Originally published in 2012
Dear Friend and Reader:
For a year now, Planet Waves has been sounding the alarm that Mercury would be stationing retrograde on Election Day 2012.
We knew this would happen at the culmination of what seemed to be a national movement to suppress the vote, in particular, the Democratic vote. The Republicans have long known that their ever-more absurd point of view is the relic of another era — and that they were losing ground in the increasingly diverse demographics of the United States. Therefore, as the months went on, no effort to mess with the election seemed too bold, and there was an orchestrated campaign to do so.
Voter roll purges, blocking early voting, demanding unnecessary ID, jury-rigged voting machines, voting systems in a swing state owned by a candidate, misinforming the public in certain areas about the date of the election — we watched a dirty-tricks campaign develop on a scale that Dick Nixon would have been proud of.
The last and only time there was a Mercury station on the day of a presidential election (in 2000), the results were horrendous and have been seemingly never-ending. These include a stolen election, which led to terrorist attacks the administration well knew were coming, followed by two wars that continue to cause grief and suffering, tax cuts for the wealthy and giveaways to pharmaceutical companies.
This culminated in a real estate and banking crash that resulted in a handout of trillions of dollars to some of the wealthiest men in the country. An administration that owes nothing to the people is extremely dangerous.
Meanwhile, 2012 was the first presidential election with the Citizens’ United decision in effect, the one allowing the infusion of limitless anonymous cash into television and radio advertising.
The fabled notion of campaign finance reform gave way to the notion that corporations are people and that money is free speech. One of the most amazing things is that the billionaires who financed the Romney campaign and those of dozens of other candidates for federal office got nothing for their money. Democrats won the presidency and gained seats in both houses of Congress.
One issue that I have not seen discussed is the way that the same media that often conducts and then reports on the polls invites a flood of cash by doing so. The closer the polls are, the more money is spent in a given region. Media companies profited to the tune of $6 billion on this campaign. On the long list of conflicts of interest to address, this one must be included.
Prior to Election Day, there was a major disruption, following timing that I described in my articles; this consisted of a storm that served mainly to wreak some havoc in parts of New York and the mid-Atlantic states — and to disrupt the Romney campaign. On Friday, Oct. 26, the lead news item was about pregnancy from rape allegedly being a gift from ‘god’. By Monday, Oct. 29, Mitt Romney was reduced to irrelevancy, all but banned from the East Coast. I know this factor is being disputed as something that changed or even influenced the outcome, and it’s the excuse that Karl Rove is giving to his donors, though I suggest that we not count it out as a factor.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who had been the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention, said he was “not interested” in touring New Jersey with Romney, and gushed praise for Obama on every news program he could appear on. (When nobody was listening he said he would be voting for Romney.)
On Election Day there were long lines and many reports of issues. But this time, people seemed determined not to be fooled again. We were ready for the lines, and keeping track of the early voting rules that changed day by day in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
When a voting machine in Pennsylvania repeatedly recorded an Obama vote for Romney, the voter was armed with a weapon he would not have had in 2000 or 2004: an iPhone video camera. The video went viral in a matter of minutes, and soon after landed on network and cable news. I received it from my readers at least five times.
Despite the many problems (synthetic and otherwise), the election process functioned and appears to have gone as fairly as possible, given the circumstances involved. I have no doubt in my mind that it was the vigilance of the public and the press on these issues, particularly voter suppression in Republican-controlled states, that helped.
In the end, it was Mitt Romney deciding to concede the election that put a stop to any prolonged problems. In my coverage of the Mercury retrograde, I noted that Mercury and Jupiter would be in one another’s signs — a fairly rare condition called mutual reception.
I offered a few interpretations, including how this can indicate “a situation in which seemingly different political theories and approaches actually support one another. In an election, we’re supposed to be differentiating between the candidates, but we don’t usually notice the ways in which their approaches and conduct are similar, identical, or where the ideologies are codependent. An influence of this could be that whatever happened is being planned, or at least accepted, by both sides in the election.”
Mercury can be tricky, and the fact of Obama being elected under a retrograde will influence his entire second term. Given the distinction of this event, we need to keep an eye out for the Mercury retrograde factor, which means never counting anything as a done deal. It’s the government itself that we must ensure does not come unraveled, despite the best efforts of some to do so.
Still, the fact that there was not a train wreck this week was reassuring. As Brian Cechony, one of my readers, astutely pointed out in an email this week, “Election night seemed to go by without a speed bump or roadblock. Now that it’s done it seems to me that retrograde seems to have fallen not on the election itself, but on the Republican Party and — to a larger extent — the right wing view of the world.”
The focus of the astrology was in Sagittarius, and Mercury stationing retrograde in Sagittarius seemed to illustrate a changing view or opinion.
Cechony continued, “Almost from the start the Republicans appeared to be in shock that the way they imagined the world to be was not true. Karl Rove’s meltdown on Fox News about calling Ohio early was a great ‘stormy’ station event. There was ‘shock and awe’ (whether real or feigned) from the likes of Donald Trump and Sarah Palin. Now today [Wednesday] the news is full of dire ‘change or die’ predictions from inside and outside the Republican party.
“I don’t know if it will stick, but I feel like there was a collective shift, a collective line drawn in the sand and a collective muttering from all across America that said, ‘enough of this — we don’t love the president, but this other guy scares the shit out of us’.”
One of our research team members, who we identify with the handle Astrodem because he’s a political consultant in Washington, D.C., was influential in our coverage of this event. He even predicted a weather event disrupting the election, which unfortunately did not get into print.
Tuesday night, he posted this message to his Facebook page:
I cannot tell you how relieved I am that this election did not turn into a 2000-style fiasco with a contested outcome in the presidential race. This election had the strong potential to go in that direction. For most of the past two years, it looked like it was being set up to go in precisely that direction. And when historians tell the story of this election, they will be missing a huge part of that story if they fail to call attention to this plainly evident potential.
During that hour last night when the Romney
campaign was refusing to concede, when Karl Rove was contesting Fox News’ electoral math for Ohio, and when Donald Trump was calling for revolution, we caught a glimpse of just how much American self-government depends upon the consent and legitimation of the minority, the opposition, the losing party. For a brief time, the major institutional leaders on the right appeared prepared to withhold that consent. Luckily, their better angels prevailed.
When thinking about what happened last night, understand that this all could have gone very differently. We are truly blessed as a nation that it didn’t.