Only The First Part Of This Is About Santorum's Defeat-- The Rest Is About The Raw Power Of Money In Politics
Santorum never really had much of a chance-- even apart from his extremism and lack of appeal outside of the Old Confederacy. He just had that one crackpot right wing billionaire willing to buy him the election. Romney has most of the one percent locked up. Still, Santorum, as Think Progress pointed out moments after he withdrew from the race, made an important contribution to the presidential contest. In fact he made 10. Here are his ten greatest hits:
2. “ULTIMATE FLIP-FLOPPER:” “He glosses over and doesn’t even tell the truth. … Here is a guy who is the ultimate flip-flopper running for president, and he’s attacking me for not being principled? That doesn’t wash.”
3. ETCH A SKETCH CANDIDATE: “One of Governor Romney’s aides today on television said that Governor Romney, after he wins the primaries, will be like an [Etch A Sketch]-- you take whatever he said and you can shake it up and it will be gone, and he’s going to draw a whole new picture for the general election.”
4. MIGHT AS WELL RE-ELECT OBAMA: “You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there. If they’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”
5. OBAMACARE: “He created the blueprint for Obamacare and advocated for exactly what Obamacare is, which is a mandated health insurance program…it is exactly the Massachusetts health care plan. …He is uniquely disqualified.”
6. “WORST REPUBLICAN IN THE COUNTRY”: “Pick any other Republican in the country. He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama.”
7. “WEAK CANDIDATE:” “We can’t nominate such a weak candidate. I’d love to be able to get one-on-one with Gov. Romney and expose the record that would be the weakest record we could possibly put up against Barack Obama.”
8. “WALL STREET FINANCIER:” “I heard Governor Romney here called me an economic lightweight because I wasn’t a Wall Street financier like he was. Do you really believe this country wants to elect a Wall Street financier as the president of the United States? Do you think that’s the experience that we need? Someone who’s going to take and look after as he did his friends on Wall Street and bail them out at the expense of Main Street America.”]
9. BUSINESS EXPERIENCE DOESN’T MATTER: “Running a business is not the same as being president of the United States.”
10. BAILOUT HYPOCRISY: “Governor Romney supported the bailout of Wall Street and decided not to support the bailout of Detroit.
Right Wing Watch did a stirring round-up of Santorum's greatest moments as well-- captured forever on video. Meanwhile, Romney outspent Santorum 7 to 1 or 14-1, more in many places where it really mattered. Everybody wang chung tonight thank the 5 corporate shills on the Supreme Court that there is no longer any such thing as One Man, One Vote. American democracy is pretty much sold down the river. And I wish I could just blame it on the evil Republicans. But then I wouldn't be honest. There are plenty of evil Democrats-- in DC-- enabling them. This is how people like Hoyer and Wasserman Schultz and Israel grasp power; they're not going to let it go any sooner than villains like Boehner, Cantor, or McConnell.
Pink Slime is a problem to the health of America and the government isn't doing enough about it because of corporate financing of our political system. Did you happen to catch Lee Fang's Pink Slime post yesterday at Republic Report? Conservatives are pro-Pink slime. It may mostly be Republicans making this into a Pink Slime Nation-- and it may be mostly Republicans taking bribes from the Pink Slime lobby-- but the chief of that lobbying effort is none other than defeated head Blue Dog Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, putatively a Democrat.
Is it the system that stinks? You bet it is and that system is called the bipartisan Conservative Consensus. It's not just Republicans. I mean, it is all Republicans. But it also includes so many Democrats that we could almost say if a Democrat isn't a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, they're probably part of the Conservative Consensus that is undermining democracy. Yesterday The Street looked at who's financing the presidential campaigns. It's ugly but their headline told the story: Campaign Donors: Obama's Are Mixed, Romney's Are The Banks.
Romney's top six organizations are all banks, while Obama's include two tech giants, a couple of law firms and two major American universities.
Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Citigroup and Bank of America have donated about $2.1 million to Romney's campaign; Obama's campaign received $1.1 million from Microsoft, Google, DLA Piper, Morgan and Morgan, University of California and Harvard University.
