It’s Not About the Supreme Court; It’s About Morality


Luckily for me, living in Arizona absolves me of a moral dilemma I otherwise could face should Hillary Clinton be the Democratic nominee.

I can’t vote for Clinton in the general. Here’s why: I know to a near certainty that if elected, HRC will inflict misery and devastation on those people she considers somewhat less human than Americans. For example, she may follow through on her love letter to Haim Saban by providing cluster bombs and other ghastly industrial strength munitions for Israel to use in another murderous rampage on Gaza. Or she may continue Obama’s policy of killing innocent Yemenis with drone strikes. Or she may give regime change another go, with disastrous consequences for the unlucky people of the nation upon which she decides to impose her will.

And if I were  to vote for her knowing that likely outcome?

Then I’d be complicit when the killings occur. No matter how hard I try to rationalize my vote as a “lesser of evils” choice, I’d be complicit. And, I’d be complicit even if she loses Arizona, because I’ll have contributed to her “mandate.”

So, I’m not on board. No matter how much her supporters lecture me on the subject. No matter how much they scream about the Supreme Court. No matter how much they tell me that Trump or Rubio or Cruz will start a war bigger than the one she’ll start.

Does this present a moral dilemma to me? If I lived in Ohio maybe, or even a safe blue state. But not in bright red Arizona. There’s no way my vote here could swing the election. Arizona can’t play the role Florida did in 2000 or Ohio did in 2004. If Arizona is close, the Democratic is winning nationally in a landslide. If the national race is close, Arizona is in the bag for the Republican. Either way, my vote can’t determine the outcome.

And if I and others vote for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, we send HRC a strong message that she better not sell out her base or 2018 will be a bloodbath, like 2010 and 2014 were.

The bottom line? The bullying from the HRC crowd is not about the Supreme Court. It’s about bullying and little else. The underlying feeling of the Democratic establishment and its acolytes, as they ram HRC down the throats of progressives, is grave concern about the risk that strategy poses for the general. So they desperately want Sanders supporters to assure them they won’t stay home. When I’ve raised the moral concern I have, they don’t even acknowledge it or try to reason it away. They just lecture me, as if I’m just not nearly as smart as they are and as if they can intimidate me with their superior intellect. Good luck with that.


  1. I’m not following the argument that a Democratic vote in Arizona is meaningless, and at the same time “sends HRC a strong message,” even portending a “bloodbath” in 2018. If Clinton wins, she isn’t going to be worrying about a few people who voted Green in 2016, and the Democrats in the House and Senate aren’t going to be thinking about them, either. If anything, they’ll be even more inclined to look for more support from Independents in the center, and cater to those people’s views, because taking those votes away from Republicans is literally twice as effective as bringing in votes from the left margin.

      • Well, except for the fact that my premise was that there would be many more Green votes than the normal few. And good luck with those “independents” in the “center.” How’d that work out in 2010 and 2014?

        • Bob, the overwhelming majority of posters here (on a very liberal blog) do not agree with your analysis. As to 2010, President Obama passed the most progressive agenda since President Johnson, and I didn’t see progressives turn out to support Democrats in 2010. They stayed home. The turnout for young and minority voters dropped off the table. Same with 2014. The voters were overwhelmingly whiter and older and less progressive. It was not Democrat moderates that failed to vote, it was progressives. In 2016 and 2018, the majority of voters are going to be 50 and older. That is a fact. If you don’t believe me, go look it up at the Census Bureau website. Unlike you, even though I don’t particularly believe in the Sanders agenda, I will gladly vote for him over any Republican. You, however, are taking the typical narrow minded and self-righteous position of purists. Grow up. You aren’t in college anymore.

          • “Grow up”? You don’t agree with me so you get pissy? Look at your first sentence regarding the overwhelming majority of posters. Why should that move me? Because I don’t have strength in my own convictions? I explained to you why I have a moral problem with voting for Clinton. If you don’t want to agree, fine, but show respect. I know you don’t think it’s a big deal if Netanyahu murders another 5,000 Gazans, but I do, and I won’t vote to put Hillary Clinton in a position to assist in the effort.

          • Bob, there is no reply button on your last comment, so I will reply to myself to answer your previous reply. Pissy? You state “I know you don’t think it’s a big deal if Netanyahu murders another 5,000 Gazans, but I do”. I said no such thing. Your statement is more than “pissy”. It is self-righteous, self-serving and patently outrageous. When you accuse someone who disagrees with you of supporting mass murder, you have degenerated to the point of the most extreme right wing posters. Quite an achievement on your part. Keep up the good work! If it is the “strength of your convictions”, then we can agree to disagree. But if your feel so strongly about this, then you should be denouncing President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry. Clinton was not Secretary of State during the Gaza War. Surely you must know that.

          • Actually, she was Sec of State at the conclusion of the 2009 Gaza war, when she worked to keep the Goldstone Report from seeing the light of day. And her letter to Haim Saban and her statements heaping praise on Netanyahu don’t leave a lot of doubt. Go to Mondoweiss and read the posts there, if you think I’m wrong. Or maybe you’re just not that well read on the subject?

