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The US with a Japanese System (and Honor)

by siegestate Thu Jun 3rd, 2010 at 08:37:28 AM EST

As tuasfait pointed out so well in the diary Japanese PM resigns, the once popular Prime Minister Hatoyama failed in an effort to fulfill a major campaign promise of moving the unpopular US Military base off of Okinawa island. (The discussion that follows is typical of the well informed eurotrib regulars and irregulars, full of valuable insights and data.)

Time to zip a tangent, since we have another (lesser, though) high-level politician resigning in Germany this week. There, the President was caught out for speaking truth about a war/commerce connection, unspeakable and untenable among the SeriousTM.

Perhaps a TrendTM?

Imagine, if you will, the US with this kind of system.

Obama announces elections in 2 months, that he is no longer the appropriate leader - he can't end the war as he promised, empty Guantanamo, or stand on the necks of the bankers (even though they are in the offices next to him.) And, though he tried to pack the Supreme Court with traitors, even he can't ignore the Kenyan birth-certificate and passport that the former permafrost coughed up with some Saddam-signed centrifuge tubes somewhere in Alaska.

[One could speculate that perhaps Bush could have been forced to leave if the system were like this, but it is unarguable that the Republicans would have scared people into putting Rumsfeld and Cheney directly in power.]

If Obama were to leave, it would show two things; 1) the vacuum of true leaders that the USians are faced with and, 2) the recipe for vanilla as people triangulate away from saying anything. In a special election, there certainly would be no upswelling of the 'hope for change crowd'-further right/centrist would be the best to be hoped for. The Orange-types might eventually come to a pallid consensus, unfortunately someone who couldn't speak to any issues without alienating some group to apathy.

This would leave the only excited large percentage of voters all those angry people who are pointing at all the wrong sources for their problems (with great accuracy.) Though needless to point out how this comes about <subliminal>demagoguery</subliminal>, there is a problem with continuous discoveries and dissemination of the foolishness and inconsistency in their message. First, "they" don't care. They are the first to tell you that they are not racist, that they only want the country back to the 1950's when everything was perfect.

So, who rises to the fore if Obama were to resign because of: X and Y and especially Z?

Hillary? Jerry Brown? A Senator or Congress person? Newt?

Deleted Scenes:
For melo's benefit I left out the financial details of the 3D event surrounding the prime ministers ultimate sacrifice.

I also left out how pleased I am that two international journals felt I was so stupid, and they had a responsibility to tell me, that as the front runner to the German Presidency appointment by Angela might be Ursula, that the two highest posts would be held by women.

Great Planet; Funny People

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Thu Jun 3rd, 2010 at 08:46:26 AM EST
and resigning for mere political efficacy is unthinkable in an american context. the plodding regularity of scheduled election cycles is a fundamental part of the way everything works (or doesn't). schwarzeneggar's unending run of special elections is very out of the ordinary, and has exhausted voters accustomed to being able to ignore politics for at least a year or so between elections.

in a system where prime ministers call snap elections, and parliaments vote on their successors, heirs apparent would tend to be more set up, i would imagine. i'm pretty sure a president would have to murder someone with their own hands on TV to have to resign (and even then cheney shot a man in the face with a shotgun (and he apologized), so there you go).

by wu ming on Thu Jun 3rd, 2010 at 01:32:43 PM EST
Since Reagan, the US presidency is actor's job. The area of genuine government concerns is apparently very small: interests of Wall Street big sharks, of some corporations and other sponsors; plus Israel, and a few other international topics (more related to the same financial interests than to keeping the US "empire"). Anything else may drop dead, including emphatically the environment.
by das monde on Fri Jun 4th, 2010 at 12:15:40 AM EST
So, who rises to the fore if Obama were to resign

Good question. Jerry Brown would be my pick of those listed, but some "centrist" acceptable to Wall Street would be more likely.  Popularity would be manufactured with money ex nihilo. But if Obama resigned mid-term, Biden would run as the incumbent. I preferred him to Obama in '08, but...

Probably some relatively inoffensive governor. Were this to happen in 2012, with Obama refusing to run, suffering an untimely death or disability, Hillary might take it, or Biden, but anyone with whom there is any danger that they might actually try to change the status quo will be fought big time by big money, so they would have to either have big money or a big money backer. What the US needs is a US Gorbachev, someone who can get in as an insider but will then turn on the establishment.

