THE POWER OF MONEY BOMBS

It is more and more likely that Scott Walker, the besieged governor of Wisconsin, will get to keep his office. Despite a year of negative publicity, polls that showed Walker behind ANY Democratic candidate for nearly six months, massive grass roots resistance and on the ground action……Walker will likely keep his governorship BECAUSE HE HAS 25 TIMES THE MONEY OF HIS OPPONENT, AND even more will be spent by those who are NOT OFFICIALLY part of the campaign, but whose superpac interest groups just so happen to correspond to Walker’s interests. The money is largely from out of state and most of it comes from a handful of donors MONEY BOMBS.

This, I fear is a foreshadowing of the Fall of 2012. A Campaign that will drop money from the skies in amounts unimaginable in 2008.Today Politico revealed that GOP PACs are preparing to spend more than $1 Billion to win control of the White House, the Senate, more state legislatures and governor’s mansions, and to hold the House of Representatives and the state governments they already control. The GOP itself will spend a $800 million and individual Republican campaigns will put up more than $350 million. THAT’S $2.15 TRILLION! See http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76849.html for details.

Rolling Stone has provided us with an extraordinary run down on who the mega billion and millionaires are, what they have done in the past, what they plan to do, and what they want. Mostly what they want is for governments not to regulate how they make money, not hold them accountable for any harm done while the money is made, not tax the money they make and give them money in the form of subsidies, and favorable contracts. The Details: Right-Wing Billionaires Behind Mitt Romne. They’re trying to buy a presidency – and they expect a big payoff on their investment http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/right-wing-billionaires-behind-mitt-romney-20120524

The best estimate is that the Democrats will have about half the amount the GOP will have at its disposal when all funds are combined.

In targeted states, GOP money will primarily be spent on TV, radio and digital advertising; secondarily the funding will be spent on voter-turnout work; mail and phone appeals; and absentee- and early-ballot drives.

Of course “advertising” is a relatively innocuous word for the sinister use of propaganda.


Effective PROPAGANDA requires

A) A simplistic (usually fear-filled and anxiety ridden) message that appeals to deep emotion.
B) Promises of better times if the target group gets rid of the source of the fear.
C) Strong, emotional visuals accompanied by easy to remember catch phrases, the talking points.
D) Mass Media to disseminate it.
E) An unsophisticated and uninformed audience
F) AND, OF COURSE, BIG MONEY TO DRIVE THE WHOLE THING. THE BIGGER THE MONEY…THE BIGGER THE DRIVE. ..THE BIGGER THE MESSAGE,…THE BIGGER THE IMPACT.

How have we come to this?

Citizens United PLUS a cluster of mega million and billionaires determined to formalize plutocratic control of the policy making authority of the nation; a major network masquerading as a news source, the blogosphere, talk radio, a parade of newspapers and magazines which exist to give a legitimate veneer to the propaganda; AND a GOP willing to be purchased lock, stock and barrel…..

ADD in the specter of a black president who represents all of the “others” that most on the right fear who can be associated with scary words like “government takeover, socialism, Kenyan, European, apologist American exceptionalism”

Finish it off with an increasingly uninformed, easily distracted electorate….

WHAT YOU COULD GET IS A COUP. I see little to inspire optimism.

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bito
Member

Murph, why were the R’s able to successfully frame the story as the recall being unnecessary, anti-democratic and just sour grapes from the Union thugs? Just money? Did the Dems even address this issue, because it seems to have been the winning point, not collective bargaining/union issues.

I will admit, I didn’t even hear that was one of Walker’s main points, that the concept of the recall was unjust until after the election. I never heard it mentioned on the MSM or twitter until post election.

nabsentia23
Guest
nabsentia23

I’ve been a lurker of this site from time to time, but I felt compelled to respond to this article.

