I have a solution to the problem of too much money in politics, including the unleashing of huge amounts of right wing spending resulting from the Citizens United decision. This column today is serious - admittedly cheeky but not tongue in cheek.
If you read DARK MONEY by Jane Mayer, you will learn of the prodigious sums spent by some of the mega rich to enhance their fortunes by denouncing government as evil and attempting to shrink it as much as possible. Government is the enemy of these fellows, its dirty hands reaching into their pockets, stoping them from polluting, twisting rules to effect the climate, thrusting food stamps on lazy parasites. When will it stop?
Not, says Grover Norquist, until government is shrunk to the size of a bathtub and then drowned.
DARK MONEY details the huge sums spent to this purpose by Charles and David Koch, Richard
Melllon Scaife, Sheldon Adelson, John Olin and a host of other mega billionaires. The total earmarked for this election cycle exceeds one billion, dwarfing expenditures by the opposition.
The assets in the conservative corner, however, by no means exceed the assets of the liberal mega
rich. The latter are content to sit it out. I suspect the conservatives back their causes heavily because:
1) they are more ideologically passionate, and 2) their spending produces laws or lack of them that adds to their wealth. Liberal spending is for the general good and can be harmful to the personal bottom line.
So here's the thing. Let's call the Kochs and their allies FAT CATS and Warren Buffett and friends WATCH DOGS. What if the WATCH DOGS spent a billion to offset the FAT CATS.? Standoff, right? Waste of money. If the FAT CATS knew that whatever they spent would be equally matched by the WATCH DOGS, an agreement would soon develop. You slow down, we'll slow down. Result - less money in politics.
Contrary to what you might think, mega billionaires don't really like to spend mega sums to no purpose.
What is required, of course is to get the cooperation of the WATCH DOGS. Well, Mr. Buffett has already endorsed Hillary Clinton. He has said regretfully, " there's class warfare, all right. But it's my class, the rich class, that's making war and we're winning."
Other definite WATCH DOGS are George Soros and Tom Steyer. Possible allies are Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg . Michael Bloomberg and others unknown by me. Unlike the FAT CATS, they do not seem to confuse the size of their purse with the good of the country.
Well, there you have it. THE FAT CATS are on the march. THE WATCH DOGS are sitting on their asses. They are good dogs. All they need is a push. For one year, then everybody can disengage.
Is there anybody out there who can wake up the WATCH DOGS?