Inpendence Rules – (2008)

Aquarian Weekly 2/20/08 REALITY CHECK


Injustice in the end produces independence. – Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire

At the risk of beating the dearly departed equine, we submit for the public record one last time — with the caveat that it is not only worth repeating, but will be the deciding factor in what is shaping up as a seminal moment in American presidential history — Independence rules.

Obama RallyAfter weeks of following the voting trends in the Democratic and Republican primaries/caucuses, The Desk’s dedicated moles have returned time and again to this key element: Despite exit polling of stark contrasts in conservative vs. moderate vs. Evangelical voting blocks on the Right and women, black/Latino, and an economic range voting block on the Left, nothing has crossed the divide of this polarized nation than the quickly emerging, highly influential, and increasingly mighty Independent vote.

For almost two months now Independents have wreaked havoc on the nomination process, causing the kind of bizarre results that have rocked the very foundation of party power brokers and sent talk radio into paroxysms of fear. And these fears, such as they are, can now be considered well founded, or as Dick Nixon used to say, “It ain’t paranoia if they’re after you.”

To wit: On Christmas Eve a discussion group of politicos set strong betting odds on the frontrunners for both parties: They were solidly, as they had been all summer, Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Rodham Clinton; powerful national figures with name recognition and celebrity appeal — heretofore critical prerequisites for chief executive. The most likely runner’s-up, or the candidates that could cause the most trouble for both, were John Edwards and Mitt Romney; middle-aged, white, populace mongers — also key skill sets for centuries of presidential timber. The idea that Barack Obama (youthful, unknown black junior senator) and John McCain (much older, hanger-on, Washington maverick) would be the presumptive nominees of their respective parties by mid-February was not only laughable it was patently insane.

So how did we get here?

The easy breakdown is that on the Democratic wing, Madam Shoo-in has been an interesting cocktail of grating and arrogant, her husband has suddenly become stump poison, and she is now bouncing her head against an already low ceiling of likeability while battling overall abhorrence within the party. On the Republican side, the defense of McCain’s ascent from completely bankrupt/yesterday’s news to “most electable” can be laid on the stupidity of Giuliani to ignore six state elections before competing, Fred Thompson’s flaccid attempt at campaigning, and the general assumption Romney cannot help but lie about everything under the sun.

There is also the ethereally lazy assumption that somehow Obama has tapped into some kind of spiritual meteor while McCain has warmed our hearts.

The worst kept political secret is out: Independents are deciding the candidates for the 2008 presidential election, and pretty soon they will decide the national contest; and the quicker the press, the party big guns, and perhaps the Clinton Campaign digests this, the sooner they can get on with the business of dismantling it.

However, for the record, I now submit an eye-opening Gallup poll published in the 6/13 publication of this column entitled, “Independence ’08”, which canvassed registered voters across the fruited plains, the results of which looked like this: Republicans, 27 percent; Democrats, 34 percent; Independents, 38 percent. And although everyone but desperate news organizations have roundly discredited the very concept of polls, this baby has come home to roost — big time.

The two-party system, which has halved the ideological soul of this nation for over a decade, has now reached its breaking point. The special interest fobs and extremist twits who have monopolized the national discourse for decades are being swept under by a tidal wave of independent voting. Republicans and Democrats are crossing lines. Fiscal conservatives fed up with social fascists, liberal lions pissed at whining granola heads, war hawks and peaceniks, activists and casual observers are jumping around like never before.

This is why Chris Matthews and Wolf Blitzer and the entire FOX NEWS goon squad appear as if they’ve never covered an election before. All of their stale propaganda and has-been punditry is being trampled with every passing vote.

Where is the Union vote?

Where are the anti-gay voices?

Where is the gun lobby?

Where is the entitlement threat?

Gone. Gone. Gone. Gone.

The pollsters are inert. They no longer know what queries to pose. The columnists are dumbfounded, clawing for trends and trying to appeal to anything that still resembles a one-dimensional audience. Robert Novak has been relegated to trying his hand at Hip Hop poetry and Lanny Davis has started a Jane Austin book club. Entrenched government dealmakers have no idea where to turn to kiss ass, grease wheels or, heaven for fend, endorse. Congress is so confused its wasting hours on Capital Hill wondering if Roger Clemens doped up or the Patriots videotaped their way to Super Bowl titles.

God help the insiders who suddenly find themselves outside. Washington is normally a vapid tunnel of innuendo and gross misconduct, but when this primary season is over it will look like something chaired by Tina Turner in a wacky eighties jumpsuit crying, “Two man enter, one man leave!”

The worst kept political secret is out: Independents are deciding the candidates for the 2008 presidential election, and pretty soon they will decide the national contest; and the quicker the press, the party big guns, and perhaps the Clinton Campaign digests this, the sooner they can get on with the business of dismantling it.

And don’t worry, fans, you know that’s coming.

There is only one way for the Billary Brigade to save their inevitable conquest; and its not to demean their opponent as a cheap Jesse Jackson forgery or sack half their campaign staff, or send Big Bill to the nearest glory hole to shut him up, it is to rally the old-guard base. Failing that, she can start wooing Independents, but that’s too cheap a ploy even for a Clinton.

And as sad as it might seem to these faux conservative barkers that have seen fit to usher this nomination over to McCain with their tired blustery nonsense and name-calling, they too need to begin pandering to the party lifers or get off the tracks, for as the political sage Voodoo Madam Sissy Meechum once said, “The train be comin'”.


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