Yes, it would be nice if Scott Walker is defeated in this recall against Tom Barrett. However, if he’s not, I am more afraid of the liberal and progressive response than anything else. And here’s why:

1) The criminal investigation that Walker is still under as he goes before a recall. Even Tom Barrett has mentioned this time and time again. Does anybody honestly think this investigation is just going to disappear if Walker survives after June 5th? If he survives, the investigation is more likely to be intensified.

2) The Wisconsin Senate – Why do you think Walker was able to get his way during the first few years of his term? It’s because he had a GOP-controlled Senate! Even when the Dem Senators left the state in order to stop Walker, they were still hindered by GOP control. Well, guess what – Walker can no longer depend on a GOP-dominated Senate, even now! Right now, the Wisconsin Senate is evenly split among the GOP and Dems. And what’s worse is that 4 of the GOP Senate seats are up for recall on the same day as Walker is. Either way, Walker will not have the help he had when he was first elected.

There’s always more than one way to skin a cat, Murph and instead of putting all of your eggs in one basket, alternatives should always be investigated. End of story!

choicelady
Member

Hi nabsentia – know you from TPV and glad you’re here.

Thank you for words of wisdom. MUCH appreciated. Wisconsin is not the end of the road at all. Someone once reminded me that had Nixon lost in 1972, Watergate as an investigation would never have happened or would have seemed to be McGovern’s “fault” as revenge. I believe you’re right – Walker IN office will likely speed the investigation of his actions and show the rot at the core of his party and its members.

Sometimes the long plan is the better plan. Either way tomorrow, we will see what comes. I think it will be good for opening eyes no matter what occurs.

foodchain
Member
foodchain

Hi nabsentia, these points are so well taken. Good chance the GOP loses a few senate seats and Walker on trial makes his rising star status look and sound absurd. Can’t say I’m not pretty agitated though at the Dem leadership’s lack of timely support. I agree, that no matter what the results in WI, there is still much more to come.

AdLib
Admin

nabsentia23, nice to see you here!

Your points are very well taken and I would hope your first point makes the second point moot. If voters in WI have it hammered home to them by Barrett and his supporters, in these last days before the election, that even if he turns back the recall, Walker may still be removed if found guilty of these embezzling charges (from a veterans fund, of all things), why bother in keeping him anyway?

So the people of WI can go from their governor being recalled to him being indicted?

And I do agree that disappointment should never lead to defeatism. There have been many victories for populism vs. the powerful and wealthy, just in the last several months, against Limbaugh, Susan Koman Foundation, ALEC, Zimmerman, etc. And though it may be a bit in disarray now, OWS took over the political conversation in this country against the 1% and that sentiment remains strong today.

We do need to accept that the battle against the 1% for control of our democracy and future is an unending struggle, some battles they will win, others we will win but they will never give up just because they lose a battle and neither can we.

There is always recourse, there is always a strategic way to respond to the other side and prevail down the line.

As you say, even if Walker stays in office, other Repubs are on the recall ballot and the WI legislature could be a Dem majority next week. That will block Walker from any further mayhem. So losing the Walker recall but winning control of the Legislature would still end up, advantage Dems.

foodchain
Member
foodchain

AdLIb, the perspective on Komen, etc. helps me understand how much the 99% is doing. It IS about the people taking on power. WI has been a second home to my husband’s family since the 1920’s so we are personally involved in this. It is a house divided.

I’ve been angry at our democrat leadership for their lack of spine but the “Oops, I better hop on the bandwagon” has me just plain pissed. Wasserman Shultz saying WI doesn’t influence anything; DNC not sending $$ to WI and looking for all purposes that they had to be shamed into joining the effort–certainly not leading it–indicates to me the worst of the stray cats theory of democratic coalition. And then to send in the big guns in some last minute show? What a bunch of chickens! I can’t help but think that the Dem party has poor leadership, lack of vision, lack of commitment, and use resources very poorly. It it weren’t for the 99% taking the initiative their results would be laughably pathetic.

Whew. I won’t return to reason for few more days.

