And The Road to the White House. (a retrospective)
With the passing of the anniversary of Obama’s election, I have tried to collect and assemble the events that I feel provided the crucial elements that won him the White House. What delivered first the Democratic primary from the then presumptive heir Hillary, and then worked to knock off a resurgent McCain after Palin’s selection, out of the competition for the general.
I realize that this article to be considerably after the fact, but it seems that many, even the wonkish set that inhabit the conservative blogoshere, may not have all the dots to connect & glimpse the outline of the “big picture”. Of this past election cycle, generally everyone has caught bits and pieces of the irregularities and the forces at work, that at precisely the critical moment provided the means for an Obama victory.
In the following two part series I seek to shine a spotlight and draw attention to events that would indicate to me a malicious manipulation of our electoral system.
The Corruption of the Caucus System, The Chicago Way.
First a word on the caucus system: caucus, an Indian word, is an archaic throw-back form of governance adopted from “The 5 Nations” of the Great Lakes American Indians. The tribes would assemble and listen to the proposals articulated by their respective chiefs. The finer points of the issue being discussed would then be argued back and forth with different segments of the tribes showing their support to a proposal by going to stand next to the chief who espoused it. After lengthy debates the participants may switch to a different chief if their original choice showed no sign of winning, or another chief offered a lesser of evils but had the best chance of securing support for policies similar to theirs. The process is a highly informal one allowing the congregants to literally vote with their feet.
In its modern usage, like the Iowa caucus, this informality is rife with opportunities for abuse. Distinctive to the caucus system is that it is not a “secret ballot” and supporters from any camp are free to convince or cajole members of another camp to defect. This opens the door to intimidation, as one may be pressured into supporting someone contrary to their convictions. If say your employer, your professor, or a bureaucrat you have business before, is glaring at you from their corner with obvious disapproval of your choice, you might be coerced to behave differently. The result is the very definition of go along to get along politics. A caucus is deliberately designed to arrive at a decision via peer pressure. Due to this factor and the laborious hours they require, caucuses tend to attract a mere 10-20% participation of a primary.
Another quirk of the “first in the nation” Iowa caucus, as well as some other caucus states is: “The Iowa caucuses are open to anyone who registered as a Democrat or Republican voter when they enrolled to vote” (emphasis mine). Any name that is listed in the county register can be part of the “head count” be it Tony Romo, Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse: dead, alive, or otherwise. So as many supposed registered “bodies” as you can pack into a school auditorium in say, Chickasaw County, Iowa (pop. 13,095), whether suited up in full pads, Disney mascot uniform or not, that’s what will decide who gets the delegates. Iowa and the nation in general, experienced record breaking new registrants unlike ever seen before 2008. Allegations of voter registration fraud exploded in 2008 as well, so much so that criminal proceedings are underway in at least 14 states against just ACORN alone.
Remember that an unprecedented voter registration effort was put on by one dark horse candidate, Barack Obama. As The Nation reported at the time; “For the Obama campaign, which is undertaking the largest voter-registration drive in the history of presidential campaigns, victory may very well hinge on the answer.” Central to those efforts were the SEIU , AFSCME and most prominently, ACORN. The inundation into Iowa of “volunteers” was so overwhelming, that upon taking the stage on his arrival at the Jefferson Jackson dinner (the official Iowa primary kick-off) Joe Biden turned to yell “Hello Chicago!” at all the buses bearing Illinois plates spilling out the hordes of Obama Obots.
Going into Iowa, Hillary was by far and away the presumed favorite, not only for the nomination but the presidency as well. As was reflected by how the odds-maker’s at BetUS.com had it handicapped at that time: Barack Obama -175/John McCain +140/Hillary Clinton +1000. Even the not yet assimilated Chris‘Tingles’Matthews, ridiculed the farcical nature of Obama’s qualifications. So what in the hell happened?
Well, Team Obama implemented the highly unconventional strategy of inordinately focusing on the caucus states, states where Astro-turfingtm (political parlance for the tactic literally invented by Obama’s campaign manager, David Axelrod) could best leverage their numbers against the lower participation rates. Through artificially inflating the appearance of local support and having trained brow-beaters to badger the wavering into line, (Remember Obama’s instruction to “get in their face“?) put simply the caucus format allowed Obama to punch far above his true weight class. As any constitutional scholar can inform you, fraudulently importing “voters” to manipulate election outcomes is patently illegal. But in the spirit of “vote early, vote often!” it is business as usual, The Chicago Way.
