Wednesday, May 23, 2012

We Have Officially Entered Crazy Season

We'll the US is between the Presidential Election..  To which my non-US friends may say "Is that a typo?".  Unfortunately, it is not.
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You see, our Presidential Election is held over the course of 11 months.  The first bit is the "primary season", where the Republicans and Democrats winnow down the field to a champion each.  Much like ancient Rome, the champion emerges battered and bruised and bloody.
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But they we take a few months off, to raise the real money for the election.  The "Election" season starts (in earnest) around the end of August when the conventions play out.  The convention is when the nominee is 'official'.  "But Scott," I hear you ask, reasonably, "don't we already know the nominees."
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Yes.  But not legally.  And once they are "legally" nominated, they can spend their election money.  Right now they can only spend their primary money.  Sure, the Citizen's United case makes this nearly moot, but not completely.  (Citizen's United was the Supreme Court saying that corporations have a right to free speech and can spend all the money the want, on any election they want - as long as they don't coordinate with the campaign. So old campaign director's went and now run these independent groups.  And if you believe they don't coordinate, I have some Greek Euro Bonds to sell you.)
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So, now we are in that time when the best campaign strategy is free news coverage.  Hence Obama's 2 minute ads about Bain Capital - and Romney's 2 minute SciFi Doomsday ads about what happens if the darkie gets into office again.
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As for Bain Capital - it seems only President Obama has been able to articulate the thrust of this.  Which is, Mitt Romney did a very good job at Bain, in creating wealth for his shareholders.  But his job was not to add value to society as a whole.  And so the job at Bain is very different form the job of President.
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So, why hit Bain Capital?  Because Mitt Romney is running on only that.  He isn't running on his record as Massachusetts Governor - because he introduced Universal Health Care, Gays could get married in the state and he governed as a moderate.  He isn't running on his record as Salt Lake City Olympic savior because it was all about Public Funds - plus the whole Mormon thing.  He isn't running on his church devotion, because he's a Mormon and won't talk about it.  He only talks about his success as a business man - so that is what you can argue with.
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From Mitt's point of view (and Republican's everywhere) success depends on painting the current economic condition as horrible.  They are campaigning on the reverse of "Morning in America" - kind of like "Night of the Living Dead of America".  That is because, outside of the economy, President Obama has done fine.  He lowered taxes for the middle class (yep - really), withdrew (as negotiated by President Bush) from Iraq, followed the General's advice on Afghanistan and killed Osama Bin Laden.  But the economy is still sputtering. And the Republicans in Congress are guaranteeing it still sputters (whether through stupidity or maliciousness is not entirely clear).
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And so, silly season drags on.  But I choose to ignore most of it right now.  I'll go nuts later :-).

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