Monday, October 04, 2010
“Spending frenzy” is the start of the new American corporate democracy
by Larry Geller
The Washington Post reports that the new Citizens United corporate democracy has begun. That’s not exactly how they worded it, but it’s what their words say.
Money is being spent in record amounts outside of the two main political parties to buy votes. As we’ve pointed out, the average person doesn’t get to see or touch the greenbacks. The $80 million that the article describes goes from corporations to other corporations to buy ads. It’s very strange when you think about it, but it is the new face of American democracy. And in this election year, half of the contributions aren’t even being disclosed
The bulk of the money is being spent by conservatives, who have swamped their Democratic-aligned competition by 7 to 1 in recent weeks. The wave of spending is made possible in part by a series of Supreme Court rulings unleashing the ability of corporations and interest groups to spend money on politics. Conservative operatives also say they are riding the support of donors upset with Democratic policies they perceive as anti-business. [Washington Post, Interest-group spending for midterm up fivefold from 2006; many sources secret, 10/4/2010]
Much of the corporate money goes to stirring up mosque-hating and anti-immigrant anger among voters. The media-supported Tea Party movement is another corporate-fed voter brainwashing campaign for political ends.
Does all this manipulation and rabble-rousing really work? We’ll find out after the polls close in November. Of course, like lab rats, we will not have been in charge of whatever fate has been determined for us. The 2010 midterm elections could become a defining point of democracy in this country—we could henceforth become creatures to be simply manipulated by our marketing masters.
There is a good argument that this actually begun with the election of Barack Obama, a campaign that won a marketing award.
And let's not forget HR5175 which would require corporations to identify themselves in those ads as well as make illegal foreign entities from donating money to domestic corporations to influence our American elections. Charles Djou in another hand holding kumbaya moment with Republicans voted against this campaign finance disclosure bill.