Elections are usually about something.
Whether or not that something is actually anything or nothing.
People are watching the Supreme Court closely because of significant rulings coming down this week. They have to come down this week, because this is the last week of sessions for the highest court in the land. As such, ordinary citizens are waiting so they can officially bitch about whatever the court rules on Obama's immigration policy and, of course, Obamacare. They are gearing up, ready to use whatever the rulings are as political rallying points to whip up voters for one side or the other.
The people doing this should be pitied and shunned.
The terms of the election are already set. The rhetoric is already set to flow. The messages have been shaped and rehearsed so that, no matter what the rulings are, they can dovetail with the parties' agendas.
The message of the 1980 elections was, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" The Clinton election was about whether someone who seemed to willingly remove himself from everyday life and denied there was a recession going on under his nose could be trusted to right the country. 2008 was do you want a continuation of the Bush Dynasty. Yes, these are gross oversimplifications and there were far more issues than that, and, in fact, most of these "points" weren't even correct or valid. But that was what voters reacted to. If voters paid attention, we wouldn't be stuck with idiots running for office in the first place.
This election is trying to be framed by regular voters as being about government control (Obama and his policies) versus laissez-faire and the myth of Adam Smith economics (Romney and his proposals). The collective good versus individual liberty.
This is wrong.
This election is all about government handouts. Those of you thinking, "Yeah, Obama with his programs," you aren't seeing the whole picture. Obama's government handouts go to narrowly defined voting blocks that tilt the election his way. Romney, on the other hand, is proposing government handouts going to corporations, decision makers, and other stalwarts of trickle down philosophy. In other words, both sides are still taking our money for the benefit of a chosen few. (Remember, Bush Jr. was just as Big Government and spend-happy as Obama, the only difference was the underlying philosophies and their conclusions. They both wanted to control the machine for their ends.)
Proof of this is that, this week, Obama's campaign is opening another attack on Romney and his history with Bain Capital. During the week, Romney said he was going to get tough with China, possibly resorting to protectionism to keep jobs in America. Well, that was a stupid thing to do. On Friday, the Washington Post ran a piece about how Bain sent jobs overseas to China. Rallying round the flag are Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, quickly put together a video about that and has had conference calls with union leaders at the AFL-CIO, Communications Workers Of America, and United Steelworkers. Obama chief strategist David Axelrod held a conference call on this, and Obama, currently in Florida, said, "Let me tell you, Tampa, we do not need an outsourcing pioneer in the Oval Office." Romney keeps talking about how his tenure at Bain makes him perfect to get the country back on its feet.
You can read this as Obama officially ditching trying to be Wall Street friendly. He needed WS help to get elected. Obama is wagering that the support of the working man he gains will be enough to negate the loss of Clout Street. Obama's team is trying to make Bain a liability.
Will it work? Well, it hasn't yet.
The minds of most people are already made up. The reason for this taffy pull is because the numbers are close enough that, if they can skew the undecided voters towards them, it will help them win. And Obama's got an uphill battle here.
Ever since the GOP leadership put the arm on Newtie and Santorum and told them to STFU, Romney has been raising a lot of campaign money. Although his war chest is not as big as Obama's, he still out raised him last month.
Obama is losing support among his own group. Centrist Democrats, seeing how much Obama has damaged his brand with average voters, are already looking at a Hillary Clinton run in 2016 (and remember, these are the same people who support Slick Willie in 92 and 96). Obama has lost his connection with the younger crowd who voted him in for Hope and Change and are seeing that the President can't magically make things go away. Hillary is still viable, and she's aware of the liability Obama creates. It's why she quit. I can guarantee you she will run for the nomination in 2016. How well she does, I don't know. She wasn't just Bill's "empowered" wife, she's had official duties in the Obama Administration and she hasn't done too well. How she will fare with a voting block that is burned out on making history by electing firsts remains to be seen, especially with the other D's who didn't want her in 2008, much less 2016.
So here's what will determine who you vote for -- both sides are going to take your money. Both sides are going to claim it's for the Greater Good. And both sides will only give it to the Greater Good that they approve of, which, by definition, will not be as Great a Good as if they gave support to all of the Greater Good. Neither side is going to fix anything, just keep the money flowing from our taxes to their benefactors.
In other words, the election boils down to, where do you want it? Face or gut?