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All Tricks, No Treats

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I have taken some heat for attempting to raise the issue that Barack Obama needs to be replaced as the Democratic candidate in 2012. Recent developments indicate that I’m on the correct path, but like Cassandra of Troy, I expect not to be heeded until it’s too late.

I’m hardly alone in expressing my concerns regarding Obama. There has lately been a fair amount of discussion regarding how Hillary would fare against the Republican slate – not that she’s interested in another campaign. Polls show she would have larger support margins than her boss does. The importance of this discussion is revealed when day-late-and-dollar-short Time Magazine publishes the opinion that Obama-Biden can’t win the 270 electoral votes necessary to retain the White House [registration required]. And once the news spreads that all those UAW jobs “saved” by Obama keeping GM and Chrysler alive are facing deep wage cuts in the next round of contract negotiation, a lot of organized labor is going to be rather angry at Obama for pushing them into a two-tier wage system in the first place.

Son of a former UAW member Michael Moore recently declared Obama’s term to be a “disappointment” while a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner [GQR] study released October 12, 2011 reports that Obama is losing enough support from his base to keep him tied with Mitt Romney in the general election, with each holding only 45% approval of their respective party voter bases while both have little support from the rest of the voter spectrum.

This shows that Mitt Romney -often described in the so-called liberal media as not being much different from Obama in unflattering ways- carries his share of opprobrium and doesn’t generate a lot of interest from the GOP establishment. Party hack George Will has described Romney as the Republican Party’s Michael Dukakis. OUCH! And these sad sacks are the front-runners???

So who does the GOP have to run against Obama that does generate some excitement? Historian Conrad Black would love to know. The entire slate leaves him wanting more – a LOT more. So does Red State Iowa, shown by Public Policy Polling to prefer Obama [PDF] to any of the GOP candidates; this despite the enthusiasm level for the incumbent among Iowa voters being tepid at best. Disapproval ratings of the GOP candidates among those polled in Iowa are typically thrice the size of the approval numbers.

This leaves a lot of room for someone else to claim that all the disaffected electoral fealty from both parties. That just might happen: “As a result,” adds the GQR study, “more people are volunteering they will vote for a third party candidate for President.”

Never since the Civil War broke out has the national condition screamed as loudly that change in how political business is conducted is long overdue. The Republicans have never before been held in such low esteem outside the antebellum South, hemorrhaging support from independents and seniors. The Democrats aren’t doing better, burdened by their poor showing in repairing the Bush economic collapse. Obama himself is losing support of the voters, including those outside of his base demographic, because he’s seen as weak and “increasingly unable to affect positive change.” With the House under hostile GOP majority, this is a no brainer to anyone but the current and clueless Occupant of the Oval Office.

As the GQR and PPP studies reveal, Obama remains in the race solely due to the sorry slate of slackers the Republicans have running. I’m hardly alone in questioning why the Republican Party continues to allow all these losers to campaign. Conservative columnist Norman Podhoretz decries the flock of flacks running as Republicans as not being “serious leaders”, and even chides the Flavor of the Week (or is it the WEAK?) Candidate “Herb” Cain over his “smoke in your face” TV ad. “Enough with the foolishness,” he orders. “Stop it. Stop it now.”

But just as Obama doesn’t heed his voter base, neither are the GOP contenders listening to their party veterans like Podhoretz. The RNC apparently even sent Karl Rove out to FOX to try to derail Cain, complaining that Cain “created an image of him not being up for this task…for being President.” This odd state of affairs has columnist Joe Gandelman wondering “in November 2012 voters will mutiny against one party — or both[?]”

This voter has long adhered to this “both” conclusion. The 2012 race isn’t about the issues as the voters see them, but is instead a contest of blocs of Big Money vying for control of the political process while using us against us.

On the one side is Wall Street, beset in the streets by the Occupy Movement and in the shadows by the energy sector. The Wall Streeters bought the White House for Barack Obama, who repaid their gift of being made a part of history by shoveling trillions of of YOUR tax dollars -in fact and in promise- to ensure that Wall Street accounts didn’t begin to resemble those of the average foreclosed homeowner due to the borrowing by the federal government to fund the Bush oil wars.

But Obama was also supposed to keep the public in line behind him. His lofty oratory was supposed to keep us entranced about hope and possibility while he was not delivering anything substantial. “Substantial” would have meant that he had to do something about the 14 million unemployed, and the 11 million under-employed and the hundreds of thousands of college graduates joining them each year. These folks cannot -without earned income- do their part to keep afloat the 70% of the economy driven by consumer spending. This inability has dragged the economy down to the point where the PNAC Plans for leveraging corporate world domination cannot be perpetrated, because those who lend for war aren’t seeing us as such a good investment anymore.

If all of these U6 voters could go back to 2008 and flip their votes to McCain, Obama would lose big. And while Obama clearly didn’t understand the message behind the midterm results, Wall Street did. This is why Wall Street crossed to the Darker Side, and began to pump more money into Mitt Romney’s campaign than into Obama’s by roughly 6-to-1. They figure that if their Republican pick can take the nomination and runs against their slacker Democratic former lackey, either way they can’t lose. Someone at 1600 Pennsylvania will protect them from the consequences of their actions. They can’t be sure that any other Republican will, for their allegiance is to energy, not investment.

Across Poverty Gap is the energy sector, which is flush with cash and not happy that their former servant bankers wrested political power away from the oil magnates in 2008. Just because the previous energy president was a war-mongering fool who threatened investor wealth by collapsing the economy with mortgaged oil wars is no excuse for opposing them, and is still considered an investor stab in the bank.

