A really thoughtful analysis by pomocon James Poulos, explaining why he couldn’t bring himself to endorse either candidate. Excerpts:
I can accept that Romney’s failure to run a campaign grounded in a basic integrity isn’t coming from a place of deep personal corruption. But I cannot excuse that failure — and even if I could (which, under present electoral circumstances, after a few drinks I really probably could), I cannot reward the Republican Party for putting itself in a situation where the only viable general election candidate it was able to field had to proceed from a position of a lack of integrity.
I had hoped right up through the debates that Mitt Romney would take his power as nominee and use it to immediately begin cleaning house — putting the GOP on notice that it, not he, was coreless, and that it, not he, needed to accommodate to win. I still believe Romney could do this — especially as president — but now I doubt gravely that he will. There is a profoundly irritating quality about Romney that he shares with the current president. Both men seem genuinely disinterested in leadership — particularly in the hard work of enrolling peers and superiors in a shared undertaking of their own design. Obama’s political acumen has always been located in the realm of imagination. Romney’s has always been located on paper, in a spreadsheet. Both of these are disillusioning and destructive abdications of the real-life ground of leadership. In the presidency, these kinds of shortcomings can be the difference between success and ruin.
I have had many conversations this election season with people who planned to vote for Romney about how horrible beyond all telling Barack Obama is. I haven’t had a single conversation with a Romney voter about how wonderful Romney is. More from Poulos:
Then why not Obama? The answers are plain. Everything frustrating and displeasing about Romney reappears elevated to its archetype in Obama. In Barack Obama we have a man with little patience or taste for true leadership, with a defining disproportion between his experience and his power, who is a bigger hypocrite than Romney and far more consequentially so.