Friday, August 31, 2012

Bad Outcomes

Michael Moore recently predicted that after Election Day, we will have President Romney.  And he has a point.  The Romney and Republican voters are mostly old folk who always vote.  Obama's supporters are mostly minority and younger voters who rarely vote.  Republican voters are out for blood this year.  Democratic voters are mostly disappointed.  The Republicans have lots and lots and lots of money to buy air time and to control the terms of the debates and the reporting.  Obama is the first incumbent President in history to be at a disadvantage in funding.

It may all come down to turnout and spending money.  Remember that Nixon won a very narrow victory over Hubert Humphrey in 1968 by spending a lot of money of lavishly produced TV ads.

Even now, these remain remarkably well done commercial spots.  They cost a lot of money, and they may well have done the trick to make an infamously bitter and vindictive Richard Nixon appear like a saving statesman, and win the 1968 race.

Mitt Romney isn't nearly as bright or as tested as Nixon was, but he does not have Nixon's considerably worse "likability" problem.  With the Citizens United decision opening the flood gates to torrents of unregulated and unaccountable anonymous money,  an intelligent and lavishly produced TV and Internet campaign could make a privileged non-entity like Romney into Winston Churchill.

Michael Moore may have been trying to deliberately scare the progressive base into action, but he may also have been making a serious prediction.  Romney is currently slightly behind in the polls, but not by much.  It might not take a lot to close the distance, and he has 2 months to do it.

As bad as a big Republican win would be, I think what might be worse is a repeat of the 2000 Election.  Another President chosen by a 5 - 4 majority of the Supreme Court would be a disaster.  It could happen.  The country is at its most polarized since the Vietnam War, and there are few undecided voters this year. Romney would likely be the beneficiary of such an outcome, but an Obama "win" by such means would severely, perhaps fatally, weaken his position for a second term, and put a real cloud of doubt over the legitimacy of his presidency to replace the imaginary one in right wing paranoid fantasy.

Expect the Republicans to govern like they won a landslide if they win, and to use their win to vindicate themselves on all their enemies, real and imagined.  Expect the Right to be even crazier and to resort to violence and sedition if they lose.  Expect Progressives to withdraw into impotence and sulk if they lose.

I think Michael Moore rightly points out that our federal and state governments are becoming less and less truly representative as the electorate continues to shrink and to age, a process that can only benefit Republicans despite a country whose larger population is rapidly becoming younger and more diverse.


Tristan Alexander said...

And I think a Romney win will mean sooner than later there will be a new civil war, that when enough people are to poor tolive and the rich are so rich they have nothing in common with the rest of us, people will rise up violently! IF the Republicans win, many many rights will be taken away, and again eventually the common people will have no opption but to fight back!

Counterlight said...

Maybe if people took the trouble to vote, then revolution might not be necessary.

Besides, the ones most likely to shoot guns and throw bombs if they lose are the folks on the far right.

Tristan Alexander said...

While everyone keeps pointing out that the Right is much more likely to take up arms if they lose, maybe WE who are NOT the right and who will be destroyed, controled and inslaved by the Right should consider it! I think as much as I hate guns that if Romney wins I WILL be learning to shoot and buying guns! I am NOT going to let those with the guns and the claim of GOD on their side take MY rights
without a fight! I will vote, I have voted and I am telling EVERYONE I can to vote!! But in the case that Money and lies win, I may have to become armed!