          • I’m quite familiar with the subject. I remind you that Obama also was President in 2009, in case you have forgotten. And he had and still has ultimate responsibility for the actions and inactions that occur during his administration. So does that mean you didn’t vote for President Obama in 2012 because of the “strength of your convictions”? If I and millions of other Americans voted for President Obama, does that mean we support mass murder? How about this. Why don’t you act like a grownup and apologize for accusing me (and by implication everyone else who supports Hillary Clinton) of supporting mass murder and we can call it a day and agree to disagree. If not, I think you have shown your true colors.

          • Your reasoning regarding Obama is a bit off. Presidents don’t involve themselves in every decision of State. You can’t attribute every single thing Clinton did at State to Obama, and there’s obviously a considerable gap between Obama’s and Clinton’s views on Israel.

            I didn’t accuse you of supporting mass murder, I said you were less bothered by Netanyahu’s murderous acts than I am. If you were as bothered by those actions as I am, I don’t think you would be ready to unflinchingly support Clinton in the general. You might support her, but you wouldn’t have condescended to me the way you have, simply for not sharing your view.

            But here’s the thing: The overwhelmingly likely result is that Clinton will be the next President. And, if that occurs, events will take place that will allow us to revisit this issue. So, let’s table the discussion until then.

  2. Bob, thanks for thinking about your particular views and skipping the rest of us. If you “take” your vote from the Democratic nominee (note I did not say “give” it to the GOP) it amounts to the same thing. Hillary is not perfect; Bernie is not perfect (but more so), but there are so many issues and people who will be hurt if the GOP wins….women will die from illegal abortions or childbirth because they did not want to be pregnant; people who now have healthcare will lose it; environmental and social issues will be dropped. Jill Stein is throwing your vote away; nice gesture maybe, but utterly useless. I am sorry you feel this way. We may go down to GOP voters in this state, but I intend to go down fighting….that’s the message I want to send.

  3. tyvm Senor Purity Pony…

    and you’re right, it’s not JUST about the supreme court… it’s also about..

    The environment, the ACA, jobs, infrastructure, minority rights, women’s rights, abortion, gun legislation and foreign affairs.

    All of which matters, so don’t hold your nose, sit there in the corner and watch the GOP win and see MORE dark money in politics and the slow institutionalization of a theocratic takeover in our national politics and stand there and bask in the glow that at least you didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton.

    Is she perfect, no… who is? At least her publicly stated positions (much like Mr. Sanders) gibe with what I believe in (and no, I wouldn’t have an issue pulling the lever for Mr. Sanders).

    There are no perfect candidates…

    • It’s a weak, and pitiful position many Democratic voters put themselves in by wholeheartedly endorsing Hillary as the “Not as bad as the GOP” candidate.

      Ask yourself what that says about your belief in the current condition of American politics and whether acquiescing to the GOP will EVER result in the America we want to leave for our grandchildren.

  4. Bob, with all due respect, the type of logic you are employing is the same logic that many voters for Ralph Nader employed in 2000, in Florida and elsewhere. Al Gore was not a perfect candidate and he did not have a perfect record in the eyes of many progressives. They viewed him as “tainted” because he was part of the Clinton administration, which had to compromise with Republicans to govern, and many of his votes in Congress were not “progressive”. Many undoubtedly did not think that their vote for Nader would make a difference. They did not think that their state would be the state that decided the election. They did not consider the consequences of their actions. Elections are about realistic choices, not fantasy land. Quite frankly, I don’t think Bernie Sanders would make a good President and I think many of his public policy positions are unrealistic and hopelessly naive. I have serious doubts about Hillary Clinton on both policy and integrity issues. I wish there were other substantive candidates running, but I have to deal with the reality that they are the only two candidates running for the Democrat Party nomination. I could write in some other name or simply not vote, but that is not a realistic way to approach voting and serves no useful purpose. While it is unlikely that Arizona will decide the national election, it is not impossible. Arizona is not Utah or Idaho. For all we know, there may be one or more third party candidates that divide various voting groups and provide an opportunity for Democrats in Arizona. Moreover, if Democrats do lose the general election (more likely than not given the wrong track/right track polling) and lose Arizona (yes, very likely), it is still important that the candidate for the Democrat Party receive as many votes as possible to show the country the number of voters that support Democrat priorities. This may be important if full Republican control leads to policies that negatively impact the majority of Americans (more likely than not). It provides leverage for the press and public to push back against these policies. Even if it doesn’t prevent them, it provides a base for future elections. The bottom line is that as with any action in life, dealing with the world as it is and not as we wish it to be is almost always the correct choice.

    • I have an entirely different view on the last 12 lines or so of your comment. If HRC wins, I’d like to see the Green Party candidate pull as many votes as possible. That will send the clear message: “Hillary, if you let your inner right-wing take over in order to assure your re-election, progressives will stay home in 2018 and you will lose whatever semblance of a mandate you think you have.”

