Schmooze or Lose
Obama doesn’t like cozying up to billionaires. Could it cost him the election?
By Jane Mayer
August 27, 2012
Read this. It’s about how Citizens United lets billionaires buy an election, allowing for a severe gap between donations given to Obama vs Romney for 2 main reasons:
1. Obama’s less comfortable stroking the egos & bellies of his wealthy donors than Clinton et al, partially because he doesn’t want to owe anyone a favor (“Obama wrote, politicians who spent too much time among the wealthy risked losing touch with the ‘frequent hardship of the other 99 percent of the population—that is, the people that I’d entered public life to serve.’”).
2. Wealthy liberals like Warren Buffett are disinterested in engaging in super PACs as they, like Obama, find the institutions plutocratic and devastating to the public interest.
Say what you will about Obama’s leadership and the change you wanted versus the change you saw, but changing yr vote will put a Republican in power that is comfortable being lobbied to by some of the country’s most socially and fiscally closed-minded wealthy losers. Why won’t Mitt stand for clean energy? The Koch brothers are spending $400 million on his campaign and they want the issue buried in the interest of their fossil fuel company. Why are Republicans so eerily one-sided on Israel & Palestine? Sheldon Adelson, one of Mitt’s biggest donors, thinks the Palestinian prime minister’s a terrorist. Why are Republicans in Congress protecting Adelson’s casinos’ ability to pay a 9.8% tax rate when the statutory rate is 35 (Is fairness not a historically Republican cause?)? Appeasement. The point that these Republicans scare me feels too obvious to state on a blog, but Paul Ryan the other day called rape a “method of conception,” and making rape a talking point, diluting the severity of our connotations to such a traumatic abuse = scary. Doubtless the rights on women’s bodies are about money and the closed-minded beliefs of rich men, too.
I like many of the things that traditional Republicans stood for. Mitt’s historically moderate - he was inoffensive in Massachusetts – but any traditional Republican’s nuts to think he won’t be committed to following through on his donors’ needs. I’ve found Obama to be a stable leader in times of severe & unprecedented political polarization. He could be close to losing on such a high-road ethical stance, but he comes across as a more honest politician for it. Last week I Googled, “Why don’t Republicans like Obama.” Call me simplistic. Google’s not built to answer that.
I come from an immediate family of swinging liberals and an extended one of Yankee conservatives. My aunt didn’t vote for John Kerry because she had a bad feeling about Theresa Heinz. One uncle is waiting to see how the two do in the debates to base an opinion, although he should have all the facts he needs (and the debates are scripted, guys: candidates know and can prepare for questions 3 weeks before it takes place). Another uncle emailed me yesterday with this sad overgeneralization that presidential candidates “all love the office and will say anything the people want to hear in order to get elected …or re-elected. The way things look and how ALL the members of Congress and the President act, there is no solution to our country’s problems.” These, my own genetic counterparts, vote with their feelings over facts.
There’s fairness and reality, and tiptoeing around reality for the sake of fairness, even to keep the peace on Labor Day, feels increasingly to be a disservice. The billionaires are looking out for themselves, and the policies they push through if Mitt’s elected are about them: they are not traditionally conservative, won’t benefit us and have none of us in mind.
Why don’t Republicans like Obama?