A lot of people seem to favor the Americans Elect approach. I'm wary. Very wary
Even if the group's ticket doesn't win, its impact will force Democrats and Republicans in the nation's capital to start bridging their cavernous ideological divide.
Are they nuts? Obama has accommodated the Republicans to a ludicrous degree. Whenever Obama meets a Republican, his first response is to turn around, drop his shorts, point to his butt and shout: "Here! Here! Stick it in here
Any movement based on the ludicrous notion that Obama is some sort of radical -- any movement that plays into the "There are extremists on both sides" narrative -- is bad news. Bad
Check out the power players behind Americans Elect...
Its leadership includes former New Jersey GOP Gov. Christine Todd Whitman; former Clinton administration strategist Doug Schoen; former National Intelligence Director Adm. Dennis Blair; former FBI and CIA Director William Webster; and former U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills, among others.Webster?
Jeez, it's almost as if the planners said to themselves: "Hey, we need the conspiracy theorist subculture to give us some free publicity. Y'think we could get someone like Webster or Woolsey on board?"
Let's not forget that Webster pushed the Obama administration to quash a probe into CIA torture
. Webster was one of the behind-the-scenes movers-and-shakers who made sure that the criminal Dubya gang got off scot free. Nearly everyone has forgotten that Webster refused to testify before Congress about the allegations of CIA involvement in the S&L scandal. (Pete Brewton's book
, which you probably haven't read, documents that involvement beyond the point of rational debate.)
Blair, who oversaw the entire intelligence community (until recently), may be even more questionable. It's true that he belatedly came out against the drone war in Pakistan -- but only after he had let that self-defeating approach "drone" on and on for years. Blair is a big defender of the NSA's warrantless wiretapping
Incidentally, Blair's dismissal appears to have had something to do with a reciprocal spying agreement with the French -- an agreement that Blair liked and Obama didn't. The details are sketchy
, but the sketch does look troubling. The deal concerned French access to a "secure intelligence data and retrieval exchange system." Although Wikipedia's summary does not name the system, the link wittily goes to this article on the Global Trade Exchange
, or GTX. That's a project developed by Homeland Security for the purposes of spying on business.
Touted by senior U.S. officials and Congress in 2007 as an anti-terrorism database for tracking long-haul shipping containers, the Global Trade Exchange's principal focus appears to have a different focus, notably advance trade-finance information for market-making purposes.
We're starting to learn some interesting things about the motives of these "Americans Elect" folk, are we not? They don't work for the one percent. They work for the top ten percent of that one percent.
This brings us to former CFR chair Carla Hills, who held her position under Poppy. She is a huge proponent of free trade -- in fact, she was the
main force behind NAFTA and GATT. Right now, she's a leading light of the U.S.-China Business Council. I think you get the picture. If outsourcing erased your job, thank Carla before you thank anyone else.
Whitman ran the EPA for George Bush. She's the one who, after 9/11, declared the air over New York to be safe, even though it wasn't.
Doug Schoen is interesting. He works for FOX these days. He co-authored the much-ballyhooed "Hillary Moment"
article with Pat Caddell. There's a good chance that he's behind the pro-Hillary robocalls. Although he's a staunch opponent of the Occupy Wall Street movement, he has much greater respect for the teabaggers
. (I haven't read his book about the Tea Party, but I'll betcha that he doesn't talk about the Wall Street funders of the movement.) Apparently, populism is a bad thing only when lefties do it.
He believes that the protesters represent “an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence,” and that their common bond is “a deep commitment to left-wing policies.”... Schoen believes that the Democratic Party should not appeal to voters who support taxing oil companies and the rich, but rather to voters in the middle who want lower taxes.
I am no fan of Obama, but that doesn't mean I have any tolerance for those ninnies who think Obama leans too far to the left. And the Democratic Party doesn't need any more advice from "friends" who think that "left wing" is a term of opprobrium.
Here's a bit more on the folks behind Americans Elect:
The National Journal noted last week that President Barack Obama's top political strategist David Axelrod criticized the fact that candidates chosen at the online convention must be approved by a Candidate Certification Committee. "It's like uber-democracy meets backroom bosses," Axelrod said.
The members of the committee are Larry Diamond, a Democrat who is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, a conservative think tank; James Thomson, an independent who was president of the RAND Corporation, a global policy think tank...
The Salon piece was more harsh than Axelrod. "It's fueled by millions of dollars of secret money, there is a group of wealthy, well-connected board members who have control over Americans Elect's nominating process, and the group has myriad links to Wall Street."
Yes, Axelrod is an asshole. That fact doesn't make him wrong on this score.
So the real question is: Why does Americans Elect -- which I think we may fairly label an innately conspiratorial organization -- even exist? Are they really afraid that Barack Obama or the Republican nominee might pursue policies which could in some small way inconvenience the Wall Streeters who plan to sell off this nation piece by piece?
For reasons I cannot fathom, the Street genuinely seems to despise Obama, even though he has allowed Street boys like Summers and Geithner to run the economy.
Romney? He made his millions by destroying companies and laying off workers -- "screwing people for money," in the words of Richard Gere's character in Pretty Woman
. (Gere pretty much played Romney in that movie.) I don't think the Street fears him. Romney is down with the plan to sell off the country piece by piece.
Gingrich? Ron Paul? "And the rest"?
Maybe Blair and Webster know something about those candidates that we do not.
At any rate, if Americans Elect do field a candidate, I think it will be Forbes.