No, I Won’t Hold My Nose and Vote for Clinton

But if I thought it would make a difference, I might consider contributing to her campaign.

Irrational? If you’re a progressive who lives in Arizona, I submit it’s not.

There is too much at stake, the logic goes, for a Sanders supporter not to vote for Clinton if she ultimately wins the nomination. Most often, the three potential Supreme Court appointments are the example used to support this.

On the (very thin) surface, that logic has its appeal. The problem? This is Arizona. We don’t live in a swing state, at least not yet. It would be impossible for anyone’s vote here to make a difference in the ultimate outcome. If Clinton actually had a chance of winning here, the only situation where a progressive’s vote might count, she already would be winning an electoral college landslide. Conversely, if the national outcome were up for grabs, Arizona already would be a lost cause.

So, if you’re an Arizona progressive and ultimately want to send a message with your vote if Clinton is the nominee, you should not be cowed into doing otherwise.And consider how powerful that message might be if all Arizona progressives did so and, for instance, Jill Stein, the Green candidate, won 15% of the vote.

If you feel the need to assuage your irrational guilt, send Clinton some money. That at least theoretically would be more meaningful in making sure those Supreme Court appointments don’t get into the wrong hands.

16 responses to “No, I Won’t Hold My Nose and Vote for Clinton

  1. I understand the electoral college reasoning, but it still seems to be a risky strategy. I remember 2000 very well, when folks implored Ralph Nader, even his closest associates, to not campaign hard in swing states. He paid no attention and the result was 8 years of the Worst President in American History.
    As for Hillary’s “unlikeability”, that is just another urban myth. She has been the most admired women in America for the past 20 years.

    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/hillary-clinton-continues-reign-americas-most-admired-woman

    • George W. Bush was hardly the worst President in the history of this country. I realize political bombast is the preferred coin of the realm on this blog, but if you truly believe Bush was the worst president, it shows a remarkable ignorance of the Presidency in this Country.

      As to Hillary being the most admired woman in Americas, so what? When that is decided by 12% of the poll respondents, it is hardly overwhelming in its significance. Hillary is VERY unlikeable. Americans do not elect unlikeable people to the Presidency. Hillary knows that and is desparately trying to change her image. Her appearance on Saturday Night Live is an example where she is trying hard to be likeable, but it is alien to her very fiber. She was stilted and awkward and just plain unfunny. There is too much sour unlikeability in her for her to change her colors. Her best bet is to hide behind Bill and hope people will vote for him. Otherwise, she is burnt toast.

      • I think a very good case can be made that George W. Bush is the very worst President in American history. There were incompetent presidents in the past but none did as much total damage as the Bush/Cheney team.
        They were oblivious to national security and ignored warnings about the 9/11 attack. They took a projected $5.6 trillion surplus when they took office (left by Bill and Hillary Clinton) and instead added trillions more to the national debt. They pushed through two very destructive tax cuts. They were negligent in their economic policies, which led to the worst recession since the Great Depression, and some economists think was actually worse than the Great Depression.
        But even worse and more criminal was their foreign policy. It is almost universally agreed that the Iraq War was the most stupid foreign policy decision in American history. Even Jeb Bush agrees. Their neo-con blinders allowed them to invade and destroy a country that has now led to Isis, etc. By the way, it was the biggest gift to Iran, our supposed enemy.
        The Iraq war will end up costing over $2 trillion when all is paid for, including the decades of medical bills for the more than 30,ooo American men and women who were seriously injured.
        I cannnot think of another American President who did more damage to America.

        • Tom, you have some compelling arguments to support your position. I personally think Lyndon Johnson was the worst President. As I respond to your points, I will explain what Johnson did that was worse.

          ”They were oblivious to national security and ignored warnings about the 9/11 attack.”

          Bush had been in office a little over eight months. NONE of his security agencies had a clue the potential attack of 9/11 was coming and NONE of his security agencies communicated with one another because of restrictions put in place by the Clinton Administration. Johnson ignored the actual experience of the French in Vietnam and got us started in that war. He did so in spite of warnings from his security and military advisors.

