The Rorschach (Obama), the Etch A Sketch (Romney) and the Equivocator (Paul): Left, right and libertarians in retreat

Let’s have a serious talk about the state of American politics and ask Democrats, Republicans and Ron Paul supporters to put aside their partisan hats and cult cards for a moment. Any honest liberal Democrat will concede that when hope and change became Emanuel and Geithner, Barack Obama was not remotely the transforming president he promised. Any honest conservative will concede that being forced to swallow Mitt Romney, one of the least principled politicians in modern history, is a serious outrage bordering on a conservative humiliation. Any clear-eyed Ron Paul supporter will realize that whatever one calls his romance with Romney, and whatever the reason for his declining support, Paul's candidacy is on life support.

American politics has reached the point where the final choice will probably be a Democrat who self-described himself as a Rorschach, who campaigned to be all things to all people and is a sad disappointment to liberals, versus a Republican who has literally spent a lifetime without being able to define what he actually believes, who changes his deepest convictions more often than most Americans change their cars and is a bitter disappointment to conservatives.

Barack Obama has been a profound disappointment to serious liberals, and while some (including me) will say this, and others (for self-serving reasons) will deny it, virtually all serious liberals believe this. 2008 should have been the year for a transforming progressive president. What we got was a revolving-door gang of Wall Street-to-Washington Democratic insiders who played Obama to make a lot of money for themselves in a system where Obama did not bring meaningful change but substituted a Democratic brand of insider pay-for-play for the GOP brand.

For my money, Obama is better than Bush was, but the Obama cult cards have long ago been put away, as I suspect the Ron Paul cult cards will ultimately be.

Mitt Romney is, literally, the most unprincipled politician that I can think of in my lifetime. I am sure he is nice person, but he embodies two aspects I find even more sinister than anything Obama will do. Romney moves from liberal to moderate to conservative with great ease and no conviction, and second, he stands for the vulture capitalism of the greatest greed and thinks nothing of firing workers to make short-term profits.

I do not believe he will be elected, but I predict that if he is, angry conservatives will be marching in the streets against him within six months. Once he is done using conservatives and conning them to be elected, he will treat them like his dog and make them ride on the roof of his car once he has his first meeting with Harry Reid.

I had hoped Ron Paul could seek a cross-party populist alliance and seek common ground between many in the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. Instead, Paul never grew beyond ancient theories about Austrian economists and a ridiculous dalliance with Mitt Romney, the vulture capitalist and leading anti-populist.

Right now true liberals, conservatives, populists and libertarians are all on the defensive. Big Brother and the crony capitalist state are riding higher than ever. Massive spending of big money from powerful people supporting the super-PAC state combined with insider deals, campaign donations and backroom lobbyists are running the country. "We the people" are all being treated like Mitt Romney's dog with no leader, in either party, leading the battle against this.

America needs a serious discussion about what has gone so wrong with our politics, and as we march through 2012 it is not too early to begin a serious discussion of 2016.

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