|Congress in gridlock|
Although Barack Obama is not facing a challenge in the primary, he might have if some deep-pocketed Democratic donors had had their way. They looked for someone to yank the campaign out of its centrism position and pull it back to the left, and apparently Russ Feingold, former Wisconsin Senator, was the choice. But success eluded the group because nobody wanted to run; some say the reason was they didn’t want to be the one to topple the country’s first Black president.
But others believe 2012 could end up like 1948, when the newspapers had already announced Thomas Dewey as the winner, and in fact Harry Truman had won the election. Another case, if Mitt Romney wins the nomination, the right wing conservatives could decide to run their own candidate or Ron Paul could run as an Independent or with the Libertarian Party. This would split the Republican vote, giving Obama a distinct advantage. Once again, ideology over common sense.
There is still one more situation that could throw a wrench into both the Dems and GOP. A new group calling itself “Americans Elect” will hold an online nominating convention of its own in June. The purpose is not to create a third party, but rather it will hold an online nominating convention. AE will use the Internet to select a presidential candidate from any party who will then choose a running mate from a different party. Peter Ackerman, a philanthropist, is one of the wealthy backers.
Whatever happens, we can’t afford the case where an independent gets enough votes to prevent a majority. In that case the Constitution turns the decision over to a GOP controlled House of Representatives, which would prove a disaster for progressives and the rest of the country as well. So what do we do? Returning to the original question, “Is political reform hopeless?” You be the judge because if it is to be successful, it depends on you and me. If it is hopeless, we are getting closer and closer to the fall and decline of the American democracy.