I’ve been discussing this over the last week, but it is the subject from which there is no escape if we are to take this process seriously. Maybe that’s the point to be made about the GOP’s nomination battle: The establishment sets out to win this war every four years, and every presidential election year since 1988, they have managed to pull it off without a hitch and without recourse for the party’s base. As Jay Cost explains in a most excellent article at the Weekly Standard, it’s rigged, and this has been the situation since the 1970s, with only Ronald Reagan breaking the trend. If you needed more evidence than this GOP primary season has provided already, you have only to consider the words of this genius, New Hampshire State Senator Gary Lambert, who offered:
“Rather than go on with the blah, blah, blah. I’d like to get right to the point. Which is – Look, we know how this movie is going to end. Mitt Romney is going to be the nominee,” he said.
“This is not about picking your favorite, it’s not about picking someone you like. It’s not about picking someone even with your own beliefs and principles. This is about picking a person that can beat Barack Obama, period.”
Here’s video(I didn’t create the “Mafia” text, although honestly, it seems apt in the context of Lambert’s diatribe):
Did you catch this? He knows “how you think.” If you were confused, let me suggest that this establishment Romney hack should have cleared it up nicely for you. While I’d like to tell you that this guy was going to be tossed from the party for making this statement, the truth is that he’s the norm, and this is the general sentiment of those who run the party. They don’t care for your beliefs, your opinions or your ideas. They don’t have any regard for your preferences. Their analysts and public relations goon-squads choose. You’re to be herded like the compliant cattle moving through a series of chutes, and you end up penned-in, voting for their preferences. All this, and yet they wonder why they lose as often as they win, and blame you for the defeats? Do you really wonder why the country is going to hell? These people are helping take you there, of course, because they know better.
Don’t worry, Tea Party. Don’t worry, conservative grass roots activists. You still have a role to play, and it’s to sit down and shut up and vote as they instruct you. If you’re offended by any of this, it’s only because you’re an “impractical idealist.” Please don’t bother to explain to me why I must support somebody who holds me in such contempt. Please don’t tell me how we “must save the country from Obama.” These people are every bit as bad in their own way, and that we tolerate their domination of this process is a depressing statement on our own gullibility.
There will be more revelations coming out of this process, as I’ve begun to get the sense that some within the establishment want to effectively shut down the primaries altogether, skip the convention, and immediately go to the general election campaign. I don’t quite know how they would rig the game so thoroughly in that fashion, but I think Lambert’s rant basically tips the establishment’s hand in this respect: They aim to close this all down quickly now. Where they’re concerned, it’s a done deal, so when I hear Herman Cain talking about an “unconventional process” on Hannity Friday, I wonder now if he doesn’t literally mean “without a convention.” Of course, that’s just wild speculation on my part, but given the manner in which Cain stressed the “un” in “unconventional,” I’ve begun to wonder if this might be the sort of thingat which he was hinting. In this video, Herman Cain discusses this same thing with Wolf Blitzer on the Situation Room on Friday(Again, I apologize for the poor quality, but I wanted to be sure you could form your own impressions:)
I’ve also been thinking about the notion of endorsements, and how effective they are(or aren’t,) and how important they are to voters generally. My own take is that I use endorsements to draw maps of who is beholden to whom, because that’s what determines many of these endorsements, and to be quite blunt, I don’t care at all who any politician recommends in this fashion. I’m able to make up my own mind, and I’m able to discern who I should support, or not, as I imagine is the case with the vast majority of readers here. Nevertheless, I enjoy seeing the endorsements because it becomes a form of identification. Remember, we were told McCain was a ‘Maverick,’ but here he is in 2012 endorsing a party guy and making quite plain that he’s ready to shut down this primary process. So much for the “maverick.” He’s much more like a milch-cow. What’s interesting about the Cain video is how it reveals his willingness to manipulate his supporters for maximum effect. He’s doing his best to keep them together, to make the best pitch he can when he finally throws his support behind Romney, which it seems that he may well do. This will have other potential fall-out, should it pan out as my magic-decoder ring seems to indicate it will.
This soup is the end result of pouring out your best efforts and your diligent activism into a rancid broth. The establishment runs the party, and they do so mostly without reference to we little people. We’re only good for three things where they’re concerned: Money, Votes, and Campaigning. They don’t care about our ideas, our principles, or our most firmly held beliefs. They manage us, herd us, and drive us into a stampede, with the idea being that we should all arrive simultaneously at the conclusion they’ve laid out. That’s the game, and it’s been the play for decades. As Jay Cost concludes his article, it’s worthwhile to consider:
“Yes, it is important to consider the big policy issues – tax reform, health care, industrial policy – but without good rules to produce good nominees who can implement those policies, then it is all for naught.”
Sadly, it’s true.