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Hullabaloo


Thursday, May 31, 2012

 
White hot Koch intensity

by David Atkins

From the Politico article detailing conservative super PACs' plans to spend over $1 billion to defeat Barack Obama comes this little nugget.

Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, proved its potency by spending nearly $50 million in the primaries. Now able to entice big donors with a neck-and-neck general election, the group is likely to meet its new goal of spending $100 million more.

And American Crossroads and the affiliated Crossroads GPS, the groups that Rove and Ed Gillespie helped conceive and raise cash for, are expected to ante up $300 million, giving the two-year-old organization one of the election’s loudest voices.

“The intensity on the right is white-hot,” said Steven Law, president of American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. “We just can’t leave anything in the locker room. And there is a greater willingness to cooperate and share information among outside groups on the center-right.”

In targeted states, the groups’ activities will include TV, radio and digital advertising; voter-turnout work; mail and phone appeals; and absentee- and early-ballot drives.
Somebody is clearly being played for a fool here. If President Obama is just as good for the corporatist rich as Mitt Romney, then there's an awful lot of misplaced white-hot anger out there, and a lot of wasted billionaire money. Or the alternative is also possible that there's a great deal of difference between the two of them, and that America's biggest billionaires aren't exactly idiots.

Either way, it's quite interesting. The anger of the GOP's racist and misogynist base is understandable: they feel their world slipping away from them year by year, and the election of a black guy named Barack Hussein Obama frightens them terribly. They're faced with cultural and demographic marginalization after centuries of dominance. That they would be white hot with anger is not surprising.

But the fury of the super rich conservatives is a little more baffling. After all, the stock market is doing well. Corporations are making record profits. Income inequality is at record highs, which is great for the luxury yacht crowd. It's not as if the elite wealthy are suffering under Barack Obama. Even assuming that Mitt Romney would give them even more goodies, that should be a choice between two positives, not a situation demanding no-holds-barred warfare and intense existential rage.

The rage of the Left against the Bush Administration was understandable: with at least one trumped-up war on false pretexts, unprecedented politicization of government offices, rampant lawbreaking, massive new impositions on civil liberties, rollbacks of protections for the environment, women's rights and the social safety net, the drowning of an entire American city, the attempt to privatize social security, and finally the deregulation-induced crashing of the world's economy, it's no surprise the Left felt its back was up against the wall. But the same can't be said of Obama and the moneyed Right.

What is it, after all, that the Koch brothers could buy under a Romney regime that they can't buy under an Obama presidency? What threat to them and their purchasing is the ability of teachers to collectively bargain in Wisconsin? Whence this fury?

The social scientist who can answer that question will have gone a long way toward solving what is wrong not with America, but with the inherent ugliness of human nature as well. My theory? Their preposterous wealth has given them all a real-world Gyges' ring. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

They're not necessarily inherently bad people. But I postulate that this is what will always happen when human beings are given far more power and privilege than any person's inner morality can long resist.


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