Sizing Up the 2014 Mid-Term
The past few weeks have seen a fascinating mayhem settle into the oligarch party's back rooms. What had undoubtedly been planned as an "ObamaCare Horror Festival" designed to usher even more hill billies and bigots -- puppets -- into the Congress, evaporated with the reassuringly material news of the ACA's successes. While this, itself, may be have been a riveting development for many of us, perhaps the more interesting side of the story is the carefully obscured chaos now lodged in the fractured GOP's tactical branch as it confronts the "topic vacuum."
Patiently running along side of the relief providied by the ACA announcement have been mildly promising, potential focus points for the Democrats. When the oxygen slowly re-entered the room after the ACA hate frenzy ground to a halt, we have seen glimpses of 2014 mid-term election issues being timidly trotted out for "traction checks."
The President has been touting the minimum wage proposal. The Attorney General has been fiddling with the possibility of doing something about the anti-democracy, voter suppression in the red states. The DOJ has finally emerged from its "corpse like" stagnation to execute a few "fly-bys" at the egregious corporate pollution and state government complicity way down in bright red "cracker country."
There have been even fainter "rumors" about issues such as immigration, renewable energy and climate change.
All of this is evidence of the Democratic Party's "fishing expedition." The "fish" the Party is frantically courting is the "fish" which might, possibly, inspire the politically exhausted Democratic voters to actually quit complaining and visit the polls this November. Granted, the voice of the Democratic Party is barely audible through the well lubricated obedient screaming of a wholly owned corporate media, but the hope is, clearly, that some vestige of "traction" within the Democratic Party's traditional base might stumble into the light somewhere.
This not particularly optimistic vision MeanMesa sees in those reflective moments when the geezer is speculating about the rapidly approaching mid-term. However, this post wants to propose something rather arcane which might "inject a little life" into what, frankly, is beginning to look like just another round of "more oatmeal."
Assisting Every Democratic Candidate
Running for Anything, Anywhere
Discovering a great new "fishing hole"
Continuing with the general description of the "political world of the day" begun in the section above, there is something very interesting out there -- something which seems to presently suffer from being very inaccurately considered, a political possibility which could make a very large difference once it is stripped of its "mis-definition."
We have to look a little "more coldly" at this idea of "traction." After all, it is the "holy grail" floating around in those rooms behind the glitzy offices of the think tanks and the political campaigns. If the tacticians, cronies, "powers behind the throne" or even the idealists can cook up a political PR gambit which can excite voters, electoral success is "just around the corner."
All the items mentioned in the introduction to this post have been ceremoniously dragged through the murky waters of the 2014 political environment like triple cleft hooks looking for halibut. The "amounts of traction" generated by any specific "bait" has been depressingly modest at best with the possible exception of the minimum wage proposal, but even that one, while promising, has not proved to be a potential "barn burner."
So, what political issue might possibly fill this void?
Even before we dive into that question, we should also, probably, acknowledge the unavoidable reality that "traction issues" are almost always the incendiary consequence of media coverage. Gazing back into the wreckage of the recent past, the tea bags have been "carrying the day" on this count for years.
Hence, the irony.
Further, this "irony" is not some complicated academic mousetrap, either. The irony here derives from precisely the same issue which is the foundation of all those "tea bag" successes. If you are a Neo-Republican oligarch, the inescapable "bite" of this irony arises from the fact that it has taken residence in your lap.
Hundreds of millions of dollars has flowed painlessly from the oligarch billionaires into every empty cavity of the political discourse. A million dollars per week has "mysteriously appeared" to buy corporate media time to discredit the ACA -- every week since the "debate" started five years ago. Millions of dollars have oozed from the "McDuck Money Bins" into the personal coffers of the most famous of the FOX "mouth junk" experts and other wing nut, opportunistic miscreants.
|The new White House where the old democracy is stored. [image source]|
Freedom Works, Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, ALEC and a rancid collection of dozens of others have been awash in billionaire cash while cravenly duping American hill billies out of a few bucks a week from their SSI checks. Threats of "cash tsunamis" lurk in the shadows behind the raunchy bigots in ties infesting the US House, terrifying them with primaries so expensive that their continued obedience is as solid as the pad lock on a cast iron cell.
So, what political issue might possibly fill the "traction" void?
Filling the 2014 "Traction Void"
With billionaire cash!
MeanMesa has always been fascinated with the startling credibility of organizations such as REAL CLEAR POLITICS and MEDIA MATTERS [Get acquainted by visiting the home pages of these two at these links: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/ and http://mediamatters.org/] However, these two examples are cited here only to represent a "defining guide" about what will be proposed. The quality, objectivity and accuracy of organizations such as these will "round out" MeanMesa's vision for what comes next.
So, what's the plan?
Another new organization must be constructed with all the redeeming qualities of the examples cited, but one with a slightly different mission. Indulge MeanMesa for just a few more lines in this post, energized by the promise that everything will be "laid out clear as a bell" very shortly.
