Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Shearing The Sheep: The Republican "Circle of Scam"

Paul Waldman discusses a recent report by John Hawkins of Right Wing News on the money-raising scams being run by various right-wing groups, notably "tea party" organizations.  The monies were being raised supposedly to elect right-wing Republicans, but in effect ended up lining the pockets of grifters (as an example the "Tea Party Express" spent only 5 percent of the funds it raised on the candidates it was supporting).  Waldman describes the "circle of scam:"
... Organizations like the Heritage Foundation and FreedomWorks pay radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity big money to offer on-air endorsements that are the radio equivalent of “native advertising.” Future presidential candidate Mike Huckabee sells his email list on “miracle cancer cures” hidden in the Bible. Conservative media figures like Dick Morris solicit contributions that somehow are never turned to the political ends they claim. Nobody wants to upend the system, because too many people are getting a taste. 
The common thread can be found in the marks: the little old lady in Tupelo who sends in $50 thinking that she’s striking a blow against Barack Obama, the couple in Topeka who hopes Mike Huckabee’s biblical cancer cure can save their daughter’s life, the man in Toledo who thinks that the group with “Tea Party” in its name is going to have an impact on his state’s races. What none of them know is that their money is just going to make somebody who’s already rich a little bit richer.
Beyond financing the lifestyle of countless right-wing pundits, consultants and snake-oil salesmen, what's that "little old lady in Tupelo" going to get for her $50?
... There’s a line that runs from those donors to the biggest players in conservative politics and the politicians they support. When thousands of volunteers set out to knock doors on behalf of Americans for Prosperity, what are they seeking? A better America, more freedom, a return to the simpler time they remember from their youth? All that and more. But what are they actually going to get? They’ve been set to work by AFP’s prime donors, Charles and David Koch (whose combined net worth may exceed $100 billion), to elect candidates who will work tirelessly to lower investment taxes, destroy the right of workers to bargain collectively, and lessen the terrible burden of environmental, consumer protection, and worker safety regulations that so oppress the likes of the Kochs. 
One wonders if the sheep being sheared will ever realize their hard-earned dollars are not so much going to defeat the Kenyan tyrant Obama and his Demon-crat party, but rather to fund efforts to make their own lives less safe, prosperous and secure.  We're not counting on it.

(Big h/t to P.E.C.)

1 comment:

Grung_e_Gene said...

The most hilarious part about the story was the comments section wherein conservatives were frothing in rage that there was no article about the liberal groups.