The Bain Game

With more than usual clarity, Mitt Romney’s appearance on 60 Minutes during the evening of September 23 offered a bracing glimpse of what he is trying to sell to America. This was the salesman from Bain, promising to trim the waste, cut the costs, and lower taxes in order to create a smooth-running and successful company that could feast on the fruits of capitalism.

What was omitted from the seductive sales pitch, however, were the likely casualties of Romney’s proposals for the country. To understand, we need only consider the many stories of grief and hardship that followed in the wake of Bain’s scrupulous housekeeping. Corporate expenses were indeed cut – by firing workers, cutting pensions, and shipping jobs overseas. Bain’s well-crafted financial wizardry did indeed lower taxes, but enormous new debt was also created, used in part to pay Bain’s huge fees and keep its wealthy investors happy. A few years down the road, this same debt was frequently enough to plunge the struggling over-burdened company into bankruptcy, leading to yet more layoffs and more despair, otherwise known as collateral damage to the pillaging plutocrats from Bain.

The parallels between Romney’s business history and his plans for America are striking, as well as ominously predictive. “Cutting expenses” will translate to cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and numerous other programs that provide assistance in times of need. The dislocation and increase in poverty from slashing such funding would likely be devastating to a wide swath of people. In addition, Romney’s multi-trillion dollar tax cuts for the wealthy, a way to pay off his latest “investors” – otherwise known as campaign donors – could easily load the nation with such a crushing burden of debt that its finances would collapse under the weight, just like what happened to many of Bain’s former companies. Once again, the investors would make off like bandits, while those left behind would pay the catastrophic price.

It is the current thinking among the pundit class that the upcoming debates are Romney’s final opportunity to convince the nation that he is up to the job of president. During his recent interview, he portrayed an idyllic vision of a free-market America, where everything hums nicely along, unencumbered by complicated taxes and paralyzing regulation, and we all live happily ever after. The filth sure to be created by the reality of his plans was blithely swept under the carpet of this Potemkin Showroom. Perhaps the biggest question of the debates is whether or not Romney can persuade America that his snake oil is real.

For Romney, the most descriptive planetary configuration of the entire election cycle is the Neptune square to his Ascendant, made worse by the shadow of the May eclipse on his Ascendant degree (00Gemini43). As I have written numerous times, it is the narrative of Neptune that is the Romney narrative of the campaign. He is vague, incoherent, dissembling, attacking a fantasy Obama, snidely dismissing a fantasy 47 percent of the population, offering an economic plan with magical, fantasy math, and inhabiting a fantasy self, more likely to reflect the image of the audience in front of him than any core values of his own.

The first debate will take place on October 3 in Denver. Probably, the most significant aspect in Romney’s chart at that time will be the quincunx of transiting Saturn to his Ascendant, running from October 3 through October 12. This will activate the longer-lasting transiting Neptune square to the Ascendant in a rather stressful way. The combination of these planets suggests that the harsh truth of reality (Saturn) will confront the hyperbolic hot air of Neptune. Romney’s dissembling and exaggerations will have to face the real Obama, not the GOP-created straw-man monster. Romney will be debating a real president who can provide facts and figures of what has, in fact, actually transpired, and who also understands the impact of Romney’s likely policies, perhaps far better than even the Republican candidate does himself. Saturn’s impact on a Neptune transit tends to bring potent disappointment after high expectation, bursting the floating bubbles of fantasy against the hard rocks of Earth.  This seems likely to be the story of the first debate.

For President Obama, it is not always easy to tease out the difference between pressing matters that emanate from his role as president and difficulties in the campaign. My sense is that the Jupiter transit stationary sesquiquadrate Obama’s natal Jupiter (00Aquarius52) and square to his solar return Ascendant (15Virgo43) that essentially covers from September 4 through October 24, has brought with it the surge of popularity and success that began with the convention and has continued since. This uplifting Jupiter transit will be strongly in effect for all three debates. Furthermore, it is my opinion that the Jupiter crossing of Obama’s solar return Midheaven (13Gemini40) from November 6 through November 15 points to success in the election as well.

The second debate falls on the night of October 16, while the third debate will be on the night of October 22. For both Romney and Obama, both of these debates will be under a very strong and stressful Saturn transit. For Obama, this will be somewhat offset by the Jupiter transits mentioned above; for Romney, it will not. Saturn will be square to Obama’s Mercury (2Leo20) from October 16 through October 24, while it will be square to Romney’s Saturn (2Leo25) from October 17 through October 25. This suggests some kind of significant stress weighing down both candidates.

It seems likely that, for Romney, this Saturn transit may bring considerable frustrations and generally bad timing, as well as an appearance of rigidity in attitude and stiffness in persona. For the president, it is possible we will be seeing some kind of dramatic, though brief, upheaval that is set off by the Mars transit on October 17 through October 19 in opposition to US Uranus (8Gemini55) and square to US progressed Sun (8Pisces). This Mars transit is likely to ignite the very inflammatory progressed Sun/Uranus square in the US chart and bring about some kind of unexpected and upsetting event, perhaps an “October Surprise”.  Saturn will also be conjunct Hillary Clinton’s Sun (2Scorpio15) during the same time period, possibly pointing to a difficult foreign policy crisis. Due to the fact that the president’s Chiron return will become exact on October 20, it seems likely that there will be painful circumstances that will affect him deeply.

In summary, the first debate is likely to be much stronger for Obama, while Romney may be severely challenged on some of his less-than-factual assumptions.  The second and third debates also seem to favor Obama, although they come during a stressful period for him that runs from October 16 through November 2 (Saturn square Obama’s Mercury followed by Saturn quincunx Obama’s Moon). This may stem from some kind of international crisis that deeply upsets the president. It is also possible the polls may tighten between October 25 and November 2. Nonetheless, I fully anticipate a win for the president, but things may be murky in some way until around November 13, and then favor Obama.

 

 

Announcements:

I will be speaking about  the election on October 2, the night before the first debate, at La Madeleine restaurant in Bethesda, MD, at 7:30 PM.

I will also be speaking about the election in New York City, on October 18, at Quest Bookstore, at 7 PM.

All Starlighters are invited! I would love to see you. Please let me know if you think you can make either talk. I can be reached at nancy@starlightnews.com

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