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Thought this was interesting, about Secret Service codenames* from the Huffington Post:

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*I may just be a product of my generation, but I couldn’t help but hear the Eminem/Jay-Z song “Renegade” in my head upon reading Obama’s codename…which seems very appropriate, though at the same time, not.

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As a way of saying sorry for the unannounced Christmas/New Year’s hiatus – for those who noticed that I was, in fact, on hiatus, and experienced any sort of emotional distress or spiritual unmooring because of it – I offer you this comic, by the political satirist known as Tom Tomorrow, and reposted here from Daily Kos. It contains much more astute political observation than I could have given you.

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…and a happy New Year!

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Romney’s loss on November 6th came as a relief to many people, myself included. Unfortunately for him, the judgement passed on him, and more importantly, the decision not to vote for him, was not entirely dependent on his opinions or actions. In fact, it wasn’t even mostly dependent on his opinons or actions. For me, and for many people, the scariest thing about Mitt Romney was the party he represented.

Romney’s policies are one thing, and there is plenty of fault I could and did find with them, but that largely was not the issue I voted on. In the current political climate, I thought it would be immensely damaging to the country to put someone in the Oval Office who could be at all beholden to the current Republican party, as radical and unstable as it has become, and far more damaging than anything Obama was or is likely to do. Romney, the former moderate governor of Massachusetts (and I would have been a lot more likely to vote for him if he’d stuck to those positions) flipped hard right in order to win the Republican primaries – particularly in states like Iowa and Texas – by changing positions to portray himself as “severely conservative,” in order to appease the increasingly radical Republican party (with its increasingly relevant and powerful fringe). Whatever his motivation was, this sets up a precedent for doing whatever he had to do – appeasing whoever he needed to – in order to win. A Romney win would have provided a conduit, if you will, for the radicals to possibly have influence over the Oval Office. This, in essence, is the main reason he lost my vote, and, I believe, the votes of many, many other moderates. The allegations that Romney would simply “rubberstamp the Tea Party agenda” – of which there were many – rang too true. As National Review columnist Ramesh Ponnuru put it, “Romney was not a drag on the Republican party. The Republican party was a drag on him.” This, to me, is the number one reason it is good Romney did not win the presidency.

From an email I wrote to a friend last week, who, in the words of Mitt Romney, is “severely conservative,” in a way that Romney himself never actually was:

So I read your articles, which wasn’t a problem, since reading articles is what I do with a large amount of my time lately [the articles he sent me are here, here, here, and here.] I don’t have any interest in or support for a particular candidate, though, I’m more interested in the machinations of politics, the strategy and tact that goes into elections and governing. I myself would of course never run for anything – just imagine that for a minute, what the attack ads against me would look like. Which brings me to my first point…

I am not an Obama supporter. I’m not. I voted for him, but I am not the person who thinks he has all the answers, or that liberalism and progressivism are the only paths to enlightenment. I was in 2008. I bought in to the whole hope and change, let’s-elect-the-first-black-president, history-making craziness of it. Not that my support was a whole lot of help, as I spent most of my time at that point trying to figure out if I could, in fact, ingest my own body weight in, uh, jelly beans before my liver gave out – 2008 was not a good year for me – and was just generally a worthless human being. I actually saw the final election results in Troy, where my dog-man dwelleth, rather than at home, and I never actually made it to the polls to vote for anyone. But I am not a supporter now. I think he’s made a lot of mistakes, that there are a lot of things he could have done better, that he is not an infallible individual (when he got the Nobel prize I thought that was RIDICULOUS). I think he has no where near lived up to the hope and promises he made in 2008.

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From emails I sent to my mom on election day, in response to her difficulty in understanding how any of our relatives who are concerned with women’s rights could vote for Romney:

The forward thinking in-laws very well may vote on different issues than you do. I’m sure Grandma is in favor of women’s rights – I’m sure Grandpa is too, and so is dad. They would probably even agree with you that Obama is best on that issue. But they’re not voting on that issue – that’s not what is most important to them. To them, it’s probably the economy – at least I know it is for Grandpa, because he told me he’s voting Romney because Grandpa’s been a businessman all his life, it’s how he provided for his family, and Romney is a businessman too, and that is what he thinks we need to get the economy going again. That is what is most important to him. As I said in my last email, it is a question of priorities.

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From a series of email sent between myself and members of my extended family in the days leading up to Election Day:

Something I’ve forgotten to mention for the past couple days: on Thursday of last week, I made a trip to my local early voting place – the courthouse – and voted for Barack Obama. (I also voted for NC gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton, NC Lieutenant Governor candidate Linda Coleman, and U.S. Congressional candidate Elisabeth Motsinger, running for the 5th district – all of whom are Democrats.)

Though early voting turnouts have shown Obama leading by as much as 15% over Romney in NC, it is not likely Obama will win our home state – liberals tend to vote early. And though Obama did win our state in 2008 – the first time a Democratic presidential candidate had since Carter in 1976 – and though there have been times in the current race when the candidates were polling close enough to each other for NC to be considered a possible swing state, the Obama campaign publicly conceded the state last week, saying they would no long campaign here, and the NY Times has Romney with an 82% chance of winning this state. But, mom, we can always hope.

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