I have a terrible record when it comes to predicting outcomes of presidential elections, I admit it. Back in 2004, I said that Bush would not be re-elected unless we were out of Iraq and Afghanistan by Election Day. But he was saved by John Kerry's “Hanoi Jane”-type vibes, and the wars went on. Then I predicted that the 2008 election would pit (and I use the word advisedly) Rudy Giuliani against Hillary Clinton, and that she would win – but then Rudy had his meltdown in the Republican debates when he started foaming at the mouth in response to something Ron Paul said (which was extremely true, by the way) – and Hillary couldn't quite get over the sleaze factor she had inherited from her husband's administration (and which was used to great effect by the Obama team, I might add). Plus, Hillary definitely had a kind of “yesterday's papers”, shopworn vibe, whereas Obama was presented as The One Who Is To Come – an image which has, remarkably, stuck with him through thick and thin ever since.
Now we are presented with the prospect – many months ahead of the event – of Obama seeking a second term against a yet-to-be-named Republican... and the mad scramble for the Republican nomination seems somewhat tepid so far. Many of the bright lights (and some dim ones) among the Republicans have already opted out, but others have entered the fray, and many more threaten to... and conventional wisdom has Romney as the man to beat, despite his highly mixed record. And the Republicans do have one solitary “rock star”, namely Sarah Palin, who – it seems to me – is even more unelectable now than she was in 2008. There is certainly nothing to find fault with in her raw courage and chutzpah – but Americans have, time and time again, shown a preference for the more conventional, predictable politicians who happen to have a massive political machine behind them... not to mention oodles of money (their own or other people's). So I think we can safely put Palin in the "novelty" column -- you know, "interesting" but not fit for a steady diet.
But really, why are we even having this discussion? Because as I've tried to explain on this blog, it doesn't matter a whit who is president, since whoever is allowed within hailing distance of the Oval Office has already been thoroughly vetted by the powers that be, AKA the Regime, and anyone who occupies that office has, you may be certain, already signed up to be their trusted servant and slave for the duration of their term(s). This is something you can count on, as surely as night follows day... and yet it is amusing, at times, to dip into the fetid political pool and indulge in speculation.
In fact, I'm not even going to adopt the standard Republican line that Obama has had long enough to establish his own record on the issues that count – war, social policy, the debt, and so on. He really did inherit a hell of a mess from Bush & Co., and I honestly don't think it's fair to expect him to have cleaned it all up in 2½ short years. On the other hand, one feels that he could have done something – anything – rather than just show himself to be nothing more than “Bush in blackface” when it comes to foreign policy... and rather than impose a socialist juggernaut on our domestic affairs. But even that socialistic – or I would rather say fascistic – array of programs and policies was inherited, in the main, from Bush and his predecessors – all the way back to the New Deal and beyond, if you want to get technical. Many commentators will, in fact, contend that “it all started with Wilson” -- but an argument can also be made for Theodore Roosevelt, and even for Lincoln. So one can fault Obama for not deviating in the slightest from the historical trajectory, and that makes it hard to seriously consider him “radical”. Even ObamaCare, which is, at best, too much/too soon, is hardly a new idea – its precursors go all the way back to the Progressives of 100 years ago. And the main thing about Obama – the thing he is often faulted for – is his “cool aloofness”, but that may turn out to be a decisive strength in the months to come. OK, it's true that he loses control of his bodily functions whenever confronted by Israel, but what president doesn't? So you can count that as a non-factor (not to mention a good way to derail the exertions of the Evangelicals). And as I survey the faces being bandied about by the Republicans, I have to ask – could any of them do any better? Would they even want to, or be capable of doing so if they did? And the answer has to be no, with the usual exception of Ron Paul, who doesn't stand a chance because he represents a small fringe group that actually holds the Constitution in esteem. And who needs a silly old Constitution in this day and age? It's time to move on toward that gleaming, shimmering socialist horizon that has tempted so many before Obama and will continue to tempt politicians (and voters) until the entire system comes crashing down.
So when it comes to the election, the question is not who will be the “anti-Obama”, since there is no such creature who can realistically attain to the office. And why settle for “Obama Lite” when you can have the real thing? His base -- his political core -- remains intact... he had the media on his side... and he continues to wave the bloody shirt that is said to be our only legacy from the Bush years. We have, as a people, not lost our faith in government, or in collectivism, socialism, what have you – despite all the buffeting we have suffered of late. The government creates a crisis, then promises that it will pull us out of it – that, in fact, it is the only hope we have. There is not one current woe afflicting us that the government did not have something to do with – but the prospects for an Anti-Government Party are like unto nonexistent; the very idea is a contradiction in terms, as can be readily seen. So libertarians will continue along their radical and win-proof track, as will paleoconservatives; the system allows these groups to stay above ground precisely because they are _not_ a threat. The only real threat I can imagine would be if the American Catholic Church really got serious about politics – but its representatives are as divided as anyone else on questions like immigration, social welfare, social policy, etc. Plus, the minute the American Catholic Church got serious about politics, that hanging sword called “taxation” would begin to descend, and all but the most bold (and non-materialistic) would retire from the field. And just try preaching about “just war” these days – you get laughed out of town by the neocons and their media facilitators. Plus, the political establishment thinks they have the Catholic Church on the ropes because of the “pedophile priest” scandals... and they are very smug and self-assured about it. There is no finer way to disarm a person with a cause than to show that “they're no better” -- this is a mainstay of the American political mindset, and nothing that I can imagine is going to change it.
No, you have to understand that, despite a few missteps here and there – like arguing with the Israelis – the Obama administration continues on its safe, secure, very establishment path of serving its masters on Wall Street and in the international global financial cartel, for whom “social change” is just one small tool in a very large tool box. They don't care about our deficit, or our debt, or about our unwinnable wars, or anything else that we consider a “big ... deal”, to quote Joe Biden. To them, these are just added opportunities to increase their stranglehold on our economy and on our life as a nation and a culture. Just as “paying taxes is for little people”, so is voting... and so is thinking that it matters who's president, and which party is “in power”. Because in our time, no one who is elected is ever “in power” -- they just become tools of a much larger entity that really is in power, but that consists of people who were never elected to anything.
So, bottom line (at this point) – no Democrat is going to unseat Obama in the primaries; that's just crazy talk. Oh, some old-time “peaceniks” might try, but they'll go the way of Gene McCarthy. And it doesn't matter who the Republicans put forth as the sacrificial lamb du jour, Obama is going to win re-election in 2012. There, I've said it. Barring a real catastrophe... something truly earth-shaking... that's the way it's going to be. My previous prediction that Obama would become Jimmy Carter the Second hasn't quite panned out. Apparently Carter wasn't a good enough galley slave, so he had to go. Who knows, it might even be because he turned out to have some principles. It matters not. Obama is – and I know, this is very impolite – in the position of that old-time sleeping car porter with the big, gleaming smile and “Yassuh, Boss!” always on his lips. The only thing is, we don't really know who the boss is; the only thing we know for sure is that it isn't us.