Rigging the Beauty Pageant?

I read an excellent opinion piece today (Paul Krugman: “Fearing Fear Itself”) on why none of the “front runners” amongst the Republican candidates stands a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the next election:

…Franklin Delano Roosevelt urged the nation not to succumb to “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror.” But that was then.

Today, many of the men who hope to be the next president — including all of the candidates with a significant chance of receiving the Republican nomination — have made unreasoning, unjustified terror the centerpiece of their campaigns.

Consider, for a moment, the implications of the fact that Rudy Giuliani is taking foreign policy advice from Norman Podhoretz, who wants us to start bombing Iran “as soon as it is logistically possible.”

Mr. Podhoretz, in short, is engaging in what my relatives call crazy talk. Yet he is being treated with respect by the front-runner for the G.O.P. nomination. And Mr. Podhoretz’s rants are, if anything, saner than some of what we’ve been hearing from some of Mr. Giuliani’s rivals.

Most Americans have now regained their balance. But the Republican base, which lapped up the administration’s rhetoric about the axis of evil and the war on terror, remains infected by the fear the Bushies stirred up…

read more | digg story

Only Ron Paul stands a chance of winning against the Democrats this time around, and he’s rapidly being shown the door by the core of the Republican party, who don’t want to hear that their fears are baseless.

This is shaping up like all of the other Presidential elections that I’ve witnessed. I don’t know why anyone pays attention to this stuff anymore. The throwing of the election by one party or the other, by offering up a candidate that only the core of the party would ever vote for (gun-controlling Mondale, socialist snoopy Dukakis, dead fish Dole, wooden Gore, lying Kerry) and with third party candidates excluded from real participation; they essentially hand the election to the other major party. With the exceptions of the elections of 1980 and 1996, there was never any question in my mind who was going to win.

[…and I really don’t want to hear about irregularities in the statistical ties that have dominated the 21st century elections. I’m well aware of the problems, they just aren’t relevant to the candidates chosen by the dominant parties, and the purposes behind their choice]

In all the other elections it seemed clear to me that the “opposition party” had chosen a candidate that was guaranteed to loose. It’s not as hard as you might imagine, to do this. The average Joe wants to vote for a winner (don’t ask me why that is, but I’ve talked to enough people, and seen enough data to know this is true) and the primaries can be reasonably easy to manipulate by excluding unwanted candidates and orchestrating media exposure (as was done to last elections Democrat favorite) so as to show your ‘favored’ candidate as winning early enough to start the landslide.

This is clearly shaping up to be a ‘handover’ election (no matter what Ol’ Joey, the Republican mouthpiece has to say about it) which is why the Democrat candidates feel secure enough to tell us all about their expensive and invasive social programs in advance (programs that the Republican front runners strangely feel the urge to parrot, albeit to a lesser extent) so that the election, when it occurs, will be a mandate for handing health care (and possibly control of the internet) over to the federal government.

Beauty pageants disguised as good government (election is just a popularity contest, after all) It might be more interesting if the candidates weren’t so old and wrinkly.

… And if the designated winner wasn’t transparently obvious.

Why the Democrats are NOT a Viable Opposition to the Administration

Watch the three minute video, then read on.

Ralph Nader: “Things Are a Lot Worse than We Thought!” – Published on Oct 11, 2007

If they refuse to act because they believe this is true, then it is pointless to support any sitting democrat. But if you look at it from the opposite perspective, Bush is on a mission from God. Do you really think he’ll let those godless Democrats get in his way?

Anyway.

On Digg this video has lead to a series of observations about the meaning of Nader’s comments, and flames against Nader for ruining the election, not once but twice, by being a candidate and costing the Democrats the election (never mind that the same can be said of the Libertarian candidates as well from the Republican side of the duopoly, and that the only solution to this problem is to negate the possibility of free and fair elections in the US) and the usual mindless support for the next successor to the duopoly’s undisturbed rule of the US since Lincoln brought the Republicans to power in 1860.

Comments like this one:

“At least Obama’s staying the fuck out of Iran and has taken nuclear weapons off the table”

This is obviously his first election experience. Nothing the candidate says has any bearing on what the elected President does. Go back and review the election promises of every candidate who became President, and you’ll understand.

