Anybody have a good recipe for crow?
Mercifully, I was wrong in my prediction of a Romney win on November 6. But I stand by the analysis. As I see it (and none of the pro-Obama astrologers I read gave any arguments that convinced me otherwise), Romney had the better transits for the day.
But as I explained in this month’s article on “The Limits of Prediction”, transits aren’t everything. Romney was a fatally flawed candidate, difficult to connect with, unsympathetic, without the common touch that would make voters want to share a beer with him, that highest accolade the American public can bestow. The campaign was flawed as well, depending on disaffection and anti-Obama sentiment as their raison d’etre, without ever offering a pro-active case for a Romney presidency. Technologically they were simply outgunned by the Obama team, which used sophisticated market research techniques to target voters and had a field operation much better developed than Romney’s.
Lastly, and perhaps most important of all, the entire Republican Party is flawed, and on the wrong side of a changing American electorate. With their focus on restricting women’s reproductive health and rights, their exclusionary social policies, and their domination at the primary level by extremist, throwback Tea Party elements, the GOP, in a few more election cycles, will have rendered astrological prediction moot.
If they can’t broaden their appeal and continue to alienate the fastest-growing portions of the electorate, no Republican nominee will ever again sit in the Oval Office, however sterling their astrological credentials. Demographic trends in black, Latino and single women populations, all of which increased since 2008 and voted overwhelmingly for Obama, will ensure Democratic majorities for decades to come, unless Republican candidates repudiate the fringe elements of their party and focus on economic issues and the growing influence of government in everyday life.
I find it fascinating that, whichever side of the horse race astrologers came down on, to a person virtually all (including myself) pointed to Mercury’s retrograde station on Election Day as a source of dire mishap and disaster for the voting process. And this, too, proved to be an inaccurate prediction.
Yes, there were problems, particularly with early voting, where ridiculously long waits clogged the process and kept people in Florida and Ohio standing in lines for up to 8 hours, waiting to cast their constitutionally protected vote. And a few reports emerged of e-vote machines that recorded Romney votes when Obama was intended, and vice versa. But the promised votepocalypse never materialized, and this election was wrapped up rather earlier than usual, at about 11:15 PM EST, with no massive fraud, nationwide recounts or legal challenges to ensue.
I wish I could fairly blame the few problems that did occur on Mercury’s retrograde station, but sadly, these sorts of issues have become SOP in American elections. I do find it interesting that, as in 2000 when Mercury stationed direct on Election Day, Florida remained too close to call, and is still unresolved as of this writing (November 9). Mercifully, with the contest already decided, it doesn’t matter if Florida ever reports (except perhaps to MSNBC’s Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough, who may have to grow a moustache if the state goes for Obama, to pay a bet with Obama campaign chief David Axelrod).
Mercury’s upcoming Black Hole station stance did seem to affect the pre-Election Day period, with numerous and transparent attempts by GOP state legislatures across the country to disenfranchise likely Democratic-leaning voters and curtail opportunities to vote, many of which were overturned by judicial rulings before they came into effect. And that other Mercury-ruled wild card, the weather, also had its advance influence, in Hurricane Sandy the week before, which threatened to lower turnout in the hard-hit Northeast, but also gave Barack Obama a chance to look presidential and effective, while simultaneously throwing Romney and the race off the front pages, stalling a momentum he had gained coming out of the first debate. In a CBS exit poll, 15% said that Obama’s response to the superstorm was a crucial factor in their choice, with another 26% rating it as “important”; of these, 75% voted for Obama.
Perhaps more striking than the presidential contest were the Democratic gains in down-ballot races across the country. Dems picked up 8 seats in the House, although they remain in the minority, and held on to their slim lead in the Senate, even gaining a few seats. In large part this was due to rhetorical missteps by two Tea Party candidates in states which should have been easy Republican pick-ups. GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin had incumbent Claire McCaskill on the ropes in Missouri, until an August bout of foot-in-mouth about “legitimate rape”, abortion, and a breathtaking lack of basic scientific and biologic understanding turned a 15-point advantage into a devastating 15-point loss.
In Indiana, about as reliably Republican a Midwest state as exists, veteran incumbent Richard Lugar was unseated by a primary challenge from Tea Party candidate Richard Mourdock in May. Mourdock too maintained a lead in the polls until an October 23 debate with Democratic nominee Joe Donnelly, when Mourdock declaimed that “life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something that God intended to happen.” As, apparently, was Mourdock’s subsequent loss.
And speaking of down-ballot races, we may as well look at those astrological predictions as well.
