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No, this one isn't about Romney's video fubars. But I think it makes an important point that is ignored by most media and many voters. Viewing the election as a contest between two people named Obama and Romney is a simplistic approach at best, no matter how delightful Mitt's personality tics and one-percenter utterances may be. A vote for "Romney" is a vote for sad sack Bush-Cheney neocons seeking a new lease on life, a vote for the Heritage Foundation, a vote for more Scalias, Alitos, and Thomases. Romney's "character" -- if it can be said he has one -- has little to do with any of this; people should be talking instead about the cast of characters he'd bring to the White House.

Same goes for Obama: his extended network includes Planned Parenthood, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, more Sotomayors and Kagans, and countless invisible players behind the scenes. I'm not saying every last one of them is perfect, but when you look at the groups as a whole, the difference is stark. Harder to fit on a bumper sticker maybe, but these are the candidates you're really voting for.

Originally posted to Comics on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 06:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  GM Alive, Osama Dead (12+ / 0-)

    I like the exposition with the comic, elections matter just beyond the actual election itself.

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:03:20 AM PDT

  •  When you see a career beltway insider like (16+ / 0-)

    Rumsfeld, it blows your mind. The candidates might pick someone like him, not just because of his politics, but also because of the networks these other people bring to the administration. That's in part why corruption is so thick, why it feels like nothing ever changes, and why revolving door lobbyists are writing our laws and then profiting from them astronomically, while the rest of us work our fingers to the bone to make ends meet.

  •  Good point, but short rebuttal: (6+ / 0-)

    Personal character is also a pretty good insight into which people a person will choose to surround themselves with in their professional sphere.

  •  Bingo! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rubyclaire, Amber6541

    Nicely done. Succinct, coherent, explanation of a sometimes-overlooked phenomenon.

    Thanks!

  •  HR'd for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Farkletoo

    um, well, this one is pretty fair and uh, well...

  •  Cartoon...RUN!!! (11+ / 0-)

    I have judged this cartoon SAFE for concerned  kossacks.

    No objectionable references to Obama.

    Enjoy and breathe easily: Kos isn't destroying his site for the moment.!

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:06:31 AM PDT

    •  Whew! (4+ / 0-)

      That's a relief. These self-inflicted worry-wedgies were giving me a headache...

      I kinda enjoyed some of the controversy.

      Just goes to show that political cartoons are indeed powerful.

      “The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.”

      by Marko the Werelynx on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:14:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Those purity trolls, the Puritans of the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx

      Intertoobzes: what a bunch of kidders they are.

      We're a big circus tent here; either that, or a really big state hospital.

      Life is the ultimate economic bubble; we leave this life with all the capital we initially invested: none.

      by Superskepticalman on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:27:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can we stop that meme please? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, high uintas

      It wasn't just Obama supporters that were upset with that last cartoon that sparked Kos's diary.

      •  No. We can't. Sorry. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grover, JesseCW

        The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:30:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I can say with some authority (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pgm 01, xxdr zombiexx, grover, JesseCW

        that Bors' cartoon was a very tiny part of what sparked Kos' diary.

        The meme is valid.

        Tom Tomorrow's most recent book is TOO MUCH CRAZY from Soft Skull Press.

        by Tom Tomorrow on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:45:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Come clean here, Tom: (0+ / 0-)

          the real problem is the sheer volume of crabby, petulant e-mails you and Kos are getting that the rest of us don't see.

          You can call it "class warfare" -- we call it "common sense"

          by kenlac on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:56:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Tom I appreciate your participation in comments (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pgm 01, JesseCW

          This site has long allowed hypervigilant enforcement of unwritten no criticism rules by true believers in candidates.

          Cartoonists got caught up in a problem that Kos has never dealt with effectively.

          look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

          by FishOutofWater on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 08:08:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Or maybe he has different priorities. (0+ / 0-)

            Don't worry, a bunch of us will leave once Kos "discovers the error of his ways" and turns the site into a hippie commune.

            I'm really sorry, honestly, to see you write that kind of stuff...not sure if you're motivated because your strong diaries on climate change don't get enough attention, but it's not like they start flamewars (minus Frank Knarf) like the diaries on the drones or NDAA do.

            •  Frank Knarf fetches papers for me (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW, wonmug

              He's my very special personal troll. I don't mind him because he actually provides some useful information. His latest comment on Antarctic sea ice was pathetic, but usually he helps me improve my analysis.

              I like a discussion of information and ideas.

