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On Politics: I’m for Mitt

I’ve done the best that I could refraining from actively engaging in political speak on this blog (and to a lesser extent on Twitter) but I figure that now is the time to explain why I am voting for Mitt Romney. I know that not everyone agrees with me, but as this is a free country with freedom of speech, I get to use this space for what I am thinking. If you don’t agree with me, tell me why in the comments below (and keep it civil, my parents will read this).

Being from Chicago, I’ve been privy to seeing the President rise from obscurity to the highest office in the land. Which, to be honest, is no easy feat since most of our elected leaders spend several years in Club Fed. I’ll give him the credit and respect that he is due as being the sitting President but I won’t be voting for him tomorrow. I could give you a much more detailed explanation than this but I think, as a lawyer, my argument against the current Oval Office occupant can be summed up in two words: Sandra Fluke.

I graduated law school in 2007 as we were just entering the economic death spiral, I was unemployed for nearly a year (those damn jobs wanted someone with lawyer experience!) and I had to move home. Not exactly where I pictured myself in 2004 when I began my legal education. Since landing my job, I have been underpaid without benefits from day one. I’ve had paychecks bounce. I’ve had a laundry list of experiences that no one should have in their first lawyer job due to the fact that money is quite scarce. Worst of all, I’ve seen my health insurance premium, that I pay for myself, rise and rise and rise (even though I haven’t been to a doctor since last year). I’ve been looking for a new job for the better part of three years and while I could have stopped chasing ambulances to go work in debt collection, I will continue to hold out hope that I can get a better job in the field that I practice in now. But I digress as I know that I am lucky to have an actual lawyer job.

Now, lets go back to Sandra Fluke.

She is/was a law student tied to a very respected school and it just so happens that she gets the opportunity to speak on a national level before and after Rush Limbaugh opens his mouth. Her claim to fame is that she got called a nasty word by a pompous blowhard after she was testifying about the thing that matters most to law students and new lawyers everywhere: the lack of jobs free birth control. And she became a major surrogate of the President. One who spoke at the DNC in Charlotte. One who has been holding rallies. One who has been front and center for months now. And she talks about free birth control.

Hey Sandra: maybe it wouldn’t be an issue to get birth control if you and your fellow law students and new lawyers had paying lawyer jobs to take after graduation… Maybe?

This, in a nutshell, is why I am voting for Mitt Romney. I watched Ms. Fluke continually talk about the issue that matters most to her, reproductive rights, and each time she spoke, I wondered what on earth she was planning on doing for a job after this campaigning gig was over. The biggest issue facing America isn’t what Ms. Fluke is talking about nor is it what the President has been talking about. I watched all four debates and I kept hearing the same response from the President when it came to jobs: (1) manufacturing, (2) green jobs and (3) community college tuition grants (this was his response to the very first question asked by Nervous Jeremy the Townhall debate in New York). I have seven years of higher education under my belt and I am not going to transition to a manufacturing job, a green job applicant or wanting to go to community college for retraining. I do not believe the President knows how to help fix this economic situation and when I become a parent, I do not want my children to have to work with this as their best hope for success.

If I got the chance to speak to the world, I would hope that I can use it to advocate for those like my old summer clerk Bambi. My clerk from two years ago is now a licensed attorney and last I heard he doesn’t have a law job yet. This is a kid who was smart as hell, an incredible worker and given the chance, will make a great lawyer. If he gets the chance. The only way that happens is if the economy picks back up and our nation gets back to work. The sad truth is that lawyers don’t make anything. We don’t. We depend solely on others to make sure that we can put food on our table. As lawyers and lawyers to be, we have to have a vibrant economy so that we have firms that can put us to work. It’s been four years since there was a celebration in Grant Park and the world watched in hope for what was to come. And after those four years, not much has changed for the better.

I’m voting for Mitt Romney as I think he gives us the best chance to restart our economy. And give lawyers everywhere more work to do.

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About thenambypamby

Lawyer in Chicago. I blog, I tweet, I try to stay anonymous.


25 thoughts on “On Politics: I’m for Mitt

  1. Solid, well-thought out opinion. A lot of the same reasons I (also an attorney) am voting for Romney. Would I rather have a successful businessman or a lawyer run the country? Easy choice in today’s economy and after the last four years have just been blaming problems on Bush without ever making much progess to make the country better off. This is a good article.

