Many people are speculating on the prospects of the Republicans having a brokered convention. Personally, I don't think Republicans will follow through with the wind they're blowing on this non-issue. With that said, there is much antipathy, discontent, and malcontentment within the ranks of the Democratic Party over President Barack Obama's re-election hopes. Many factors have them shitting themselves silly, including the economy, gas prices, abortion, foreign policy, energy, and the President's job-approval ratings. These are but only a few of the reasons why there is a growing sense of disarray within the infrastructure of the Democratic Party. In these next paragraphs, I intend to lay bare the case and rationale for a brokered Democratic Convention.
Obama's job-approval ratings have been flagging since the passage of the Health Care Reform bill. Passage of the reform bill led Republicans to their biggest House seat gains since 1894. As of today, the RealClearPolitics average has President Obama's approval rating at 49%, versus 47% who disapprove. Tepid approval numbers, indeed, and let's remember one thing: History has shown that Presidents who have an approval rating under 50% lose re-election to the Presidency. This has Republicans and their Conservative counterparts excited, and has the Party of Death pissing themselves. Having a President with tepid approval ratings such as these at the top of the ticket would be a monumental drag on down-ticket races and ballot initiatives. There has been some chatter lately regarding putting forth a strong, late-entry Democratic Primary challenger to President Obama. Flagging job-approval numbers would leave some blood in the water, but on this point, history is on Obama's side: No incumbent President has ever lost re-nomination. Party insiders know this, and may opt to seek an alternative route, such as a brokered convention.
Barack Obama has done many things to put himself into the pickle with his own party that he's in. These are the stand out issues that put him in the position that he's in:
1. The Economy: Barack Obama has the worst economic policy of any administration, even by Democrat's standards. Yes, the economy has been on an upward trend as of late, but this bear run may not last as long as one suspects. You see, bonds backed by subprime mortgagaes are back in black again. If Obama's regulations were a barnstorming success, then this would not be happening(I'm not arguing for more regulations by any stretch of the imagination). The far left is up in arms, as they believe his regulations to be ineffective, and that it is a vital, pressing, and urgent necessity to pile on with that free-wielded shovel the burdensome ball and chain of extra and further enhanced regulations, ones that would reach into every business and corporate practice good and evil. Democrats of the center-right belief system and the far left crystal blue persuasion see this as bad, albeit from some pretty far-removed perspectives, and have pinned the tail on the donkey by putting the blame on Obama. This is reason #1 why he is vulnerable to either a brokered convention or a late entrant.
2. Gas Prices: Gas prices have, as of late, been on the upswing. Current gas prices average out to be $3.57 a gallon. In part caused by the Keystone pipeline decision, the increase in gas prices always tends upon hurting the party with the advantage of incumbency. Barack Obama has not the greatest record, even by his own party's standards, of economic practitioning, which does directly affect the price of gas(regular, unleaded, and diesel). Obama's being backed into a corner by both sides, and pretty soon he'll either take a firm stand or simply get brokered out of the nomination by the Democratic Party, which has grown alarmingly wary of Obama in the past few years.
3. Abortion: This issue is more or less applicable to certain specific wings of the Democratic Party(eg: Southern Democrats, Pro-Life Democrats, Liberty-Oriented Democrats). These types rightly feel that states rights and the rights of the unborn are being trampled underfoot by Obama and his minions. This group will never ever support Obama again in light of these clusters of political missteps. This may be a small group within the Democratic Party, but Obama will need every vote just to win re-nomination.
4. Foreign Policy: This is the issue of greatest contention for Democrats in regards to Obama's policies. Many perceive him as either too weak or too war-hawkish on the matter. That he is not pursuing matters more strongly with Iran, is indecisive on Iraq/Afghanistan, or is withdrawing troops from Iraq too slowly. These perceptions of him will serve as a magnificent albatross, whether in a Primary or a General Election.
5. Energy: Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline has risen a furor within party ranks. Many Democrats, minus the far left, are either supportive of or indifferent to the idea of Keystone pipeline. This will be seen, even by Democrats, as sacrificing our national interests for his own bottom line. This will backfire on him, BIG TIME.
As I've indicated, many Democrats are disgruntled with President Obama over many different things. They, for the most part, believe he is not strong enough and/or is just flat out wrong. They are diametrically at odds with the Leftist grassroots. They ardently believe that Obama is a great President and are hitting the ground running for Obama's re-election. The grass smokers are in the clear and present minority, and they know it. There may very well be a civil war within the Democratic Party if word gets out about plans of the excecution of said alternative methods, so they must play their hand carefully. I propose a secret summit in Princeton, New Jersey, on Independence Day to talk over alternative options which would dump Obama for a stronger candidate to face Rick Santorum in November. They will determine that a brokered convention is the option of greatest efficiency. The convention will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, from September 3-6, and it will be very, very, very interesting to watch.
Brokered conventions are a somewhat rare quantity in American politics. They were frequently used before the Primary process really grew to fruition in 1832. The only times since then where a convention has been brokered was in 1924, 1948, and 1952. Many conventions have come close to being brokered(most famously 1968 and 1976), but none have been brokered in the past 60 years. This would be an impressive feat if such were to transpire.
So let's say they decide to utilize this alternative method to nominating a candidate. This would be sure to make the Democratic Convention a highly-charged event, with lots of hand-wringing, arm-twisting, smoke and mirrors/back room deals, vote-buying, and paying off going on behind closed doors, all to keep Obama from dragging them down to a Goldwater-style slamming in November. No matter who they choose, he will be tanned, rested, and ready to fight the onslaught and barrage of attacks coming from Santorum's campaign. But the 800 pound, inescapable, pressing question is this: Who will they choose? I don't know for sure, but I have some ideas.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Vice President Joe Biden
Former Vice President Al Gore
Reverend Al Sharpton
Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr.
General Wesley Clark
Former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold
Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
Former Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry
Former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh
California Governor Jerry Brown
Former Vice President Walter Mondale
Former Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis
Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon
New York Senator Chuck Schumer
New Hampshire Governor John Lynch
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber
Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak
Former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes
Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton
Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey Jr.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill
Montana Senator Jon Tester
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown
Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr.
Minnesota Senator Al Franken
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano
Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Will the Democrats show brass balls and follow through with this plan, or will they cave like the sackless wimps that they are? Only time will tell, but with the growing furor within the party over Obama and his lousy-as-piss re-election prospects, I see no reason to believe that this is completely out of the realm of possibility. Brace yourselves, gang, 'cos here it comes. Comin' right down the pike.