… cruel RBC (Reality-Based Community) members point and laugh:
Americans Elect, the group that has spent the last two years securing ballot access for a yet-to-be-named middle ground presidential candidate, wound up running into a significant problem: Finding a candidate.
The group announced late Monday that no candidate has attained the level of support he or she would need to even be considered at the group’s online convention next month, and the deadline for candidates to qualify has passed. That leaves the group with ballot access in more than half the states — including many swing states — but no candidate to actually put on the ballot.
The group says it will meet Thursday to decide whether to press on.
The excellent Jim Cook’s stalwart reporting at the Irregular Times has been my go-to source for news of AE’s latest stupidity, as when he
sticks a pin in the AE founders overinflated egos fact checks Kahlil Byrd’s May 15 statement:
… Americans Elect has not yet “gained nationwide ballot access.” The latest news release by Americans Elect on the subject, just a few days ago, declares that Americans Elect has ballot access in 27 states (source). Ballot access was gained through paid signature gatherers (source), not a grassroots wave of supporters…
Americans Elect also has not “fielded a credible, balanced, unaffiliated ticket for the 2012 presidential race.” That is why Kahlil Byrd released this statement. Three Americans Elect ballots have gone empty because no candidate has reached the required 1,000 votes of support in each 10 states for political insiders and 5,000 votes of support in each of 10 states for political outsiders (source | source). The closest any candidate came to reaching either of those standards was Ron Paul, who as of 5:00 this morning had obtained 48.9% of the required votes after months as a draft candidate (source)…
Kahlil Byrd declares that there are “millions of Americans who have supported AE” who want to “see a credible candidate emerge from this process.” If this were true, then there would be millions of Americans who acted to see a credible candidate emerge from the process by casting votes to put candidates on the Americans Elect ballot. There have not been millions of Americans casting vote in the Americans Elect process. The top ten declared candidates, put together, have only received 14,399 votes expressing support for their placement on an Americans Elect ballot (source) — and as Americans Elect points out in a recent e-mail, a single person can cast “as many [votes] as you like now” (source)…[F]our days ago Roger Ryan made a motion and put advertisements up around the Internet asking people to second his motion to shelve the current official Americans Elect rules and let candidates on the Americans Elect ballot anyway. Fewer than 25 people have seconded Roger Ryan’s motion (source). If there really are “400,000 delegates” as Americans Elect dubiously claims, that’s an awfully low level of support — about the opposite of “universal.”
Professor Krugman, as is his wont, points out the obvious-to-those-not-getting-paid-to-be-obtuse:
Thing Falls Apart
…What went wrong? Well, there actually is a large constituency in America for a political leader who is willing to take responsible positions — to call for more investment in the nation’s education and infrastructure, to propose bringing down the long-run deficit through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. And there is in fact a political leader ready and willing (maybe too willing) to play that role; his name is Barack Obama…
Americans Elect was created to appeal to this class of professional centrists — which meant that it was doomed to go nowhere. Because outside that class, the large number of people who believe in all the good stuff the centrists claim to favor are, you know, going to vote for Obama. The large number of people who don’t believe in any of that are going to vote for Romney. All AE could ever have been was a distraction; and it turns out not to have managed even that.
Alec MacGillis at TNR has a photoshop I’m not gonna spoil, to accompany his post “Our Centrist Savior Misses His/Her Deadline“:
……The person who came closest to meeting the threshold was Buddy Roemer, the former Louisiana governor who labored mightily to win the group’s favor after being shunted rudely aside during the Republican primaries. But AE’s team had its sights set higher—among its dream candidates were Jon Huntsman, Jr., Olympia Snowe, Mike Bloomberg, Lamar Alexander, and David Walker (the former head of the GAO, for those of you who don’t keep up on those things.) Sadly, none of these scintillating figures decided to make the leap, despite occasional flirtation. And the group’s original champion apparently did not see fit to heed my exhortation to pull a Dick Cheney and take the reins himself.
Buzzfeed has, delightfully, compiled a list of quotes from various Very Serious Men… declaring that Americans Elect would revolutionize the political process and maybe even help decide this fall’s election. I can state proudly that I am not on that list, having been one of the first to cast a skeptical eye on the whole venture last fall…
Ed Kilgore at the Washington Monthly, nominates the same “saviour”, and suggests some possible running mates and a campaign slogan.
The Stranger‘s Paul Constant’s take as “Another Third Party Dies An Ignoble Death“:
The top two losers at the moment are former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, and Rocky Anderson, who as near as I can tell has one very angry fan who loves getting into fights on the internet. I think if a Republican were to break with his party, say fiscal sanity is important but social issues are not, and run with a third party on the ballot in every state, that Republican would do very well for himself in November. I’m not saying Americans Elect would win the White House, but they could at least inspire the schizophrenic break that the Republican party sorely needs at this point. Romney’s biggest problem is that he has to try to shape all the various past leaders of the Republican Party—teabaggers, evangelicals, neocons—into one coalition, when the party needs someone to cut ties with all those groups and offer something different for the future. A third party would be the quickest, most efficient way to do that, but it’s not going to happen this year.
And my personal guru Charles P. Pierce warns (reminds) us what’s really at stake here:
“Good and qualified people simply aren’t willing to subject themselves to the poisonous environment that exists today,” said Mark McKinnon, a Republican political strategist who also sits on the group’s Board of Advisors.
Oh, balls. McKinnon owes America a millennium’s worth of getting flogged with barbed wire by flame-tongued demons in political purgatory just for his part in inflicting C-Plus Augustus on an undeserving nation. AE was going to be the channel through which he slimed his way back into national politics. That was pretty much what the whole project was — a way to launder hedge-fund money into a political wet-dream run by people trying to launder their reputations.
The last great hope for the project was David Walker, who’s spent a decade being the front man for “Pete” Peterson’s endless attempts to get the financial-services industry’s hooks into the Social Security trust fund. As it happens, “Pete” and his foundation had their annual Catfood Soiree in DC this week… It is plain that we’re all rounding into another extended period of deficit hysteria again, despite the popularity of the blog’s basic economic theory — Fck The Deficit. People Got No Jobs. People Got No Money.
…[I]t’s really what Americans Elect was all about — “centrist” economic “solutions” that would give the Pete Petersons of the world their golden dream of pumping Social Security money into the Wall Street casino and casting the elderly and the infirm onto the tender mercies of the private health-insurance market. And all of this in the middle of a soft recovery from a disastrous recession. If there was ever a time when the country needed “centrist” solutions less, and a vigorous and raucous class-based debate over who should profit from the American system, it’s right now. Americans Elect died from neglect, which was all it ever deserved.