      • Bob, Let me suggest you read the Daily Kos post from SoCalGal23 from February 8. The bottom line is that there are 25 Democrats up in the Senate in 2018, versus only 8 Republicans. Her analysis shows at least 10 vulnerable Democrats. The Republicans could reach 60 votes without a large Democrat voter turnout in 2018. It is a sobering view of the reality Democrats face. Staying home is not a rational choice.

        • But that’s exactly what will happen if HRC is elected and proceeds to do everything to make sure her funding is there for the re-election run. It might position her for 2020, but 2018 will be a bloodbath.

  5. I disagree with the eagle. But in the reverse. The best ticket would have been Elizabeth and Bernie. But if Bernie gets the nomination we cannot afford to lose Elizabeth in the Senate. However it could be like 1944, (although with Bernie’s age he is in much better shape), when we knew we were voting for two presidents with FDR and Truman.

    • I was very vocal in calling for Warren to run in the first place. So, we really don’t disagree on that point.

      However, Warren recently made an excellent argument in the NY Times for being more concerned about who is in the WH than who controls the Congress. I was so impressed with it that I republished it on January 30th on the Arizona Eagletarian.

      I believe the dream team this year is Sanders Warren. I would have been ecstatic with a Warren Sanders ticket, but she nixed that idea herself.

  6. This editorial is exactly why progressives never make into office in states like Arizona. Whenever we stay home from the polls,we are essentially casting a vote for the candidate that wins. I agree that Hillary has flaws, however she is not Trump, Cruz or Rubio who will certainly turn back any progress this nation has made in the last 50 years. If a democrat is not elected next fall, it will be the due to the irresponsibility of fools like this author.

  7. You are risking going to hell by not supporting the establishment candidate, oh wait, your a man so I guess it is okay.

  8. Dividing Democrats is a bad idea on many levels. And if you think Bernie Sanders can magically bring world peace and ignore Israel, you are sadly mistaken.

  9. If you don’t vote for any Presidential candidate you are simply ducking responsibility and trying to hide behind some artfully crafted but artificial philosophical argument.
    If you don’t vote in the Presidential election you should at least vote on down the ballot. There actually are contested elections for some offices.
    If you vote for any Republican you are enabling all Republicans!

    • I think I made it clear that I would vote in the Presidential for Jill Stein, who last I checked is not a Republican.

  10. Although I respect you sticking to your strong beliefs, I must disagree with your logic. The perfect canidate rarely exist. Multiple flaws can be found in some of our history’s best regarded leaders. From Dr. King to Washington one can find arguments such as yours Bob. It is a bitter pill to swallow sometimes with the choices we have. I would prefer a canidate like John Kerry for my own reasons.

    The problem with your plan of action and other liberals on the far left is it is exactly that type of thinking that has led to the apathy allowing republicans to controll most of the country. I know many single issue conservative voters, but they make it a priority to vote to ensure the democrat will lose. Again, as I have said here before, republicans have a better vision of the forest then my fellow dems who would rather stare at trees.

  11. in 1932 the german people had a choice hindenberg or hitler. eddie edwards was running against david duke his slogan was hold your nose and vote for me. do you thing the republiscum will kill any less? thankfully your vote won’t be needed. I tried the elitist liberal bullcrap in 2000 and voted for nader as I has 1n 1996. dubya was not better gore.

  12. I will vote for ANY of our Democratic candidates over ANY of the Republican candidates no matter who THEY ARE. There is a WORLD of difference between Hillary’s record and even the most “moderate” of the Republican reactionary candidates. If for no other reason than she supports a woman’s right to make her own reproductive health care choices. But there are many other reasons that she is better than any of them. She has voted 93% of the time with Bernie and was one of the most Progressive members of the Senate. Keep in mind that Bernie has said the same thing that I just did, Hillary is far better than any of the Republicans. I personally have not decided who I will vote for in the Primary, really, I keep going back and forth between Bernie and Hillary. They both have advantages and disadvantages as candidates. But both are WAY better than the Republicans.

    If you don’t vote for the Democratic nominee in the General then you are effectively giving half a vote to the Republican candidate who will undo EVERYTHING that has been accomplished in the last 8 years and wreak havoc on the nation and the world. Goodbye to health care (I have family with pre-existing conditions that cannot get private insurance without the ACA), goodbye to ALL voting rights, goodbye to the environment, goodbye to public education, goodbye to reproductive rights, goodbye to the separation of church and state, goodbye to public radio and television, goodbye to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, goodbye to clean water and air and the ability to sue if some corporation or Republican governor poisons you, goodbye to an independent judiciary, goodbye to pretty much every progressive advance that has been made in the last century.

  13. Good luck indeed. However, at this stage of the campaign, I’m firmly of the mind that the best option for the USA is President Sanders and Vice-President Warren.

    As I’ve also made valid arguments about Hillary a number of times on my blog, but clearly quite a few people can’t even give consideration to anything that casts doubt on her. It’s frustrating. But not as much as being called sexist simply for calling attention to her obvious loyalties to Wall Street and every other corporate interest that she holds more dear than Main Street Americans.

    Please, people lift the curtain from your eyes!

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