Incapable of making up their minds? I don’t think so.

The polls reveal that “decideds” are swinging steadily to Obama (although Lord alone knows why), but that there are still a lot of undecideds out there.  I have a hard time comprehending the whole undecided thing in this race.  The candidates are not cut from the same cloth but, instead, stand in stark contrast to each other.  It’s not easy to get confused about most of the issues, and you’d really think that, after the most over-covered campaign in American history, people would have started to make up their minds.

I’ve therefore concluded that a lot of people have, in fact, made up their minds — they’re just embarrassed to admit to their choice.  Mr. Bookworm, for example, never misses an opportunity to slam Republicans generally, and Bush, McCain and Palin specifically.  Then he tells me he’s undecided.  Then he tells me McCain did horribly at the debate and Obama was great.  Then he tells me again he’s undecided.

I don’t think Mr. Bookworm is undecided.  I think he’s just embarrassed to admit that he’s planning on voting for the most unqualified candidate who has ever appeared in a presidential campaign.  (Since Mr. Bookworm reads only the New Yorker and the New York Times, and listens only to NPR, he doesn’t know about Ayers, et al, so that doesn’t add to the embarrassment he feels about his choice.)  I don’t believe Mr. Bookworm is alone.  I think there are others of these “Undecideds for Obama.”

I’m also willing to bet that there are people who are mirror images of Mr. Bookworm, and who writhe in agony when they think of Obama and Biden, but don’t feel comfortable admitting that they’re voting for an old white guy and a former Miss Alaska.  Those would be the “Undecideds for McCain.”

Only the election will tell which of these secretly committed voters is the larger group.  Because of the media’s amazingly effective job in propping up Obama (inflating his resume and hiding his manifest sins), I fear that the undecideds for Obama will win big.

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  • McLaren

    In which case they (and the rest of us) will get what they deserve for not paying attention to other sources of “news.”

  • suek

    I’m with you – I don’t think that all of the undecideds are _really_ undecideds. So why do they _say_ they are? Do they fear reprimand? Do they _know_ they’re making a stupid decision by their own standards, but don’t want to admit it to themselves? Why the lie? In your case, is your husband trying to preserve the fiction that he’s actually considering another option as a sop to your preferences? (which he must be aware of, just as you are of his) Is it a way to avoid a discussion? The why of the deception seems more interesting than the deception itself!
    I wonder if it has anything to do with the inclination of the liberal mindset to avoid making decisions…period. You have no idea how I set someone off on a blog one time by saying something to the same effect as Bush’s “you’re either with us or against us”. I pointed out that at some point you had to come down on one side or the other…you had to get off the fence. Other commenter went nuts with the “you right wing nuts want everything to be black and white…” etc. Don’t know _what_ that person does in an election booth!

  • McLaren

    Well, there is a lot of grey in the world. But many things require a firm decision.
    Some of those things include war, elections, what to choose from the bill of fare, etc.

    I think you are right. Neo-liberals tend to want to be able to claim that they can rise above the dirty business of defending a firm position. I don’t get it.

  • suek

    >>I don’t get it.>>

    They believe that they have to be “open-minded”. Any decision means that you have “closed” your mind, therefore, they can’t claim to be “open” minded. And can’t make a decision.

    I think.

  • Mike Devx

    I agree completely, Book.

    I often mention my family in these comments; they are Michigan Democrats in the FDR/JFK mold, and very typical of suburban Detroit Michiganders. So I use them as sort of a touchstone for the political situation up there. They do not blame the Democrats for the years-long recession that Michigan and Ohio are suffering.

    They’ve all been saying they’re undecided. But in the last week they are all now saying their minds are made up. They tell me that McCain turned them off during the debate, and that’s why they’ve decided.

    I think they’re not being quite honest. I think Obama came off Presidential enough in his presentation, manner and tone. That was all it took, I think, to cause them to revert back to their natural Democrat roots.

    Anyone who has studied Obama knows that he’s no JFK or FDR. He doesn’t represent anything that my family would actually see in the Democrat party, he is so far to the left. My family is very traditional; Obama is thoroughly hostile to tradition. But their minds are closed to Obama’s actual words and deeds, and the discussion is done.

    It’s up to McCain to make the case against Obama. The ground is fertile, yet McCain is absolutely REFUSING to do it. And therefore he is getting his clock absolutely cleaned right now. Not only in Michigan, but across the country.

    I moved toward McCain when he said he’d rather lose an election than lose a war, and then the Surge worked, and I became committed to him.

