Low Voter Turnout, Explained

As I’ve written so tirelessly, and perhaps even tiresomely, in the Era of Hope and Change, Obama has turned out to be our first post-partisan President, after all.  Meaning, he has well and truly gotten rid of any party principles that used to make people OF HIS OWN PARTY, I might add, actually vote, rather than, say, build model train sets in the basement.  It’s hard for a liberal Democrat these days not to look back at the Bush era with a touch of nostalgia (or is it neuralgia? I always get those two mixed up…).  As late as 2007 or so it was possible to believe that mere voting, en masse, might conceivably achieve some observable policy change.  Alas, it was not to be.

I’ve compiled a list, by no means exhaustive, of the many ways that Democrats have basically become Republicans, and a somewhat shorter one that makes them look like Appalachian relatives thereof, and an asterisk or two at the end where the alert might be able to spot a difference.

Things on Which Democrats and Republicans Completely Agree:

First, that voters are stupid, as you can see:

Wars (and military spending in general) are the coolest things ever, and as such, great domestic sacrifices of blood and treasure must be made to pay for them, now and forever.

These marvelous wars are the sole choice of the Commander In Chief, consulting with Fox News.

Social Security must be cut.

The rich must never be forced to pay even a proportionate share of taxes.

America never will join the rest of the civilized world in providing health care for all its citizens without the corporate plundering that makes it unaffordable.

What’s good for Wall Street is good for America, and the rich really are America’s Best People..

Nuclear Power is the greatest thing since cesium-laced sliced bread.

There’s such a thing as “Clean Coal.”

All mergers are good mergers, the bigger the better.

Last, my personal favorite:  That the Federal Budget is, somehow, like the Family Budget, and thus must behave the same way, errant nonsense that refuses to die, despite being repeatedly and catastrophically disproven.

I could go on, but I might be too drunk by the time I finish.

Things on Which Democrats and Republicans Differ Just Enough To Warrant Expensive and Deceptive Political Battles with Each Other Every Two Years:

Gay Marriage: Republicans oppose it maniacally, Democrats more politely.

Global Warming: Republicans don’t believe in it at all, Democrats agree we shouldn’t do anything about it.

Domestic Spying:  Republicans think we should be sneakier about it, Democrats prefer a more open approach.  (Wait a minute…  Does this belong in the first category?)

When having our awesome, badass wars, Democrats like to have the UN involved, whereas Republicans just want to git’er done; both don’t mind losing expensively and humiliatingly, as long as it takes a long time, by which time they’ll all be lobbyists.

Republicans think doctors who perform abortions are murderers and should be preemptively killed; Democrats agree that women who are such sluts that they go around getting pregnant should pay dearly.

Republicans think we should drill, baby, drill everywhere and anywhere, damn the consequences; Democrats agree, but only if we don’t drive every species into extinction along the way, or at least too rapidly.

Republicans want to kill the unions once and for all, while Democrats, like Rahm Emanuel, have intentions slightly less malevolent; they just want to fuck them.  It’s a little like Jeffrey Dahmer magnanimously stopping a date halfway through, but nonetheless not much to hold onto.

Republicans believe that Fox News is the only legitimate news channel; Democrats agree that it is important to appear on the “influential” network and thus accord it the prestige it does not deserve.

Republican believe that big business should never be regulated, ever, and Democrats meekly add that maybe here and there it perhaps should, but not in a time of (war, recession, meltdown, or on a day ending in “y.”).

Republicans believe that America is A “Christian Nation,” and would like our laws to be based on the Old Testament; Democrats agree and weakly point to parts of the New Testament, too, on their way to church.

Things on Which the Two Parties Actually Disagree, Sometimes:

Hmmm.  By the time I got through with the other two lists, I ran out of notes, leaving this category a tad bereft, which looks like poor work as far as formatting is concerned.  Maybe a particularly alert Hag reader could think of something for me.  Or better yet, for our dear President. So far all he’s got is to tell the “base,” assuming he knows what that is, to “swallow their anger.”  I hate to even metaphorically echo Rush Limbaugh”s “shoving it down our throats” comment on this one, but in this case, “swallow” is about right.









  1. nswfm says:

    I love you Cocktail Hag! And especially your analysis and writing. I’m too congested to drink alcohol right now, so I’m raising my tea to you on this post.

  2. daphne says:

    Completely Agree List, item 6: “civilized war”? Would that be one of those Freudian slips, one too many cocktails, a little of each?

  3. retzilian says:

    Let’s face it, with few exceptions that prove the rule, the two parties are two sides of the same coin. The only demarcation is the race/culture issue where the Republicans are overt racists and the Democrats less so.

  4. Ché Pasa says:

    Well, there you are then. That settles that.

    Of course, I agree wholeheartedly. This notion that “voting” is actually going to change things for the better (at least for the proles) should have gone out with the Figurama Girdle — It Flexes! — because We The People haven’t had any real opportunity for positive change at the ballot box since soon after Kennedy was shot.

    No, our anachronistic “two party” system (surely it’s the only one of its kind left in the world) has consolidated into one party with two faces: the Meanies and the NotQuiteSoMeanies.

    The Political Class is a unity, at least when it comes to their own interests and those of their sponsors. It has nothing to do with you or me — except to the extent that they can extract more pelf from us and keep our grumblings under surveillance and — if need be — suppression.

    That is all.

    When I witnessed the Government withdrawing behind barricades of its own making, especially after 9/11 and increasingly so ever since, it was obvious to me the game was up. No matter what we did out here (as long as we’re playing by the Rules) it wouldn’t matter inside the barricades. They — Our Rulers — are going their own way.

    And both the nominal parties are along for the ride.


    • cocktailhag says:

      Zippity doo-dah. Not for nothing, I started this blog after Obama was elected; I could see that carping, snark, and bitching would be needed at least as much as before. Too bad I was so right.
      Of course, not voting at all seems unlikely to work… Look what’s happening in the midwest.
      I guess voting Democratic is like getting old: lousy, until you consider the alternative.

  5. Henry says:

    I LOVE IT!!! You never fail to entertain and inform the masses. Good job.