    Posted by Adam | November 5, 2012, 11:10 am
    • I agree with Adam, this is a great article, and I, as a law student who would like to get a job after I graduate, I too think the economy is the number one issue here. As a woman, I’m offended by Sandra Fluke who’s argument seems to say that women are only concerned with reproductive rights. I pay for my own birth control, but I am so much more than my lady parts– as one Dem. ad suggested. Sigh. Thank you for your article. I appreciate it.

      Posted by citycowgirl | November 5, 2012, 4:56 pm
  2. You’re voting Mitt because you think he will provide more lawyer jobs? I have always appreciated your humor.

    Posted by Eric T. | November 5, 2012, 11:16 am
  3. You have good reasons for your votes and, in many respects, they are similar to mine. Living and working in MA, we watched Mitt come up through the business and political circles. As one doing court appointed criminal defense at the time, we’d gone without any adjustment in rates of pay for 25 years and they stood at $30/hr. When we sought more money and actually got cranky about it, his response was that we made more than he did and what were we complaining about … our issue was exacerbated by the zero balance in the budget account for our line item, meaning we would not even get our meager hourly rates paid for work done for as much as six more months. Hard to keep a law practice open at those rates AND not get paid. For you, as me, familiarity breeds contempt. Of course, I will add, I’m not voting for Obama, I’m voting against Mitt. Really, though, as long as we get everyone out to vote (regardless of political orientation), that is the biggest objective.

    Posted by Paul Gormley | November 5, 2012, 11:16 am
  4. Funny how a man doesn’t think reproductive rights should be worth much discussion. Sandra Fluke isn’t just standing for free birth control, the issue is greater than that — Romney would try to reverse the ruling in Roe v. Wade. Birth control and abortion are more difficult for the working poor to access, and women need birth control if they want to be able to rise to the same economic and educational level as men. I’m a fourth year law student employed full-time as a paralegal, and I would have been afraid of my life derailing if, say during my second year of law school, I got pregnant and had to stop my education and work. I would have owed about $45K and since I work for a small law firm, I would probably not have any reliability in getting my job back or being able to afford child care on my current salary. But that wouldn’t have happened to you.

    Don’t you think that improving the job prospects for the less educated only makes more potential clients for you? I know from my experience at work that a lot of people wait until they are financially stable and can afford to pay for an attorney to handle their divorce or other legal issue. Everyone can’t be a lawyer, but people who need lawyers need to have a job in the first place to be a paying client.

    I do not believe Romney is going to create more jobs in the green or manufacturing industry. Ask the residents of Freeport, Illinois. (Here’s what they say: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/16/mitt-romney-freeport-illinois-outsourcing_n_1676991.html) His business solutions have been to take over American companies and then export jobs to China. I’ve heard legal work can be exported too.

    Posted by Ann | November 5, 2012, 11:23 am
    • It’s not that those issues aren’t worthy of discussion, I just think that there are things more important at the present time. As for the working poor, they are already covered under state medicaid and federal medicare (the latter in most situations) and can count on these services if they choose to take advantage of them. I also don’t think the President has improved the job prospects of anyone, especially the less educated or minority groups. As for the China issue, that is the realities of the global marketplace. I encourage efficiency and better performing companies but that’s not what the President apparently believes in.

      Thanks for the comment. I do appreciate it.

      Posted by thenambypamby | November 5, 2012, 11:50 am
      • But here’s the thing: for women, there isn’t much that is more important at the present time, or ever. “Reproductive rights” are economic concerns. Gloria Steinem said it best. “Whether or not women can determine when and whether to have children is the single biggest element in whether we’re healthy or not, whether we’re educated or not, how long our life expectancy is, whether we can be active in the world or not.” It’s no coincidence that men have been the ones in power throughout the course of history. It’s a fluke of biology. It’s because women bear the children. Control over reproduction is a huge factor in evening the scales.

        That’s why I under no circumstances would give Romney the economic edge in the election. I have managed to get to a point where having a child wouldn’t throw my life plans into disarray, but I’m going to fight like hell for other women to be so fortunate.

        Posted by LM | November 7, 2012, 11:10 pm
  5. NP,

    While I totally respect your belief in Mitt’s economic policy, I have to disagree with you on Sandra Fluke. Not everyone is jobless who is asking for healthcare.

    For example, me. I decided to go solo. It was terrifying, and I was lucky to have a fab support network to help out. But I dont have benefits. Another lawyer in the office who has 1 associate, 2 law clerks and a secretary doesnt offer healthcare benefits. These people arent unemployed. Currently no company is required to offer healthcare. So no boss has to offer it. It is just a benefit. And a lot of small business cant really afford it.

