Prediction is a hazardous occupation. The past is littered with the mangled corpses of dead predictions – some accurate, but most not. Wildly wrong, even (I’m thinking about the Rapture…). So why would anyone want to try to predict anything at all? I think there’s something hard-wired into our DNA, something that makes us want to control the world around us, both the present and the future. Now, almost everyone knows that the past is out of our reach; well, except for the propagandists who regularly attempt to re-write history (I’m looking at you, Mitt Romney!), and most people know that the future is also out of our reach.
Most people. Here in Los Angeles, there’s a psychic on almost every corner, because this town is chock full of people who want to know their future.
So, today, I’m joining them. I’m hanging up my psychic shingle, donning my very own “Madame Lazonga” turban and polishing up my crystal ball, because I’m going to attempt to predict the future. Yep. Please note, this piece will be available in the archives, so on November 7th, you can all go back and see how accurate – or inaccurate – my predictions are. You can either marvel at my accuracy or point and laugh, depending on the outcome.
Every day we hear just how close the polls with regard to presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney; we hear they’re neck-and-neck, dead even, too close to call. Well, I think the polls are wrong, and here’s why.
First, a few background facts.
As I’m sure you’re aware (since, after all, the odds are that if you’re reading this, you’re a progressive) that beginning with the presidency of Ronald Reagan, accelerating during the eight year nightmare that was George W. Bush, breaking the sound barrier during the ugly and shrill campaign of McCain/Palin in 2008, now, here in 2012, the American right wing is riding the crazy train at warp speed straight into Looneyland.
The Republican Party has now positioned itself to the right of Attila the Hun, aligned itself with Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition and has loudly proclaimed itself to be the champion of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous – at the expense of all the rest of us. They are rabidly anti-choice, pro-gun, pro-war, pro-death penalty, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-evolution, anti-woman, anti-Muslim, anti-regulation, pro-big oil, pro-fracking, and they lay claim to being the only pro-Jesus folks in America (the rest of us are Satanic evil Jesus-hating baby-killing socialist Marxists).
Everything they do and say these days works just fine with the word “rabidly” in front of it. Rabidly anti-contraception. Rabidly anti-violence against women. Rabidly against teaching evolution. Rabidly anti-Planned Parenthood. Rabidly anti-gay marriage. Rabidly pro-corporations. Rabidly pro-guns. Rabidly pro-war against <insert country here>. See?
They’ve gone off the deep end. All of them. And because of FOX “News,” and other strictly right-wing outlets and the 90-10 ratio of conservative talk radio stations to liberal/progressive talk radio, these rightwingers hear only what they want to hear. They are insulated inside a wingnut bubble, where they hear only their words and only interview each other. They have grown increasingly isolated in their craziness, and yet, we hear every day from the media about the power of the conservative right wing, the power of the Tea Party, the power of the evangelical Christians, the power of extreme Republican bullies like Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Jan Brewer, Bob McDonnell and others who were swept into power on a wave of Koch Brothers money in 2010.
Every day, these Republican senators, governors, congressmen, judges and state representatives gleefully attempt to out-bully each other by advocating ever-more-draconian cuts to social programs, hurling blame for the country’s woes at teachers, fire fighters, policemen, union members and other working class Americans and demanding that we work harder and longer for less and less pay. They demand tax cuts for obscenely profitable corporations and the obscenely wealthy, and demand that the poor and the middle class (who are already struggling to simply get by) pay higher taxes to support them. They wrap the mantle of Christianity tight around their shoulders, pin it with their American flag lapel pins – and appear on Sean Hannity’s show or the farcical “Meet the Press” – or worse, climb into their pulpits – to excoriate the least among us, the disabled, the poor, the elderly, the homeless and the unemployed, by telling us that we’re lazy, we’re shiftless, and we’re useless oxygen-wasting moochers who should be kicked to the curb in order to give tax cuts to the wealthy 1% – aka the “job creators.”
And that’s not all. The underlying racism that has been simmering in the right’s burning hatred of President Obama is no longer implied. It’s right up front and right out loud. Rick Santorum, who described himself as the “Jesus candidate,” actually said what he was really thinking when he called the president a “government nig—-“ in a speech in Wisconsin around a month ago, a fact that was never reported by the conservative-dominated media. (For those of you who scoff at the term “conservative-dominated media,” think about this: what do you think would have happened if Vice President Joe Biden had called GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain a “nig—–“? Think about it.)
That’s the background. The salient point in the previous paragraphs is that the Republican Party has become increasingly insular and isolated. They are painting themselves into a smaller and smaller corner as they drive away African-American voters, Hispanic voters, women voters, immigrants, progressive Christian and moderate voters with their extremist views, and interestingly, the Party is committing mass suicide right before our eyes on the teevee machine and on the radio. We are spectators, watching the implosion and self-destruction of the Republican Party as we know it.
If you take polling for each group mentioned above, the Democrat-vs.-Republican, Obama-vs.-Romney gap is astounding. Looking at a Quinnipiac poll of 2,577 American voters taken on April 19, 2012, this is how the numbers stack up. Women? Obama leads by 49-39%. African Americans? Obama leads by 94-3%. Hispanics? Obama leads by 64-24%. Whites are the only group Romney is leading, by a margin of 52-36% (and most of those are white males, if you consider the President’s lead among women). Keep in mind that this poll is nearly a month old and the sample group is miniscule. Furthermore, normally, a poll is stacked with a pre-determined number of voters identifying themselves as Republican, Democrat or independent – which, in my view, does not correlate with the real views of the American public as a whole. Also, with everything that has happened since this poll was taken, I believe the numbers have shifted even further in President Obama’s favor.
According to Quinnipiac, Romney leads the president with regard the economy. However, again, the sample size is miniscule and (I believe) skews somewhat to the right, if the President’s team continues to hammer Mitt Romney on his dismal record as governor of Massachusetts (47th in job creation) and the President’s positive record on the economy, I don’t believe Romney will be able to capitalize on this particular area. Another factor is that the Republican lies have gotten so completely and spectacularly far-fetched and ridiculously blatant (i.e., Romney is responsible for the current success of the American auto companies) – I don’t think that Americans (aside from the ones who live inside the FOX bubble, that is) are going to buy into them anymore.
So, I’ve laid out my facts. And now, buckle up, progressives, here’s my prediction. Barring monkey business (i.e., election fraud/stealing on the part of the GOP – which is not outside the realm of possibility), I am predicting that Barack Obama will win a second term by a landslide. None of this 52-48% stuff; this is going to be a blowout. Furthermore, I am also predicting that the Democrats will retake both the House and the Senate. The Senate, to my mind, is the least confident of my predictions, but nevertheless, I believe the Democrats will win a 60 seat majority.
There you have it. Madame Lazonga has spoken.