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September 11, 2012

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Comments

 Kurt Jaeger

Very interesting! Thank you!

Decade

All this energy to make sure that the wrong lizard doesn't get elected. (Douglas Adams reference.)

Besides, laws are written by unelected lobbyists and Congressional staffers, and enacted by unelected bureaucracies.

I suspect that Romney is sticking to his position because people like the Tea Partiers are vowing not to support a candidate that doesn't follow their ideological position. They might switch to the Libertarian Party candidate, or they could just stay home on election day.

Offtopic note: Reading this blog took so long, that when I sent this comment, the server sent back the error message, "We're sorry, but your session has expired. We cannot complete your request. Please refresh the page and try again."

Antoine RJ Wright

Greetings Tomi; am honestly throughly impressed. As I began reading this, the theme of this site started to stick out even more. If you will, its almost like your analysis follows alongside the thought that Obama fostered a brand that turned into a better community than Romney has been able to foster a community with a fractured brand.

Probably one of the best summations of the presidential election to date that I've read. One of those pieces that (like Clinton's DNC speech) should be held for introspection, disection, and things to look for from other analysis pieces from others.

Being a resident of one of the swing states (NC), its been interesting. Lots of the debate here is about just getting people to vote, not even the issues at play. Unfortunately, politics here is more about brand and hand-shakes than it is getting things done. We've got a governors' race this year as well that's about as heated as the presidential affair for that kind of reason. Plugging thru the facts and propaganda has indeed been interesting.

Stephen Reed

Tomi - This is a totally awesome analysis of the 2012 US Presidential Campaign. Wow!

Alicia

Great analysis. Thanks for emptying your brain on this topic.

KPOM

Interesting analysis, but I think you are off the mark on 2016. Whoever gets elected (and I think it will be Obama simply because Romney is an awful opponent) will need to make some tough decisions over the next 4 years. Austerity will hit the US. Taxes will go up, and benefits will be cut. Obama pretends he won't cut benefits, and Romney pretends he won't raise taxes, but both know that's what needs to happen. If they don't (or are stymied by a divided Congress, which I think is also the likely result this election), the US' credit rating gets cut again, and "automatic" cuts to popular programs get put into place as a result of last year's budget deal. Also, remember, the taxes are set to go back up at the end of the year (quite dramatically), not just on the rich, but also on the middle class.

The end result is that whoever gets elected in 2 months will likely get shellacked in the 2014 mid-terms. Clinton in 1994, unlike Obama in 2010, moved to the center. Obama doesn't seem willing to do that (why bother when he can win by mollifying his base, much the way that Bush II did in 2004 against another unpopular out-of-touch opponent from Massachusetts?). However, if he takes a beating in 2014, Obama really can't recover, and that damages the Democrats' brand in 2016. Hillary may not want to run in 2016 (2008 was her best chance). Plus, the country will likely be tired of Democrats after 8 years. Bush I in 1988 was the exception, and again only because he faced an awful, out-of-touch opponent from Massachusetts (notice a pattern?). That's why Christie gave a 2016 campaign speech (as did Condi Rice and Marco Rubio). That's probably also why the decent candidates sat it out in 2012 (Christie, Rubio, Daniels, etc.). They could see the train wreck coming.

Mark

A great read. KPOM's post above is also thought-provoking.

I'm also unAmerican, but do find the presidential circus interesting (though this time round it has been mostly nauseating).

As a distant onlooker, the main contrast between Obama and Romney is that of personal ethics. The brutal use of negative ads is not a hallmark of someone you want to have leading a whole nation... while on the whole Obama has remained consistent through his term. It must be hard for a voter to work out what Romney would actually do once in office.

BTW I think Mormonism *is* a distinct religion (has additional scriptures claimed to be divinely revealed, which is a no-no for any kind of Christian). Worth looking up to confirm or refute... but would this make any difference to US voters as Mormonism is "home grown" & in its own way a very American religion? Perhaps only negatively, if the Romney campaign is trying to portray it as close to the Christian mainstream, and voters become aware that they're being duped.