    I dont know if these people have healthcare or not. I only know my situation, which is this: Even if I wanted healthcare (which I do) I am uninsurable. Well that isnt 100% true. I am lucky enough to have a family who is willing to pay the ridiculous premium (almost $500 every two weeks!) for a crappy policy ($5,000.00 deductible!). I dont have any illnesses. When I had insurance I would get routine blood work done every year, which always came out PRISTINE. I never had an overnight stay at an hospital. I dont even remember the last time I had to see a doctor because something was wrong. But diabetes runs in my family and I am at SUPER high risk for breast cancer. So high that the only policy I can get is a bullshit policy. At least until I marry my fiance and I can get on his kick ass plan.

    But that is really only one part of your issue, you think Mitt can provide the guidance to get the economy going. I would be inclined to believe you if I knew what his plan was. I thought he was going to lower EVERYONE’s taxes, but then he says everyone but the top 1%. He claims to close tax loopholes, but I have no idea which ones.

    All I know is that I would rather take a chance on someone who states his plan, plus has the years to show what he did on a national scale, as opposed to someone who hasnt really told anyone what he wants to do. At least not in any detail.

    On top of it, I dont think the economy will stay like this forever. We know it wont. But what will have a longer lasting effect? Laws on abortion, gay rights, privacy etc. We know the next president will probably appoint one or two justices to SCOTUS. I cant say that I want Mitt, or the current Republican Party, to do that.

    For me, the long term effects are more important than the immediate effects.


    Posted by Lex | November 5, 2012, 11:25 am
  6. There are rational and well thought out reasons I have heard in favor of both candidates. Your focus and misunderstanding of what Sandra Fluke stepped out to talk about is not one of them. She wanted to tell Congress about what happened to her classmate and friend -a smart young women who instead of taking her first 1L finals was in the hospital having a life-saving operation because the “medical reason” loophole in the Catholic law school’s student insurance (which students pay for) failed and she could not afford the hormone pills (aka birth control) that kept an ovarian condition under control. Sandra Fluke was not asking Congress for free birth control, she was asking for medical decisions about what medications are right for her friend and other women stay between a woman and her doctor. Some have said “Walmart offers $4 birth control, what’s the big deal?” I’ll tell you what the big deal is- birth control is a hormone that you are putting into your body and different individuals have different reactions – DOCTORS help decide which one is best and will produce the least side effects. Some cost over $100/month without health insurance -multiply that by 12 then subtract from the cost of living allowance of the average law student has and you can start to see the problem.
    Oh, and if “no one hires a pregnant 1L” wasn’t so true, maybe smart women law/grad/college students living with longterm partners or who have spouses without an alternative source of insurance wouldn’t be so worried about this issue. Go back and read her original prepared testimony and then try to tell me she didn’t have a good point.

    Posted by Alex | November 5, 2012, 11:52 am
  7. You are allowed to have whatever opinion you like on which candidate’s plan will improve the economy. I disagree with you, but I don’t think anyone is going to change anyone’s mind on that at this point.

    But I can’t help but feel like you are Missing The Point when it comes to Sandra Fluke. She was testifying because numerous catholic colleges and universities wanted to be exempt from the from the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that health insurance plans had to cover birth control for women without requiring them to pay a co-pay. To reiterate, Sandra Fluke or any other university student would be paying for this health insurance plan. No one was asking to get birth control for “free,” just that it be covered by their insurance plan. Sandra Fluke was testifying to the fact that a) birth control is expensive if it isn’t covered by insurance, and it’s a cost that is disproportionately born by women, and b) women take birth control to treat many health conditions, like polycystic ovary syndrome, that are completely unrelated to having sex. After raising those relevant points in her testimony before Congress, Rush Limbaugh called her a terrible name and she started receiving national attention.

    Yes, Sandra Fluke did become a surrogate for the Obama campaign. This was probably because of the controversy, but also because “women’s issues” – the cost of reproductive health and equal pay/Lily Ledbetter are issues in this election – major issues for some of us who possess ovaries. You are, of course, allowed to disagree with the relative importance of either of these issues. However, it is insulting when you say that these issues are of so little importance that they shouldn’t even be talked about on a national stage.

