I voted today.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, political groups spent $4 billion to influence that vote. Thanks to the “speech” rights bestowed on corporate America’s dollars by the Roberts Court, that spending has the potential to significantly skew results:
Identifiably conservative organizations are spending more than $2 on advertisements and other communications for every $1 liberal organizations do. While corporations are behind much of this money, many of these companies have skirted public scrutiny by laundering their cash through intermediary organizations, which often sport nondescript names and don’t immediately, if ever, reveal who funds them.
Think Crossroads, Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Job Security (which was recently outed by the New York Times as “a front for a coterie of political operatives, devised to sidestep campaign disclosure rules.”)
What’s at stake? Rachel Maddow’s retrospective of the numerous achievements of the past couple of years makes it clear what Democrats really stand for, despite the diluting effect of a few weak, Democratic “centrists”:
Historian Michael Beschloss, who speaks briefly at the end of the segment, sums up the administration’s choices as substantive achievement over political expediency. Not such a bad epitaph if it comes to that.
And what, on the Republican side, are all those corporate dollars buying? Steve Benen suggests that a new K-street project may already be in the works; our anti-big government, Tea Party approved GOP wants to solidify their control over corporate donations so that they can funnel all those dollars to the best advantage in 2012. Otherwise, apart from lots of talk about eviscerating the Constitution, the Party of No, hasn’t promised anything constructive aside from shutting down government whenever they can’t have their corporate-approved legislative way. How else are they ever going to repay all that campaign boodle?
Here in Missouri, state Republicans are so confident that all the national level momentum (i.e. spending) will leave them safe in the driver’s seat that they’re already squabbling amongst themselves about how the various factions (Tea Party, far right, rightwing) will divide the spoils. Thanks to Crossroads’ saturation of the airwaves with false talking points (did you know that Robin Carnahan will cut $500 billion from Medicare?), Roy Blunt’s planning what to wear to his his victory party as I write this. Meanwhile, if the latest polls are confirmed, Prop. A’s daddy, Rex Sinquefield, will sleep tonight, a couple of million dollars lighter in the pocketbook, but secure in his faith that the almighty dollar can buy just about anything.
Nevertheless, I voted today; I know what my votes stands for and it isn’t slick, dishonest politicking. I know that you all have the same belief about what government can and should do, so go forth … and vote.