Show Down at the OK Corral
2014: The Chips Are on the Table.
In the midst of any campaign, no matter how one finds the balance at the moment, it is always a prudent task to consider the possibilities of winning. Perhaps the first step is to firmly acknowledge that THIS is, in fact, a campaign. We [most Americans including US visitors to MeanMesa] are clearly on one side, and the now well established oligarchs are on the other.
Still, although we are already deeply engaged in the fight, our score so far is lagging far behind. Most of the objectives the oligarchs have targeted are now firmly in their hands. Further, their position remains a relatively strong one.
The US oligarchs are unquestionably the wealthiest people the planetary population of humans has ever produced at any time through history. They enjoy the "full service" of the massive US military to protect their wealth -- and opportunities. They can currently boast of almost complete control of the Congress which, by means of controlling the US general fund of tax money, also controls and directs the military. They also clearly control a reliable majority of the Supreme Court Justices.
There is no surviving structure of the US government which can or will stop them.
Returning to our unavoidable task of speculating how the oligarchs' scheme might still fail, we find it necessary to seek out a "weak link" in their strategy if one exists. In other words, "How, exactly, could this thing of theirs still fall apart?"
This would be the "OK CORRAL" part.
It may also be an embarrassingly simple part. The 2014 mid-term elections present the "tipping point" for all the work the oligarch side has so tediously accomplished to date. Those elections will have one of three possible outcomes.
1. The GOP holds onto its present illegitimate control of the House and gains control of the Senate. The oligarchs' campaign moves into its final -- and permanent -- phase. After watching the oligarchs' anti-democratic tactics of the past, there will never be another actual election in the future. Control and ownership of the nation will fall decisively into the hands of the billionaires.
2. The GOP holds the House and only gains a few seats in the Senate, remaining a minority. The House austerity policies continue to move more and more wealth to the oligarchs who control it. In response to the predictable paralysis resulting from such an outcome, popular trust in the government will collapse to a level dangerously lower than even its current nadir. The country will move even closer to a state of being "fundamentally ungovernable," and the population will move even closer to an explosive, pain induced, confused frenzy with a very uncertain outcome.
3. The GOP loses its illegitimate control of the House and loses seats in the Senate. Although this would provide almost immediate relief for the exhausted American population, it would also herald the introduction of Democrats able to make only the flimsiest claims of more integrity or passion than the Republicans they replaced. While conditions in the country would be improving, it would not take long before the depth and severity of the decades long US leadership deficit would gradually begin to re-emerge.
Naturally, we have to fight our way to the third outcome, but once we achieve it, we must commence the real fight -- the longer one.
In the end game, somewhere between Wasilla and Miami we must locate American candidates who can actually form a government and run it. It won't be necessary to retain much of the Congress we currently have. The current residents have long ago established their own set of standards ranging from outrageous perfidy to spineless, self-serving acquiescence.
Today, there is shockingly little of the commonly accepted fundamental precepts of either Party surviving, so MeanMesa has to assume that even those historical foundations must be placed on the block at this point. The politicos have apparently become so enthralled with oligarch dollars as to have neglected to keep even their "home fires" burning.
However, this post is all about the crumbling structure of the coup d'etat. That collapse must necessarily precede any more "structural renovations" we plan for the future.
"Game of Thrones"
Parallel parking an oil tanker can be tricky...The GOP's 2014
While me might like to characterize the growing nervous uncertainty in the GOP's base as something refreshingly akin to "coming to their senses," MeanMesa considers such optimism as, generally, unfounded. Instead, a thoughtful observation of this base's "personal conditions" may be the most positive possibility for the moment.
The GOP propaganda machine has relentlessly demonized the victims of the Republican Great Recession of 2008, and now, at least for the low information masses in its base, the Republicans clearly intend to cast the full blame for the lingering destruction of the national economic disaster they created in 2008 on 1. divine "punishment" for cultural laxity in the control of women and sex, 2. lazy, unemployed Americans who refuse to "join in" for the rush to Chinese wage jobs in US factories or 3. the slightly right of center Presidency of Barack Obama.
In 2013, luxuriating in the clunky roll out of ObamaCare, the GOP was quite pleased with itself and its labyrinthine public opinion management effort. However, the start of 2014 -- the mid term election year -- has been a self-imposed public opinion catastrophe for them.
It has been a chilling glimpse into the frailty of the propaganda bubble in which the oligarchs, the true "owners" of the Republican Party have invested so heavily. Let's have a look -- by the numbers.
1. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act is quietly laying to waste the inflammatory script which has received literally thousands of broadcast hours on their media. Enrollments are up, premiums are lower and health costs have begun to stabilize.
2. The GOP's heavily scripted conspiracy "scandals" of IRS audits for wing nut 501C-4's, Benghazi, the ATF "Fast and Furious" Bush II scheme, Solyndra, Libya, Snowden, Manning and others are all now sun drenched wreckage of forlorn ancient life boats permanently sundered on the rocks of a desolate shore.
3. The heavily endowed personal ad hominems against the President still have some traction among the craziest part of the GOP base, but the "electoral inertia" of GOP voters still willing to cast a ballot based on this stuff is evaporating in the "cauldron of pain" of the now apparently endless recession.
