The Widdershins

Archive for February 9th, 2012

Government is up for sale again.

Or is it still?  Remember at last year’s SOTU when the Prez ruffled judicial feathers by thundering against the Citizens United decision so thoroughly that some justices were notably absent from this year’s event?  Well, that was then, this is now.  Things have changed.

I’m actually surprised that this caught me even slightly off-guard.  After all, is this not the very same Barack Obama who agreed to use public financing for the 2008 presidential campaign?  Why, he just changed his mind when he discovered how much more money that he could actually raise on his own.  He’s just a prudent man, that’s all, and he claims to have raised most of his money from the general public in small donation amounts.

We have now all been asked to contribute to the super-pac dubbed “Priorities USA” so  that he might become competitive with the multi-gazillionaires that are funding the Repubs.   Apparently, he no longer believes that the public will support him in what may be close to a $500,000,000 campaign, and he’s probably right in that assumption.  Many people no longer have jobs, and many others are pretty miffed at his blatant underperformance in office.  He has thrown so many groups under the bus that there just aren’t too many standing stalwart in his defense.  In short, he has compromised so much that he now finds himself in a thoroughly compromising position, financially speaking.  Not that his campaign is broke – far from it.  It’s just hard to compete with the well-funded interests who consider any Democrat to be an illegitimate occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The New York Times ran a blistering editorial regarding the decision.  Here is the salient portion:

The announcement fully implicates the president, his campaign and his administration in the pollution of the political system unleashed by Citizens United and related court decisions. Corporations, unions and wealthy individuals are already writing huge checks — with no restrictions — to political action committees supporting individual candidates, which have become bag men for campaigns that still nominally operate under federal limits.

As misguided as it was, the Citizens United decision naïvely believed that the super PACs would remain separate from individual campaigns. The White House’s decision to allow insiders like Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, and Jim Messina, the Obama campaign manager, to speak at Priorities USA Action events shows how ludicrous that notion has become, raising questions about whether the law is being violated.

Up to now, Republicans have been the main defenders of this corrupt system, and the main beneficiaries of it. Two of Karl Rove’s political groups raised $51 million last year to use against Mr. Obama and other Democrats, and the Republican presidential candidates’ PACs have raised $40 million.

Priorities USA Action and other Democratic groups have raised only $19 million. And, as Mr. Messina wrote on the Obama campaign’s blog, “with so much at stake” Democrats decided that they would not “unilaterally disarm.”

I find this to be amazing.  The Justices actually believed that the super pacs would remain unafilliated?   I wonder how they thought that this could actually happen, or perhaps they have not noticed the deep divisions within American society.  Here’s a little more from The Times, written in an almost wistful fashion:

A President has a megaphone bigger even than Mr. Rove’s bloated bank account, and Mr. Obama could have impressed many wavering voters if he had chosen to use it against campaign corruption. He could have pointed out that it was Republicans who blocked the Disclose Act, which would have ended secret corporate donations, and that it was Republicans who used unlimited corporate funds to win back the House in 2010, pressing a corporate agenda that has severely hurt the middle class.

He could have ridiculed Mitt Romney’s super PAC for accepting $18 million from just 200 donors in the second half of last year, including million-dollar checks from hedge-fund operators, industrialists and bankers.

But now Mr. Obama has given up that higher ground. He had already undermined the public financing system for presidential campaigns by refusing to use it in 2008, but this is much worse. In that campaign, he at least forswore money from independent groups and lobbyists. Now he is relying on a super PAC that can accept money from anyone.

He is also telling the country that simply getting re-elected is bigger than standing on principle.

That said, sending Cabinet level officers out to fund raise has some ominous overtones.  Right up there with Dick Cheney looking squarely into the camera and advising us to vote right or (something to the effect of)  face unthinkable consequences.  Standing on principles, you say?

This is an open thread.

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Blog Archive

February 2012
« Jan   Mar »

Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
22 months to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan


Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

Need Reminders?

Never too early to shop for Christmas

“Look this way”

Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

Trump spam

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Simply Put


Awrite! Here’s your damned wall

Dems are coming for ya