Monday, April 13, 2015

Conservatives claim they are going to kick some liberal ass in 2016

Conservatives are girding their loins for 2016. They claim they are going to prevail. But first a "real conservative" will have to run for president and get nominated. Then that guy has to win the election. You can find it here, on Google+ and a few other places around the internet if you do some searching. Yet, they seem to be missing some pertinent facts that do not support their chances of winning the next presidential election - and still be able to claim a consensus.

In the last mid-term election, voter turnout was at the lowest since WWII. Voter turnout has been on the decline and that trend has been persistent over the last 30 years The trend is exacerbated by successful efforts to reduce voter turnout further still. Voter ID laws are the most recent example, despite the lack of any serious evidence of voter fraud.

Now the Huffington Post reports that some Republicans are proposing changes to the way the Electoral College works in the state of Michigan. They'd like to add a sense of proportion to the way the electoral votes are tallied up instead of winner take all as it was before. The new plan isn't without criticism, but in a state that has been carried by every Democrat running for president since 1992, Republicans would like to improve their odds by giving at least some of their electoral votes to a Republican even if the popular vote says "Democrat". The website nails the tactic as follows: "The only rationale for the new method: It would help Republicans."

So if conservatives are so confident that their ideas have any merit, why mess with the Electoral College? Why institute voter ID laws when instances of voter fraud are so hard to find? Why work so hard to draw and get approved contorted districts that splinter the Democrat vote? Oh, wait. They don't want the dummies...I mean, Democrats, to vote.

Want to know why turnout has been decreasing steadily over the last 30 years? The average person has no influence on public policy. How did this happen? The right of nomination has been stolen from the vast majority of Americans by about 132 of the wealthiest people in this country. You know, the "relevant funders". See for more info on this topic.

It would seem to me that so-called "conservatives" would prefer that their power remain unchecked. Gerrymandering, voter ID laws, Supreme Court rulings that say "money is speech" are all ways to sideline or mute the voice of the opposing party. How can anyone claim victory over an opponent so hopelessly defanged? As long as voter turnout goes down, Republican prospects go up. Is that what they call "political capital"? Do you know what happens when a large fraction of the population feels disenfranchised? You get protests.

It is generally acknowledge that when the economy does well, the first term president is elected to office again. We saw this with Reagan, yet so few remember that his tax policies didn't do all that much to help the economy, you can thank the Federal Reserve for that. We saw that with Clinton. With Obama, he was the underdog, raising the Titanic from the wreck left by those who still believe in the Laffer Curve, and he still got re-elected.

Remember those guys? You know, the people in the Bush Administration so anxious to bail out the banks? Remember how the banks said they were going to put a gun to their head and pull the trigger unless they got bailed out? Republicans know that on a national level, their economic policies haven't worked so well. They've managed to gerrymander their way to majorities in many statehouses and a majority in both houses of Congress. But the trifecta, House, Senate and the White House, eludes them still. If they could just get all three and hold them still for 8 years, they could finally prove that their economic policies actually work.

But they don't. We see that in Governor Brownback's Kansas and we see that in Christie's New Jersey. Both states are hopelessly lost in this recovery. So if they change the rules for the electoral college, then maybe the Republicans can get down to business and prove their point. Their best shot at 2016 is to show that Clinton is not really the populist she will try to make herself out to be. That all that Wall Street backing she has received will limit her ability to truly help the middle class.

Even if the Republicans win the White House in 2016, they will be unable to make a convincing claim of anything resembling a consensus, much less a victory, if the voter turnout is low. If the voter turnout is low, will they still claim they kicked liberal ass if they win the presidency?
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