              I get disappointed when one group drives another away. I miss Bondad even though I often disagreed with parts of his analysis. He provided large amounts of information and discussed ideas.

              I don't want a hippie commune, FWIW. I want to see more focus on ideas and less on personalities.

              look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

              by FishOutofWater on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 09:25:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Bondad bailed because Meteor Blades wrote (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FishOutofWater

                a post which refuted many of his arguments.

                It was in no way remotely personal.  It wasn't even a rebutal to Bondads diary, but rather just a different view point that happened to be posted around the same time.

                I also liked Bondad and enjoyed reading his well-written posts even when I disagreed.  

                But like a great many former minor celebrities here, he suffered from a bit of trolling (far less than he'd have gotten almost anywhere else in the series of tubes) and then decided that  all disagreement was some form of personal attack.

                The vast majority of the people "driven away" left because they didn't like push back and were upset that their diaries were not pure echo chambers.

                "How dare you call someone a warmonger just because he's paid to sell war?"

                by JesseCW on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 12:32:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I will defend against unjustifiable HR's (0+ / 0-)

          I don't really like "reccing to offset" but the comics should not be getting HR'd because "we just don't like it".

          That being said, it's ok to take criticism.

      •  This Obama supporter wasn't. (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, I've been called a member of the 'Rox crowd more than once.  

        And yet, I was not upset.  (HR'ing for difference of opinion is againt the ruled anyhow.)

        I guess I'm part of the Comix Rox crowd too.

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 12:20:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I tell people who say (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova, reginahny, JeffW

    "they vote for the man", remember what your momma always told you, "you are judged by the friends you keep and the people you associate with."  Just rememeber your momma when you think about voting republicon.

    Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. John Donne

    by scurrvydog on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:06:59 AM PDT

  •  ryan agrees with romneys video comments (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    reginahny, mungley, JeffW

    he agrees there are too many people dependent on govt, i believe ryan has been on the govt teat for most of his adult life, i agree we need to get people like ryan and his ilk off of the govt nipple and replace them with people with a heart and not hate in their soul for fellow citizens different then they are, which i might add is unamerican, which describes most of the gop haters.

  •  that's why i'm voting for obama...actually, it's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley, JeffW

    michelle vs. ann [yikes!]

    Colorado has a much higher GDP than Utah because it is culturally superior

    by memofromturner on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:09:00 AM PDT

  •  good point and true, but... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, mungley, JeffW

    problem is the people behind the man in Romney's case are secretive and hidden (like Netanyahu's advisors and all the other greedy billionaires intent on buying an election for personal gain) there really is no comparison.

  •  I'd like Obama's network much more if (4+ / 0-)

    it didn't lead to a Treasury Department and economic team controlled by Goldman execs, and a Justice Department that secured approximately zero convictions associated with the crime-ridden market collapse of 2008. Obama isn't just hanging around with saints. And don't get me started on his progressive-hating former chief of staff.

    If it's ok with you, I'll just focus on the fact that Obama is an overall good man and decent human being who will get my vote. Thinking too much about his network gives me headaches.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:22:11 AM PDT

    •  It's a bit impolitic to say this right now, but I (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      biryanifan, pgm 01, bigtimecynic

      suspect a significant number of us are going for the lesser of the two evils.

      The Administration's heated defense of its right to seize and detain U.S. citizens on U.S. soil without recourse to the courts is just plain evil. It's Charles I, Star Chamber evil.

      But we can wait and start our civil war after the election when the GOP starts their own. Except, they've kind of jumped the gun there, thanks to the Rombot.

      Life is the ultimate economic bubble; we leave this life with all the capital we initially invested: none.

      by Superskepticalman on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:32:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The entire system is broken. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jen Sorensen, bigtimecynic

      To sum it up quickly, the constant rightward movement forced moderates out of the Republican party and centrism to be seen as the be all and end all in the Democratic party.  This led to Obama staffing from what he perceives to be a spectrum, a few left but the rest overwhelmingly centrist.  Most of the centrists, particularly economically are actually very much on the right side, making the policies tilt toward the right while those doing it believe they are acting moderately.

      The problems we face cannot be solved by moderation in the same way that previous big issues could not be solved that way.  There needs to be a big push toward the left, but the voices inside and outside the party are seen as fringe because the party has shifted itself so far right.  Democrats often judge their position not based on what they believe, but rather what Republicans believe and as long as they are to the left of Republicans on social issues they feel they are in a good spot.  What all of this means is that you end up with Republicans staking out extreme positions and Democrats staking out the less extreme position but neither party looking at what really needs to be done to fix the problem.  

