Will Republican Dirty Money Drive Democrats To the Polls? - Page 2
In the two-party system you win when the tide flows your way. But your specific issue waits in line, subject to timing and to political considerations. Gay rights advocates – for example – are perfectly right to advocate their issues. Equality for them is the key civil rights imperative of our era. But taking up the issue before the mid-term elections is a strategic mistake. So is killing the advocate. Disowning Obama – or worse, campaigning for revenge – might mean big Republican gains. If new Democrats stay home, they haven’t just opted out. They’ve picked the other side.”
One year later Republicans are hot to vote, Democrats merely lukewarm. Democrats are engaged in a concerted get-out-the-vote effort and everyone is placing bets on how much Democratic GOTV can limit the inevitable Republican gains.
The first salvo, the leaked notion that Hillary might be on the 2012 ticket had the desired effect. Democratic strategist Mark Penn was the perfect choice to promote this rumor, and the DNC appears to have played to author Bob Woodward’s “insider-ego” with a juicy tip for his book tour. Democrats who had softened on Obama (many of them originally Hillary’s voters) began paying attention. For the next five news cycles – an eternity in today’s cable-driven political world – Democrats listened to every word uttered by the President.
He used the time wisely, launching the second front – Republican Dirty Money – at a time when everyone was listening. Since the Supreme Court recently allowed it, private and secret money has been flooding to right wing message makers – almost none of it from people making less than $250,000, trust me. “Given the record spending this year, one has to wonder whether the campaigns have no-limit credit cards,” says Travis Ridout, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project and associate professor of political science at Washington State University.
The plausible notion that the US Chamber of Commerce was using foreign money to influence elections is the opening salvo of Dirty Money. The US Chamber, unlike your local group of main-street business people, has always been dominated by multi-nationals and always sought to block any legislation that might give workers a leg up or foreign companies a push down. The Chamber has a fund-raising presence in over 100 foreign countries. It describes each as “independent” but a random check reveals that they share one of a very few web-page designs. This one walks like a duck…Continued on the next page