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White House photo: Pete Souza

After countless hours of debating who the next president of the United States should be, we here at the editorial offices of The Rant have finally reached a consensus and are ready to endorse the candidate we believe should be chosen by the people next November as chief executive of this grand and glorious land of ours.

This was not an easy task to be sure. With the abundance of substance projected by all of the candidates in this electoral year, our decision was difficult, our deliberations fierce; some of us coming close to fisticuffs, I tell you! But all that is mercifully behind us now. We are ready to join ranks and give this prestigious organization's official endorsement of support.

We believe that Barack Hussein Obama should be reelected President of the United States of America on Election Day 2012.

Okay, folks, I'm gonna level with you. This one was such a no-brainer it's almost embarrassing to even be reminded of it. There was no smoke-filled-room filled with editors in passionate debate. In fact there is no "editorial office" so to speak. It's just me in this little room on the second floor of my house on Route 17M in Goshen, New York.

The window overlooks across the road a tattoo parlor, an adult bookstore and a deserted bar that in its heyday was called "Cravings". On either side of the place are two used car lots. One of the dealers has a bit of an overflow of merchandise and I allow him to park some his his wares right in front of the house! Classy digs, huh?

This area of town is so weird, when I moved into the neighborhood property values actually went up. But the offbeat environment in which I live did not influence my decision one way or the other. To be quite blunt, choosing Barack Obama over any of these birds on the GOP side is the equivalent of choosing the sniffles over an advanced case of terminal cancer. It was a pretty easy call, take my word for it.

If you read my stuff with any degree of regularity, you know that I've been kind of rough on the President in his first term. To be honest with you, for the last year or so I've been just mild about Barry. On that still-unbelievable Election night of 2008, I was praying for the reincarnation of Franklin D. Roosevelt. I didn't get it. What I got instead was a decent enough guy but one who is far too moderate for my tastes. As the magnetic bumper sticker on my van used to say (somebody absconded with it):


Barack Obama bore only slightly to the left. That was hardly good enough for me. If you'll remember, his campaign slogan four years ago was "Change We Can Believe In". I wanted (and still want) radical change. That is the only way this country - and the rest of the planet - is going to dig itself out of the economic quagmire we currently find ourselves in. But my utter exasperation with this president is tempered by these two important factors:

First: I think he's basically a good guy. I believe he wants to do the right thing. I like Barack Obama. I like his wife. I like his kids. I sleep fairly soundly these nights - a hell of a lot better than I did between the years 2001 and 2009, if you know what I mean. It's a nice thing to send yourself off to dreamland secure in the knowledge that the person in the executive mansion has got an IQ that reaches above room temperature.

tom degan

Secondly: I know that he is more of a progressive at heart then he lets on to be. His personal history more than suggests as much. I think that if the Dems are able to retain the Senate and take back the House, all of that change stuff that we so believed in and have been waiting for might make itself known in the years 2013 to 2017.

I am forced to tip my hat to the man. It has to be conceded that given the obstruction (not to mention sabotage) that the fools on the extreme right side of the aisle have thrown in his path, it's a wonder that he's been able to accomplish anything at all. With a Democratically controlled Congress, Barack Obama sill has a chance to be remembered by history as a great president. His first term has not been a resounding success - no argument there - but he has more-than-a-few achievements under his belt for which he can feel justly proud.

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Am I being naive? Maybe I am. But I can dream, can't I? Hope is all I have. Talk about audacity.

Of course, if the Republicans are still in control any of the two houses of Congress after January 20 of next year, all bets are off. But I don't think that's going to happen. The American people have had a good look this primary season at what has become of the Republican party and most of them are aghast at what they're beholding. A

nother chime of doom was tolled this week when Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, one of the last voices of reason and moderation from within that disgusting party, announced that she would not seek reelection in November. The atmosphere in Washington has become too toxic for her to breathe. She gave it her best shot. Best of luck to the woman.

Maybe in a second term, when he has no future election to worry about, Barack Obama will finally emerge as the progressive hero we know he has the potential to be. Maybe he'll continue to govern as a Casper Milquetoast moderate. Whatever the outcome, this much is absolutely certain: He'll be a damned sight better president than anyone the Republicans have to offer. This ain't rocket science. This is a foregone conclusion.

And finally, a word of warning to the Democratic base:

During the mid-term election of 2010, a lot of you stayed home in a snit because President Obama didn't bring you the progressive Utopia of your (and my) fantasies.

That's not an option this year. What was the result of your mass hissy fit last time around? The worst Congress since before the Civil War.

I hate to sound like I'm being a bit defeatist but here is the hardcore, blunt reality: As unpalatable as the Democrats have become in modern times, another GOP appointment to the Supreme Court would be a disaster for this country. The next president will appoint two - possibly even three new members to that body. Take a good look at the damage that the obscene Citizens United ruling has done to our democracy (We're still living in a democracy, aren't we? Sometimes it's hard to tell).

Just think what three more Republican appointees would mean, Eight certified right-wing neanderthals sitting in judgement over our Constitution will mark the end of freedom in America. This country won't be worth the paper the maps of it are printed on if that happens. Do you think I'm overreacting? Perhaps I am. Tell you what - Let's all vote Republican on Election Day and see what happens.

tom degan

I've decided that I'm voting for Barack Omaba on November 6, 2012. It's one of the easiest decisions I've ever made. And besides, I'm just head-over-heals about that Michelle. I wouldn't mind having her around for another four years.

Tom Degan
The Rant 


On Saturday morning I was interviewed on the Brass Knuckles Progressive Radio Network out of Chicago. If you've nothing better to do, here's a link to where you can listen to it online. I come on at fifteen minutes and forty seconds into the program. I was on for about twenty minutes and had a grand time!