  •  My mom, old Democrat she was, always laughed (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley, etbnc, pgm 01, JeffW

    when she heard people say that they didn't vote by party but voted for the person.

    All that meant, in middle Tennessee, was that they voted Republican.

    Life is the ultimate economic bubble; we leave this life with all the capital we initially invested: none.

    by Superskepticalman on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:25:14 AM PDT

  •  Q: With whom would you rather have a beer? /nt (0+ / 0-)

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:28:22 AM PDT

  •  sports fan (0+ / 0-)

    Many voters view elections the same way they view sports teams.  They become fans and root for their team no matter what happens on/off the field.  Democracy is not a perfect system, people are not always rational--- this election would not be close if people voted their self interest.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:31:45 AM PDT

  •  The majority of voters vote based on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pgm 01, Larsstephens

    cultural and political identity and ideology, which I think accounts for the "40% floor" phenomenon. I.e. Dems vote mainly for Dems, Repubs vote mainly for Repubs. The rest, while perhaps guided by cultural and political identity and ideology, vote mainly on personality, performance and policy. And at this point, I don't see how Romney gets the majority of them to vote for him. Even if they're unaware of the specifics of what kind of president he'd be, most of them should have a basic sense by now, given his endless "gaffes", of what kind of president he'd likely be. And it can't possibly be a positive sense at this point. He has an unappealing personality, his performance as candidate has been horrendous, and his policies are clearly repellant. He simply doesn't stand a chance.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:35:01 AM PDT

  •  I chuckle when people say (0+ / 0-)

    "I don't vote for the party, I vote for the best man (who just happens to ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be the Republican)"

  •  This drives me nuts (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geronimo, pgm 01, JeffW, FishOutofWater

    Not the cartoon! ;-)

    My otherwise sensible and self-described moderate democrat sister has had an inexplicable crush on John McCain for years. She certainly didn't vote for him in 2008, and was and remains an ardent Hillary Clinton supporter. But she keeps saying if McCain hadn't picked Palin she probably would have voted for him, and thinks he would have been elected. I keep telling her she wasn't electing McCain, or not just McCain, she was electing the whole republican party, with all it's crazy relatives. I'm sure things would have been a lot different with McCain, and the fact that we elected a black president was enough to send certain segments of the population into the nutjob stratosphere. We won't recover from that soon, unfortunately, but too friggin' bad.

  •  Vote for "Romney" = vote for Bush-Cheyney Neocons (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pgm 01, bubbanomics

  •  MUST... FIND... EXCUSE... TO... HIDE RATE.... (0+ / 0-)

    But only because it's tradition now!

    You can call it "class warfare" -- we call it "common sense"

    by kenlac on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:55:10 AM PDT

  •  Single Issue Voter. I Vote To Keep RepubliKlans (0+ / 0-)

    Out Of Office! Any office. All offices.

    Unfortunately, this means that I have to vote mostly for Democrats, but for all their faults, Democrats are not inherently evil... unlike RepubliKlans. Any RepubliKlan. All RepubliKlans.

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

    by OnlyWords on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 07:56:11 AM PDT

  •  Great point ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens

    I'll never forget or repeat the mistake I made in 2000.

    NO, I did NOT vote for G.W.

    But I remember thinking that G.W. "probably wouldn't be awful," that one term of him wouldn't do any lasting harm.

    I was forgetting who-all he brought to the dance. And I should have remembered learning that lesson in 1980. Reagan didn't bring just a sunny smile to office. He brought thousands of lunatics to the executive branch who had been thirsting for power since Goldwater.

  •  Forgot Goldman Sachs ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... although the vampire squid has it's tentacles firmly entangled with both parties.


    My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.—Carl Schurz
    Give 'em hell, Barry—Me

    by KingBolete on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 08:15:59 AM PDT

  •  Don't forget the Mormon angle (0+ / 0-)

    When trying to talk to fundies and the religious right.  Ask them who they think Romney is going to appoint to head the National Archives and the Census Bureau.  Why fellow Mormons, of course. You know, those people who like to dig through genealogical records and "baptize" all the lower branches on the family tree.  

    You and I may be skeptical of religious beliefs, but to Christians who believe that stuff, the idea of Mormons having free reign to put their proselytizing on steroids should be a wake-up call.  Might scare them into voting for a Kenyan Muslim who hasn't (quite yet) instituted shar'ia law.  