          ”They took a projected $5.6 trillion surplus when they took office (left by Bill and Hillary Clinton) and instead added trillions more to the national debt.”

          Bush did this and there was no excuse for it. He deserves the blame. Johnson took the surplus generated by Kennedy’s tax cuts and poured it into Vietnam, quickly consuming it. Additionally, Johnson started his Great Society hand out programs which would spend more than $8 trillion over the years with nothing to show for it in the way of poverty reductions.

          ”They pushed through two very destructive tax cuts.”

          The only reason I consider Bush’s tax cuts wrong is they financed them through debt and that was not right. Johnson reversed Kennedy’s tax cuts with tax increases because Vietnam was costing more and more each week and the Great Society Programs demanded funding as well.

          ”…some economists think was actually worse than the Great Depression.”

          If true, then some economists are smoking too much dope, or they never read a history book written before 1950. The Great Depression was magnitudes greater than the 2000 recession ever was. There is no way to compare the two in terms of its impact on the economy or people.

          ”It is almost universally agreed that the Iraq War was the most stupid foreign policy decision in American history.”

          That can only be said by people who were not around during the Vietnam War, or who have a very short memory. Vietnam scarred us as a Nation and left us divided and wounded in ways the Iraq War hasn’t even touched. That pain is still with us today and will be until that generation passes away.

          ”The Iraq war will end up costing over $2 trillion when all is paid for…”

          The Vietnam War cost us $4.49 trillion (in todays $) which only marginally covered the cost of the medically injured men and women who served. And, of course there was the cost of 58,000+ dead which must be mentioned.

          ”…including the decades of medical bills for the more than 30,ooo American men and women who were seriously injured…”

          In the four decades since the Vietnam War ended, the cost of treating the more than 300,000 military members who were wounded has never been tabulated. Assuming they even received the treatment since so many were turned away as malingerers and crybabies. Then there was the suicide rate which was the highest of any war we fought and still constitutes a significant percentage of the number counted each day.

          Bush was elected to a second term. Johnson did so badly that he didn’t even try and run for a second term. Johnson left us with the Vietnam War and the Great Society, both of which cost us ten of trillions of dollars and accomplished nothing. Johnson developed the “McNamara Plan” whereby success in Vietnam was measured in terms of enemy body counts and our purpose in Vietnam was to kill as many of the enemy as possible. Johnson became a persona non grata in the Democrat Party after his one term in office and was shunned for the rest of his life.

          • Steve, there’s pretty good evidence that Johnson had negotiated an end to the war in ’68 and Nixon undermined it. Further, it was not until ’68 or ’69 that military intelligence concluded the war was not winnable. So who was more callous about American lives, Johnson or Nixon?

            But all that besides the point. I find it stunning that you could write the comment you did about Johnson without acknowledging the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. It suggests you believe those are smallish things, or maybe even that you don’t view them as accomplishments at all. Implicitly, you’re minimizing the significance of those legislative achievements. That’s troubling.

          • Bob, I have never heard that Johnson had negotiated an end to the War. That’s news to me. I will pursue that to see what the source of that is.

            In all honesty, I forgot about the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Perhaps it is my disgust at Johnson that made me blind to those important peices of legislation, but you are right to jerk my chain for overlooking them. I still want to give Congress credit for them, but they should go in Johnson’s “Win” column. Just goes to show that the dislike of someone can blind you to anything good they might do.

          • Bob, I did some research and the only thing I could find about negotiations to end the War in Vietnam in 1968 had nothing to do with Johnson.

            In mid-1967, the North Vietnamese expressed a willingness to come to the negotiation table, and they did so in late 1967 and 1968. The reason they did so was because in January of 1967 they launched the Tet Offensive and they were badly beaten. They put everything they had into that offensive and we destroyed them. The Commander of North Vietnamese Forces, General Giap, and Ho Chi Minh were surprised they lost so badly and the decision was made to try and gain as much as they could at the negotiation table.

