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Nothing Short of a Constitutional Amd Will End the Corruption of Cash in Politics

chicago dyke's picture

This will surprise no one here, but it's important to remember as the PB2.0 attempts to regain some of the political influence pissed away by the previous incarnation. RPR:

If indeed Wal-Mart is mobilizing its employees to vote against Democrats, it's sending a mixed message with its political action committee donations.

Wal-Mart is on pace to give more money to House Democrats this cycle than House Republicans for the first time ever. And as Wal-Mart's contributions reach further and deeper into the Democratic Caucus, it's becoming more difficult for the company's critics to demonize the corporate giant.

Through June 30, 54 percent of contributions to House candidates delivered by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. PAC for Responsible Government this cycle have gone to Democrats. Last cycle, Wal-Mart contributed 67 percent of its House candidate money to Republicans. And in 2004, Republicans received 80 percent of the contributions.

And as much as I have come to despise La Pelosi of the 60 Magical Votes, I've been reminded that there is worse evil out there, and his name is Steny:

Through June, Wal-Mart's PAC had contributed to 86 House Democrats this cycle, amounting to just more than one-third of the Caucus. That's more than the 77 House Democrats Wal-Mart supported in 2006 and the 62 that received PAC money in 2004.

Since 2004, Wal-Mart has given $27,500 to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.), $22,500 to House Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.), $12,000 to Chief Deputy Whip Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), and $20,500 to House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (N.Y.).

We all know what this means for a coming Democratic administration and majority- more bullshit excuses about why they can't do anything progressive and why corporations and the wealthy "need" more help from the poor and taxpaying lower classes. The PB2.0 can do many things, but my sincere hope is that it will realize that primary challenges are cheap, and scare the shit out of DINOs and corporate whores posing as representatives of "the people." PB2.0 should get on that, stat.

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Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

For those who are activist this way, PB 2.0 would be great for more primary challenges, yes!

"...it’s important to remember as the PB2.0 attempts to regain some of the political influence pissed away by the previous incarnation."

Exactly, for those who analyze, regain true and good political influence vs. real estate with a for sale sign on it.

"La Pelosi of the 60 Magical Votes"--ha ha ha ha.

Submitted by lambert on

... at least at the national level is, I think, something a lot of us are determined to steer clear of. Too toxic for young shoots.

Leaving the question of what to do as a circulation builder...

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

cal1942's picture
Submitted by cal1942 on

Good luck getting a two thirds majority in both houses and even more luck getting three fourths of the state legislatures to approve.

Even though total public financing would make life easier for politicians and God knows far better government for the nation, politicians like Hoyer, Clyburn, etc. will resist as long as they believe the current "system" offers them an advantage.

We are so screwed.

Submitted by lambert on

... and then Hoyer knows what he's got coming.

I'm so tired of hearing "yeah, but the bench is even worse...."

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Otherwise, we get the current dynamic. Can't do anything to Pelosi because of Hoyer. But Pelosi does very little (whether because she can't or won't) to stop Hoyer anyway. And Rahm is lining up behind Hoyer. It's a disaster in the making for decades.

We need to quit worrying about the next election and build a dynamic that pushes forward the progressive agenda with all Democrats. Not because they believe it, but because they want to keep their jobs. You can't worry about 2012, you have to think about 2032. Goldwater and the GOP got crushed in 1964, but won in the end. It just took them 20 years.

Primary challenges from the left for all of these folks are the key, IMO. That's how you get them to tend the base. As a friend reminded me last night, it's what Club for Growth does and it's remarkably successful at getting straying GOPpers to fall in line.

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. " - Eleanor Roosevelt

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

seriously, it's the thing about the blogosphere 1 & 2 that chaps my ass the most. blah blah, polysyllabic blah, the rest of it JUST DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER IF YOU WON'T REPLACE THE DINOS OR SCARE THE FEAR OF GAWD INTO THEM. excuse my yelling, but it makes me insane.

not that i don't love to read about this or that lie from the SCLM, or details on the latest rethug scandal or closet case crony with hookers and blow. diversity is always good, esp in reading. but with a few, very notable exceptions (stoller, ACT BLUE, etc) the people with the most pull in the blogosphere, people who i guaran-fucking-tee you talk to each other, drink together, work with each other, every fucking day...can they be bothered to do something as simple as organize a serious, directed, coordinated, blogosphere-wide primary challenge action against the worst of the dems? no. because ZOMG! did you see what KO said on teevee? it was so kewl, man. and look at my lolkatz, niftee!

bah. sorry, i always blow a gasket when i think upon this. no wonder republicans and DINOs don't fear us, we're impotent. willingly.

Submitted by lambert on

But as far as PB 2.0 goes... I'm not sure whether PB 2.0 should handle the "fuck 'em" part, or the "joke" part, if you see what I mean. And I'm thinking the latter, where primary challenges are the "fuck 'em" part.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

that PB1.0's failure was partly a matter of focusing almost exclusively on electoral politics at the expenses of promoting ideas and pushing for them in a variety of formats?

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

to follow so I only got some of what you guys were saying.

It seems to me that it's impossible to advance any agenda without looking at electoral politics. The problem, IMO, is the way the "progressive movement" (if there even is such a thing any more) deals with elections is to back Democrats simply because they are less evil than Republicans. When what they should be doing, IMO, is backing primary challengers from the left to Democrats. That moves the party left, particularly when you're talking about Congress and state legislatures. Presidents and Governor elections are such a weird mix of personality and experience and structural conditions, they tend to be different animals. And by the time you get to that level, you have a lot less ability to move the person.

