holding the delayed Democratic support for the tax cut legislation to ransome before delivering their vote, Olbermann, again, directly blamed the President for this, and salaciously took pleasure in relaying the details of a pretty prickly encounter between House Democrats and Vice-President Biden, repeating, not once, but several times, that one member of the Democratic caucus actually shouted out, “Fuck the President.” Instead of sounding like a seasoned and responsible newsman, Olbermann sounded like a cross between a gossipy, but indignant, old spinster and a ten year-old boy, giggling behind the woodshed at the wonder of a crass four-letter word.

Keith Olbermann doesn’t vote.

He feels that voting would impinge upon his journalistic integrity, yet he contributed to three different Democratic candidates for Congress, including one who’d just appeared on his programm. I’m sorry, but if you are a journalist, and you choose not to vote in order to maintain an impartial integrity, doesn’t contributing to candidates of a particular political persuasion kind of negate that? Isn’t that more than just a bit hypocritical?

It still does not belie the fact that this man does not vote, yet he’s allowed a public platform by which he can influence the opinions of people who do exercise their privilege. And that, to me, is immoral.

A person who doesn’t vote enables whatever political party is given the mandate to govern at the polls. Therefore, Keith Olbermann is just as responsible for enabling Bush to initiate the unpaid-for tax cuts in 2001, as he is for enabling Barack Obama to reach a compromise with the Republicans to extend them.

You don’t vote, you don’t have a voice.

Shut the fuck up, Keith.

Categories: News & Politics, The Media

16 Responses so far.

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  1. HypnoToad says:

    KO doesn’t vote? I have seen no evidence proffered by you to support that. “Fringe of the progressive left”? Great way to attempt to start a conversation.

    But given that, let’s go on to what I have to say.

    This week the GOP will say that this is not deficit spending for the tax cuts. In a month or two, they will be claiming the need for cuts to offset this deficit spending.

    When you are willing to start using actual numbers and logical arguments, I will gladly talk about the subject.

    And as a point of fact, I do not care for KO’s use of people from Newsweek such as Harold Fineman, people representing the Washington Post such as Eugene . I see so many of the correspondents at MSNBC carry the company line. GE completely rules NBC Universal, and the last thing they care about is the betterment of our country.

  2. TakeInAPlay says:

    I have to say that I love your Dad. I’ve never met him but he sounds like my kind of guy.

    The lure of KO left my system long ago. His arrogance is so visible that I could never plant my feet firmly in his camp but prefer to drift over the line for an occasional, “You tell ’em Keith”. But even those moments have become farther apart.

    I’ve also been afraid that Jeb will most certainly throw his oversized hat in the ring and that scares me more than W because Jeb is the smart one. Being a long time fan of Russ Feingold, even I have to admit that I don’t think he has the moral flexibility to triumph over the Repub bulldozer. I believe in holding our electeds accountable but I also believe in helping them hold office.

  3. GirlOutWest says:

    I have to say that ever since KO went off on the President I have not watched him. I’m afraid the lefty side of politics is filled with demanding, and childish people by half at least. They’re answer is to berate the leader of the country and their political party and they do it publicly almost assuring us of a Republican President for years to come.

    • escribacat says:

      I’m not watching either. It literally makes me feel sick. What a bunch of spoiled pissants. I’ll post this link again:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/opinion/12reed.html

      Midnightrain posted it over on the Wailington Post.

    • AdLib says:

      Hey GOW, nice to see ya!

      It does escape me, that so many intelligent Dems can be so oblivious to what the alternative to Obama is.

      If you oppose Obama, that is less support that a President Romney or President Palin will need to overcome in 2012.

      Then how will those who are upset with Obama get their issues moved forward? In fact, they will get moved backwards under a Repub president.

      Such short term thinking…

      • boomer1949 says:

        Short-term thinking is a direct result of a instant gratification mentality.

      • Marion says:

        Think about this: Let’s say Obama doesn’t run in 2012. I wouldn’t blame him if he decided that. Hillary has said, quite succinctly, that SoS was her last public office. She wants to return to advocacy. So Obama doesn’t run, neither does Hillary.

        Democrats want to look at themselves. Who is there in the Party who could ever hope to defeat a Republican?

        You see, I STILL say Jeb Bush is going to declare next spring; and if he does, you’ll see the rest drop by the wayside -- except Palin, and then TPTB in the party will steamroll her down, if Jeb runs. In fact, I’m reckoning a Bush/Romney ticket. Let’s say that’s whom the GOP chooses, or -- if not -- Romney and someone else, or -- God forbid -- Palin.

        Which Democrat, outside of Obama or Clinton, can effect a defeat?

        Joe Biden? Joe’s in his late sixties now. I wouldn’t think so. Al Gore has been tainted by his recent high-profile divorce and the sex allegations. John Edwards is thoroughly discredited.

