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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

 
Best democracy money can buy

by digby

So under the brilliant conservative doctrine that equates money with speech, the Supreme Court once again loosened meaningful limits on how much money billionaires can throw away on their hobby of undermining democracy and making the world safe for the wealthy.

I'll let Bernie Sanders speak for me:


It's already pretty well paved. You all recall this from last week-end, right?
Who wants to marry a billionaire? John Kasich does. So do Scott Walker, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush.

When Sheldon Adelson, the world’s eighth-richest person, according to Forbes, let it be known that he was looking for a Republican candidate to back in the 2016 presidential race, these four men rushed to Las Vegas over the weekend to see if they could arrange a quickie marriage in Sin City between their political ambitions and Adelson’s $39.9 billion fortune.

Adelson was hosting the Republican Jewish Coalition at his Venetian hotel and gambling complex, and the would-be candidates paraded themselves before the group, hoping to catch the 80-year-old casino mogul’s eye. Everybody knows that, behind closed doors, politicians often sell themselves to the highest bidder; this time, they were doing it in public, as if vending their wares at a live auction.
According to what I've read about the opinion this morning, the Court has pretty well defined corruption down until it only applies to a quid pro quo where politician and billionaire meet secretly in a smoke filled room where the billionaire gives the politician a paper bag full of cash in exchange for keeping him out of jail. Anything subtler than that is perfectly fine. As is anything more public, apparently, since Adelson has a well-known, but very simple agenda: Israel and online gambling. In fact, he requires that anyone he backs promises to follow his edicts on these two issues. I don't know why that isn't considered a quid pro quo, but apparently it isn't.

In the meantime, let's just say that conservative billionaires are happy today. The Supreme Court has lifted one more inconvenient paperwork requirement from their overburdened lawyers and they'll now be a little bit freer to buy elections. Which is as it should be. This was the original promise of America, after all. As Founding Father (and wealthy landowner) John Jay said: "Those who own the country ought to govern it."

And so they do.


Update: Oh dear, I forgot the third big item on Shelly's agenda: busting labor. Of course, these right wingers probably don't need to be bribed to go along with that. They're true believers. But that doesn't mean old Shelly won't have particular .... expectations.


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