Show Them the Money

From “The GOP ‘civil war’ is going to make both sides rich,”  Alex Pareene, Salon:

“The conservative movement is a massive and elaborate moneymaking venture.  Numerous nonprofits exist almost solely to raise money, which they spend on their own salaries and, obviously, more fundraising.  A conservative Civil War is great for business.  Karl Rove throwing money at ‘electable’ Republicans is a wonderful opportunity for people to raise money for groups that promise to elect crazies.  More primary campaigns means more jobs for consultants.  More third party groups fighting for the soul of the party means more desperate pitches to gullible millionaires and billionaires.  Plus more crappy books sold in bulk to conservative book clubs!

“‘Donate to us or Karl Rove will defeat true conservatives’ is a great pitch.  Maybe even better than ‘donate to us if you actually want Republicans to win elections.’  While only an idiot would send any money to FreedomWorks, an organization that currently pays Dick Armey a six-figure salary to not work there, the last cycle showed how many well-heeled idiots are out there asking to be fleeced.

“The entire conservative movement these days seems like a successful experiment in getting rich people (and lots and lots of non-rich people, whose donations are less coveted but accepted nonetheless) to pay an ever-growing number of pundits, think tank ‘fellows’ and ‘scholars,’ failed campaign hacks and people like Ginni Thomas who seem to serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever.  Like Paul Harvey, the super PAC’s and nonprofits know it doesn’t matter if your products — in this case, ideas and candidates and electoral strategies — are worthless, as long as you push the crap convincingly.  Whether Rove succeeds or fails in helping the Republican Party, his campaign will be great for the movement.”  Italics in original.


SCOTUS Rules on State Campaign Contributions

In a two-paragraph opinion, the Supreme Court refused to revisit Citizens United and ruled 5-4 that Montana’s 100-year-old law limiting corporate campaign contributions was invalid, reversing the Montana Supreme Court.  Twenty-two other states had joined with Montana.

So efforts to restrict corporate spending in local and state elections have failed.

The case was American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock.

Hard Times Help the Crazies

Most of the attention has been focused on Francois Hollande’s defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy in France, but Greece had elections too.   In an ominous sign, both the radical left and the neo-Nazi right did well.  Both campaigned against budget cuts.

The Coalition of the Radical Left, Syriza, got 16%.

The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn got seats in Parliament for the first time (21 seats out of 300) with almost 7% of the vote.  By contrast, Golden Dawn got less than 1% just three years ago.

The two mainstream parties, which have been pushing austerity to satisfy Greece’s creditors and Germany’s demands, did poorly.  Center-right New Democracy got 20%, down from 34% three years ago.  The Socialists got 14%, compared to 44% three years ago.

Israeli Elections Called Off

About five minutes after calling elections for early September, Israeli Prime Mininster Benjamin Netanyahu has abruptly called them off.

Netanyahu has made a deal with the new leader of the Kadima Party, Shaul Mofaz, to have Kadima join Netanyahu’s coalition.  Mofaz will be Deputy Prime Minister.  Kadima was poised to lose many seats in the upcoming election.

So with Kadima joining Likud, it means there’s really no center in Israel right now, just a left and a right.

Not sure what this means in terms of a strike against Iran.  Mofaz has been among those expressing disapproval of a unilateral strike.

Quote of the Day

“The Republicans and Democrats the modern system produces literally come from different worlds and see no middle ground on the biggest issues of the day. They see elections — not the legislative process — as the place to settle their differences. ”  Charles Mahtesian and Jim VanderHei, “Congress:  It’s going to get worse,” Politico