SallyT
Member

FC, I have been thinking the same thing. Why haven’t we made a present there? Oh, send Bill Clinton in the last week of the campaign, whoopee! Okay, President Obama didn’t want to hurt his lead in WI (so they say) but why hasn’t Biden been there a couple of times? This has been a campaign going on for months. When there is a fight going on in the ring, we need to be in our guy’s corner. Our leadership needs to be seen there. We don’t need to be seen there throwing in the towel but supporting our candidate in each round. This Democrat’s race is an important one and we should show we know that and we want to fight to win! After all, this is the real first fight of this election year and it is a big win and a bigger loss.

foodchain
Member
foodchain

Sue, hugs again. Obama can’t (imo) stand state’s rights against federal rights, nor Biden. But the DNC can and I don’t think they have a plan/strategy/strength. I don’t think you get a better Dem candidate than Obama, but they don’t support him in any open, verbal, visible way

foodchain
Member
foodchain

Sally, :oops

SallyT
Member

FC, don’t give my hugs all to Sue. She can have a few, tho. They will be campaigning for other Governors come closer to November. Obama will be looking for Governor support in any state he can get it. And, he should get it! This is a special election but it is also for a possible Democrat Governor state and we need as many of those as we can get, too. I just think we need to be louder and visible wherever the attention is focused at the moment. Hugs back to you!

nabsentia23
Guest
nabsentia23

I’m just not so certain that the DNC has demonstrated such poor leadership in this regard. If there had been poor leadership on the Democratic side (either coming from the state party or national committee) – this recall wouldn’t even be taking place. Recalls are rare and very difficult to pull off. Sure, everybody calls for recalls, but to actually do it is another story.

Besides, from the DNC’s point of view, the recall will not impact Obama’s standing in the state and I agree. However, it will still have political ramifications nationwide. These ramifications may have more of an impact on GOP strategy than on the Democrats.

Sorry, but I’m not ready to pile blame on the DNC when just the fact that recall is even taking place is a monumental triumph. To me, that alone is proof that there’s stellar leadership somewhere within the Democratic party.

foodchain
Member
foodchain

nabsentia, I agree that the DNC might have selected a better national strategy here but the tactics generally leave something to be desired. They have lost support they never needed to lose. (The GOP is beginning to defend parts of the HC on which the Dems have been meager.)

I haven’t checked back but I thought a lot of the WI revolt was state residents, other union support and other interested groups. In either event, the DNC should not have let words develop across the airwaves that “no money from DNC in final drive” or “WI doesn’t matter in the 2012” whether it true or not. It just settles poorly on an electorate that already is seeing them as weak. The DNC positions are strong but their message abilities frustrate me.

I know I sound a little crabby, but this one hits close to home for me so forgive my emotions on this. And, I do think the perspective on Walker’s legal problems will make his (potential) win look absurd beyond the loss of some GOP senate seats.

foodchain
Member
foodchain

Sally, hugs and kisses my friend!!! It’s difficult to speak your mind and not offend. Crab on–I love that! Thank you

SallyT
Member

FC, the best of emotions in a fight for what’s right sounds crabby. You crab on my friend! 🙂

nabsentia23
Guest
nabsentia23

I think everything should be done to get Walker recalled on June 5th. It’s just that I want people to remember the continguencies if things don’t completely our way. And believe it or not, this is how the right-wing has been successful for the last 3 to 4 decades (despite U.S. Congress not being in control by one of the major parties for a significant amount of time).

kesmarn
Admin

I hope the Romney people do spend billions and billions (as Carl Sagan said so often in his inimitable way).

And lose.

That is money that goes nowhere. It buys nothing of value. It buys air. When it is gone, it’s REALLY gone. Wealthy people just hate getting nothing for their money.

And plenty of nothing is what I really hope they get. Let it be a lesson to them.

AdLib
Admin

Murph, when the dark clouds are gathering, it can seem naive to think about the sun re-emerging but it may only be premature.

We are indeed about to go through one of the most, if not THE most horrendous and corrupt election campaigns in our history.

