Thursday, June 7, 2012

$ will buy (all?) future US elections

This Huff Post story discusses May fundraising for both the Republicans and the Democrats. The GOP raised $76.8 million, $17.6 million more than the Dems. As we saw in Wisconsin, money buys media time which buys more reinforcement of the message. It doesn't matter if the message is an outright lie or a sleight-of-hand spin (like the WI budget surplus). Repetition matters, especially with less informed voters who don't fact check their authoritarian puppet masters. And if the Dems don't match the money to spend on ads then they will more than likely lose.

Another factor in raising money is that Obama and the Dems more generally didn't invest the time or money in the WI race, which proved money talks and walks. This article blames the Dems and Obama for their lackluster non-participation in the most significant recall election in history, given Citizens United. Ironically because they didn't back basic human rights in that race, which would have shown their spine and commitment to the middle class, the middle class then is more likely to contribute less money to combat the 1%'s contributions to the upcoming election. Granted the 1% will still fund Obama and the Dems, as they are good at hedging their bets, but you can guarantee it will be far less than what they will give to the willing lapdogs the Republican. So even less money to the Dems from alienating their base means a big loss in November. Just like we've seen in WI, the bellwether for the future demise of anything remotely resembling the democracy Americans fought and died for.

As Rachel Maddow notes, a big part of the WI battle was about getting rid of the unions. While individual contributions of the middle class might go down as in the previous paragraph, those only comprise about 1% of total contributions anyway. However the big $ for Dems is unions. And unions were denuded by the WI legislation, so much so that it was the very cause of the uprising and recall election. Since the loss of collective bargaining and other limitations placed on them by such State law, membership in public unions has be reduced drastically. Hence less member contributions means less money to spend in elections. By not realizing the tremendous importance of the WI recall as did the Republicans (and hence all the $ spent), which if won might have at least started a trend to revitalizing he unions, instead the Dems again shoot themselves in the foot and will now have less $ to compete.

You had your chance Dems to stand up and fight on the front line. Your cowardice will cost you and your ideas won't get the air time necessary to win. The strength and rightness of your ideas alone are not enough. And if you haven't learned that by now your time is done. Problem is, it will cost the rest of us when the oligarchy further degrades our wages and our lives, and democracy is a thing of the ancient past. Thanks for that.

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