KPOM brings up a good point about 8-year cycles, IMO it is a good idea to change governments every 8 years because 4 years is too short for the effectiveness of policies to be gauged, and after 8 years the party that is "in" starts to treat government as their right. It doesn't matter if they're left or right, or even what country it is, they all seem to do that.

Eyes Open

I read every word and was also impressed by your analysis. I differ with your view in that I don't think that the big money, corporate Republicans can re-take control of their party by kicking the social Republicans out.

Big Money Repubs are FULLY aware that the right wing is a huge liability in national elections, since these elections favor the middle road candidate, but nevertheless, the Big Money Repubs feel that they must appease the impassioned radicals who would rather lose the election than compromise on one of their sacred cow convictions. The Repubs have been fractured along these lines (social conservatives vs corporate 'conservatives') for a long time, and who could replace the social conservatives in either numbers or activism should the Corporate Repubs kick them out (assuming the corporate types could even do so)? Nobody!

Social conservatives don't really like corporate conservatives, whom they see as a necessary evil in their aim to enforce Christian ideology using the force of law in an unconstitutional theocracy; and corporate conservatives detest social conservatives, whom they see as uneducated, hyper-religious fanatics to be exploited in the aim of securing lower taxes, perpetual warfare (for the benefit of the defense industry) and deregulation.

So, there is no other group in the electorate that wants to do business with either one of them, and they would rather not even do business with each other!

Eyes Open

So what WILL happen? I think it more likely that Big Money Repubs will defect to the Dems, which Dems have and will continue to run their wars and buy their guns. Depending, of course, on the Dems ability to convince citizens to agree to more trillion-dollar wars of aggression, say, by blowing up U.S. buildings and blaming it on 'foreign terrorists' or some other convenient target. But Dems may not give turn-coat Repubs as much deregulation as they want, since the country was hit with the tremendous negative effects of both banking deregulation (bailout and recession) and industrial deregulation (pollution and global warming).

KPOM

@Eyes Open, Big Money Democrats and Big Money Republicans used to strike lots of deals pre-1990s. Look at Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill. What happened is that the Democrats moved to the left and the GOP to the right. The hippies and crazies on the left mainstreamed their message enough so that they took control over the party. Many of the Big Money Democrats moved to the GOP (witness Dick Morris), or went Independent. Bill Clinton is probably the last of them, and since he's such a good talker he can stay there as long as he wants. Other Big Money Dems, like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg etc. stick with the Democrats mostly on social issues, while a few, like George Soros and most Hollywood celebrities, are true believers.

Realistically, in order for a true re-alignment, the Evangelicals would probably need to return to the Democratic fold (where they were before Reagan), and the fiscal conservatives would woo Independents and what's left of the moderate Democrats back to the GOP fold. Evangelicals and the hippies agree in principle (i.e. government should control our personal lives), but disagree on the specifics (Evangelicals want to restrict abortion and birth control while "progressives" want to outlaw 20oz soft drinks and mandate breast feeding).

Winter

@JG
You obviously never have seen a real communist.

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Sri

Well Written Tomi. A bit long, but will be helpful to non-US participants.
The conclusions in the end, esp about Republican party ditching right wing religious constituents is not going to happen in this cycle. That will be another 6-8 years in the making before we start seeing signs of new alignment.
I feel it will be 53%-46% in favor of Obama. House stays with Republicans with a 5 seat margin while Senate goes to Democrats with the current margin.

Jonathan Abbey

I think you are rather too optimistic about the Tea Party actually going third party, and your predictions about 2016 seem way too specific, which makes me worry about the rest of your reasoning, but the rest of this essay seem very tightly argued.

We'll see soon enough!

Payam

Tomi, can you give your thoughts on Jolla mobile and the future of MeeGo

Objectivist

Tomi,

I'm disappointed to see you've censored the pro-Romney comments here. Enjoy the coming Romney win, it will be good for America and the world. 0bama is a disgrace.

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