The process starts in Iowa. In retrospect it should have been taken as an omen. A dead heat with the actual winner reduced to a probably weeks later as precincts had to admit they could not reconstruct a proper tally or account for their initially reported totals. The field narrowed to four and then froze there through an endless process. Between superpacs and endless debates as free advertising it proved impossible to drive anyone out. So it lingered on, month by destructive month. The bulk of the electorate was firmly in the ABM [Anybody but Mittens] camp but not in the camp particularly of any of the three remaining contenders. Newt seemed too flaky and had too much baggage. Rick always looked like he had a pickle up his ass and seemed pissed at the world. Ron seemed to be doing something other than running a Presidential campaign as most voters understood such things and besides his Kiddie Korps didn’t sound or act like Republicans.
As near as it could be reconstructed Mittens had 40% of the delegates with the others at 20% each. Maybe. And the maybe was the problem. There hadn’t been this many meaningful credentials fights since the blood bath of 1952. Republican Party Presidential Primaries 1952: Republican National Convention. Newt had started the ball with a fight over Florida’s winner take all primary. Florida had broken the rules and moved its primary forwards [shades of 2008] It had also ignored the rule on early primaries being proportional splits for delegates. The Florida GOP countersued asking for its whole delegation back and got a state court order to that effect. Normally this would be a media event without effect but with the convention being held in Tampa the State Attorney General was threatening to arrest the credentials committee for contempt of court.
Of course if Florida was allowed to do this every other state that had been penalized delegates sued. The result was a welter of competing court results and court orders to state GOP committeemen. The argument between the courts quickly devolved into petty feuds on reciprocity Conflict of laws. The Florida Supreme Court then held a Nevada state court ruling hostage trying to get a custody order on a multistate divorce honored. This led to a Federal appeal that got the 9th Circuit involved. The 9th Circuit is to be polite the most liberal Federal bench in the US and proceeded to use this case to attempt to seize control of the entire credentials process. So the week before the convention opening found the Credentials Committee barricaded in its hotel beyond a large guard force of Florida State Police and National Guards who were barring entry to a force of US marshals and FBI sent by DoJ to enforce the court order.
And this was the least of the credentials problems. Contrary to what is shown on TV many state ‘primaries’ are in fact meaningless ‘beauty contests’ with actual delegate selection taking place through multi-tiered conventions that culminate in a state convention. None of the more or less Establishment candidates excited much enthusiasm and none had Tea Party or major Evangelical support. This left the initial precinct delegate selection more wide open than would normally be the case. The Paulite Kiddie Korps shamelessly gamed this. They packed their supporters as nominal delegates for other candidates or as ‘independents’. However as young people are wont to do they also bragged to each other about how they hustled the foggies. It leaked. The Romney campaign had the money to hire serious web experts to run down the brags. The state parties took this evidence and purged their conventions. They required ‘loyalty oaths’ [signed statements the delegates would support the Republican nominee if their candidate lost]. They refused to seat signers who boasted on line that the oaths were unenforceable.
The response of the broader Paulite Crusade to having Corp Rat espionage turned on them was an escalating wave of net attacks against the other candidates, against mainstream GOP sites, against mainstream conservative groups, against conservative leaning groups like the NRA. Each wave of hacking was followed by attempts at legal prosecution which in turn led to hack attacks against LE. The state conventions devolved into riots as the Paulies would charge past the minimal security and Occupy the floor. Net net was a convention reduced to paper messages and disputed delegations from every convention state.
The streets of Tampa were a wreck to deliver messages through. Some twenty thousand protestors had arrived from the various Occupy Movements to Occupy Tampa. The unions had mustered several hundred thousand more to protest the new right to work laws and the assault in the Midwest against public employee unions. The Paul Campaign had credentialed as many Kiddies as would come with floor passes, delegate badges etc. They had done a beautiful balancing act, telling everyone to obey the law but also saying they could understand if people who felt their liberty had been infringed responded with ‘harmless electronic protests’. These including crashing every non-military ISP for a 50 mile radius, nuking the city and country traffic control computers so every light in the city was permanently red and other ‘harmless pranks’. In other words the streets were impassible and everything was in chaos.
The Secret Service protective details were burned out from the chaos, from lack of sleep, from lack of their usual support nets [DC had been instructed from Obama Campaign HQ in Chicago that Secret Service protection was not to interfere with ‘legitimate public civil disobedience’. Not knowing what this meant in a city chaotic even compared to Chicago in 68 or Miami in 72, the Treasury and Justice Departments had chosen to leave the protective details to sink or swim on their own].