            However, much to their surprise, they saw that in the U.S. the Tet Offensive was seen as a defeat for U.S. Forces and thousands were marching and rioting for the U.S. to get out of Vietnam. Seeing this, Giap and Ho Chi Minh decided on a new strategy of outlasting the U.S. until we gave up and came home. Once that was decided, they walked out on negotiations. Of course they blamed it on the U.S. “not negotiating in good faith”, but in truth it had nothing to do with Johnson or Nixon or anything else except our will to win. In the end, they were correct.

            If I am wrong and this not what you are talking about, please let me know. I have studied this War extensively and if there was something else, then I missed it. I will be embarrassed to have missed something so important, but I would really like to know.

          • Thank you, Bob, for sharing that article with me. After reading it, I sheepishly must admit that several years ago I do remember hearing a few rumors about this, but they were just rumors – and vague ones at that – so I just dismissed them as political ploys.

            After reading the article, I am still skeptical just based on how the article was worded and the illogical leaps it makes. (1) The article admits there is no evidence Nixon knew, but he must have known, so he did. (2) The Republicans sent operatives to South Vietnam to say they wanted the South Vietnamese negotiators to start dragging their feet at the Negotiation Table. But why would the South Vietnamese respond favorably to the request? The Johnson Administration was sitting at the table, not the Republicans. (3) There was no reason to believe the Republicans had a better chance of winning the election than the Democrats. (4) And there is no evidence that the South Vietnamese Negotiators did drag their feet at the table.

            Further, it uses a lot of information supposedly contained in a still classified report. We are depending on the word of a guy who is a turncoat to the people he originally supported. I am always skeptical of people who change sides, regardless of their reasons for doing so. But that is a personal bias of mine.

            After reading it through, I understand why you would think that Nixon sabotaged the 1968 negotiations. The fact that the North Vietnamese decided half way through the negotiations that they were no longer interested in negotiating in good faith makes all the drama on our side of the table seem like amateur night at the Silly Club.

            Again, thanks for sharing the article!

          • The Vietnam war was a tragedy. However, I think LBJ was living in a time when America was concerned with Communism and he and his advisers thought it worthwhile to try to stop another country becoming Communist. I think LBJ was idealistic in a tragic way.
            Bush went to war against Iraq for totally different reasons. He wanted to be a War President. He thought it would solidify his political capital, so that Republicans would be in power for a very long time. He knew there was no evidence of weapons of mass destruction. There was a UN task force in Iraq at the time, in March 2003, led by Hans Blix, that told the world that there were no weapons. Bush simply didn’t care. He was a captive of ideologues like Cheney, Hadley, Wolfowitz, Perle. They decided to completely destroy a country, because they could.
            Bush was re-elected because the true impact of his huge mistakes did not become apparent until 2005. Once it did, America totally turned against him and his people. And I think even Bush himself later regretted his dependence on Cheney and Rumsfeld.

          • You know, Jim, you have made a spirited and well thought out explanation for why George W. Bush was the worst President in history. So much so that you started to convince me that you could be correct. I am not completely convinced, but you have certainly provided sufficient evidence that I can’t ignore the possibility. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. It has been a pleasure discussing it with you!

  2. captain*arizona

    napolitano won in 2002 because republican women wouldn’t vote for a mormon matt salmon.

  3. I’m not writing Arizona off just yet.

  4. We’ve had a recent democratic governor. Arizona broke for Clinton in 1996. Latinos are over 30% of the population of Arizona and their votes tend to lean Democrat. It’s unlikely that AZ would be a swing state, but it could happen.

    • I agree. An effective GOTV campaign, something we haven’t had in the 12 years I’ve lived here, could push Clinton over the top in AZ. Stranger things have happened.

    • Napolitano was 10 years ago. Clinton was 20 years ago. Most latinos don’t vote. And Arizona will not be a swing state. Oh, and Hillary’s “unlikeability” factor will keep her out of the White House…especially if Joe Biden decides to run.

      Having said all that, I encourage you to contribute as much as you can to Hillary’s campaign.