The legislatures, IMO, is where the action is for moving a party to the left or right because that's much more representative of the party. The playing field is often smaller, making it easier to have an affect. Your efforts can be multiplied by scaring other members of the legislature and party. Plus, a lot of future exectuive office holders come from the the legislature.

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. " - Eleanor Roosevelt

Submitted by lambert on

therefore, yes, the state legislatures. They can be pretty bad, too, but the complexity is different.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Having to face a primary opponent every election challenging you from the left if you drift too far right has a way of getting members' attentions. It is a terrific tool to keep them in line. Much better than the focus on electing GE candidates if you want to move the party.

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. " - Eleanor Roosevelt

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

and obviously to no effect. i hate that we're so popular, but so not regarded as members of the 'leadership' of the 'creative class.' i know that a vast majority of our readers would answer a call for something like what i mentioned above, but of course even as 'popular' as CorrenteWire has become, we're still just a tiny group of people spread out over the world.

what's needed is coordination. there are a handful of people who could do that, and convince the rest of the lemming-like teevee addicts who enjoy the sound of their own voices more than anything popular bloggers with significant audiences to work in concert with the unions, consultants, and party members 'on our side' to affect the change in congress we need. but they don't. you know why.

Submitted by lambert on

We need to be like a school of fish or a wolf pack. Not like an org chart. Not a leaderless resistance, but a resistance with lots of leaders.

Redundancy is very, very important. Lessons of the 60s.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

A network can bring together people with different interests and expertise who can contribute to analysis, discussion and action, for the promotion of a (social) justice agenda and issues.

... With Corrente purple polo shirts!! :-)

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Believe me.

But I think it goes deeper than simply being obsessed with the trivial shit (though they are). I don't think a lot of people on "the left" (whatever the fuck that means) understand politics. How pathetic was that fucking letter The Nation wrote to Obama? Do progressives really have to be told that if they ask for nothing for their vote, they'll get nothing? I'm supposed to be taking seriously the bloggers who complain that Obama doesn't listen to them or is moving to the right? And this isn't really about Obama. He's just the latest object of their affection.

I've posted about the "outrage" of people over the idea that Hillary Clinton might actually use her support and the resulting leverage to gain benefits for herself or her supporters. When, in fact, using such leverage is what politics is all about (not just for Hillary, but for everyone). But I think it shows how many "experts" on the blogs - and Hillary Rosen is the political editor for the Huffington Post - don't understand a god damned thing about politics.

Politics is the building of coalitions to leverage power, including through elections, to get the government to do what you want it to do. Political parties are not a family. I'll go back to the evangelicals and the Club for Growth. It doesn't matter how much a politician has done for them, they will still beat on them until they get more.

Look at McCain and how far to the right he's had to move, changing some of his long time positions. Why? Because if he doesn't, he can't count on his base showing up. He has to tend his base. And now Obama is tending McCain's base too. That didn't just happen. It comes after decades of evangelicals and the Club for Growth terrorizing GOP moderates. There's a reason why the GOP has so few of them, they were driven out or brought to heel by conservative activists.

Meanwhile, we write letters. Fucking pathetic.

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. " - Eleanor Roosevelt

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

If we think of PB2.0 more as a tool for people--progressives--to use, it could make mounting primary challengers easier.

I'd also point out that focusing solely on Democrats is a losing strategy short and long term. The GOP is bound to come back to more reasonable positions--though I think Obama bought them a good four or five years--and PB2.0 shouldn't be shy about supporting GOP challengers who agree with us on some basic issues. This would also put the Dems on notice as well.

But what do I know? To me movements are only successful when they become party invariant, or you're willing to have a civil war.

Only tyrants rig elections.

Submitted by ohio on

The challenge to your idea though, is what kind of tool? Like MoveOn became a tool to raise stringless* money (stringless money being money given out with no obligations of the receiver to the giver).

This is one reason I see the business model that lambert stresses as a very big deal, especially on the revenue-generation side. How to raise somewhat stringless money in an ethical and useful way, and spend it in a stringful and ethical way.

Money is never free. It is, as is PB2.0, only a tool, but if you're going to borrow my tools, you better return them. or at least a reasonable replacement.

As far as GOP or Dem---party invariance as a means to an end may be a useful option. For example, Nancy Pelosi may not need to be lose her job to get the idea that she might lose her job if she doesn't start paying attention to her constituents, esp. if her constituents are willing to hire someone from a different political party (green, GOP, Clown Party, whatever) to meet their needs and goals.

*Sorry about the use of string here---I just saw a roll of baling twine I should go wrap it up before it unravels all 300yds of itself in the grass.

Submitted by lambert on

Why not? No advertising.

Thanks for the support on the business model concept, Ohio, and I hope you'll join VastLeft tomorrow at the symposium (and also keep us up to date on Ryan, of course).

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

i've confessed many times that in my stupid days of youth, i pulled for one or two in a general election. i've got no problem "crossing over" in primaries to make a mess of things for them (cf my "go ron paul" days here), that's of course quite different than an actual vote in a general. but to me, the republicans have gone far, far beyond being simple assholes and "conservatives," and into the realm of the truly fascist. i enjoy engaging people on different ideas than the ones i have, but on this i'm going to be rock-hard. if and when the "conservatives" of america (are there any honest ones even left in this country?) purge their party of the pederasts, criminals, warmongering murderers, and send the worst of them to jail my mind may a tiny bit, open up the idea of perhaps maybe voting for one someday far off in the future when i'm on my death bed.

but now, to vote for *any* republican is to increase the power and influence of their worst, and we all know how bad those people are. so, green, Clown, gay rights party: fine. but never republican, nor will i ever, ever advocate, raise money, or work for one. never.