My Monday column tackles the latest progressive vote-against-Obama argument:
It's difficult to make it through a day of political reading without stumbling onto another progressive screed in a long syllabus of screeds about how President Obama is worse than George W. Bush. I'm sure you're familiar with the rogue's gallery of writers and their grievances. Recently, however, these posts have added an extra layer of questionable judgment involving a plea to progressives to vote against the president in the forthcoming election.
So far, I'm aware of three major posts along these lines.
First, there was John Cusack's interview/discussion with George Washington University constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley in which the activists discussed their "Rubicon Line" -- actions by the president that went too far, thus forcing Cusack and Turley to vote for a third party candidate this year. Then there was Conor Friedersdorf's post for The Atlantic in which he made a similar case against the president's record on civil liberties and national security. Drones, indefinite detention and the like. Friedersdorf wrote a follow-up item here. And on Saturday, vocal anti-Obama progressive Matt Stoller wrote an extended post for Salon.com, which outlines exactly what he and other progressives expect to achieve by voting for a third party candidate.
It's difficult to know where to begin because there were so many things about Stoller's post that were nearsighted or downright wrong. [continued]