  •  Been plenty of Heritage Foundation under Obama (0+ / 0-)

    with the ACA.

    And continued expansion of the surveillance state.  And an ongoing, unprecedented war on whistleblowers.  And ongoing "black prisons".  And his "clean coal" nonsense.  And the appointment of Kagan who arguably makes the SCOTUS more conservative.  And the continuing claim of Bush-era presidential powers (i.e. abuses).

    And trillions of dollars to the banks, with jobs and homes left as an afterthought until Occupy blew up, and the election was breathing down his neck.

    And Rahm Emmanuel, Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, Bill Daly, Jack Lew and a slew of other Wall Street apologists and corporatist stooges placed in the most powerful positions in his administration.

    Yeah yeah yeah, "it'll be worse under Romney".

    Just don't kid yourself that we aren't already getting a president that is somewhere to the right of Richard Nixon.

    What's wrong under Republicans is still wrong under Democrats.

    by gila on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 08:25:20 AM PDT

  •  Obama/Clinton team vs. Bush/Bush/Reagan team (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton

    I tried to make exactly this point to a sweet, but addled older Republican, who has unfortunately been drinking the Kool Aid.

    A vote for Romney, or any Republican, is a vote for the team that took us to war in Iraq. It's the same bunch of bloodthirsty zombies we had 10 years ago

    “No, Mitt, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they love, they cry, they dance, they live and they die. Learn the difference.”-- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 08:46:01 AM PDT

  •  It's the policies, not the person (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jen Sorensen

    I agree that it's the policies behind the person that matter. We're not always going to have the personable guy that Americans want to have a beer with (see the two Bush campaigns). Character is instructive (and will affect whether you can stomach watching a press conference by the candidate), but the policies that the candidates represent are what really matter.

    People say the two parties are basically the same and it doesn't matter. But I worked in the Clinton Administration and the beginning of the Bush Administration (as a career employee, not political, but I had plenty of contact with the political appointees and got out of there when Bush came into office), and it does make a difference. The political appointees that each President picks tend to be more partisan than the President himself. Behind the scenes in every agency regulating our food, environment, job safety, etc. are former nonprofit leaders under a Democratic administration and industry lackeys under a Republican administration.

  •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

    And this is why I always vote Democratic. I think it's absurd to vote on personality. It's the policies that matter.

    It's nice when you actually like the figurehead for those policies (and I do like Obama) but it's the policies that effect my life.

  •  Voting for the person and not the party (0+ / 0-)

    might work if you live in a dictatorship, where of course you'll never have a real vote.  In the American system with Congress and Courts besides the Presidency the voter must vote for the party because the executive can only execute the office in connection with the political party.  It is human nature to be attracted to attractive personalities, but it is thoughtful politics to be attracted to sensible policies.

  •  I like that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jen Sorensen, Larsstephens

    you give a little paragraph of explanation, or explication, with your cartoons. The context is useful and adds to the overall impact.

    "We don't think the government can solve all of our problems, but we don't think the government is the source of our problems." -- Barack Obama

    by Mnemosyne on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 09:20:05 AM PDT

  •  Mitty is the Front Man (0+ / 0-)

    to a Band of really Over-the-Edge Wingnuts.

    We already Know what those Guys want to Do.
    The same Damned thing they did the Last Time.

    Start More Wars. More Tax cuts for Rich Folks.

    Turn anything "Public" into a For-Profit Private Corporation.

    Because it worked SO Well the Last Time.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 09:25:49 AM PDT

  •  Agreed but I would imagine both sides benefit. (0+ / 0-)

    I mean lets not pretend President Obama is not charismatic/handsome (he actually has the advantage over Romney in this so I think playing the victim card on this issue is wrong).

  •  thank you for stating this so elegantly. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Larsstephens

    for all the neg out the vote types, the low information voters, the purists on BOTH sides, this cartoon and commentary should be emblazoned on the wall in front of them until nov. 6.

    i am so sick of people who use terms like "fans" on the dem side and who use dog whistles on the other side - until this nation develops voters who can see the larger picture (as you have so aptly depicted), the entire country is doomed to mistakes that can and will undo this nation!

    thank you a thousand times!

    elections are about issues - not individuals!  elections are about choices - as you state - for u.s.s.c., regulatory agencies, congressional chairs of committees, policies that affect ALL of our lives!

    again, thank you, thank you, thank you!

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