Later on the trail, Obama would actually use Sean Connery’s Chicago maxim, “..if they bring a knife, we bring a gun!”, so with the deck thus stacked, all that was left needed was either the ignorance of The House being played, or at the very least, a pliable Dealer.
The Dealer in this case appears to be out of a Le Carre plot. What if you could have a “plant” that could in effect, take the infamous “war-room” of your opposition right out of the equation? Enter “Hillary For President” campaign manager Patti Solis-Doyle. Patti is one of the Mayor Daley cogs from the Chicago Machine that is the political “Family” from which Obama is spawned. A 20+yr distinction she shares with her brother Danny Solis, David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett and Rahm Emanuel as well as most of the crew in Obama’s inner circle.
Upon going into the all important weekend right before the tone-setting Iowa primary, Solis-Doyle sequestered Hillary’s top campaign staff in a hotel “for a well deserved rest”. Bear in mind that at this point, a campaign’s nerve-center is expected to be operating at a fevered pitch, sustained only by coffee, donuts, cold pizza and the raw frayed adrenaline of sleep deprivation. In the closing days just before the Iowa caucus, Patti decides to “shut down” the campaign office for a two day Gray’s Anatomy marathon. The result is, the Clinton Campaign was blind-sided by a knee-capping from which it never recovered its coveted “presumptive nominee” mojo. Mission accomplished, The Chicago Way!
To add insult to injury, Peppermint-Patti had spent campaign funds like a kid in a candy shop, leaving the once formidable Clinton war-chest in tatters. Some even began to eventually speculate whether the campaign could continue and Hillary would soon be forced to personally finance the campaign. Adequate finances would be a lingering issue for the Clinton campaign, especially in the face of the deluge of dubious dollars that would become the hallmark of the Obama fund raising juggernaught.
After summary dismissal from Hillaryland and a demonstration of bald audacity (without even the decorum of a delay) Solis-Doyle was promptly welcomed back into the warm embrace of her Chicago Family. Now without any pretense, she would candidly go back to work for the gang with the Obama Campaign with a promise of a prominent position in the White House. With the fifth column operation she had been running laid bare, Patti’s former colleagues seethed “Who can blame Obama for rewarding Patti? He would never be the nominee without her,”
With a bottomless pit of untraceable resources Obama would now use his Chicago brand of politics to seize the nomination. He would deploy Axelrod’s Astroturf Strategytm to win every caucus race in the country, and by landslide margins entirely inconsistent with his polled level of support. After Iowa the Obama Campaign would go on to engage in these questionable practices in state after state. Nefarious happenings would be meticulously documented by the local democratic officials on-site, as shown here , here , here & here.
In the primary states he fell back on what Team Obama knew best, machine politics. By co-opting the DNC’s relationships in the inner cities with their mutual allies the SEIU, AFSCME & ACORN in the major metropolitan areas across the map, he prevented Hillary from closing the gap. Instances of irregularities would always be commensurate to the extent a race was a “must win” for Hillary, the irregularities that cropped up never once worked to her benefit. If said irregularities had been isolated random flukes, surely the benefits derived would be random as well, but in every single instance they broke for Obama. In a classic example of the smoke-filled-room analogy he even had Michigan delegates derived from actual vote tallies, redistributed from Hillary to him on the basis of exit polls! This was much to the displeasure, of what would come to be known as the PUMA movement. If such a barometer had been deemed legitimate and employed in the caucus states, Obama would have been roundly shellacked. No question.
In conclusion, to the politically astute it becomes readily apparent that without the subterfuge of Astro-turfingtm and the sabotage of Patti Solis-Doyle, Obama could not have pulled off his upset victory in Iowa. Without the stunning Iowa upset out of the gate that established his viability, he likely would have been relegated to the ranks of just another “also-ran”. Since the election much has been remarked about the “genius” of the Obama campaign. If the new definition of “genius” is rigging the caucus systems, then Team Obama fully deserves the accolades.