The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Money, Money, Money! The Essence of US Poilitics

Have you ever heard of The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), Open Congress and GovTrak? While there are a few more congressional 'watch" entities, the three I identified allow me to follow the comings and goings of the US Congress.  Of course, no one is privy to the backroom, telephones (well, maybe the NSA), and the secret meetings as part of congressional business, but the "dark money" side of US politics is well delineated via Open Secrets (CRP). 

Even if you are not a congressional watchdog geek or one who follows the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) at the state level, you know of Citizens United and our conservative SCOTUS's turning an open faucet for "floodgate" secret money in politics.  

Demos Dot Org illustrates the 2012 election campaign giving like few post election entities.

Fortunately, contributors to president Obama outpaced contributors to Mitt Romney. We have a duel purpose for showing the following Open secrets data. 

2012 General Elections contributions; Open Secrets (The Center for Responsive Politics)

Barack Obama (D) 

Mitt Romney (R)


Of course, we are biased, but thank the heaves the 'Blue Team" won the money game and won the election. 

How about a quick look at the affect of small donors vs large donors and who won that war?

Another perspective from Nate Silvers 538 Blog. 
Note: the above percentages apply to the total amount of money raised by each campaign, not the number of donations.

Large donors to conservative politician and small donors to the DEMS, each has that common denominator: money.
We posted the previous illustrations to make a point. It takes money to win elections. We see the impact of such with each passing day as we watch the GOP House railing and vote against the ACA, with no alternative to help millions without medical coverage. While witnessing that travesty in US history we read the Koch brothers spent $200 million on efforts to repeal the ACA. Their moneyed impetus along with conservative and GOP insensitivity to the plight of less fortunate Americans led to a waste of $70.6 million (44 votes to appeal the ACA at $1.6 Million per vote). The conservative fight against the ACA also led to a long anticipated GOP federal government shutdown that led to a $24 billion hit to 2013 GDP.  In other words, money from uber wealthy libertarians and their conservative cabal, contributes to irrational and insane actions from the GOP House of OZ.  

On another much more tragic front, the nation has suffered 20,000 gun deaths since the Sandy Hook school killings, Shortly after the Sandy Hook killings, 92% of Americans polled as in favor of background checks as a tools against the proliferation of guns to the hands of the unsavory. In response to the wished of the public, Cantor and Boehner will not even allow such legislation hit the House floor for a vote and a Senate bill failed to make to the a vote. 
Thus, the impact of money in politics. Again, we know contributions to politicians work both ways. It is not a GOP problem alone. Yet, I find fewer cases of Democrats in congress supporting bills or obstructing bills that appeal to the majority of voters. 

It takes money to win elections. Yet, money supports obstruction and the same money supports ignoring the wishes of the people.

The Framers of the US Constitution held strong belief regarding the potential of a moneyed class (beyond their own) bundled around corporations.
"Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice." (letter to J. Bowen, Rhode Island, Jan. 9, 1787) "If ever again our nation stumbles upon unfunded paper, it shall surely be like death to our body politic. This country will crash."--George Washington 
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a money aristocracy that has set the government at defiance."--Thomas Jefferson, at the Constitutional Convention (1787) 
"All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise not from defects in the Constitution or Confederation, not from a want of honor or virtue so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation."--John Adams, at the Constitutional Convention (1787)
The Right likes to moniker with the "Sounding Fathers" (Fathers do not own slaves) yet US politics is totally influenced by who secures the most money.

A few minutes with Bill Moyers, will end this piece as it should end, with total credibility and poignancy.

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