Indecision 2012: Why the Calamity?
by Jonathan Goodwin
Presidential election season is shaping up in a quite interesting
manner. On the Republican side, we have been treated to several
proclaimed front-runners, only to see them pass one
by one into the sunset. Of the remaining candidates, none seems
able to capture momentum, with each primary and caucus yielding
a different winner.
none of the Republican candidates those remaining and those
departed seem to offer a serious challenge to Barack Obama.
Certainly, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul seem to perform well well against
Obama in hypothetical matchups in the polls; however given the abysmal
state of the economy these marginal victories seem quite
shallow, with little margin of error.
have not been able to field a strong candidate in an election year
that offers the presidency for the taking. As mentioned, the state
of the economy is poor, unemployment is high. These are normally
a death knell for an incumbent. Further, Obama likely faces less-than-enthusiastic
support from his own base given his poor track record on the wars
and on civil liberties. With such factors in place, it is remarkable
that the Republicans seem to be in such disarray.
So far, I believe
there is little to dispute in what I have suggested.
Those who believe
elections in the United States are run in an open and straightforward
manner, with the eligible voters able to choose the ultimate winner
through a well-regulated and transparent process, should probably
stop reading now as the rest of what I write will probably not make
OK, now that
they are gone
will make more sense (I believe) to those who believe that elections
are strongly influenced, if not decided, by powers greater than
It seems to
me that there are a few possible reasons as to why the Republicans
are in the condition described above, given the otherwise quite
favorable circumstances surrounding the incumbent and the economy.
I will explore a few of these.
power desire Obama to win re-election.
to me the most straightforward and plausible explanation for the
mess that is the Republican Party primary. None of the candidates
is very strong. None is gaining momentum. Few, if any, can win nationally
in the general election: as previously mentioned, only Paul and
Romney (barely) poll favorably against Obama. It is not fathomable
that Santorum or Gingrich (to say nothing of the others who have
previously fallen by the wayside) could win the general election.
They appeal to a subset of the Republican base, but there is NO
constituency outside of the base that will provide support. As poor
as Obama has been on the wars and civil liberties, his disenchanted
base would easily support Obama over any Republican candidate (with
the notable exception of Ron Paul, as he is better on these issues
than Obama for those who care about these issues).
It is (rightly)
said that it matters little who sits in the Oval Office. No matter
the President, state power grows, civil liberties shrink, and the
general direction is toward more centralization and control. This
is all quite correct. So why should it matter to those in power
whether Obama wins as opposed to (take your pick from) Romney /
Gingrich / Santorum (I must set aside Paul, for obvious reasons)?
I believe it
matters because elite power is not exercised only through direct
command and control. Elite power is best exercised by finding vessels
(vassals?) that are pre-disposed to behave in manners that are desired.
For example, knowing the calamity to come in financial markets,
it was best for the elite to find someone like Bernanke to put in
charge of the Fed. Yes, all central bankers inflate, this is all
they know. But for some, overwhelming action comes more naturally.
We all know the infamous helicopter speech given by
Bernanke in 2002.No one else gave that speech. If you were sitting
at the top of the pyramid knowing that drastic action was
necessary to save the system wouldnt you prefer someone
already predisposed in such a way as opposed to someone who believed
the ability of the central bank to effect results was even modestly
I believe a
similar dynamic was in play four years ago during the last presidential
election cycle. It seemed clear we were to be offered the choice
of John McCain and Hillary Clinton. From the position of the elite,
there seems nothing wrong with either choice. And in the big picture,
either would have sufficed. So why did Obama come out of the blue?
Clinton had it all sown up, and given the history of Bush going
against the Republicans, was a shoe-in for the general election.
What did Obama have that Clinton didnt, to say nothing of
As only Nixon
could go to China, it seems to me only Obama could do what was desired:
Only Obama had the track record (or lack thereof) to defy the democratic
base and continue the wars. Only Obama could extend the Patriot
Act and sign NDAA into law. Yes, Clinton too is a democrat, but
had nowhere near the anti-war / pro-civil liberty credibility that
Obama had. Clinton had too much baggage even with the democratic
base to carry into office. Clinton was a known entity, and
already came with very strong negatives. She was not trusted by
many, including some on her own side. As a not-unimportant aside,
she had already failed at a previous attempt to fully nationalize
health care. Obama had not.
