Monday, February 08, 2010

No Honor Among Thieves

Here is another example of how the thinking behind the Citizens United decision will keep our democracy safe:
In a Message to Democrats, Wall St. Sends Cash to G.O.P.
...this year JP Morgan Chase’s political action committee is sending the Democrats a pointed message. While it has contributed to some individual Democrats and state organizations, it has rebuffed solicitations from the national Democratic House and Senate campaign committees. Instead, it gave $30,000 to their Republican counterparts.

The shift reflects the hard political edge to the industry’s campaign to thwart Mr. Obama’s proposals for tighter financial regulations.
Nah, no buyoffs here. We're ALL free to send boatloads of money to the very same lawmakers who can feather our beds, aren't we? Just because most of us have less access to great piles of hard cash than others, and just because hard cash buys you a piece of the pork pie, doesn't mean large swaths of the electorate are shut out of the legislative process, does it? Nah, that's communist talk.
But if buying off the cat's paws in the Senate and House remains the venerable campaign status quo, then the recent CU decision will make the following scenarios all the easier:
Wall Street lobbyists say the financial industry’s big Democratic donors help ensure that their arguments reach the ears of the president and Congress. White House visitors’ logs show dozens of meetings with big Wall Street fund-raisers, including Gary D. Cohn, a president of Goldman Sachs; Mr. Dimon of JPMorgan Chase; and Robert Wolf, the chief of the American division of the Swiss bank UBS, who has also played golf, had lunch and watched July 4 fireworks with the president.
When is the last time you or one of your friends tried to have a meeting with your elected representatives? Did you sit down for hours-long discussions? Were you freely invited back again and again so your views could be aired and considered? Did you have little breakfasts with plenty of goodies, or a few rounds of golf on a private course? Were you ushered into the special rooms set aside for such meetings and waited on by the staff? Did you representative take your call as soon as he or she learned it was you?

That's what I thought. Well, here's your Teabagger Nation, your populist revolution, your standing up for the little guy:
Republicans are rushing to capitalize on what they call Wall Street’s “buyer’s remorse” with the Democrats. And industry executives and lobbyists are warning Democrats that if Mr. Obama keeps attacking Wall Street “fat cats,” they may fight back by withholding their cash...

...UBS’s political action committee has shifted its contributions, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. After dividing its money evenly between the parties for 2008, it has given about 56 percent to Republicans this cycle.

Most of its biggest contributions, of $10,000 each, went to five Republican opponents of Mr. Obama’s regulatory proposals, including Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the ranking minority member of the Banking Committee.

The Democratic campaign committees declined to comment on Wall Street money. But their Republican rivals are actively courting it.

Senator John Cornyn of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said he visited New York about twice a month to try to tap into Wall Street’s “buyers’ remorse.”

“I just don’t know how long you can expect people to contribute money to a political party whose main plank of their platform is to punish you,” Mr. Cornyn said.
It wasn't "buyers' remorse" he was trying to tap into, you can bet on that. Is Cornyn actually trying to say these people---who boldly sucked the money out of the economy with their bad faith Ponzi schemes, beggared huge swaths of the middle and working class, and created the house of cards that collapsed the job market and resulted in the worst unemployment situation since the Great Depression---is Cornyn really saying these Burberry-suited carny barkers DON"T deserve to be punished? These regulations that Obama is considering, no matter how watered-down they may be, are aimed at preventing the re-occurrence of our recent financial meltdown and protecting the little guy on "Main Street", goals that the Republicans and their teabagger fifth column like to claim they are fighting for in the face of the Democratic party's rank pandering to the corporate elite. So why is it that when action is taken toward these ends, we see the Republicans lining up with their palms and their tongues out, practically orgasmic at the possibility of representing the very corporate community they took no end of delight in bashing while the TARP money and the subsequent bonuses were handed out?

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