The near-exponential growth in the number of Republican presidential candidates has the field now pushing 19; three have declared their intentions. With a few more candidates, they can form their own independent nation. But to winnow the field, we must turn our attention to the first critical primaries and caucuses of the 2016 election.
As you know, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling ended representative democracy a few years ago. So now we have a pretend primary process, and we have a new schedule to contend with. Let’s look at the calendar:
The Iowa Kochuses: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker won this by dismantling unions in the Badger State, and the Koch Brothers noticed. Consequently, the boys last week may have anointed Walker as their big cheese for 2016. Walker comes pretty cheap, too. What price democracy? The Kochs can throw $100 million at someone, and it pretty much comes out of checking.
The Adelsonia Primary (Formerly the Newt Hampshire Primary): Our intrepid candidates supplicate to Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas gambling billionaire. Wait. We call it gaming. Sorry. Anyway, last time around, Adelson poured money all over Newt Gingrich, but it didn’t work. Now Adelson is looking at the very moral and holy Sen. Ted Cruz, who endorses everything that happens in Vegas and Liberty University. After all, he now takes Obamacare, and that requires a certain flexibility. Sen. Marco Rubio is also moving up fast in this key contest.
Super PAC Tuesday: Formerly Super Tuesday, the campaign swings to the South and West. The big-money political action committees get their say in the process, and this is where the big winnowing-out happens. Underfunded candidates like Donald Trump have to drop out because they just can’t play at this level. Since some social welfare groups claiming 501(c)(4) tax status are operating like Super PACs and concealing their donors, we just don’t know precisely who is emptying their wallet. But groups with vaguely worded yet laudable-sounding names must be OK. Create your own 501(c)(4) group or Super PAC name here: “Americans/Citizens/Voters/Sentient Beings/Things With DNA for America/Democracy/Freedom/Chocolate/Rainbows.”
The Hip Billionaire Caucus: This next round of contests actually consists of the hip (from Silicon Valley, natch) billionaires: Peter Thiel and Sean Parker. Thiel was one of the co-founders of PayPal, so he’s gotta be hella cool. Parker is the music kleptomaniac who founded Napster, which stole billions of dollars from musicians. You know. Libertarianism! The heck with the copyright – that’s just more big government. Looks like Sen. Rand Paul is out front in this pivotal round.
Finally, the remaining candidates advance to …
The Wall Street Primary: Here’s where it all gets messy. Usually, Wall Street shovels a bunch of cash to whomever they want as the GOP nominee, but the Street has been getting in on a lot of action with Democrats, too, like campaigns for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. So, it doesn’t matter which GOP candidate Wall Street picks, because they’ve also got a Democrat in hand. It’s terribly convenient. But it looks like Jeb Bush has this one wrapped up, as his family has been working this side of the street for 100 years or so.
The Republican National Billionaire Convention: Now held in a suite of rooms at the Waldorf Astoria, the 40 or so billionaires decide which candidate is the best one to represent them. Once they’ve selected their candidate, then they can turn their attention to a pretty 40-something aspiring vice presidential candidate – 2008: Sarah Palin; 2012: Paul Ryan; 2016: TBD, but Ryan Seacrest looks very promising.
Oh, right. We forgot something. Real voters.
Actually, Citizens United got rid of them. They were slowing down the process with odd questions at town hall meetings and their insane desire to press the flesh at state fairs in Ames, Iowa. Yucky.
Don’t worry. You can watch it on television on election night. Because you need to be included in the process. But you’re not a voter anymore.
You’re a viewer.