Sunday, February 05, 2012

A Flawed Process with Reduced Legitimacy


If another country ran its elections the way the Republican Party is running its nominating process, I believe the United States would not hesitate to decry the process as manipulated and the results as fraudulent.    It really calls into question their legitimacy as the sole vehicle which conservative and limited-government Americans should trust to select their candidates.  Remember, political parties are private clubs with no legal obligations to run their votes fairly or competently.    The big-money boys who run the GOP seem determined to impose Mitt Romney as the nominee.   They seemed just as determined to undermine the campaign of Ron Paul.    Let’s go down the list…
Iowa was given the privileged position of being the first state to choose a nominee.   They guard this privilege jealously, but their product proves they don’t deserve the honor.   When it looked like Paul was surging, the Governor of the state announced that if Paul won then America should disregard the results of his own state caucus!   Party officials went around the state scaring off Iowans, saying that if Paul won they might lose legitimacy for their privileged position.  
In the event, they botched the vote totals.   They announced Romney as the winner, even though days later – when it mattered less because by then the media had repeated the “Romney won” story countless times- it was discovered that the actual winner was Rick Santorum.   At least we think he was the winner.   The state chairman finally threw up his hands and said that eight precincts would probably never be certified and thus the true winner never be known.   He declared that there were two first place winners (though Santorum wound up the winner among all certified votes.)
New Hampshire was next, but because it was next door to Romney’s home state of Massachusetts, and their media comes from that state, Romney did not need for the fix to be in for him to win.  His second home is in New Hampshire, so it really was like a home state for him.  He got the most votes, but was far short of a majority.
South Carolina rejected Romney as the nominee.     Newt Gingrich got the most votes.  Three states produced three different winners.  Plus, the only candidate who had not gotten a win yet (Paul) was in second place in the vote totals.  Paul was the only one who had a national infrastructure in place to rival Romney, and his strongest region of the county, out west, had not come up yet.  

But the establishment had a plan.... (continued on the jump) 

2 Comments:

Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

But the establishment had a plan. You see while the first three states were always going to be Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, the other states were supposed to wait for their primaries. Florida, filled with retirees from up North and one of the weakest states for Paul, cut in line and moved their primary up. They were penalized half their delegates. Then Florida made the stakes “winner take all” instead of allocating their delegates proportionally as the rules dictated for all contests before April.

Florida is so large and expensive to campaign in that under a winner-take all format it was a waste of resources for the other candidates to compete there- especially when its delegate totals are halved. You could not conduct an in-person grassroots campaign in a state that large in the amount of time available. Whoever could afford mass media would be the Florida winner. Romney buried Gingrich and the rest under fourteen million dollars of ads. Where did he get the money to run that barrage of ads? Among Romney’s top ten donors by employer: Goldman Sacs, Bank of America, JP Morgan, and the other big banks that got bailed out.

If you are a taxpayer, you are financing the Romney campaign whether you want to or not, because his donor base represents the companies that got bailed out. The money goes from our government to the company, from the company to their million dollar executives, and from those pockets right back into the pockets of safe establishment politicians like Romney who will keep the scam going. Ron Paul’s top three donors by employer on the other hand, are active duty members of the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Navy.

Next up was Nevada, with its huge Mormon population. It was a given that Romney would do well here, but there was a real battle for the number two spot between Paul and Gingrich. The establishment would much rather deal with Gingrich, who may be a loose cannon but at least has shown that he is able to be bought off, than the uncompromising and incorruptible Paul.

Well guess what, the Nevada count is a mess too, just like Iowa.
The media reported Romney the winner based on entrance polling, but the actual vote count is a disaster. The largest county in the state contains Las Vegas and more than half of the state’s population, and as of this writing they don’t have a valid vote total for the caucus yesterday and might not ever have. The media has already reported the results as Romney with Gingrich a distant second, but Paul was stronger than Gingrich in the one county that contained over half the votes and whose totals are not being reported. After a while though, the media repeated fiction becomes the political reality. The American people deserve a legitimate, competently run process to select their presidential nominee, and they haven’t had it.

So we have four contests on which to base our opinions on who is viable. Two of them have had serious ballot tabulation problems, one of them is like the home state of the establishment candidate and the fourth broke the rules in a way that gave every tactical advantage to the establishment candidate. Can someone explain to me why we should continue to cede so much responsibility to these people? Can someone explain to me why we should buy into the mantra that “the race is over” that is being trumpeted about?

1:13 PM, February 05, 2012  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Due to space considerations, I can’t list even a tithe of the things done to make sure the states that vote early will shut Paul out and protect Romney, but let me mention one other important tactic that keeps Paul from gaining momentum. If Paul is strong in a state, the GOP controllers simply move its primary way back to the end of the line. If they left such states in their original position, they would risk him gaining momentum. Their crooked solution is to crowd the early calendar with pro-Romney states, move the pro-Paul states back, and then start saying “the race is over we need to come together now”.

If the Louisiana caucuses had been held when originally scheduled with the original organization guidelines, Paul would have done very well there. He might have even won it. The guys who run the thing moved the dates to block that from happening.

Paul is also on track to win his giant home state of Texas. So what did they do? They moved Texas BACK from the “Super Tuesday” date (March 6th this time) they had used for several cycles to sometime in June. What sort of state party moves their primary back so that it will have LESS influence in selecting the nominee?

Oh but it gets worse. States which hold their primaries in April or later are permitted to use the “winner take all” method as a reward for waiting. That’s the method Florida used early in violation of the rules in order to magnify the results of Mitt Romney’s win. Since in a multi person race it allows someone to win all of the delegates even though they may not even win a majority of the vote, such a process is more appropriate at the back end of a process when there are only one or two candidates left. Well, even though Texas moved their primary date back far enough that under the rules they COULD move to a winner-take-all method of allocating delegates, they have chosen to forgo that advantage and stick with proportional delegate allocation.

Obviously, someone does not want Paul to pick up that giant block of Texas delegates. He will likely still get more of them than any other single candidate, but not all of them, as Romney did in Florida by winning only 46% of the vote.

Whatever the answer to this problem is, it starts with the realization that there is a problem. It’s not OK to just pull a lever for whoever this private club thinks you should vote for and believe that you have “done your duty.”

1:15 PM, February 05, 2012  

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