Return of the Glitter Bomber: There had been an ongoing gay crusade to glitter bomb various conservatives and Republicans. By Tampa they had gotten every GOP candidate except Romney. The activists were determined to finish the checklist in Tampa where they could generate massive worldwide publicity for their cause. Their plan was flawless. In football terms they would flood the zone. Twenty four activists, groomed as if LDS down to hair and shoes. When they all rushed him on the rope line the Protective Detail was overwhelmed. So it was a glittering Mittens Romney who was spirited out through the hotel kitchens…to his death. Whether the dishwasher/suicide bomber actually had a plan or was just several bricks short of a load will never be known. The man has a strange past. Ex-Born Again Christian, Ex-Moonie, convert to Islam. He had visited the Iranian Consulate in New York three times in the past year as well as visiting the Pakistani Embassy in DC twice. He seemed to have no politics, was registered as a Green but had never voted. His studio apartment had posters of Che, Jesus, Obama, the Ayatollah Khomeni, Bin Lauden plus poster sized blowup naked photos of the old boy band Mineudo, Menudo (band). The mosque he supposedly belonged to claimed they had chucked him out months earlier as a nut case and had the police records to back it up. He was disowned within 24 hours by the Gays, both strains of Islam, Pakistan, Iran, Cuba and Mineudo’s record label. It took a week to track down his relatives who all said they were glad he was dead.
Whoever or whatever was to blame for this act, Mittens Romney stayed dead and the GOP convention rapidly followed. On receiving the news the credentials committee resigned en masse and left the hotel. They were arrested by Federal LE and the resultant court hearings in SF provided months of comic relief on Fox and MSNBC as the judges kept reinstating them by judicial fiat only to be overruled by the USSC within a day each time.
The Paulites took advantage of the chaos to bum rush the convention hall. They seized the floor, recognized all their disputed delegates, nominated Ron Paul as President [with Rand as VP] and left. When the RNC reconvened a week later by secure phone circuit they voted unanimously not to recognize the Paulite coup. This in turn set off another round of court cases as the Paulies sued to force them. It tended to work in deep blue states and nowhere else. The committee had no time to start the process over and no belief the convention would work any better the second time. They also had enough southerners with political memories. The solution was slates of uncommitted electors – party stalwarts who could pick a President to vote for by conference call AFTER the election.
The end result was political chaos. Obama had always run better against any named Republican than against a generic Republican. He wanted an opponent to hammer but all there was was Paul running on a mix of GOP, Libertarian and Natural Law party labels. In New York he was running on multiple labels with a common slate of electors. In California he was running on competing labels [Republican, Libertarian] with separate slates of electors. There were no debates. Obama on MSNBC and Paul on Fox Business debated empty chairs with the network producers giving taped answers from the other side. The public was disgusted by all concerned. Turnout was at an all time low. With 39% of the voters bothering to show up Obama got 44%, Paul got 11% and uncommitted got 45%. The basic voter sentiment expressed in the exit polls was a wish to drown both parties and start over. The electoral count was Obama 268, uncommitted 270. The Obama campaign however contested the results in OH and FL, both of which had gone uncommitted.
The 540 uncommitted electors and alternates met by conference call and after 22 ballots selected Sarah Palin as President and Herman Cain as VP. To say the media response was off the charts would be an understatement. It went up three notches when the USSC by 5-4 affirmed the Ohio and Florida results as attested by both state legislatures who had solved competing state and Federal injunctions against the posted results by choosing the electors themselves.
Congress is supposed to hear and bless the electoral results. Article Two of the United States Constitution#Clause_3:Electors.
The Senate was theoretically able to do so as the new Senate had a 51-49 Republican majority and could organize. The House has a tad more difficult. It proved impossible to resolve the Texas districting case in time for primaries and elections to be held. The Texas legislature responded by having all seats be run at large [statewide election like Governor]. DoJ got an injunction claiming it violated minority rights. The USSC, which had gotten tired of the district court in Texas ignoring their prior decisions on this, found for Texas, 5-4. Texas proceeded to elect 36 Republicans on a party line vote. LaRaza and the NAACP responded by saying they would take this Rebirth of a Racist Nation to the streets. Between them, OCCUPY and the union protests they brought DC to its knees. The new Congress could not meet there but the Democrats said it could meet nowhere else. Obama refused to use Federal forces to disperse the mobs and said he had been reelected. Palin and Cain were sworn in at the Alamo as Texas National Guard kept the rioters away.
By early February the US had two Presidents, no Congress and no government [it was impossible to get to the Federal buildings in DC and besides their unions had ordered them to stay home]. The DOW was below 6000, the dollar was in free fall and the world economy in a state of collapse. The five justice permanent majority of the USSC was hiding for their own protection at Camp Lejeune with their houses torched by angry mobs. The court and the New Congressional majority appealed to the military to untangle things. In many ways this was similar to Santiago in 1973 where their court and Congress had asked Chile’s military to do much the same thing.
Six military officers met to decide what to do. The four service chiefs, the chairman and the head of SOCOM, the de facto fifth service, agreed to move but with conditions. They would remove Obama but would not install Palin. Instead the 540 member electoral majority met by conference call at military bases in their states and approved the generals’s choice of former Secretary Gates as provisional President pending a new constitutional convention. The military were willing to save the republic but not to repeat this mess every two to four years. A very American coup had happened.