        Ed Rendell? Bill Richardson? Dennis Kucinich? Russ Feingold? Chuck Schumer? Evan Bayh? Joe Sestak? Bill Halter? Alan Grayson (who’d have even less experience than the President had and who doesn’t have the right sort of temperament)?

        I look at all of those, and I see a big, fat L-O-S-E, compared to whomever the Republicans run.

        • javaz says:

          I agree with the Bush/Romney ticket in 2012.

          But, it’s all going to boil down to jobs.
          If unemployment drops significantly, President Obama should easily win a 2nd term.

          We’ve all been reading about corporate profits and recently corporate take-overs.
          I could be wrong about this, but I think in the past when corporations flourish and take-overs occur that it is a sign that they will soon be hiring.
          With the recession, corporations cut back on production and now they need to replace the ‘widgets’ that they are low on.

          The automotive companies have begun to re-hire and aerospace is showing signs of hiring and aerospace is always the last industry to recover in the corporate world.

          I’m optimistic about jobs and believe that corporations will begin hiring next year.

        • escribacat says:

          I wouldn’t be surprised if you were right, Marion. And I wouldn’t blame Obama if he told the whining wing to take an effing hike. (I would.)

          On a more positive note, I can think of several people I admire: Sherrod Brown, Deb Stabenow, Howard Dean, Anthony Weiner.

          • Marion says:

            ‘Cat, you know something? NONE of those people -- good people that they are -- would win an election against a Republican. Not Dean, and certainly not Weiner or Brown.

            There simply is no BIG personality with a Presidential mien and intelligence left at the moment in the Democratic Party, and that’s a BIG problem. Because the GOP has them in spades. We might not like them, but I can see a Bush, a Romney or a John Thune running for POTUS and even winning, knowing our electorate.

            Obama was a big presence, as were Bill Clinton and LBJ -- and in his own way, Jimmy Carter.

            Someone said something to me the other day, basically that both the Republicans AND the Democrats had trouble dealing with Obama, because Obama “didn’t know his place.” I couldn’t agree more, especially after that performance of last week -- and especially after the behaviour of both the New York Senator Schumer and the New York Congressman Anthony Weiner.

            Sorry, but if a Brit politician of EITHER party had shouted, “Fuck the Prime Minister,” his feet wouldn’t have touched the floor in Westminster, and he’d have been kicked out of his respective party.

            I think a lot of Democrats, certainly the Progressives from those traditionally “progressive” areas have a hard time fathoming that for the past 45 years, the only Democrats who’ve been inordinately successful at reaching the position of President of the United States have been 3 men from the Deep South and a black man.

            They seriously need to suck it up.

  4. javaz says:

    I’ve read several articles about KO and I agree with you about his choosing not to vote.
    I cannot take him seriously when he removes himself from the electorate.

    The major problem in this country, imho, is that not enough people vote.

    Who are the non-voters?
    The survey found that nonvoters are disproportionately young, single, less educated and more likely to be of an ethnic minority than infrequent and frequent voters. 40 percent of nonvoters are under 30 years old, compared to 29 percent of infrequent voters and 14 percent of frequent voters. Infrequent voters are much more likely to be married than nonvoters, with 50 percent of infrequent voters married compared to only 34 percent of nonvoters. 76% of nonvoters have less than a college degree, compared to 61 percent of infrequent voters and 50 percent of frequent voters. Among nonvoters, 54 percent are white or Caucasian compared to 60 percent of infrequent voters and 70 percent of frequent voters.

    http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepoliticalsystem/a/whynotvote.htm

    In 1996 the turn out at the general election was 49% which was the lowest turn out since 1924. This was despite a record of 13 million new voters registering to vote in1992. This could simply have been because so many potential voters considered the result a forgone conclusion rather than America developing a sudden apathy towards politics. However, if the latter is true then the consequences for America in the future could be dire if only a certain section of society involves itself in politics and the rest feel that it is an area they should not concern themselves with. The election result of 2000 replicated the 1996 election in terms of voter participation with only about 50% of registered voters participating and this was in a campaign where there was no foregone conclusion regarding the candidates -- Al Gore and George W Bush. The 2000 election was considered to be one of the most open elections in recent years.

    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/voting_patterns_in_america.htm

    Approximately half of eligible voters refuse to vote.
    Perhaps if more people actually voted, we the people might get better candidates and the government we the people deserve.

    Then again, Alexis de Tocqueville was correct about “The people get the government they deserve.”

    http://generation96.blogspot.com/2007/01/controversial-quote-people-get.html

    And on a lighter note -- living in a redder-than-red-state, and hearing my neighbors quoting FOX, it always comforts me when some admit to not voting!
    LOL


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