    I am extraordinarily unhappy with McCain right now, because he is essentially saying, “I’d rather lose this election than lose the bailout bill, so I’m going to let Obama get away with murder, and I’m going to let the Democrats in Congress get away with murder.” They are assassinating him, they are assassinating the Republicans, and the Republicans, except for the House, are giving them a free ride.

    There’s time for recovery before the election, but I don’t see it happening. It’s almost as if McCain and all Senate Republicans have stopped trying to win their races, have given up, and the Democrats have gleefully pulled out the long knives and gone to work on the slaughter. This impulse to self-destruction among these Republicans, this lack of spine, this death wish, including by McCain, has me extraordinarily sour right now.

  • binadaat

    I think that the undecideds just don’t like either Obama or McCain.

    I sometimes feel like I’m having to vote for who I dislike less of the two. I can’t support Obama but I have problems with McCain and they are getting worse with the economic problems and Congress’ attempts to solve them.

    I feel like I did in 1980. I couldn’t stand Carter and what he represented but I had a lot of doubts about Reagan.


  • suek

    >>I think that the undecideds just don’t like either Obama or McCain.>>

    I think you’re right about some of the undecideds. I think the ones Book and Mike are talking about really aren’t undecided – they just say they are. And then there are probably those “undecideds” who are not _really_ undecided, but they do have doubts…and like Mike’s family, are just waiting until they can jump on something to “decide” them. And it’s usually going to get decided the way they’re used to deciding.

  • Ellie2

    I’m still undecided (although I have sent money to the Mcain campaign). The first time I actually pulled the lever for a Republican was in 2004 – Kerry/Edwards finally pushed me over the edge, or off the plank or into the sewer or whatever.

    Before that I voted for (in backward order) Nader, The forgotten Libertarian, and Perot. My version of “none of the above.”

    Every time I think, OK, I’m voting for McCain, he reminds me why I don’t trust him — like the idea that Mario Cuomo would be good for the SEC. Like the hysterical (and not as in funny) email on the bailout, which the more I learn about it, the more I am opposed to it. Sometimes I think McCain just likes to poke a stick in the eye of the Conservatives.

    There is no chance I’m voting for Dune Messiah.

    But here’s some news: since the earth cooled, NJ has been solidly blue on the electoral map. Gore carried NJ by 15 points and Kerrry by 7.5. Currently RCP shows NJ merely “leaning” Dem.

  • suek


    I hear you. Between McCain and Obama, no decision necessary. I’m clearly decided. McCain and none of the above??? not so clear. The problem is that we don’t _have_ a “none of the above” vote (which in my ideal world would mean that a majority of NOTA would mean a new election with NOTA running on the ticket!) I suspect I’m decided. Not voting might as well be a vote for Obama – which I cannot accept.

  • Mike Devx

    suek, ellie2,

    I understand, too. I’m disgruntled with McCain right now. Not the first time! Probably won’t be the last.

    Perhaps, being in Texas, I could throw away my vote on ‘None of the Above’ as a protest, since it’s likely to not be close here.

    However, there is the overall vote margin to think about. It doesn’t matter electorally, but in terms of the elusive idea of a “popular mandate” it might matter.

  • Ellie2

    Not voting is a dagger in the heart of our Democracy. And I do not favor NOTA resulting in a new election: sadly, that would led to an endless loop.

    But I reject the notion that a vote for a third party is a vote for Obama; I reject the notion that a vote for a third party is “throwing away your vote.” The only vote that is thrown away is the vote that is not cast.

    A third party might one day topple the Pachyderm or the Ass.

    Besides that, there are the seats down the ballot that are important. In NJ that mummy Lautenburg is running for re-election. I gotta vote against him. My House seat is open as the incumbent (R) is retiring. My once solidly R Congressional district is now nearly 50/50 due to gerrymandering. Gotta vote there.

    So I will show up to vote Nov 4th. NJ has recently changed from deep blue to light blue on the RCP electoral map. If it fades to grey, McCain will most likely get my vote.

  • Mike Devx

    You know, Ellie, you’re absolutely right. There I went, getting stuck in the two-party paradigm. There are more choices out there, after all.

    I agree too about voting. Not voting because of disgust cannot be distinguished from apathy.

  • suek

    >>Besides that, there are the seats down the ballot that are important>>

    Agreed. I’d like to see ads that come out to the effect that “A Vote for xxx(your local republican representative or senator) is a vote against Pelosi/Reid.” because it’s only by getting a majority in the house or the senate that these two can be unseated as leaders. I haven’t seen any indication that their own party members have any inclination to choose someone else…