American voters, even the information challenged bunch, have a growing suspicion that the uber rich have been manipulating them. The designers of that well financed "manipulation" had promised their anti-democracy masters that this "suspicion" would remain manageable long enough for the "money boys" to permanently plant themselves as the new American nobility before the "little people" would even think about grumbling.
However, those craven manipulation schemes have run into a bit of overly "shallow water" down there in the cess pool as of late, and -- predictably -- that troublesome "suspicion" has begun some "free range wandering." Even the famously mild mannered President has been repeated harping about the "election crimes" division of the GOP's ambitious little sold out governors.
Elsewhere, some of the outrages the oligarchs have dreamed of inflicting on unsuspecting Americans -- that would be "suspicion-free" Americans -- have unfolded rather awkwardly "ahead of schedule."
Exploding unregulated fertilizer factories, leaking coal ash pits, crimes committed by crazies carrying guns in the vacuum of back ground checks, revelations that giant, profitable corporations pay no income taxes and tens of millions of uninsured poor people gazing longingly across their state borders are just a few of the more illuminating examples. The oligarchs wanted all this, but they didn't want it until their political power had become undeniably permanent.
Well, there is one other "little matter" the oligarchs didn't want splashed on the front page of Raccoon Holler's weekly newspaper, one other "little matter" that is, actually, beginning to appear there.
That "little matter" has to do with the castrated efforts of the Duke Energy governor smooshing the coal ash problem; that the little Texan Governor saying that the other 45 wooden fertilizer plants "didn't need no regulatun';" that Senator McConnell's arrogant presumption that "ObamaCare hatin' 'mericuns" in Kentucky would rather eat live frogs than have health insurance.
That "little matter" accumulated even more road rash after Rachael Maddow -- not to mention the New Jersey State Assembly and a handful of ambitious Federal Prosecutors -- gleefully eviscerated GOP Golden Boy, Christie, over screamingly crooked "business deals" apparently all across New Jersey. Worse, even the hill billies, watching the scene unfold on the tv's in their American Legion beer halls, "got thet funny feelin'" as Republican Presidential wanna-be's dutifully kissed the giant diamond glittering on Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas pinky ring.
Oooops. Someone "let the stink out" way before the scheme planned to "let the stink out."
This "suspicion" which has manifested itself in such an unexpected growing presence among voters is, as is usually the case, not yet driven by specifics. It is what Jimmy Carter called a "malaise." Yet, "death by a thousand cuts" is still death. The reckless behavior of the oligarchs as they slide into a very visible blood frenzy has been exposing too much -- way too much.
This is where the new "traction" comes into play, and this is where MeanMesa's proposition becomes -- at least for the oligarchs -- delightfully dangerous.
MeanMesa's Plan for a Happy 2014
If it's not a halibut, what is it?
We've been thinking about a new version of Real Clear Politics or Media Matters, so we should probably start right off with a catchy name. Just for a convenient suggestion, let's consider CASH TRACK. But, what would CASH TRACK actually do?
CASH TRACK would be a "research organization" capable of doing the heavy lifting with respect to determining the source of the cash which was flowing into a candidate's war chest. Every candidate with a "mysteriously generous" amount of cash to spend or who has "deeply concerned friends" who are anxiously purchasing massive amounts of "ad time" to torpedo his electoral opponent would be a target.
As CASH TRACK's research moved along in these investigations, a careful record of what was found and where it was found would be maintained. When the investigation had reached a state of "mature fertility," the entire record could be placed in the hands of the political opponent who had been suffering from the well financed attack campaign up to that point.
The fact is that many quite acceptable candidates simply lack the resources to undertake such a search on their own. Many of them, although quite well-intentioned and quite determined, don't enjoy the in-house expertise or financial resources. CASH TRACK could put a very nice package of credible information into the mix, already verifiable and prepared for a counter attack campaign.
MeanMesa realizes that the oligarchs have already ordered the Supreme Court to protect the origin of all this stinky anonymous money. It's not a secret that secret PAC's are running loose in the alley behind ever bank and brokerage house in the country as a result. Also, secretive billionaires such as Adelson and the Koch brothers are simply handing out six-digit checks as they pursue their own futures at everyone else's expense.
Not even the most resourceful, seasoned investigator is going to be able to penetrate this carefully engineered fog completely, so there will inevitably be plenty of money that not even CASH TRACK could track. However, even if CASH TRACK's "tracking" penetrated as far as it could before hitting a blind alley, much more information would become accessible to voters with respect to "who was financing whom."
Americans of all political persuasions are growing increasingly suspicious that their elections have been "bought and paid for." The fascinating aspect of this is that is truly represents a "non-issue" issue. As a voter, you needn't be a liberal, evangelical, rancher or union boss to feel the "bite" of this one. While such a variety of folks might disagree on practically everything else, they might agree that it would be nice if their vote actually counted.
This proposal would not remove the cash from our broken electoral system, but it would shine a light on it.
A very, very bright light.