Saturday, August 18, 2012

90 Reasons to Vote for Obama

A new website designed to light the fire under unenthusiastic Democrats shows just how panicky the left is becoming about their Messiah’s chances in this November’s presidential election.

90 Days, 90 Reasons” is the uninspired name of a site created by overrated novelist Dave Eggars and music manager Jordan Kurland (it is unaffiliated with the Obama campaign). They write on the site that they recently “looked around and saw that many of Obama’s voters and donors from 2008 needed to be reminded of all he has accomplished, and all he will do if given another term.”

It’s quite telling that they sensed that previous Obama voters need reminders of what Obama has “accomplished.” It suggests that those voters are more focused on what he hasn’t done right (his broken promises, e.g., to close Guantanamo, to cut the deficit in half, to round up conservatives into internment camps) and/or what he has done wrong (e.g., the havoc he has wreaked on the economy, his complicity in the rise of Islamic fundamentalism at home and abroad, his exacerbation of the racial divide in this country), which the few remaining independent thinkers on the left are finding difficult to ignore or rationalize.

“This time the bumper stickers are few,” write Eggars and Kurland. “The HOPE posters are hard to find. There are no songs by We are three months away from the presidential election, and there is a stunning lack of energy displayed by likely Obama voters.” They proceed to regurgitate tired talking points about Obama inheriting and cleaning up Bush’s mess, such as “removing the threat of Osama bin Laden” (um, bin Laden was never the threat; the threat was and remains Islamic fundamentalism, which Obama has actually facilitated by embracing the Muslim Brotherhood in the White House itself). Eggars and Kurland note with a touch of panic that “if this doesn’t become an all-hands-on-deck movement to re-elect President Obama, he will lose. And Mitt Romney, who has campaigned as the most conservative Republican candidate in history, will become president.”

Romney is campaigning as the most conservative Republican candidate in history? There’s some desperate progressive hysteria for you. In any case, alarmed by this widespread apathy and disaffection among former Obama voters, Eggars and Kurland decided to ask “a wide range of cultural figures to explain why they’re voting for Obama in 2012, in the hopes that this might re-inspire the grassroots army that got Obama elected in the first place.” The goal is to post on their website a reason a day to vote for Obama, for the 90 days remaining until the election. “Let's restart the fire,” the site’s banner says. “Let's give President Obama four more years. Here are 90 reasons why.” Three of those reasons have been posted at the time of this writing.

First up is “cultural figure” Ben Gibbard, singer/songwriter for a band that Jordan Kurland’s management company just happens to represent, Death Cab for Cutie (cultural figures with at least a modicum of name recognition apparently weren’t available). Gibbard’s reason to re-support Obama is that he “is the first president in U.S. history to acknowledge the right of gay couples to marry and enjoy the full benefits of marriage in the eyes of the law.” That’s the lead-off reason? Gay marriage? The left insists on making this issue, of marginal or no importance to the vast majority of Americans (fewer than 5 percent of Americans self-identify as gay), more pressing than, say, rising unemployment or crushing national debt. Gibbard doesn’t mention the inconvenient fact that Obama was opposed to gay marriage until he kicked off his reelection campaign and it became politically expedient to claim that he had “evolved.” That blatant cynicism should be reason to denounce him, not support him; but since the end justifies the means for progressives, it’s not a sticking point.

Next at bat is film critic Roger Ebert, a “cultural figure” who can at least claim household-name status. Ebert was for decades the beloved movie reviewer of the original incarnation of his TV show, until he became politically partisan and mean-spirited in his advancing age. Now he is in danger of making his Tea Party-bashing his legacy. His reason for voting for Obama? A vague and uninspired three paragraphs on how “President Obama faced down the GOP and the health industry to finally reform American healthcare” – as if the GOP and the health industry themselves weren’t in favor of reforming healthcare. The difference is that Obama’s reform will turn medical care into a DMV-like nightmare and end up denying Americans the kind of quality healthcare Ebert himself was able to take advantage of during his own struggle with cancer.

Last but not least – okay, last and least – comes George Saunders, a creative writing teacher at Syracuse University. He’s voting for Obama again because the president “has fully funded the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and supports its reauthorization.” To his credit, at least Saunders gave his piece more time and attention than Ebert did his, with a lengthy but disingenuous piece reiterating the left’s senseless meme that Republicans are waging a war on women and support violence against LGBT and immigrant women in particular. So far the “90 Days, 90 Reasons” website feels pretty lackluster.

Since it will be impossible for even the most devout progressives to amass 90 achievements of The Chosen One, the list will no doubt have to include some negative, fear-mongering shots at his competition. And sure enough, Eggars and Kurland point out that in addition to “concrete, factual, plain” reasons to re-elect Obama, “this initiative will also provide likely outcomes of a Romney presidency.” It will be interesting to see just how factual the progressive depictions of such “likely outcomes” will be. No doubt they will include a return to slavery, the repeal of women’s right to vote, and weird Mormon religious rituals including human sacrifices on the White House lawn.

Three days down. Eighty-seven more “cultural figures” with 87 more weak, desperate reasons to go. This should be amusing.

(This article originally appeared here on FrontPage Mag, 8/13/12)