Oligarchy: a government in which a small group exercises control, especially for corrupt and selfish purposes.
The returns are in.
And Barack Obama has been re-elected to another four years as President of the United States.
For his supporters, it is a time to celebrate.
For his enemies–and that is exactly how they consider themselves–in the Republican party, it is a time to mourn. And to re-group to take vengeance in the coming months and years.
For the United States Secret Service, it should be a time for the most heightened security.
Make no mistake: Republicans were counting on Mitt Romney to return their party to the heights of absolute power:
- Commanding the White House and the House of Representatives, they would have dictated American foreign and domestic policy for at least the next four years–and more likely, the next eight.
- And even though Democrats were expected to retain control of the Senate, there would have been enough Republicans in it to thwart any legislative efforts proposed by Democrats.
- Romney would have been able to appoint Justices to the Supreme Court–which, by itself, would have influenced American legal and social life for up to 30 years.
And Republicans were counting on more than simply access to unlimited money to defeat Obama. A major part of their electoral strategy called for suppressing the rights of minorities to vote.
Mike Turzai, Majority Leader of Pennsylvania’s state House of Representatives, admitted this when he outlined a list of accomplishments made by the GOP-run legislature: “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
So there will definitely be recriminations.
Many–perhaps most–Republicans will blame Romney for not having been “severely conservative” enough.
They’ll demand that their next Presidential nominee be even more right-wing in his stands on issues.
How right-wing? Right-wing enough to win the endorsement of classic Fascist leaders like Benito Mussolini and Francisco Franco.
A minority will argue–probably in vain–that the party must reach out to youth, blacks, moderate women and–most especially–Latinos.
They will warn: “The days of depending on a whites-only electorate have passed. And if we don’t own up to this, we, as a party, will also become history.”
For the moment, however, the smart money will be on those hard-core Rightists who control the levers of power within the party.
They will bitterly resist making such “radical” changes. Partly because they are driven by fascistic ideology. And partly because they know the activist base of the party is equally driven by the same ideology.
So, for the foreseeable future, they will aim the majority of their anger and disappointment at President Obama. And so will their “billionaire boys club” financial backers.
Thus, the second threat facing President Obama could be an attempted assassination.
Think of it:
- Right-wing billionaires were thrilled with the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, which ended limits on campaign donations.
- During the primary season, at least 32 billionaires lavished a minimum of $52 million to Restore Our Future, a super PAC supporting Mitt Romney.
- To those losses must now be added the huge returns they expected to make on their investment–in tax breaks for their corporations and tax cuts for themselves.
- Coal and oil companies were salivating over the coming dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency. Federally protected areas–such as the Arctic Wildlife Refuge in Alaska–would become prime drilling spots.
- To greed-obsessed Rightists, the words of Niccolo Machiavelli apply with a vengeance: “Men forget more easily the death of their father than the loss of their inheritance.”
- A number of wealthy right-wingers head private military companies employing former members of such elite military units as Navy SEALS and Army Green Berets. Many of these companies received millions of dollars in government contracts to supply “hired guns” in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Such CEOs command both the financial and personnel resources to carry out a Presidential assassination
- “Money buys power,” warns Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist. “And the increasing wealth of a tiny minority has effectively bought the allegiance of one of our two major political parties.”
- Access to such unlimited money–and the ideological conviction that they are doing God’s work–might convince some of these oligarchs that they could mount a Presidential assassination–and then buy the legal and/or political protection necessary to get away with it.
Organized crime expert G. Robert Blakey–the former Justice Department official who created the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act–believes that just this happened almost 50 years ago.
President John F. Kennedy had given his brother, Robert, full power as Attorney General to destroy the Mafia.
But the Mafia, Blakey believes, used its own access to unlimited money and assassins to destroy the President. And then the mobsters used that same unlimited money to buy legal and political influence to escape prosecution.
Such an outrage must not be allowed to happen now.