An Early Look at 2012

Having found it difficult to continue blaming former President George W. Bush for everything wrong with their lives, and being unwilling to attempt the growth necessary for personal accountability, the Aluminati have recently taken to imagining that the end of the world is near. Especially since President FairyTale now appears to be stunningly incompetent in his role, and therefore his re-election as Chief Executive appears to be as unlikely as the notion of AlGore living by the same draconian ecosystem he would impose on middle-class Americans; the Aluminati have concluded that a world without insipid Liberal con men in charge is a world that will simply implode. Vaguely aware that assigning the basis of their beliefs on the flimsy credentials of modern Liberalism alone is insane, the Aluminati maintain that The End is confirmed by a speculative and highly emotional interpretation of certain carved rocks left behind by the Aztecs and Mayans. One recalls that the Aztecs’ prophetic ability led them to worship the invaders who eventually destroyed them, following several hundred years of a ‘civilization’ that included ritual human sacrifice, weather superstition, and the habit of ignoring the ecological effects of their cities and so moving from place to place as they used up resources in a manner to make the 20th Century’s most industrial powers look positively eco-conscious. The Mayans are lost in history for the most part but for fanciful myths conjured up by hippies unwilling to consider that the Mayans abandoned their cities due to poor planning; the Mayans had a habit of building cities where food was insufficient and supporting resources unplanned; poverty, disease and peasant revolts were the most common attributes of their culture. Yet the Aluminati consider the Mayans and Aztecs the ideal template for human cultures to emulate, in much the same way that Obamarians stubbornly cling to their cult leader and his narcissistic fantasies. Just as the Aluminati cannot bring themselves to consider that the unsolved portion of the carvings on the tzolk’in at its end probably means something on the order of ‘continued on next big rock’, the 2012 election is likely to offer candidates more, hmm, mature and competent than the offerings of the last Presidential campaign.

It is too soon to say whether the Republicans have a decent shot at regaining the White House in 2012, since the GOP managed to nominate John McCain in 2008, which speaks loudly about the party’s own competency issues. But 2012 could easily be a year of infighting in both parties, as the true identity of each party’s most prominent members brings them to wrestle for control of their party’s direction. Barack Obama has demonstrated the ability to win elections, but he did so on a foundation of false promises; he’s not likely to win re-election that way. John McCain managed to claim the GOP nomination by playing on cross-over from Democrats and left-leaning indies in the primaries; that’s not likely to happen again in 2012, either. The problem is, though, that strong opinions lose moderate support, but moderates are fickle except when they are angry. And while there are many ways to set off angry voters, continued support from moderates, the majority of voters that is, depends on demonstrating substance behind the façade. The ability to defend yourself when attacked by political opponents is also vital; not since Reagan have we seen a leader truly confident of his position and comfortable defending it. And as yet no new icon stands ready to assume that role. The Republicans are either clumsy, hypocrites, or both, while the Democrats are either hypocrites, traitors, ostracized by their party’s leadership, or some two of the three. As for Independents, they lack the political leverage to gain major public support, and in any case they refuse to define themselves, and so their support fades soon after it begins.

If I had to pick the major contenders for the 2012 race, I’d consider that Barack Obama did set the stage; people still want hope and change. Ironically, President Obama represents neither in his actual job performance. Certainly President Obama will have his party’s support for the most part through the first half of 2012; the incumbent generally gets his party’s nomination even when he’s Herbert Hoover in 1932, or Carter in 1980. But there could be a grassroots movement among Democrats to offer a real candidate, and if that happens we should see tremors of the approaching shift late this year, as happened to LBJ in 1966. If he should fail to claim his party’s nomination for re-election, we may see Obama blame George W Bush one last time in public – one imagines an elderly Obama blaming W for his bad back and failing vision years from now, as well as the cancellation of his favorite TV shows and the changes in pop music. It’s become so much his way, that one can scarcely imagine Obama growing up and taking up responsibility at this late date. But anyway, watch Hillary; if Obama continues to play chicken with the political iceberg in his way, his main in-party nemesis can be counted on to look again at the cards in her hand, which include strong cred in the party, fund-raising skills and a killer instinct in politics. This is important for a second reason, in that Clinton made sure that 2004 nominee John Kerry did not run in 2008, and so she will chase of a number of potential threats early on if she chooses to run in 2012. It’s important to consider that while he was a late entry in the 1992 race, then-Governor Bill Clinton was seen as a rising start by 1990, just as Governor Carter was seen as a contender by 1974. Blocking out the new talent would not only help Hillary’s run, but dilute the strength of the Democrats’ field in the main, leaving a Bidenesque quality that would materially improve Republican chances.

As for the Republicans, I love her but sincerely hope that former Governor Sarah Palin does not run. In the same way that I love the humor of Michael Palin – the author and former member of Monty Python – I love the honesty and wit of Sarah Palin, but fear that most Americans would not take Governor Palin any more seriously as a Presidential candidate. Like Fred Thompson, who spoke brilliantly as an avatar of Conservatism but who lacked the stamina for a long campaign, Governor Palin strikes me as someone who has skills but not the whole package to be President of the United States. The Republicans need to nominate a person who has indisputable ability and relevant experience, but at the moment no one seems to quite rise to the level needed. We have good people, some good leaders, some inspirational speakers, but as yet no real contender. The stage is clear for the development of our nominee, which is to the good, but as of yet the spot is unclaimed. We dare not assume it will be filled of its own accord, or we shall end up with another poseur like McCain, or a nice-guy loser like Bob Dole. In years past we could hope for a contender from the Governorships of California or Texas, but Arnold is neither eligible nor a real conservative, and Rick Perry’s best quality is his hair – his politics are more Austin-based than American-focused. Too many Republicans lack the skills, personality, or courage to stand long in that post. And so the field remains open, waiting for a real leader to emerge.

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