The Money Changers

As infuriated and embarrassed as I am at how the 2012 elections are quite rapidly devolving into a warped and unsettling religious revival, bent on banishing from the earth not just the Kenyan Socialist, but the majority of Americans who supported him, I’m considerably more chagrined at the pretense in the media that nothing has gone terribly wrong with our democracy.  The increasingly bizarre statements that fall like rain from Santorum’s other orifice, the utterly fictitious “campaign” of the despicable and unelectable Newt Gingrich, and the weird and indecipherable utterances, mostly about nothing, from “front-runner” Mitt Romney are looked upon as though this were just another election; no one is brave enough to point out he simple fact that our candidates are crazy because the eccentric billionaires who’ve bought them are, too.

All the talk about pointless hogwash like Santorum’s appeal to the “working class,” Romney’s inability to “connect” with, well, anybody, or Newt’s latest wife being an asset or liability looks designed, as it undoubtedly was, to distract from the fact that the only thing driving the roller-coaster rivalry between these fatuous figureheads is the amount of money some bonkers rich person is willing to spend on them that week.  It doesn’t matter whether a state has this or that key demographic, high or low unemployment, or icky weather on election day; these absurd “contests” are “decided” by such a small percentage of the people that they wouldn’t have any impact at all if the media “covering” them didn’t pretend they did. It would be unseemly, after all, for our media mavens to admit that voters are irrelevant in our post Citizens United world, especially as the money rolls in from the  hectoring and deceptive advertising that moves the needle here and there, always indecisively.

Of course, if the media were really focused on making the news not just informative, but actually  interesting, rather than just not boring enough to send viewers fleeing to HGTV, the only story they’d be covering would be profiles of the pillaging plutocrats who have decided that since they have everything else that isn’t nailed down, they want the US government, too.  A tiny window was opened when Foster Friess’ money-induced hubris led him to proudly spout off uber-cuckoo on network television, but only because his  babbling involved sex did it dominate the news cycle, and then all too briefly.

Far more troubling, not to mention newsworthy, was Sheldon Adelson’s astonishing threat to dump another $100 million down the toilet that is the Republican presidential campaign.  Here we have a corrupt casino mogul with that kind of money lying around who has chosen to spend it on something only marginally less worthless than Franklin Mint Commemorative Plates, and that stunning fact creates nary a ripple in the stagnant pond of the US media.  (Forbes cover story above is the exception that proves the rule…)  Equally yawn-worthy was David Koch’s tipsy yet frank admission to the Palm Beach Post that money was no object in keeping his Wisconsin puppet, Scott Walker, in office for the lofty goal of defeating all unions once and for all.  Not only was this statement a confession to what even in these corrupt times is still a crime, using unlimited anonymous money to openly join ranks with a candidate, but it was a stark acknowledgment that our Job Creators simply feel entitled to choose our political leaders, and their policies, for us.

Basically, we have an election campaign occurring on two levels: one, the fake campaign in which we stage loud Kabuki-like debates about what Jesus thinks about IUD’s or, say, carried interest; second, the real and far more consequential one, in which a handful or filthy rich nutcases rich play out their fantasies of world domination, and we don’t talk about it at all.

16 Comments

  1. mikeinportc says:

    They’re just streamlining the process. Cutting out the middlemen, formerly known as “voters” . We’re probably seeing a truer picture of reality. It looks bizarre,arbitrary, & nightmarishly awful because we’re not used to seeing it so directly . ;)

    • cocktailhag says:

      That’s “we,” meaning you, me, and other aging hippies who read lefty blogs. The rest are just gaping at some of the craziest yammering they’ve ever heard, contemplating not voting at all. Mission Accomplished.

  2. michlib says:

    After every new idiotic proclamation from one of these pretenders, I feel shower deprived for some reason. Curious how the .001%ers, who lecture us serfs ad nauseum as to how throwing money at any SOCIAL problem ( education, infrastructure, health care, etc. ) will never cure those ills, are all in on the notion that buying elections will lead us to better governance. I sense I’m watching democracy jump the shark, one assinine debate at a time.

  3. Kelly says:

    I really enjoy your blogs. You’re a very good writer, and I’m placing you in my favorites.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Thanks, Kelly. Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be writing weekly at firedoglake.com 9:00pm, and it will be original material not posted here. I’m a little nervous, but I hope it goes well.

  4. Kelly says:

    This is wonderful news. I’m positive you’ll do well. What I like about your writing style is the fact you’re original. You do a great job explaining your positions.

    • cocktailhag says:

      On a good day, that may be true. Today I wrote something that may not be all that weighty….

      • dirigo says:

        Congrats, hag!

        I’ll tell ya … I’m looking forward to more than that cheap lite beer and Pringles served in the CHNN lounge, thanks to the extra cash that’ll be sloshing around in future.

        Well I’ll have to twist the big knob over to FDL and see what’s cookin’.

        Good going.

        • cocktailhag says:

          They ain’t payin’. And I can’t cross-post until the next day, but I’m still oddly enthusiastic. Thanks. Please read and comment. (They expect me to tend the comment thread, natch….)

  5. Ché Pasa says:

    The Battle of the Billionaires 2012! It could be a long-running reality show if somebody packaged and pitched it right. Just change the year, and it could go on for-ever. Brian Williams and David Gregory could co-host. Andrea Mitchell could do color commentary. Bonus for the audience could be investment advice from Donald Trump’s comb over, and maybe a spiritual segment, too… who could host?? So many to choose from!

    Our “elections” have become farce, and it will only get worse, whether or not Citizens United is overturned (fat chance in our lifetimes). The Billionaires are having way too much fun…

    Meanwhile, I will look forward to the appearance of your regular commentary over at FDL; add some class to the place! Cheers!

  6. loretta says:

    I guess I’ll have to register over at FDL. I have been reading that site for years, but never comment. Now, I can feel proud to comment on Hag’s posts. Eggsellent!

  7. loretta says:

    Oh, and on topic, I’m with Mike (first comment) – the plutocrats running the country is nothing new, we just have more evidence, now.

    I still wonder how many jobs $100 million to Newt’s campaign will create; I mean, some advertisers, bad musicians, creepy voice-over artists (present company excluded, dirigo), and crappy Microsoft-Movie-Maker maroons will make serious coin demonstrating the RW’s atrocious and pathetic lack of talent. Hell, I could make a better ad with my daughter playing the guitar and old baby pictures.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Well, get on it Sister…. All you need to do is sell out your every principle, and you can divide the rest of your life between the keyboard and the beauty salon. Or you can stay a liberal.
      That’s the choice these days.