But the energy titans have more economic clout and fewer scruples than does Wall Street, and they will keep throwing their puppets and talking points at the American people until one of them manages to connect and stick. With billions of ready cash from the rapacious profits they “earned” at their disposal, energy sector messages are already flooding the media with the campaign topics provided to seven of the Eight GOP Dwarves by ALEC and other “think” tanks, especially those memes seeking to water-down the opposition to hydrofracking. These less-than-subtle messages are even showing up on the “liberal” media sites like Current and MSNBC, stuffed into the ad slots for Olbermann and Maddow as if they themselves will be swayed.

The bankers are clearly outclassed, unwilling or unable to bring themselves to use advertising to sell us on their lies as the energy boys do energetically with theirs. Ads from the bankers tend to be used only for the Sunday talking head shows, network news, NPR and golf, while the energy sector dominates all the proletarian distractants like NASCAR, Dancing With The Stars, and football. Who gets the bigger bang for their bucks?

We know that both parties play the voters for fools, and you know that I’m not Assanging state secrets by saying so. The two-face one-party members have done so for decades. They have been enabled in this endeavor by those who have successfully manipulated us for profit ever since the advent of broadcast radio.

Edward Bernays prostituted Uncle Sigmund’s research to benefit radio retailers with psychologically-corrupted advertisements. The real Mad Men in the 1960s later updated that manipulative strategy with the newer and more refined techniques, abandoning appeals to intellect with blatant exposure to fear of ridicule.

Politicians quickly grasped the potential of the approach, a very successful strategy which has only been improved over time. The Democrats won awards from Advertising Age and the Cannes Film Festival for their 2008 campaign ads, which shows that the experts acknowledge that the politicos have learned how to play the game well enough for recognition.

Now in 2012, both parties expect that throwing an unprecedented mountain of money at the Ministry of Media Truthiness will be valuable. They want us to continue to believe the lie that we have two parties in the country that represent us. They will again strive to sell us either the Hopium Dope or one of his myriad GOTP competitors like Godfather’s sold a poor excuse for pizza, despite either choice being deep in the corporate pocket. The corporate media will love it, for the idea that both parties are amassing huge advertising budgets, not to mention the “interested parties” enabled by the Supreme Court to use their dollars as “free” speech will only cause their share prices to soar. Buy now!

We are going to really understand how damaging that Citizens United ruling by the Corporatist Court Jesters really is next year. Just look at what the Republicans openly announce they want from you, then look at the guy they carp about who gives them 98% of what they demand. Is 2% really enough of a difference between them for either to earn your vote? The parties think so, and so do the corporate interests who handsomely bought their loyalty. They expect you to sell yours as well, cheaply. They are betting billions that they are right about you. They’ve been right about you since the 1920s, and you’ve done nothing to change their minds about you since.

We often complain about only getting the lesser of two evils when we select our president. We only have ourselves to blame. Thanks to the methods pioneered by “Fast Eddie” Bernays, and honed to a sharp edge by his Mad Men successors, We, the People are imbued with the fear of losing. We’ve heard Vince Lombardi’s Dictum about Winning is the Only Thing so many times that we cannot see the bigger picture. We convince ourselves out of doing what our interests demand because we fear we might lose.

Well I’m telling you today that because of that manipulated fear, we have already lost.

I say enough. I’m mad as hell, and I’m hoping to convince you not to take it anymore. “[M]ore people are volunteering they will vote for a third party candidate for President,” claims the GQR report. It’s time to test that finding.

I have before voted for non-duopoly candidates, and will again. I have since John Anderson ran in 1980. I voted for Perot, twice, and reluctantly voted for Ron Paul in the last presidential election. I regularly vote alternative in the lower ranks, something that DINO Dianne better hear while there is still time to find someone else not so deeply dug into the Pentagon Procurement Budget to run next year. I’d rather vote so than resign myself to supporting one of two bad primary party survivors left standing after all the others were made to walk the planks off the platform. If neither represents my concerns, then neither gets my vote.

Sure, things aren’t as bad as they could be. But what are our “elected representatives” doing that will keep the worst from happening? Are they telling the Wall Street banks to “take a haircut” like the European banks are now hearing, or are they helping the banks put the load right on you? Are they doing anything to stimulate the economy with anything other than more tax and budget cuts while protecting their favored industries (see here, here, and here) from having to do their part? While they expect you to do with less police protection [pg2] when that doesn’t affect their security in the slightest? And more?

The list of official slights to protect the 1% from being like the rest of us is extensive. There is only one way things will ever get better. It’s all up to us. We, the Voters. Either the major parties have to come up with candidates that the voters can support, confident that our needs will be addressed, or else we have to step outside the duplicitous duopoly and impose our will upon “our public servants” so that they serve us and not Big Money. The two-party scam used to keep power away from the people must die.

In this coming election, I don’t see either party taking evident and overt voter angst seriously. They won’t until they discover that spending huge amount on advertising lies doesn’t work anymore. Whether or not they get away with this scam one more time is entirely up to you. It’s your nation – do you like the direction it’s going? Do you see either party doing anything to improve it? Or are you letting them frighten you into doing their bidding and securing their future at the expense of your own?

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About pessimist

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Pelosi/Reid or Reid/Pelosi for the Democratic Party ticket! It’s a sure winner. Go for it.

  • Igor

    Lamentably, Realist is right.

  • Elaine

    Waiting to see if the GOP can get its act together.