If the US political system is operating correctly within what has become a serious trademark democracy deficit, then Romney has all the makings of an American presidential nominee.
I rarely comment on the bombastic and inauspicious Republican primary, mainly because it’s getting so much coverage in the media. But this latest debate in Iowa is too striking to not evaluate, and the candidates have been becoming more ideologically transparent with each progressing month. None more so than Mitt Romney, who is the clear frontrunner in virtually every poll, despite all of the flagrant press and reporting that other candidates are getting.
Prior to this last debate in Iowa, Mitt Romney vigorously defended what all the candidates clearly believe, but won’t say, namely that “corporations are people” and that “everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people.”
Interestingly, Romney responded negatively to a question from Chris Wallace regarding a corporation’s right to eminent domain at a primary debate in early June. He (and Ron Paul) argued that eminent domain should not be used to condemn land “for purposes of a private enterprise.” But if corporations are people, despite being uncontroversially less accountable and democratic as an institution than virtually any public institution in existence, then why shouldn’t they be able to confiscate land for their own purposes?
Romney’s answer was a populous step out of line for the only Republican candidate who can raise money at a rate comparable with President Obama. Of course, this raises serious questions about the policies and positions of Obama (as it did in 2008 and without virtually any ‘liberal’ media scrutiny), but Romney is supposed to play this role. If the US political system is operating correctly within what has become a serious trademark democracy deficit, then Romney has all the makings of an American presidential nominee.
As he’s hitting his stride as the mainstream conservative candidate, it appears as though the Republican establishment is finally starting to rally around him. This might have something to do with his ability to raise $12 million from a pool of just 90 wealthy donors, or perhaps it is his passionate pro-business approach to decimating what’s left of this country’s social programs.
Plus, it may not be plausible that the Republican establishment can sufficiently wrap its private arms around candidates like Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann. Glenn Beck’s endorsement may not cut it anymore. After the recent tea party-based obstruction of a $4 trillion dollar deal to raise the debt ceiling proposed by Obama that opportunistically targeted solvent entitlement programs like social security, one has to wonder what the business world (the Republican establishment) is thinking. Remember, business put these tea party sponsored obstructionists into high places. Are they second guessing their sponsorship of these right-wing extremists?
Presumably, that’s what the Democrats are hoping occurs between now and November, 2012. The idea of voting for political parties that aren’t confined to the artificial and short-term wants of the business community just isn’t in the discussion. Concepts like voting in elections where corporate support isn’t the overwhelming indicator of the results just aren’t relevant to the party. Rather, Democrats just have to capitulate to the Republicans and accomodate to the needs of private power. That’s how they’re going to win in 2012. To hell with the country.
Despite opposition from moderates like former senator Russ Feingold, the Democrats have dispatched press hounds like Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney to create lap dog PACs and utilize the new precedents provided in the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision. According to Roll Call, Sweeney’s explanation was that “This is an effort to level the playing field. Americans deserve an honest debate about job creation, the economy, national security and education. That debate will never happen if only right wing extremists are engaged on the battlefield.”
The Democrats position on the battlefield wasn’t mentioned–just the “right wing extremists”–so what can we expect? A system that provides two choices, a center-right option and the extreme right, both run by the demands of finance and business. This is all by design, of course, and different elite sectors will obviously support different candidates. Your role will be to certify your support by voting in a primary and ratifying the candidate that survives this means-testing–and it looks like Mitt Romney has the best chance.