Political Termites

Termites: tiny creatures invisibly destroying massive buildings from the inside. Did you every meet anyone who got involved in politics for what they could get out of it? Most low-level politicians either work for free or almost free. They do the job because they honestly believe they are helping people.

At what point do they succumb to temptation and make something for themselves? With some politicians, they enter politics with no personal principles. They simply start out taking the easy road to personal rewards. But most people do not start out corrupt. Somewhere along the campaign trail or after they get into office they make a decision. That decision might come when someone takes them into a room and “explains” to them the way the “system” works. It could be some type of personal temptation, usually sexual or financial. But with most politicians, the pressure to do “greater good” overwhelms personal principles. They cannot help anyone unless they are in office. So they do what they have to do to get or stay in office.

It does not have to be just individual politicians, either. States at the end of the Primary voting season see that their votes do not count. By the time they get to vote, all the competitors have dropped out. In 2012, 33 states and territories, including the District of Columbia, moved their primary or caucus date forward, even though the Republican National Committee (RNC) passed rules forbidding voting before April 1, 2012. Arizona, Florida and South Carolina defied the rules even further. For those who moved their voting date, the RNC cut the number of delegates in half and required that they award their delegate proportionately instead of winner-take-all. Arizona, Florida and South Carolina awarded all their delegates to the winner. In South Carolina Newt Gingrich had 40.4%, Mitt Romney had 27.8% and Rick Santorum had 17%. In Arizona Mitt Romney had 47.3% to Rick Santorum’s 26.6 %, a difference of 8 delegates. In Florida Mitt Romney had 46.2% to Newt Gingrich’s 31.9%, a difference of 16 delegates.

In Iowa, Mitt Romney was originally declared the winner by 8 votes out of a total vote of 121,394. He was awarded one extra delegate because he was the winner. After the votes were certified, effectively recounting the votes, Rick Santorum was declared the winner by 34 votes. However, the state election board made this announcement very late on a Friday night, declared the election a tie and awarded the same number of delegates to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

In Michigan, delegates are awarded by popular vote per congressional district. Winning big in one district does not help you out in another district where you narrowly lose. Though Mitt Romney won the popular vote, in delegate count by congressional district, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum tied. According to Michigan law, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum should have an equal number of delegates. However, in violation of Michigan law, the Michigan Republican Party awarded Mitt Romney an extra delegate, taking one away from Rick Santorum.

Normally, these small “irregularities” would go unnoticed because the winner would be determined long before the final primary and few delegate votes here or there would go unnoticed. After all, each one of these is only a little termite. But with the possibility of a brokered convention looking more and more likely, these results certainly appear as if the fix is in for Mitt Romney.

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