If the 2012 Republican campaign is intrinsically meaningless (or also meaningless), if it connives at nullity by design; and if it furthermore depends on non-cognizance on the part of the electorate regarding a sitting president’s dependence on at minimum non-obstruction from the legislative and judicial branches, then the election of Willard Mitt Romney with a Republican congress in 2012 would amount to a negative mandate/mandate for negation. It would suggest the completion of a collective auto-lobotomy of the popular sovereign: As far as national government goes, it would say, let the mad pseudo-libertarian billionaires have their way, as the rest of us are too little interested. Whether or not this active anti-campaign is successful, however, it must end with the exact opposite of the result that the most ardent proponents of the underlying theory – lowest common denominator constitutional conservatism – claim to be pursuing: Not with a restrained and tamed federal government and the spontaneous wonders of unleashed exceptional Americanism, but with a more or less stringent and coercive attempted re-assertion of central authority, whether in the moderate form of re-elected Obamism, or under some other leadership down the line. Whether the eventual measures taken come from the nominal left or nominal right may be less important than the order in which the major externalities of financialized neo-liberalism de-externalize. The first decade of the 21st Century can probably be taken as a first draft for augmentation under identified emergency conditions of central power, outside of elections, but with broad popular and bi-partisan support.
Piece isn’t remotely about foreign policy or even really about Obama for or against, but about a theory of the Romney candidacy I’ve written about before, but in this case taking a post of Daniel Larison’s on its own terms. Campaign-ready, but irrelevant polemics on the “surrender of Egypt” (as if we owned it) and the (non-existent) “Iranian bomb” don’t really have much to do with the question, unless you’re under the bizarre impression that either issue figures significantly in the presidential election. Even if I lost my mind and decided your positions on Egypt and Iran were the correct ones, and somehow meaningful in the sense that you had workable and viable policy alternatives to go with your complaints – which you don’t, and never have – their absence from the campaign would reinforce my thesis. Now, if Romney was out there insisting on an invasion of Egypt or putting the near-comatose Mubarak or his hated son in power, or insisting on war with Iran, then his campaign wouldn’t be meaningless. It would just be down 30 points in the polls, at least, and even Karl Rove and his mad billionaires would find some other diversion,
Well there is a touch of the ’14th Brumaire’ to Obama, making Carter seem competent and humble, no mean feat, the surrender of Egypt to the Ikwan is geometrically worse, than the similar Iranian case, and sadly the Iranian bomb, will make the Saudi and
Egyptian bomb, inevitable down the road, as Piereson suggests, the Time of Troubles, may be even worse than we can imagine,