    Posted by ellie | November 5, 2012, 12:04 pm
    • I don’t think that they are of “so little importance” I just think the economy is the overarching issue facing our country. I think that Ms. Fluke would have been better used to advocate for lawyers/law students that can’t get jobs due to the economy. As for who she was advocating against, in my opinion, it’s a first amendment issue and I am fairly certain that if/when this gets litigated that the judiciary will side with the first amendment. That said, I think that there should be a way to get the proper medication for conditions without infringing on religious liberty issues and that’s what the government should do. The government should not, however, infringe upon first amendment rights (because likely what will happen is that instead of amending their health insurance plans, the church institutions will simply cease to offer them).

      Like I said, just my opinion. Thanks for the comment, much appreciated.

      Posted by thenambypamby | November 5, 2012, 12:38 pm
  8. I think you’ve done a decent job of explaining why you aren’t supporting the Obama Campaign Machine. But, I’m not sure why you think Mitt will do a better job with the economy, especially the economy for lawyers. Wouldn’t fewer regulations and a simplified tax code kill lawyer jobs?

    And as to the popular belief that Mitt Romney is a businessman (as expressed in a comment above), he’s not. He’s a finance guy. It’s the difference between a movie director and the movie producer, or between Bill Gates and Bill Gates’s IP counsel.

    Posted by bl1y | November 5, 2012, 12:48 pm
  9. Go Namby! I voted for Mitt Romney for many of the same reasons. While Obama has been dumping funds into green companies (few of which have survived) and an auto bailout many college educated professionals like you and Collin remain un or underemployed with little help. Since when did a professional degree or masters degree = $50,000 or less?

    Posted by Katatvandy | November 5, 2012, 12:51 pm
  10. There is so much that could be said but beside the constant misleading statements, the failure to address issues at all is the most telling comment – “etch a sketch” I have no faith in a man whose principles are such that he will do or say whatever it takes to get the job. He sounds too much like what lawyers are accused of being. I am sure you have heard the 2+2 joke. Ask a lawyer how much 2+2 is and he will say, “what do you want it to be?” Frankly I, our country and the all concerned deserve a man of principle and not a man ruled by the need to obtain principal.

    Posted by Grant Richardson | November 5, 2012, 1:24 pm
  11. you do recognize Grant that Obama is a lawyer right?

    Posted by Katatvandy | November 5, 2012, 2:07 pm
  12. Are you confident that electing Romney rather than Obama will have a significant positive effect on our economy? Why?

    Do you believe that our present economic condition would be materially different if McCain had been elected in 2008?

    Posted by Zimbeardo | November 5, 2012, 2:40 pm
  13. You didn’t give any reason to think that Romney would be good for jobs. You don’t think the President knows how to fix the economy, but by every measure (other than employed lawyers), the economy is better now than it was in 2009 when he took office. Hell, you listed 2007 as already a crappy environment for lawyers. Maybe the lawyer market isn’t tied to the economy.

    Posted by tgt | November 5, 2012, 6:48 pm
  14. Presidents don’t create jobs. They talk about them, but they don’t create them. NP, i’ really sorry about your situation, but i think you are ignoring issues that strongly affect the issue of jobs and ultimately affect them more – like energy policy, environmental policy, foreign policy, etc. But hey, it’s your vote. Use it however you want.

    Personally, all I keep thinking about is an old friend, Jerry Garcia: “choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.”

    Posted by KruegerLawyer | November 5, 2012, 10:39 pm
  15. Thank you for a well written, well thought out political post. I am a brand new lawyer having JUST received my bar results last Thursday. I completely understand and empathize with your position. I took a government job the day after I finished the bar exam and negotiated a nice salary, but mine is a unique situation. This job took me back to work with people who had worked with me before law school and as I went to law school in another city, I worked diligently to keep up these contacts while I was away. I got lucky and it paid off…timing was everything. So I am grateful that I have a good job and benefits; I realize I am very lucky. Even so, I cannot in good conscience vote for Mr. Obama. I respect the office he holds, but I never did and never will think he is the best person to lead this country. My vote for Mr. Romney is not an affirmation that I believe he can do any better, but that he can’t possibly do worse.

    Posted by LegalTrenches | November 6, 2012, 1:03 am
  16. NP,

    I enjoy reading your posts and appreciate your opinion, but mine is summed up pretty well by the Economist: “For all his businesslike intentions, Mr Romney has an economic plan that works only if you don’t believe most of what he says. That is not a convincing pitch for a chief executive. And for all his shortcomings, Mr Obama has dragged America’s economy back from the brink of disaster, and has made a decent fist of foreign policy. So this newspaper would stick with the devil it knows, and re-elect him.” I now live in Ohio, but lived in MA during the Romney years. He didn’t deliver on his promises there for the same reason- his promises are incompatible with one another.

