Berg’s Seventh Law – “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds” – is going to be one of the dominant themes of the both the Presidential and the Minnesota Legislative campaigns.
We’ve been subjected to a solid year of caterwauling about the Flying Koch Brothers – who donate a fraction of what George Soros has pumped into liberal politics over the years – and “ALEC“, which “donates” ideas and the model legislation, which is pretty much what the Teachers Union does (except the Teachers donate lots of money too). And above all, we’ve been subjected to years of liberal do-gooder fronts like “Common Cause” telling us that money in politics is baaaaaad.
To draw attention away from the extent to which the Democrats are controlled – not “supported”, “controlled” – by plutocrats.
Here in Minnesota, the DFL has basically handed its entire message operation over to “Alliance for a Better Minnesota“, the PR arm of a network of fundraising groups, unions and, especially, wealthy liberals. They’ve even put Ken Martin, former administrator of part of that network, in charge of the DFL – which is, really, a measure of how much the DFL has become the instrument of the will of a small pack of liberal moneybags.
More on that later.
With Obama’s support among the middle class, small business and blue-collar whites in free fall, and enthusiasm among Latinos, women with kids and the unemployed young stagnant, Obama really has only one important constituency locked up: the extremely wealthy, and Hollywood. And since the regular “big-money” donors – people who donate between $500 and $2,500 to the campaign – are bailing on Obama…
…well, you see the conundrum, here, right? Where’s Obama going to go for money other than the people who still support him completely, and lavishly?
And with that said, who is he going to listen to when it comes time to try to enact policy?
Obama has seen enough Architectural Digest-type interiors in Park Avenue triplexes and Beverly Hills mansions, and on the block in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights, where every house is owned by a billionaire, to develop an expertise in Louis XV walnut commodes and Brunschwig & Fils fabrics.
He’s also had plenty of chances to absorb the advice of the kind of rich liberals who like to give money to Democratic presidents. And the evidence that he has taken some of that advice is his initiatives on three controversial issues, each of which involves serious political risk.
Barone spells out how plutocrat money drove Obama’s positions on gay marriage, government-paid contraception and abortion (and the jamming the bill for both down on churches that oppose them on religious grounds), and…
The third issue is the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil produced from tar sands in Canada to United States refineries and create thousands of jobs in the process.
Earlier this year, Susie Buell Tompkins, John Kerry’s fourth-biggest money-raiser in 2004, picketed outside an Obama fundraiser at San Francisco’s W Hotel to protest the pipeline. She wanted Obama’s State Department to block it because she thinks tar sands production hurts the environment and the planet.
Our neighbors the Canadians, who are not unconcerned about the environment themselves, disagree. The pipeline’s promoters say it would produce 20,000 American jobs and would tend to lower U.S. gas prices.
Obama came out on Tompkins’ side and blocked the pipeline.
And enacting non-fiscal, mostly-social policy pushed by plutocrats is great politics, because plutocrats represent real people -right?
If the same-sex marriage reversal seems somewhat risky politically and the contraception mandate considerably riskier, the Keystone pipeline decision seems downright foolish politically. Voters tend to favor it by two-to-one margins — and if they’re not aware of it, the Republicans (and maybe the pro-pipeline unions) will make sure they are.
The priorities of the well-connected, donation-happy and frighteningly well-off will continue to drive Obama’s policy.
And when your liberal friends – and the DFL’s trained chimps like “Common Cause’s” Mike Dean – plump about the evils of money in politics, ask them to clarify who’s money they’re talking about.