This makes perfect sense. Republican megadonors dominate what’s left of “establishment” Republicanism and damn it, they’re tired of writing checks that they shouldn’t have to write.
Dozens of the Republican Party’s leading presidential donors and fund-raisers have begun privately discussing how to clear the field for a single establishment candidate to carry the party’s banner in 2016, fearing that a prolonged primary would bolster Hillary Rodham Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate.
The conversations, described in interviews with a variety of the Republican Party’s most sought-after donors, are centered on the three potential candidates who have the largest existing base of major contributors and overlapping ties to the top tier of those who are uncommitted: Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Mitt Romney.
If more than one of those “establishment” candidates runs, wealthy Republicans will have to choose which of them to support, meaning various wealthy Republicans will pick different sides, and then those candidates will be forced to battle it out in the primaries with gobs of millionaire cash. It’s terribly inefficient, and wastes great piles of the wealthy donors’ money, and they’re peeved at the thought of it. Far better for all of the big donors to decide on a single candidate before the nasty business of holding debates or drafting policy positions or (God help us) state primaries ever take place, and present it to the wider public as a fait accompli.
The real decision on who to support as The Candidate will take place in closed rooms over very expensive glasses of wine long before voting season
It’s the natural endpoint of government by money, after all, and a perfectly reasonable outcome of decisions like Citizens United that allow the aforementioned megadonors to so dominate the campaign process that they can not just singlehandedly propel candidates to prominence, but can coordinate with each other to make sure competing candidates don’t even appear on the ballot. The real decision on who to support as The Candidate will take place in closed rooms over very expensive glasses of wine long before voting season; the money will be stockpiled in support of that single candidate and held in reserve for the post-primary coronation.
The preferred candidates this time around are Mitt Romney, representing team megawealth; Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor whose proclivities for manipulating state decisions to benefit his allies have the American upperclass salivating; and Jeb Bush, the Brand Name Politician who represents an economic and policy status quo that has served those donors very well in past iterations, even taking into account that one thing that happened.
This isn’t to say others won’t run, of course. There will be the usual half-dozen batshit insane candidates hailing from the various regions of teapartyism and theocracy-lite. There will be the stubborn egomaniacs who insist on running even though the wealthy have kindly asked them to not do that, and who will sputter out halfway through the season as their money dries up and the megadonor wallets stay closed to them. But the “real” candidate, the “establishment” candidate, need only putter and try to dodge blows until it is time to flood the market with the necessary ads, and we’ll have our winner.
Don’t think of it as damaging to democracy—think of it as a streamlining of the process. The megadonors will pick the best candidate for you, then you will get to vote for that person. It certainly sounds more efficient, doesn’t it?