Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mother's Milk

(This is the post I intended to put up yesterday, an intention foiled by problems with my telephone. Another nice young man from AT&T came by yesterday afternoon and actually fixed things. I am happy.)

David Horsey has done it again: he has managed to set exactly the right tone for his cartoon and has done a marvelous job in excoriating our current electoral system.

If money is the mother’s milk of politics, then America’s big corporations are Big Mama and Big Baby is the Republican Party suckling at the enormous bosom of business. Democrats, meanwhile, are abandoned brats scrounging for nourishment wherever they can find it.

During the long decades the Democrats held a solid majority in Congress, campaign donations from the corporate world were spread around among incumbents in both parties – not evenly, but at least the D's got their share. Since the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in 1994, however, corporate dollars have increasingly flowed in one direction.

This happened, in part, because Republican leaders like Tom “The Hammer” DeLay instituted a program to punish corporate lobbyists who were too bipartisan with their donations. Even more significantly, the evolution of the GOP into a militantly anti-tax and anti-regulation party has made Republican policy goals and the political aims of big corporations indistinguishable.

Now, in 2012, the discrepancy in campaign contributions is stark. Where once big business favored the GOP by 2 to 1, a survey by the Center for Responsive Politics has found Republicans enjoying a 7-1 advantage in some sectors. Energy companies, in particular, are giving heavily to Republican candidates, but so are financial institutions, insurance companies, real estate firms and agribusiness.
[Emphasis added.]

What I especially appreciated about the column was Horsey's recognition that the corporations have pretty much owned the Congress for decades. That comes as no surprise to most of us, but it's nice to see someone in the mainstream media come right out and say it.

It was also nice to see Horsey refer to Open Secrets, an invaluable tool for understanding just how easy it is to buy a congress critter. More people need to visit that site and to learn the harsh lessons presented.

Finally, I have to applaud loudly at his conclusion that the GOP right now is simply an extension of the corporate owners, a wholly-owned subsidiary, if you will. I do admit to being a little shocked at the disparity this cycle, especially since President Obama has pretty much given them everything they've wanted and the Democrats in Congress have gone along with the program. I guess they figured this would be much cleaner.

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