Tilling The Soil With Big Bucks And Beck
Everybody's already read about the big conservative corporate confab mapping out how they are going to buy the government for their own purposes. It's fairly horrible on all levels, but I have to think this is the most jarring piece of it:
ThinkProgress has obtained a memo outlining the details of the last Koch gathering held in June of this year. The memo, along with an attendee list of about 210 people, shows the titans of industry — from health insurance companies, oil executives, Wall Street investors, and real estate tycoons — working together with conservative journalists and Republican operatives to plan the 2010 election, as well as ongoing conservative efforts through 2012. According to the memo, David Chavern, the number two at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Fox News hate-talker Glenn Beck also met with these representatives of the corporate elite...As the memo states, Beck has addressed this regular gathering of conservative corporate executives in previous years. Past Koch meetings have included various Republican lawmakers, including DeMint, and Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia as speakers.
Chamber lobbyists found common cause with Beck and many of the conservative talking heads. Shortly after our investigation, Beck hosted an on-air fundraiser, asking his audience to give to the Chamber. Casual observers might have been surprised by the Chamber’s swift alliance with Beck (Chamber executives appeared on the Beck radio program and sung Beck’s praises on the Chamber blog), who has compared Obama to Adolf Hitler and called the President a “racist” who has a “deep-seated hatred for white people.” By telling his listeners to give money to the Chamber, Beck, who owns a media company worth more than $32 million dollars and an experimental Mercedes Benz, essentially told his working class viewers to give their wages back to their employers. However, Beck never disclosed his long working history of discussing political strategy with America’s largest corporations. The Koch memo clearly shows that Beck has been collaborating with the Chamber, as well as other titans of industry, for years. In his latest appeal for support to the Chamber’s foreign-funded trade association, which already counts JP Morgan and ExxonMobil as dues-paying members, Beck yesterday told his audience that the Chamber simply “defends the little guy.”
Beck, as I noted yesterday, is the most highly regarded "intellectual" among tea partiers, and he constantly compares progressives, not just the president, to Nazis, among other things.
These people have come a long way since the Powell Memorandum, which for all its aristocratic and plutocratic intent, didn't propose to hire spokesman to prepare the country for the elimination of their fellow Americans. And that's what Beck is doing.
Last year at this time, I thought the Big Money Boyz were ginning up the Tea Party at least partially as a tactic to scare the big donors:
Yesterday I heard Tony Blankley make the astonishing remark that Obama had "confiscated" General Motors. (It was so astonishing even Chuck Todd was taken aback.) And it occurred to me that all this absurd, over-the-top talk of socialism and "big government takeovers" may not just be being used by the big money boyz to keep the rubes confused, but may also be being used by wingnut welfare queens to scare the big money donors. After all, the ideas expressed in The Powell Memorandum would never have been taken seriously if there hadn't been a feeling of chaos in the air and impending social and economic change. The left is failing to deliver on the social chaos this time, so it must be delivered by the right. And the paranoia undergirding the memorandum can still be relevant if they can persuade enough conservative donors that the Obama administration is the second coming of the Bolsheviks.
In any case, the fact is that billionaires (with some exceptions) are almost always most concerned with keeping as much of their money as possible and the wingnuts give them the political cover to ensure that the government works for their benefit. (One would think they would be more concerned about the gambling addicts who run the financial sector, but evidently they can't quite wrap their minds around the fact that all those smart young fellas aren't as smart as they need them to be.) Just as the teabaggers are susceptible to talk of FEMA camps and Kenyan jihadists in the White House the billionaires are susceptible to tales of government "confiscation" and worry about the center right Democrats getting uppity. I'm guessing we will see more blatant political moves from the malefactors of great wealth in the coming months.
Today I think it's either gotten out of hand or the Owners have drunk the kool-aid. Either way, this seems to have ratcheted up considerably and I'm thinking we are in a much different landscape.