The RW has thrown in the towel on winning the majority’s vote based on their stands on the issues and have turned to outright lies, propaganda and plutocratic domination of our democracy.

At this point, before it all starts swamping us like a tsunami, it sure looks damn ominous.

I would suggest though that Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina lost despite their millions. So did Linda McMahon. Money and propaganda works to a point but it damages the candidate using it in the process.

Mitt Romney was winning primary states using disgusting ads and he won some that way but remember how his personal likeability and approval tanked? As the flood of ads come, they may seem to be unbeatable but 5 months of lies and poison might well have an even greater negative effect on Romney and the Repubs than one might guess.

And the outcome could become a total rejection of this unlimited money poured into elections, it may very well start a groundswell for action to curb it.

The question remains, will the second $500 million spent on propaganda change any more minds than the first $500 million did? Might there be a threshold, after which it’s just pouring money down the drain? I think so. I think more and more people will tune out the commercials once they are so inundated with them. Those easily manipulated may be scooped up but I’ll bet those people would have been snagged anyway.

There may indeed be an ongoing parallel narrative to the election, that of plutocracy buying the presidency and the spending of $1 billion to do so would be proof in the pudding.

There is something we can do, we can support and promote that narrative so that for all the money they spend, they actually prove even more that such a narrative is true and Romney is their puppet.

With the recent rulings against Rick Scott in FL on voter suppression, there are some positive things happening out there to push back. Bill Clinton is heading to WI to rally Dems there, a big Dem push is going on now so don’t count the Dems out in WI yet.

Still, you’re right, this is an example of what lies ahead for us, we need to be prepared, we’ve never seen anything like this in the history of our country.

BourneID
Member

Hi MTS

I know you’ve done a huge amount of research and put together something we should all be aware of. I’m inclined to lean a bit in the direction of hopeful optimism. Remember my post to you this morning on HP that the majority of responses that suggest optimism are all from women? I guess it’s our nature – it isn’t lack of interest or knowledge – you’ve provided both and very well, I might add.

Every news media – liberal and conservative – are running this story. Unfortunately, the way I see things is that the biggest mouthpiece for the GOP is MSNBC. They’re so busy bashing Fox and Romney & Company that they’re completely ignoring the President’s message…our message. Now the GOP has almost 100% of coverage and half of that is free. How’s that for stupid?

Last night’s War Room with Jennifer Grandholm was outstanding. She was furious, brought her face right up to the camera and shouted in a clear, loud, clear voice exactly what you wrote. But she added an important message to us: get off our sizable rears and do whatever we have to to stop it, because it’s not going to go away if we don’t. She interviewed David Axelrod and he admitted there’s some concern, but look at what they’ve learned in 3.5 years? You know how tiresome I am when I get an idea. It’s time to bring on SunTzu – Lesson #1- know your enemy; Less #2 – Never let your enemy know what you’re planning – it’s called “the art of timing your surprises.” So let’s start.]
I also told you in my email that I see advantages to the President’s efforts. This brings us to another point I suggested: the story broke almost simultaneously with Romney’s win in Texas. Now he’s the actual GOP candidate, no longer a wannabe. It’s put up or shut time. His timing is lousy. He showed up with Trump in Las Vegas and now he’s trying to disassociate from Trump’s blather. If the big money people invest their dollars in warning all of us about this president and what he’s done to destroy our country, isn’t that moving the mic away from Romney? He hasn’t the verbal skill to finesse it. It’s still his game. I don’t think he knows how to play.

I’m going to start yelling louder myself, and I have a bunch of Fox News nieces and nephews who heads are lodged in what Sean Hannity uses to sit on. I shout louder than they.

MTS, you know I agree in principal with your assessment of the threat, but we can push it back far enough to get the room our candidate needs. You have contact with Rachel; she’s responded to things you’ve written. Can you encourage her to lower the outrage with FactCheck and start pummeling the money men?