4. The quadrennial paradox of staffing the Republican "debates" has grown fitfully more tedious for the oligarchs with this year's collapse of the
|Call in the next bench. [source]|
5. The highly touted, self-identified "Republican autopsy" following the Romney defeat [which, of course, followed the McCain defeat] has transformed itself from "things to never do or say" back into "things to always do and say." The desperate hill billies in the GOP's lower Congressional ranks have, predictably, unleashed more growling rounds of pro-war, anti-immigrant, anti-college student, anti-women, anti-poor people, anti-minority, "supply side" incendiaries and Cold War "religious political" international interventionist exceptionalism.
6. All of this and more has led, finally, to the first "reluctance" among the check writing billionaires who call the shots at the RNC. When they began their coup attempt, all the hate filled racist miscreants of the tea party and drooling denizens in the back woods of the deep fly-over bogs looked like the best thing since sliced bread, but now too many of these hungry, exhausted, political masochistic 2010 voters are turning into hopelessly derelict, modern Stoics -- even in the gerrymandered House districts.
7. Amid the internecine brutality of separate gangs of jealous Republican looters and the unsteady ensuing confusion, the re-emboldened wing nut religious right has re-entered the GOP political picture, no doubt ambitious to once again install the "old rugged cross" as its electorally stabilizing element. While the brain dead unanimity of the "Huckleberry Santorum" congregation may look manageable compared to the wild eyed ea bag young guns shooting it out for control of Congress, the Republican elite know better.
8. Just today the RNC announced that it had "re-packaged" the heavily soiled rules for Republican Primaries to punish states daring to "buck the schedule." The 2012 Primaries gradually collapsed into a frenetic oligarchic street war with glaring sell outs, defections and serious bad blood between the chosen contenders. The 2016 GOP Primaries will be lightening fast, far more private and a staunch return to classical Republican "influence purchasing."
9. Ignoring the carefully fabricated "autopsy," things with women and minorities have careened to even greater depths since 2012. The image of the Party -- aside from the traditional "Soulless Castle of Corporations and Plutocrats" -- has now eagerly enlarged to envelope poverty, rape, birth control, a penchant for war and promises of Draconian retribution against the undocumented. GOP statements at the Federal level may have become contritely cautious, but the tea bags at state level are lost in the "mouth wide open" fervor of a narcotic circus of jingoistic blather.
10. The vital section of combat within the GOP now resides in the stand off between the elite corporate looters who still exert some control over the Party loyal and the oligarchs who own the media and the trained "mouth junk" pundits. When MeanMesa refers to a "reluctance to write checks," many of those checks are now slipping past the RNC's "call the printer and get out the vote" war chests into the campaigns of weaker, competing tea bag Republicans primarily endorsed only by the incendiary media. The Republican Party only fights itself when the oligarchs' money has competing destinations. Right now, this is the case.
Will the "Blame Game" Work Again?
It was swell in the 2010 and sort of okay in 2012.
Democrats, especially Democrats interested enough to keep track of what's happening, will have no problem voting for Democratic House and Senate candidates. The brain dead fringe of the Republican base will march in a "zombie-like" procession to vote for tea bag candidates. However, this leaves two rather fickle mistresses standing at the bus stop.
Fickle mistresses which will "call the song" at the upcoming mid-term "tea dance."
Of course, one of those "fickle mistress" electoral gowns is filled with "independents." They will make the dependable proclamations about "local issues" before proceeding to the polls to vote just like they belonged to one party or the other. The catch, at least for the GOP, is that those "local issues" are now sucking swamp water.
Wall Street is not a "local issue" unless you are a banker living in Manhattan, but it might become "more local" even if you are in Duluth while you're watching your 401k fall apart...again.
The other "fickle mistress" is, believe it or not, the quiet crop of dyed in the wool Republicans. These are the ones who kept electing the classical GOP looters in by gone elections. However, let's just say that the love affair with the "job creators" has hit a few rocks. Their appetite for "high octane, wing nut crazy" may be growing "overly force fed," too.
This bunch may either stay home or wallow their ideology and actually vote for a reasonable Democratic candidate just to end the pain.
None of this is news to the GOP think tanks which are now charged with the necessity of cooking up a "dual strategy." To their rear are the now very fidgety oligarchs who are financing everything in hopes of getting the keys to the US Treasury, but out ahead of them are the GOP's now "dazed and confused" base.
Back to the "Media Bubble"
All these outcomes are now relying more and more heavily on sustaining the "media bubble" which has been so carefully constructed for the last couple of decades. Unhappily for Republicans, there are now longer many "eager eaters" at the Kenya, socialism, racism buffet. All that stuff seemed palatably sugary while the economy was being violently crushed or bravely resurrected, but now that economy is entering its sixth year of nearly lifeless malaise, and those "miracles" have become more like a stubborn, lingering toothache.
The electoral question for 2014 is a tad bit more complex and sophisticated than those to which we've become accustomed. Oh well, let's just say more nuanced.
How many ballots which were concretely in the realm of the Republican Party two or four years ago have now blinked back into play?
Further, this "blinking" not only has occurred in the rusting steel mills of the central states or in the freeze dried, flooded fields of the agricultural West, but also deep within the gerrymandered boundaries of the GOP's "slave districts." Also remarkable, the Democrats have not engineered this. The spineless, limp-wristed inheritors of FDR's legacy have done little but complain quietly far away from the cameras of the controlled media.
If this "ground swell" -- or even "minor tremor" -- is, in fact, approaching, it will not be one driven by partisan ideology. Instead, its engine will be a throaty mix of pain, perfidy and disgust.
For the first time in recent history the shaky base of the Republican Party may actually be swayed by patriotism rather than just self interest.