    While the economy and foreign policy determine most of my vote, I am also a woman lawyer and I care a great deal about ensuring women have an equal place at the table. My objections to Romney’s policies regarding women are much broader than the Sandra Fluke point. He views things like flexibility in the workplace as “women concerns” rather than family concerns. He has made multiple comments about the choice to have women in the workplace, when for many families there is no choice at all. The platform he endorses would prohibit abortion in the case of incest or rape. And I also agree with PP Ann about the dire affects to our workforce if women are denied basic birth control, which is a real possibility given that his platform would ban many forms of hormonal birth control, including the pill and the shot (since this birth control often prevents attaching in the uterus as opposed to preventing actual conception). I view this as a possible attack on the equality gained by women thus far, but at the very least Romney is ignoring the role of women in our country. So I do take Romney’s view on women seriously and stick with the motto “No self respecting woman should wish or work for the success of a party that ignores her sex.” Susan B. Anthony, 1872.

    FYI, here is the full Economist article if you’re interested: http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21565623-america-could-do-better-barack-obama-sadly-mitt-romney-does-not-fit-bill-which-one

    Posted by Mirgirl | November 6, 2012, 11:44 am
  17. Dear NP,

    We’ve had our fair share of debates, and I have loved all of them.. I completely understand what you are saying, and I respect your opinion. I have several moderate republican friends – young, modern, professional republicans– who essential argument goes something like this:

    I have no problem with gay people, women should have the right to choose (even if i personally disagree with abortion), but a republican president/senate/house helps put more money in my pocket, lowers my taxes, makes my economic situation better. Those crazy right-wing evangelicals are mostly nut-jobs, i’m not like them, i just want a better economy.

    I understand that. You are voting on the issue that effects you: your wallet. But understand this: by voting for Mitt Romney, you are saying- unequivocally- that your economic improvment is more important than a person’s basic civil rights: the right to be married, the right to inherit, the right to visit an ailing person in the hospital. You are saying that your wallet is more important than protecting the right of a woman to make decisions about her own body. Now, you may respond– these things aren’t going to change! The country is moving towards gay marriage anyway! No one is REALLY going to overturn Roe v. Wade! But the incoming president will likely have at least one, if not two, nominations to the supreme court. And as you know, NP, that shit matters. And your candidate is OPENLY opposed to these issues.

    Now, no matter what, I like and respect you. But while the economy may be the overarching issue to YOU- your vote directly effects the fundamental civil rights of others. And that, NP, is why I’m voting for Obama. Because history will be a serious judge.

    Posted by marybutter | November 6, 2012, 1:13 pm
  18. What do you mean free birth control isn’t the most important issue facing our nation today?!?!? I mean, who needs a strong national defense or jobs, or cares about the debt we are taking on and will eventually leave our children with if we have free birth control? What kills me is that somehow free birth control or employer-provided insurance covering birth control has been equated with “reproductive rights.” Call me crazy, but China’s one-child policy is a violation of “reproductive rights.” Not requiring all employers to provide insurance that covers birth control (and a list of other things) is simply allowing the free market to work. Your analysis is perfect: if there is a job for you to get, you won’t have to worry about not getting free birth control.

    Posted by makingofadomesticgoddess | November 6, 2012, 7:35 pm
  19. As a current law student (I know) and a woman, I have to say- THIS!!! Yes, I do think health care packages should cover birth control, but I NEED A JOB MORE. I have come to feel really resentful that this administration packages itself as so “pro-woman”. It is not pro- woman to paternalistically tell me that I need birth control to be provided for me and it is not pro- woman to allow your administration to deny OTC access to Plan B. He is not pro- woman, he is pro- pandering. If I have an advantageous job market, I can negotiate my benefits in accordance with my needs and choose the best fit, or I can pay for my own birth control. Also, the ACA is a terrible imposition on me, for the past 3 years I have paid cash for all health services. I pay for the services I need and get a 30% discount for paying cash. Last years total after strep throat, a check up, and 2 dental visits- $500. A health insurance policy- $2600 a year or a $2100 fine. There has been no true reform all he did was use the individual mandate to subsidize the high risk patients. I am voting for Mitt Romney because job creation is the biggest issue in this election. If Obama gets 4 more, I guess I can just go back to being a Starbucks partner with a J.D. at least the benefits will keep me from incurring the fine.

    Posted by Jules | November 6, 2012, 9:46 pm
  20. You and me both, Namby…you and me both.

    Posted by Daniel B. | November 8, 2012, 5:01 pm

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