What you’ve written is important to ignore and it inspires action. Thank you. Can we discuss it tomorrow on Vox?

Bourne

SueInCa
Member

Never let your enemy know what you’re planning – it’s called “the art of timing your surprises.”

Perhaps Mario Puzo read Sun Tzu I remember Brando telling his son, “never let anyone outside the family know what you are thinking”. It is a good tactic. I am real good at that one. Until I am ready to tell that is.

choicelady
Member

I think you are entirely right to be concerned. Our Vox conversation a couple of weeks ago was dismal indeed, but I must say I went over to The People’s View to express my dread based on what you had heard, and several people from WI were of an entirely different mindset. It was most encouraging!

If you scroll down to the first post by Churchlady320 and go down from there, you will see a lot of encouraging signs. Gallup, surely NOT a liberal organization, has the race in WI in a dead heat despite the influx of tens of millions of corporate dollars for Walker.

What has energized me is how many of us are calling for “boots on the ground” (or flip flops depending on your climate and terrain) doing what needs doing – helping people get ID, then get registered, then doing old fashioned precinct walking then driving people to the polls, and on and on. And what makes me even happier is that people are reporting all across the country that they are DOING these things!

One thing I know is that money alone has a real SOLID challenge from this kind of door-to-door, person-to-person work. My own organization beat the crap out of conservatives on legislative issues – issues where conservative power was holding sway – by doing personal intervention with their conservative legislators.

Money is huge, and it’s dangerous. But people who are motivated to get out there CAN overwhelm the big bucks. At this point do we really have another choice? I know it’s harder in smaller areas and rural ones, but it’s not impossible to win with that kind of work. It’s just not. In FL a candidate avowing the legalization of marijuana just also beat the crap out of the Bagger. Florida! The dark horse had flip flops on the ground and won. The Bagger had incumbency and money and lost. OK – NOT every district is gonna win with “toke up, dude” I know, but the point holds. Work, work, work for candidates, and you just cannot help but win more than you otherwise would.

Democracy is NOT a spectator sport, and this is NOT the time to get dismal.

Hope that helps you worry less. It’s not that we shouldn’t, but we must find ways NOT to be defeatist. You have shown – democracy itself is on the line.

Thanks Murph – and good luck where you are. It’s one of the tougher places to be.

bito
Member

Another good sign is that the RNC chair (the one with the name that sounds like a skin disease/Latin law phrase) said today that they need to watch out for a large amount of voter fraud. A sure sign of an excuse for a loss and voter suppression.

Funny thing he used Kenosha and Milwaukee, as examples of voter fraud, Kenosha is heavily Republican and it was the Republicans that were accused of fraud and Milwaukee had 7 cases in 2000.

BourneID
Member

Bito

I don’t know that we’ve talked at VP. I have to tell you that your definition of the GNC chair’s name as a skin disease is absolutely great. I like anything that makes me laugh.

Your information about his concerns of voter fraud just adds to the list of utter nonsense repubs spew every day, with implications that clearly target immigrant haters. Good point that needs attention.

Nice meeting you.

Bourne

bito
Member

Bourne, I do think him talking about “rampant voter fraud” is a set-up for a fall in the recall.

One R on the TeeVee remarked about the rampant voter fraud in 2004 in Milwaukee–there were 7 whole case in a city of that size. Wanna bet 4 of them were wrong polling place? The whole voter fraud is a fraud.

Think about it, if one were an ‘illegal’ would you go out of your way to chance getting arrested/ deported? I sure wouldn’t!

SueInCa
Member

Murph

To a certain extent I would agree with you but I have been saying that money does not buy everything. I still have some hope that the electorate will see through it all, not real sure but some hope still.

Money buys nothing if the electorate sees through the hype. And after everything we have been through I don’t see the majority falling for the propaganda. What I am more afraid of is apathy. Why vote when you are up against that much money? That is what I envision. Not many in the middle class believe if they just vote with the money someday they too will join their ranks. So you have apathy.