Fatal Flaw Means Obama Can Win
In the UK, candidates for office petition the local headquarters of the handful of political parties to submit their desire to run for office. The party apparatus investigates their background and suitability and approves them as an official candidate before they can run and represent the party in public. There are drawbacks to this system, but the process of party approval of candidates makes UK elections quick and decisive since candidates are not required to run in primaries against members of their own party.
America used to have a similar process when political parties actually had clout. In theory, the party would hammer out a platform and seek candidates to represent the agreed upon issues. The party officials who chose and vetted the candidates were often referred to as the "back room boys" -- a derisory label but, in retrospect, a more desirable source for picking candidates than we have today. The impact of television gradually blunted the process, allowing candidates to bypass the back room and pitch their message directly to the people.
The views of our self-styled candidates now are usually convergent with the general principles of each party, but neither party endorses them or their views. In essence, candidates choose their issues without party input and build a platform of their own.
At the nominating conventions, after the approved candidates have sought support from state delegations, most times the process used to be a fait accompli -- except when in-fighting caused an "open" convention and the outcome was left hanging. But no matter the process, although candidates are usually competent, sometimes they are clueless, corrupt or incompetent. This harms the party's chance to win the White House- a situation that would not happen if political parties did their job.
Instead, they have gradually evolved from platform builders and kingmakers into a rubber stamp association of political enthusiasts who provide some money and very little guidance. In this upside-down environment, candidates make the decision to run and slap on the party title so they can be included on the ballot as a Democrat or Republican to avoid running as a third party candidate or as an independent, requiring a write-in vote.
In the current Republican race for the presidential nomination, the public is thrust into an ordeal of confusion and name-calling rather than a clear-cut debate of the issues dividing Republicans and Democrats. And in the case of Barack Obama, early vetting by the Democratic Party should have ferreted out the birth question, huge holes in his biography and his association with known communists and left-wing agitators.
Without the party approval process, we are left with the media to uncover the bona fides of candidates. And herein lies a great scandal of our current political process: since Obama was the darling of the establishment press, the dream-come-true president of the Left --he was given a pass and dodged scrutiny. After nearly three years of the Obama reign, the electorate has discovered they have been bamboozled by the media and the failure of political parties to do their job.
With Obama unopposed, the Republican candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michele Bachman, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, John Huntsman and Rick Santorum are forced into a suicide pact with each other since the Republican Party is not involved in setting the agenda. Issues that should have been settled behind closed doors to establish a united front are now jerking the race across an emotional spectrum that sends muddled and often divisive messages to voters.
The Tea Party won't wear Romney for his liberal views on abortion and the establishment of an Obama-style public health care plan when he was governor of Massachusetts. Then comes Rick Perry, governor of the Lone Star State, who rides into the skirmish waving the Tea Party pennants. But the partyers have knocked him from his steed for pushing through publically funded tuition at Texas colleges for the children of illegal immigrants. And then religion enters the fray with a famous pastor calling Romney's Mormon religion a cult.
Some see this political demolition derby as a healthy exercise that exposes the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates. The problem is the conflict should be between the nominees of the two main parties, not a fratricidal confrontation that weakens each candidate and sends the winner limping into the contest with Obama. Candidates of the same party maul each other in a public spectacle that could have been avoided.
The acrimony portends a second term for Obama, an event that could seal the end of traditional American core values. This reality is reflected in the unemployment statistics and the loss of faith in the future as home ownership and the health of the small business sector are declining in sync with disgust for the political system.
Unless there is a radical change in policy -- implemented by a new president -- the US may be transformed into an Europeanized business model that saps entrepreneurship and shifts the ownership of wealth from the ordinary citizen to oligarchs in industry and banking like the cabals who pull the strings in the EU.
In the old days the party leaders would have taken the candidates behind closed doors and set the slate. Party members would then choose the person who best represents the platform, causing the Republican primary to be a comparatively sedate affair. Instead a gaggle of wannabes is diverging all over the political gridiron confusing the voters and whittling away each other's chances of beating Obama. The back room had its flaws, but the media is now the vetting agency, and they prefer Obama.