On the Republican side it is harder for me to see. But the Tea Baggers are likely to shoot down anyone who might win in the general election, so a "do nothing" moderate like Clinton or Biden might limp into office. Or things might get so bad that the Tea Bagger mentality can prevail. Then God help us all with Pres. Sarah Palin.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 4th, 2010 at 12:41:40 AM EST
It would really depend on the structure of the replacement election.

Is the election only for president, or for Congress as well?  Who runs in the election?  One candidate per party, or a Cali-style free for all like the one Arnold won?

If it's one per party, then who is put forward as the major party nominee?  Do we have snap national primaries, or the several month long primary season we currently enjoy?  Or does the party nominate someone as its new leader?

All of these would make a big difference as to the types of candidates that might possibly run.  Should the parties choose their nominee for the snap election, then almost certainly it would be a lukewarm Centrist.  Should there be a long primary season, than the field is a bit more open.  Obama ran and won against the big money, after all, running a campaign big on empowering volunteers to be real local organizers.

I guess my main point would be that the shorter the election timeline, the more likely lukewarm establishment types would be the winners, as they could simply be annointed.

by Zwackus on Fri Jun 4th, 2010 at 02:02:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right, you can't just rig one part of the game, you have to define it out.

I like the idea of a 2 month snap election, no primary; if no 50% winner, a run-off 30 days later. Of course, the parties would never let this happen.

But it would take away some of the money spend of US politics. It would also avoid some of the feeding freenzy of the press. But, it would have downsides too. A charlatan like Palin wouldn't be discovered for the fool she is, by enough people, in a short period. Look how long the hide Bush's failings.

I dnn't see how you could do it with the Congress. It has to just be the Prez.

You're probably right. I was thinking the opposite...as long as it wasn't too short. The lukewarm would come with the constant beating of a position into milquetoast, learning to say nothing. My whole view on this is that there is no one out there, which might give an articulate person who actually said something a chance.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Jun 4th, 2010 at 12:26:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so much as that he ran against the 1990s era clintonite party apparatchiks. while he built a formidable small donor base and grassroots organization, he was a very successful big money fundraising candidate, and was fairly clear about not having a populist anti-big money sort of philosophy, even as he critiqued the free-market-and-green-as-religion sort of mindset.

it was an internal party factional thing. jerry brown in 92, or to a lesser extent dean in 2004 were more classic anti-big money candidates. both foundered, tellingly.

by wu ming on Fri Jun 4th, 2010 at 01:56:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Being a California kid, I'm a big Brown fan. His governorship got slaughtered by the MSN, but he has history on his side...all his programs from the 80's which were slammed back then, are on the positive talking points of today.

You've certainly hit it with Obama. He never described himself as anything different than the center-right position that he maintains. And he did get a shit-load of money, but with a different mix than usual.

What kind of sea-change would be required so that a Brown or Dean won't founder? They get taken down for the silliest things.

Are we any closer to a conceivable way to control your own message so that a weird convention yell doesn't turn into an earthquake fault that takes one down?

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 03:49:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brown's effort back in '92 was totally grassroots. He didn't accept donations over $200, and at least in the SF campaign headquarters we sent checks back that were over that amount. Jerry did well in the campaign, up until the media announced that he was considering naming Jesse Jackson as his running mate. At least that's my recollection. And since I took the year off to volunteer for him, used up a large portion of my savings doing so, took a terrible ribbing about the whole thing from most of my friends (also Dems, who now support him, but at the time supported Clinton because they considered Brown too much of a loose cannon), I have a pretty good memory about the time.
by sgr2 on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 04:49:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then God help us all with Pres. Sarah Palin.

Speaking of which - Palin's popularity with the press and others just amazes me.  I don't get it. How can such a totally uninformed, nonsensical, screwball remain a serious candidate for anything except president of the loony bin?

Guess I answered my own question, huh?    

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 03:46:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I somehow understand the sentiment, but don't understand exactly the answer to your own question.

Perhaps that there is always a loony bin crowd of hateful people who whip up the angry people?

Yeah. Could it ever turn into Bosnia/Hertz in the US? I bet they would like that. History seems to give 13-17 percent to these people, around the world. Sarah might get more the next time out as a 3rd party candidate, but the Republican party isn't that stupid as to give her the nod.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 04:24:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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