Rove and the billionaires (and the guy who keeps them "from ever having to wear orange jumpsuits")
This story about Karl Rove's billionaire circle jerk illustrates everything that's wrong with our system. It's almost impossible to believe that this can be called a democracy at this point:
On the final morning of the Republican National Convention, Karl Rove took the stage at the Tampa Club to provide an exclusive breakfast briefing to about 70 of the Republican party’s highest-earning and most powerful donors. During the more than hour-long session, Rove explained to an audience dotted with hedge fund billionaires and investors—including John Paulson and Wilbur Ross—how his super PAC, American Crossroads, will persuade undecided voters in crucial swing states to vote against Barack Obama. He also detailed plans for Senate and House races, and joked, “We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”
Then Rove pleaded with his audience for more money—much more...
The morning began with an address about the urgency of defeating Obama by Florida’s Republican Senator Marco Rubio. Crossroads Chief Executive Officer Steven Law followed and introduced some of the super PAC’s staff, referring to general counsel Tom Josefiak as “the guy who keeps us from ever having to wear orange jumpsuits.”
Rove explained that Crossroads had conducted extensive focus groups and shared polling and focus group data with “all the major groups that are playing” in the election. “As many of you know, one of the most important things about Crossroads is: We don’t try and do this alone. We have partners,” he said. “The Kochs—you name it.”
Just to get the “juices flowing” of the billionaires in the room, Rove shared a little anecdote. Someone he described as a “benefactor” had recently contacted him, offering to donate $10 million to be deployed in Florida—$5 million for Republican Congressman Connie Mack’s Senate race against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson and $5 million for the presidential race. But the donor placed two conditions on the money. One, his donation had to be matched by other donors. And two, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush had to start making phone calls on their behalf. Rove paused for effect and announced: “Jeb’s making phone calls for us!” The crowd erupted.
American Crossroads’ total budget, Rove said, was $300 million, with $200 million of it for the presidential race, $70 million for the Senate, and $32 million for the House.
After screening a collection of television ads aimed at such Senate battleground states as Massachusetts, the fundraising began in earnest. CEO Law said that because of the “tremendous generosity” of many of the people in the room, American Crossroads is two-thirds of the way toward reaching its $300 million goal. But it still needs much more. With advertising rates going up and the necessity of “dealing with the gender-gap issue,” they could easily spend more than $300 million.
Barbour made the final pitch. “You all give so unbelievably generously. But you know what, I don’t have any compunction about looking you in the eye and asking for more,” he said. He compared the importance of a donation to American Crossroads in this cycle to donations made to “the charity hospital” or a “big not-for-profit cancer research program that you give to.”
Yes, he said that. He told these assholes to think of buying an election as a donation to a "big-not-for-profit" cancer research program. They are that twisted.
I don't know if they can pull this off. The strategy he described is one that requires them to convince former Obama voters who are disappointed to vote for the Republican by saying nice things about Obama. The problem is that they can't escape themselves. After all, it's impossible to hide the fact that they are a group of contemptuous aristocrats vomiting massive sums of money into the political system at a time of economic suffering who cannot restrain their blood-thirsty, slavering base of Obama haters.
Good luck with the strategy though.No matter what happens, I'm sure Rove and his cronies are getting rich. And isn't that really what makes the world go around?