All of this
is my roundabout way to get to the idea that the elite desire Obama
to win re-election. While it is true that any candidate other than
Paul would suffice, there are times when some suffice more than
others just as Obama did four years ago, and may very do
so again now.
I leave it
to you to speculate as to why it is viewed as important for Obama
of those in power see the need to alter course, thus providing support
for Ron Paul.
I will grant
this is a long shot, but I do not believe it to be inconceivable
(plus I need to spell this out in order to get to my third possibility,
which I find more likely).
Why do I find
this at least possible and bordering on plausible? The fear by some
subset of the elite of chaos. Yes, it is true that chaos brings
the possibility for further control. However, even more true is
that beyond chaos especially in this internet age with open
communication comes the unknown.
those in power have it pretty good. They have control tools in place,
unknown wealth, control via central banks and governments throughout
the world. Ron Paul, while he might make significant dents around
the edges, cannot undo all that has been done. As much as I admire
and support him, even as President Ron Paul will not be able to
eliminate the control that the elite have established. So in the
big picture, saving the system even if this requires taking
a pause for air would seem worthwhile.
Paul can enact
programs that might allow the current structures to survive. Think
of austerity, spending cuts, etc. These are needed if economic and
therefore social chaos is to be avoided. Ron Paul can provide the
pause or the step-back that is needed if chaos is to be delayed
or potentially avoided. And if not avoided, who better to blame
than the free-market guy?
Now there is
a problem: Ron Paul is not winning any primaries or caucuses. He
certainly has a strong and dedicated base of supporters and according
to some reports is building a strong base of delegates, which could
come in handy if the Republicans get to a brokered convention.
is the brokered convention scenario that seems to offer the best
chance for Ron Paul at this point, and to the extent any of the
elite are holding out hope for his candidacy, this seems to be the
only path remaining.
to my third possibility and one that is not mutually exclusive to
the possibility that the elite desire Obamas re-election.
power want to bring an end to the Electoral College system and move
toward presidential elections based on the popular vote across the
scenario of a brokered Republican convention. No clear winner, backroom
deals, new names being thrown about (Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, etc.).
Worse, what if Ron Paul, through loopholes in the delegate
system, comes out on top despite not having won any primaries, or
at least none of great significance? A complete sham is made out
of all of the efforts to date through the primary season. What is
the use of voting if it doesnt count if my vote doesnt
matter anyway? There will be an uproar for a change in the system
or an uproar will be generated by the media
surprise when I discovered that the foundation for a solution
was already in place: The National
Popular Vote Bill.
From the site:
Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate
who receives the most popular votes in the entire United States.
The bill preserves the Electoral College, while ensuring that
every vote in every state will matter in every presidential election.
The National Popular Vote law has been enacted by states possessing
132 electoral votes 49% of the 270 electoral votes needed
to activate it.
will award their delegates based upon whichever candidate wins the
popular vote across the country. Whichever candidate wins the most
popular votes in the country wins the national election. I didnt
think there were any nails left to put into the coffins of the states,
but here is one and one that the states are apparently voluntarily
lining up for. The bill seems to be technically Constitutional (states
are free to award delegates as they see fit but who knew
they would voluntarily award delegates based on how the entire country
votes as opposed to how their own residents vote?), so there is
no roadblock here not that the Constitution has ever been
a roadblock to much of anything.
Why would the
elite want to move to a completely popular election for national
office? In a country where opinion is swayed quite easily by the
mainstream tools already in place, to ask the question is to answer
it. Direct democracy by an easily manipulated electorate seems to
offer one of the worst forms of government, which is therefore one
of the best forms for the elite. With direct popular election of
the President, the electorate feels even more empowered (especially
after the disaster of a stolen brokered convention for
the Republicans), thereby even more easily offering support for
In any case,
these are my thoughts to try to make sense out of a Republican primary
that otherwise makes no sense especially in the context of
a general election that is theirs for the taking. As always, only
time will tell.
with permission from the Bionic
© 2012 Bionic