News Flash: Money in Politics Works

Funny what a 2 and a half percentage point victory will do. I’ve been seeing a number of liberal pundits (Bill Keller, NY Times editor for one) holding president Obama’s victory out as proof that it’s NOT a problem that wealthy individuals and businesses dump massive, historically unprecedented amounts of cash into political campaigns. And that it’s NOT a problem that the Republican Party has its own in-house, 24/7 cable propaganda channel masquerading as “News” (“fair and balanced” news, at that). Why would liberals, of all people, say these are not problems? Well, because president Obama won. So the money and the propaganda machine didn’t work. Good sense prevailed over nonsense. So it’s not a problem. Not to worry folks, nothing to see here, just keep moving along. Oh, and don’t dream of turning off the flow into the bottomless advertising trough.

Well, the kindest explanation I have for this line of thought is that some liberals are dumbing down in a bipartisan attempt to be as equally logic-free as Republicans. Wouldn’t want them to feel like they’re the only stupid kid on the block.

So a narrow victory is proof that the losers propaganda didn’t work, huh? I think it’s proof that all that money worked pretty darned well. When a party’s main policy goal—written and published in the official platform, and specifically articulated at every campaign speech—is to cut taxes on the wealthiest  1 or 2%, and cut social programs (Social Security, Medicare, education) that benefit everyone else, HOW DOES THIS NOT LOSE BY 25% INSTEAD OF 2.5%??  Sure, there’s a quarter of the population who couldn’t find their own ass with both hands and a hound dog, and wouldn’t vote for a Black man and/or Democrat if that person promised to move them into a brand new double-wide next door to Dollywood and install a free pipeline from the Budweiser factory. But even as cynical a person as I believes that the other 25% of the electorate who cast a vote for Romney really are capable of looking at a platform that promises lots of goodies for people who already have more than anyone in the world and cuts for everyone else, and at least go “wait a minute, what’s with this?” That is, they would except for the constant drumbeat of paid political ads and Fox “news” shows that keep touting the magical thinking that “more for them is good for me.” (see also my previous post Of course this is the same trickle-down theory that plutocrats have been peddling for 32 years—and has never worked once (except for the plutocrats). The only thing trickling down from the 1% is yellow rain and laughter, and unless we reform campaign finance, next time, the 1% will win, provided they find a candidate who can more consistently simulate an actual human being.

Next post will give “The Answer” to laissez-faire politics—stay tuned.

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