The political network overseen by the conservative billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch plans to spend close to $900 million on the 2016 campaign, an unparalleled effort by coordinated outside groups to shape a presidential election that is already on track to be the most expensive in history.
In other words, the Kochs are not only a political party unto themselves, they are a nation unto themselves. If you're rich, your country is named Kochtopia. If you're poor, you're trapped in Kochistan.The spending goal, revealed Monday at the Kochs’ annual winter donor retreat near Palm Springs, Calif., would allow their political organization to operate at the same financial scale as the Democratic and Republican Parties. It would require a significant financial commitment from the Kochs and roughly 300 other donors they have recruited over the years, and covers both the presidential and congressional races. In the last presidential election, the Republican National Committee and the party’s two congressional campaign committees spent a total of $657 million.
Not that the Democrats are much better, offering at best only the most anemic of populist agendas just in time for the endless pregame extravaganza. Hillary Clinton, the nominee-in-waiting, reportedly will forgo debating in the primary season. So if, like me, you were looking forward to Bernie Sanders at least pretending to challenge her for an hour on national TV, you're probably going to be disappointed. She can afford to elide the quaint democratic process. Why not? She's not only preempting fellow Dems, but is poised to knock even the Koch competition on its well-padded ass -- not with better policies or ideas -- but with "money like you've never seen." From The Hill:
Major donors are ready to announce huge financial commitments to Hillary Clinton as soon as she announces a second run for the White House, according to Clinton allies and Democratic fundraisers.
The Clinton team wants to build excitement about her campaign launch, which is expected in March or April. The money blitz would be a show of Clinton’s strength meant to scare away potential primary rivals.
“The floodgates are going to open immediately, and there’s going to be a rush to get on the team,” said Don Peebles, the real estate mogul who served on President Obama's national finance committee. “There’s nobody in the Democratic Party who can match her. Not even close.”
“It’s going to be like nothing you’ve seen,” added one top Democratic donor, who supported both of Obama’s presidential campaigns and plans to throw big support behind Clinton. “The numbers will be astounding.”The oligarchs themselves disdain and openly scoff at participatory democracy. It's not letting the best man or woman win, but the most easily bought. The concept of the divine right of kings has arisen from the ash heap of history, and the deity bestowing the honor is named Mammon.
According to Mike Allen of Politico, Hillary's winning strategy includes playing nice with the press, selling the Lesser Evilism brand as she gobbles up all that
The Democratic answer to the Koch fund-raising monster is to fight money with more money, and include the proles in so we feel like at least our wallets are living in a representative democracy. I got a whole new batch of self-righteous, money-grubbing emails just this morning. From MoveOn, slugged "Koch Brothers Shocker!"
Not one mention that President Obama is himself doing the Kochs' bidding by pushing for the polluting, job-killing, finance mafia-rewarding Trans-Pacific Partnership. (see my previous post -- Progressive Plutocrats, Inc.)This is what buying our democracy looks like. But we've got a plan to fight back.The key is to turn this massive Koch spending into a political negative for any candidate who gets their cash, by focusing on the Kochs' long history of outsourcing jobs, polluting the environment, driving down wages, and crushing local businesses.
If voters know the truth, they'll immediately become suspicious of any candidate with strong Koch backing. Will you chip in $3 to help fight back?
And here's some unintentional parody from the Progressives United Pac:
The problem last year was that Democrats relied too heavily on old ideas and scary fundraising emails instead of lining up behind popular, progressive ideas that would have inspired more voters and more donors.
Do I need to tell you that "taking the pledge" is defined as giving them your credit card info? That the only progressive ideas on the agenda are more fear factors and worse evils designed to extract millions of dollar bills from grassroots fighters like you?Will Democrats take another beating in 2016? With the Koch brothers alone already planning to funnel nearly $1 billion into next year's elections, it's up to us to make sure Democrats fight back the most powerful way possible: with popular, progressive ideas.Take the pledge: commit to fight with the president for a bold, progressive economic agenda.
And then there are the endless "RunWarrenRun!" obsessive-compulsive money-grubs, asking me to hold house parties for Liz and become a citizen-bundler. Since Warren is not running, it is a given that any money raised for her non-existent campaign will go straight into the Democratic machine, to be spent for hors d'oeuvre for the donor class at their closed-door fundraisers, or just to pay for more email campaign for more PACs.
The inspiring message: Democrat David (so cool, so buff) will slay the Goliath of Republican filthy lucre with an equal or greater amount of money that is somehow newer, crisper, and purer. This utter lack of self-awareness is evidence that the political corruption is complete.
Not one of their missives even hints at a campaign to overturn Citizens United, or advocates for such popular initiatives as single payer health care or a government-subsidized jobs program. They're at best limited to the fake proposals put out by Obama at his state of the onion address. It's still money, money, money. D Money is not as stinky as R money -- what a vote-getter that'll turn out to be! Dueling dollars instead of debates among human beings. It's like nothing we've ever seen before... since the mid-terms.
Getting excited and energized yet? Do you have the energy to even listen to any more of this claptrap?
Neoliberal Death Match 2016: a public boycott of a sham national election like you've never seen.