Thursday, January 26, 2012

I wonder if ...

I am generally not a fan of conspiracy theories. I don't think there is a vast Republican conspiracy anymore than there is a vast Democratic conspiracy. Yet the Republicans do move together; the Democrats not so much. The Republicans do not have a conspiracy, but they don't seem to tolerate dissent. I don't know why Chuck Hagel quit active political life, but I suspect he came to dislike the behavior of his party (although for I know he shares their less than sophisticated approach to economics).

So like I said, I don't believe in conspiracy theories, but it really looks to like many groups tend to move together. I don't think they collude per se, but I think they cooperate, and they don't tolerate dissension well. Look at how Republicans/conservatives have turned on Newt Gingrich (who I am tempted to call Gingrinch). Republicans move together, Democrats try, I think oil traders move as a group. What about ... well, the 1%? How could they move as a group? What would they do and why? Well, in the era of super pacs and Citizens United, the 1% and the corporations they control have a powerful tool in how much money they can donate.

Now, let's look at the way things are right now. Everybody, including the 1%, got a shellacking in 2008. Everybody's wealth went down when the stock market went down, and when home values plummeted. Now, when Obama was campaigning and then elected, we all expected Obama would take action. Pecora Commission. Instead, almost all of Obama's economics staff and a lot of other people in his administration came straight off of Wall Street. Not surprisingly, there have been almost no prosecutions of Wall Street bankers. Record bonuses have returned. Obama has talked about raising taxes on the 1% (income, capital gains, interest carried forward), but with a Republican House and an easily filibustered Senate, the odds Obama will be able to carry out his threats are quite small. Basically the best Obama can do is maintain the status quo. I suspect that is quite satisfactory to the 1%. Obama seems like a genuine Democrat populist, but in reality he has been pretty generous to the 1%, and it seems like he can be counted on to continue to do that.

By contrast, if a Republican gets in the White House, there might be literally be unrest in the cities. Everybody would expect a Republican President would overtly help the rich, give them even more breaks, or at least keep them the way they are. It seem like a bad idea for the 1% to have a Republican President.

How could the 1% keep a Republican out of the White House, especially if they don't conspire and plot together. Actually it is pretty simple, they could simply not donate to candidates who might be serious contenders, like a Mitch Daniels, a Tim Pawlenty or a Chris Christie. They have solid records and actually somewhat moderate records. By contrast, the people who have raised money, some familiar and some not, are less impressive. Donald Trump? Herman Cain? Ron Paul? Michelle Bachmann? Newt Gingrich? Even Mitt Romney? A lot of these people seem almost like clowns.

And maybe that's the point. Maybe the 1% are exercising their power to do what they can to keep Obama in office. Even Romney seems pretty questionable for President. Their chances of getting elected seem less that a Mitch Daniels running against Obama's record. Mind you, Mitt Romeny will run on Obama's record, as Gingrich would do. But Romney's record is complicated, and Gingrich's record is strange. The 1% are actually doing what they can to put up a clown against Obama, maybe.

But I don't believe in conspiracy theories. Not a fan.


Nine-El said...

EH said

"By contrast, if a Republican gets in the White House, there might be literally be unrest in the cities."

Already happening. BTW: 10 is the body count in the OWS camps. Meaningful or meaningless?

Fun watching the Reps eating their own. Dems will have a target-rich environment in the General. Can't wait!!

EdHeath said...

Death is never meaningless, but its meaning can vary widely, from case to case. 10 deaths is tragic but not really unexpected. I gather some are drug overdoes, at least one perhaps natural causes, and one or two questionable as to whether the deceased was living in the OWS site.

I am thinking much more of the Watts and Newark (among others) riots in the sixties.

My point, of course, was that I suspect (but can not prove) that the 1% are manipulating the Republican field to keep a reliable (from their point of view) Obama in office. I think there are legitimate reasons to oppose Obama, although it is difficult to think of a Republican candidate I would support over Obama (maybe Chuck Hagel?). But if Obama's opposition is a clown, we won't even talk about the civil liberties issues Obama is vulnerable on. Bummer.

I think the Dems will maybe lose a seat of two in the Senate and I don't think the balance will change in the House. At least two more years of near gridlock.