...Other notable top contributing organizations to Romney's campaign include Barclays, Wells Fargo, EMC,UBS and private-equity companies Blackstone Group and Bain Capital.
Today Rick Perlstein's provocative essay about right-wing gambling mobster and GOP contributor Sheldon Adelson was published by Rolling Stone. As he points out, the media coverage of Adelson has basically covered up almost everything relevant to the clear and present danger he is to this country. The whole thing is a "must read," but here's a short excerpt.
These days, Adelson's LVS makes three-quarters of its money from properties in the former Portuguese colony of Macao, which in 2006 surpassed Las Vegas as the world's biggest casino town and is the one place in China where gambling is allowed. It is also a wildly corrupt place. Before the entrance of foreign operators, Macau's casinos were run by a monopoly controlled by a man linked to organized crime named Stanley Ho. Even now, most of its revenues derive from a curiously byzantine "junket" system, in which high-rolling players are ferried from the mainland and staked massive amounts of money to get around China's strict currency and debt collection laws. According to a casino executive quoted in a State Department cable, "all of the junket operators are directly or indirectly involved with the triads" – Chinese organized-crime gangs. The man LVS hired to run its Macau casinos, Steve Jacobs, said he wanted to distance the company from the junket system, but that Adelson wanted to expand the junkets within his casinos. Eventually, Jacobs was fired. His wrongful-termination suit alleges, according to court filings seen by Rolling Stone, "When Jacobs objected to and/or refused to carry out Adelson's illegal demands, Adelson repeatedly threatened to terminate Jacobs' employment." The nature of those demands, which are disputed, are suggested by LVS's countersuit against Jacobs for defamation – which paraphrases Jacobs as having claimed that "Adelson had (1) bribed, or attempted to bribe, the Chief Executive of Macau; and (2) instructed subordinates to gather damaging information about public officials for Sands China to improperly use to its advantage."
Is that the sort of thing Adelson is capable of? The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission certainly seems to suspect so. Just two months ago, on February 9, they sent LVS a subpoena requesting documents relating to its compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. LVS’s most recent "10k," the form the SEC requires publicly traded companies to produce summarizing their annual performance, including any legal proceedings against them and risk factors investors should know about, acknowledges, "The Company has also been advised by the Department of Justice that it is conducting a similar investigation. It is the Company’s belief that the subpoena emanated from allegations contained in the lawsuit filed by Steven C. Jacobs."
And here's the thing: What does it suggest when a man under three federal investigations can plan on spending up to $100 million dollars to elect the man with authority over the agencies conducting those investigations?
Richard Nixon liked to describe the influence a powerful person held over other powerful people as that person’s "stroke." Sheldon Adelson knows stroke. In another illuminating deposition, former LVS president Bill Weidner described Adelson on the phone asking Republican House whip Tom DeLay to kill a human rights bill that might get in the way of Beijing's bid for the 2008 Olympics. "I'm standing here with the mayor of Beijing," he said, which was true. The bill was withdrawn, though not, DeLay insists, for any reason having to do with Adelson. In any event, the scene is awfully suggestive of how a veteran political greaser operates: You earn stroke with someone powerful by making a credible case that you've been instrumental in their getting, and maintaining, power.
Should the United States have been saddled with a President Newton Leroy Gingrich, Sheldon Adelson's stroke would have been pretty flippin' awesome.
Even so, although the megalomaniacal former Speaker of the House and moon-colony aficionado's campaign is going the way of all flesh, Sheldon Adelson is emphatically not going away. On March 22 he hosted a dinner at his home chockablock with Mitt Romney supporters, including RNC chairman Reince Preibus. This man will have less stroke with Mitt Romney should the Mormon become president. But if he gives his Super PAC tens of millions of dollars, he may well have just enough.
It's the kind of thing that makes you fear for our republic.
Let me close by going back to former right wing joke candidate Rick Santorum for one last time. I used to live in Holland. I was there for 4 years. But not in Rick Santorum's mythological Holland that has never existed anywhere but in the tight confines of what Chris Mooney calls The Republican Brain or what Corey Robin has pointed out as The Reactionary Mind:
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