I realize that this is not popularly understood, but the President is one man. There are thousands of people who work at the Federal level, who were there before the President gets elected, and will be there after he leaves. They set policy, which the elected President is expected to endorse, to some degree.

All of the modern Presidents (since at least Hoover) have had the majority of their agendas set for them by the conditions of the government and the world at the time they take office. It will take a maverick to change the course even in the slightest degree. There’s only one maverick running as a candidate at the moment, and he’s a Republican.

Keeping the Political Colors Straight

Getting dizzy listening to the major party politics these days? Are you ready for the ramp up to election day, just a few short months away? I don’t know about you, but the pointlessness of 9/10ths of all political arguments reminds me of a scene from an episode of Babylon 5 “Geometry of Shadows. The following is from a synopsis of it:

Ivanova is meeting with a representative group of Drazi. Five Drazi with purple kerchiefs sit in the gallery to her left, and five of the greens to the right. A leader stands in front of each group.

Ivanova: As you all know, we’re having a bit of a problem here right now — the aforementioned problem being that you keep trying to beat each other senseless with blunt instruments, banging up against the bulkhead, pounding, mugging, jumping, and generally carrying on cranky. Now, while some of the other species wouldn’t mind if you wiped each other out, even they would prefer that you did so quietly. But — this station is dedicated to the goal of finding peaceful solutions to our problems. And we would like to find one here. [This causes quite some murmuring among her audience.] Now you can start by helping me to understand the precise nature of the conflict between the two sides that you’ve set up.

The two leaders react with pained longsuffering expressions. They have to explain something that is so obvious it needs no explanation. They’re dealing with a complete moron.

Purple leader [gesturing at the Green leader]: Green!

Green leader [returning the compliment]: Purple!

Ivanova: No, I understand that there are two factions, but what is your point of contention? Where do you disagree with each other?

Green leader [pointing and speaking more emphatically]: Purple!

Purple leader: Green!

Ivanova: Yes, but who gets to wear the purple sash and who gets to wear the green sash? I mean, is it based on income, or caste, or rank, or…

Green leader: We put green and purple in great barrel! Equal to numbers of Drazi. Then we reach in, we take! Where there was one Drazi people, now there are two! The two fight until there are one!

Ivanova [open-mouthed in astonishment]: That’s it? It’s totally random? Arbitrary? Well then, how do you choose a leader for either side?

Purple leader: One purple and one green carries mark of leadership. He who takes leader cloth is leader. He who takes green is Green, and follows Green leader. He who takes purple is Purple, and follows Purple leader. [Ivanova catches on sufficiently to lip-sync most of the last sentence.]

Ivanova: Okay, so in other words —- [She steps between the leaders and points out the two nearest Purple and Green followers.] Would you two please step forward for a moment — please? [They’re a bit confused, but they comply.] Okay, so what you’re trying to tell me is that if I take this purple sash off of him, [she takes the sash — much to the consternation of the remaining Purples] and put it onto him, [she puts it onto the Green — agitating all the Drazi, but she’s a bit too wrapped up in her question to notice as she turns to face the leaders] that this one thing alone is enough to start a…

…Bedlam ensues.

Full synopsis, Lurker’s guide episode entry

So, when you hear people yelling about ‘war records’ or ‘tax cuts’ or anything else political (which involves most everything these days, what with the expansion of gov’t) Just remember: “Who takes green, is green, follows green leader.” It’s just that simple.


Editor’s note, 2019. What I want to know is, why did I think that it was cool to contract government into gov’t? I’ve corrected that display of linguistic fetishism pretty much everywhere else I’ve run across it on the blog, but I left that one here simply as a reminder of this fact; the stuff you think is cool today? It probably won’t be cool tomorrow.

Also? Green vs. Purple as applied to modern US politics used to be amusing, but that was before half of the structurally encoded two-party system that runs the US today turned stark raving nuts and elected someone whose single goal was attempting to destroy the US government. Then it got extremely un-funny. However, it has made the choice of which side to vote for an issue of crystal-clear logic. So, we have that going for us, I guess.