“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president”. Those words were spoken a couple years ago by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. It was a sentiment that Republicans at the national and state level, along with corporations, business owners and Supreme Court Justices put into action even before those words were spoken.
For starters, Republicans who are the minority in the Senate have all but changed the system. The majority used to rule in the hundred member senate, whichever party got fifty votes plus one (the tie breaker belonging to the Vice-President) won the vote.
Today Republicans in the senate have made the filibuster a part of their culture, forcing Democrats to need a three-fifths majority or sixty votes. Republicans have used this tactic to block important job bills from being passed and have done so repeatedly.
With the help of majority Republicans in the House of Representatives doing likewise, it’s been said that Republicans are purposely bringing down the economy to prevent Obama’s re-election. According to McConnell’s statement, it is more important than helping the people who elect them.
In 2010, the conservative leaning Supreme Court ruled in favour of the conservative non-profit organization Citizens United. The landmark ruling said that the First Amendment prohibited the government from limiting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. In other words, money is equal to free speech.
When it comes to corporations and unions, it should come as no surprise as to who each is allied with and which has more funds to spend. If the recall election in Wisconsin was any indication, the era of the Super PAC gives Republicans a huge advantage. Scott Walker in Wisconsin outspent his Democratic rival nearly 8-1, mostly from cash outside the state.
In support of Republican nominee Mitt Romney, billionaire Sheldon Adelson has already spent $35 million of his own money and plans to spend over a $100 million before the election. Adelson is but one man; the billionaire Koch Brothers will spend even more.
So while conservatives are donating tens of millions at a time, Obama is forced to fundraise instead of leading his country. In fact, Obama has already held more fundraisers than the last six sitting presidents combined and he is still behind.
Most might think that blocking job creation bills and outspending their opponents by wide margins is enough for Republicans to reclaim their throne. Just in case, State Republicans have been playing their trump card across the country (and I don’t mean The Donald).
The founder of the American Legislative Exchange Counsel (ALEC) and conservative activist Paul Weyrich once said: “I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down”
Weyrich may be deceased, but the words he spoke over thirty years ago have been put into action by ALEC and has resulted in new voting laws being adopted in at least a dozen Republican controlled state legislatures.
Hundreds of thousands of potentially legal citizens are being purged from the voting rolls in places like Florida and Texas. Other states have mandated new voter IDs, barred convicted and previously convicted felons from voting, cut down voting periods, etc.
These conservative measures don’t amount to a conspiracy, it’s wide open for everyone to see. The problem is for people to see it, the corporate news media would have to report it. I’m not just talking about Fox so-called News who would prefer to add fuel to the Republican fire; I’m talking about the other networks that used to keep the two political parties in check. The fact is they’re too scared to lose out on the billions of Super PAC advertising dollars that’ll be coming in.
With the odds increasingly stacked against him, Obama is going to have to resort to old fashioned politics. I believe his chances are going to rest on his ideas and his ability to articulate them. Sadly, that might not be enough.