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Liveblogging World War II: September 7, 1942

In Which I Feel Bruce Bartlett's Pain: Why He Can Vote for Neither Romney Nor Obama

I'm going to be pulling the lever for Barack Hussein Obama on election day. But Bruce Bartlett won't be:

Why I will be staying at home on US election day: I really don’t know who I will vote for this year – or if I will vote at all. This is why….

The hypocrisy of the party dedicated to fiscal responsibility massively expanding Medicare at the very moment when its costs needed desperately to be controlled was too much for me. Within a few years, I abandoned my affiliation. My “coming out” was in 2006, when I voted in a Democratic primary for the first time. Although not a Democrat, I wanted to support Jim Webb for the Senate nomination in Virginia. He had served as secretary of the navy for Reagan and I saw in him a kindred spirit.

In 2008 I voted for Barack Obama. I might have voted for the old maverick John McCain, but his decision to put the grossly unqualified Sarah Palin on the ticket was final proof that any independence he might have had was long gone. Nothing he has said or done since has given me any reason to believe he would have been a better president than Mr Obama. Like many who voted for Mr Obama in 2008, however, my support was based more on hope and disgust with Republicans than certainty that he was up to the job. Unfortunately, I don’t think he has been; he has simply not provided the leadership the nation needed in a time of crisis….

He should have focused like a laser on the economy until it was clear that it was out of the woods. Had Mr Obama not been distracted by health, I think he would have done more to fix the housing industry, which continues to be an albatross around the economy’s neck, and paid more attention to what the Federal Reserve is and is not doing.

Mr Obama has given me no reason to think a second term will be better than the first. The only real case for him, as far as I am concerned, is that he is not a Republican.

Mitt Romney holds no more attraction for me than Mr McCain did. If his speech to the Republican convention on Thursday night were to display the same Romney who governed the state of Massachusetts moderately and competently, he would have my vote. But he too has sacrificed his independence to pander to the GOP’s conservative base…. Thus my dilemma: both candidates are unsatisfactory. The choice is between a continuation of policies that have not worked and different ones that almost certainly will not…

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