Although I described the placement of key personal named asteroids in my articles on Romney and Obama, I stuck with more traditional predictive astrology methods for determining outcomes. This was based in part on a major wrong call in June concerning the recall attempt for Governor Scott Walker. I have been on the fence about whether or not asteroid placements are predictive, thus determining results, or merely descriptive, and the Walker recall debacle seemed to point to the latter.
But just the same, I stuck my neck out with asteroids in looking at the down ballot races, and have come away similarly chastened. Based largely on the Election Day placement of asteroids which matched the names of the contenders, I picked winners in four Senate races, Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin, Linda McMahon in Connecticut, and Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota. Of these, Warren and Heitkamp performed to my expectations, the other two did not (although, since they were both Republicans, I must confess to being less than devastated by this turn of events).
I also looked at two House races, deciding Michele Bachmann would be unseated (in the final count, she held on by some 4000 votes), and judging the Joe Walsh/Tammy Duckworth contest as astrologically too close to call. Walsh lost, to the great good benefit of us all.
One factor I did not discuss in my pre-election analysis was the role of women, based on Venus’ position at 10 Libra in exact opposition to a spotlighting, manifestation-evoking Quasar. This indicates a predominant role for women, something borne out not just in the pivotal part they played in presidential politics with their support for Obama (weighing in at 55% in favor), but in national and state races across the country. When the 113th Congress convenes in January, it will have 20 women Senate members, the highest number ever, and voters in Nebraska, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Hawaii and Wisconsin elected their first female senators to represent them in Washington. A new record was set in New Hampshire as well, where the entire delegation of two senators and two representatives, as well as the newly-elected governor, will be women.
Two other areas that were not considered in the pre-election analysis but which resonate strongly to the sky of the day were ballot initiatives in several states which approved same-sex marriage, and the first-ever legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Washington, Maryland and Maine joined six other states and the District of Columbia in approving same-sex unions, while Minnesotans rejected a state constitutional amendment which would ban its recognition, though falling short of actual approval. These outcomes broke a 32-state winning streak for traditional marriage advocates since 1998, where voters had unanimously come down against same-sex marriage rights formerly approved by state legislatures or judiciaries, in every election where that issue was on the ballot.
Appropriately, asteroid Ganymed, named for Zeus’ cupbearer and male lover, and representative of gay issues generally, appears in the Election Day sky at 3 Virgo, tightly squared decision-making and vote-ruling Mercury at 4 Sagittarius. Mercury’s Black Hole conjunction may also account for the stark reversal in voting patterns dating back 14 years, wherein these rights were consistently rejected at the polls. Additionally, Sappho, an asteroid named for an ancient Greek lesbian and poet, was conjunct asteroid Hera, named for the Greek goddess of marriage, at 23 and 20 Virgo, affirmatively combining these energies, with both tapped into the day strongly by a tight square to transit Mars at 22 Sagittarius.
Colorado and Washington also went cutting-edge in this election with ballot box approvals of recreational use of marijuana. While 18 states and DC currently allow marijuana use and possession for medicinal purposes, these are the first US states to make sales of up to an ounce for recreational use by adults legal. This development may be covered astrologically by an aspect we discussed extensively in advance, though not with this focus; namely, Mercury’s square to Neptune, ruling drug use, from 4 Sagittarius to 0 Pisces. The Election Day Sun was also exactly trined to asteroid Panacea at 14 Pisces, ruling medicaments and drugs specifically, the trine indicating an ease and support for the issue, the square bringing it into sharp focus.
Perhaps the most interesting example of the dog that didn’t bark in this election is the millions spent by SuperPACs. Or rather, the dog barked, but apparently it had no bite.
Democratic-aligned organizations (not the campaigns or parties themselves) raised some $233 million for this election, with Republican-aligned organizations outpacing them to the tune of $378 million. All for naught, at least on the GOP side: Obama re-elected, the conservative majority in the House reduced, the Senate more firmly in Democratic hands. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates to unlimited political spending by corporations and which seemed to have had such a deadly impact on the Democratic majority in 2010, turned out to be a non-event in 2012, leaving us wondering whether money in politics really makes all that much difference after all.
So there we are, the 2012 election in a nutshell. 2016 is now on the horizon, with likely GOP contender Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) already making a move on Iowa constituencies on November 17, as headliner at the annual Republican fundraiser honoring Governor Terry Brandstad’s birthday.
And when can you expect my predictions for 2016?
In answer I’ll switch from crow to Poe, and echo the raven in its unalterable pronouncement of “Nevermore.”