Passions and Politics

As someone who thinks politics is about stuff worth being passionate about, I probably ought to like this over-the-top pro-Obama video starring Samuel L. Jackson more than I do.

Don’t play this in an environment where people are likely to be offended by a common Anglo-Saxon vulgarism.

A part of my discomfort is getting a child actor to swear for the camera. But a bigger part is that I happened to see the video shortly after seeing Conor Friedersdorf’s Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama.

I am voting for Obama, because it’s clear that Romney would be so much worse — even on torture issues (how can we even be having this debate?). But along with some real bits of good (half a loaf on health care, saving the auto industry, lattter-day conversion to gay rights) Obama has done real and long-lasting evil to international law (drone killings of foreigners) and domestic civil rights (drone killings of US citizens, excessive invocation of the so-called state secrets privilege in court cases about vacuum-cleaner wiretapping, arguing for vastly excessive Presidential powers, and refusing to prosecute torturers and other lawbreakers in the former administration1). So I agree this election matters. Conceivably as much as Gore-Bush did. But it’s harder to summon the passion about it when the lesser of two evils is such a mixed bag on the issues I care about.

I will say one thing for the video, though. I laughed at the end when I saw who paid for it. I wasn’t expecting that.


  1. Guantanamo I am willing to blame in some significant part on Congress, or it would be on the list too. Ending the war in Iraq I largely credit to the Iraqis, as Obama would gladly have left 50,000 troops there if the Iraqis hadn’t kicked us out. []
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One Response to Passions and Politics

  1. Just me says:

    Conor Friedersdorf pretty much read my mind, but I have not yet decided who to vote for. I’m still struggling with the prisoner’s dilemma that is the 2012 presidential election. Unfortunately, I still feeling lingering regret over voting for the libertarian candidate in 2000 instead of Al Gore. The problem is I think this year it even more appropriate to vote libertarian then in 2000.

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