Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Republican Party Has Become Like Organized Crime

By Manifesto Joe

Yes, this has happened before, sort of. FDR did more to save U.S. capitalism than any president before him, yet he was vilified and perennially embattled for his efforts. That time, the opposition largely failed; but this time, success looks imminent. President Obama has acted similarly, yet he looks to have his majority in the Congress taken by a new Cosa Nostra that among other things takes megabucks from foreign countries. FDR didn't have to face anything quite like this.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which virtually always supports "pro-business" Republican candidates, denies that it is doing anything out of the ordinary. But money is pouring into its coffers from diverse foreign sources. This is from a recent Associated Press article, and here's a link to the entire story.

Questions about the chamber's foreign money were first raised this week by ThinkProgress, a blog of the liberal Center for American Progress. The account pointed to overseas business councils, known as "AmChams," that pay dues that go into the general fund of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. sent a letter to the Department of Justice calling for an investigation.

The sources of the money are corporations as far away as India and Bahrain.

But the chamber, never lacking in preposterous rhetoric, came back with this, according to AP:

(Chamber spokeswoman Tita) Freeman dismissed the claim as the work of a "George Soros-funded, anti-business blog," a reference to the billionaire investor known for his support of liberal causes.

So, multibillionaire George Soros is anti-business? That probably came as a startling revelation to his accountants.

What Soros does have, and what is lacking in a great many wealthy individuals and multinational corporations, is a basic sense of fairness and decency. Soros may actually understand what life is like right now for millions of unemployed Americans, and for millions more who were underemployed before the steep downturn of recent years. Soros had the combination of acumen and good fortune to become a fabulously wealthy person -- but he didn't become a gangster while he was at it.

Organized crime is the only description that seems adequate for this. The Chamber of Commerce and its slush money from foreign sources is just one example of the racket. All these alleged grassroots movements like the Tea Party are being bankrolled with shadow money. Here's a link to an NPR report on the subject. The Koch brothers -- that's a name to remember. This is from NPR:

... Americans for Prosperity, or AFP, has long been rumored to be financed by David Koch, of the family that owns Koch Industries. That's one of the biggest privately held companies in America, and the family has a long history of underwriting conservative causes.

David Koch confirmed the rumors at an AFP convention last fall. "Five years ago my brother Charles and I provided the funds to start the Americans for Prosperity. And it's beyond my wildest dreams how the AFP has grown into this enormous organization," David Koch said, according to audio from the online news site The Washington Independent.

And then, to top it all off, our new Cosa Nostra has its own giant TV "news" network. Millions of Americans sit and absorb Fox News' mind-rotting swill day after day, being persuaded to vote against their own interests.

This demagoguery has been seen before. But it's never been bankrolled quite like now. And it's come to this after the U.S. Supreme Court, with its 5-4 right-wing majority, struck down limitations on corporate spending for political campaigns, essentially putting two branches of our government up for sale. (The third one already appears to have been paid for. And the "fourth" one -- well, as I was saying in the previous paragraph ...)

Here's how E.J. Dionne Jr. put it, describing the Supreme Court ruling:

This extraordinary state of affairs was facilitated by the U.S. Supreme Court's scandalous Citizens United decision, which swept away decades of restrictions on corporate spending to influence elections. The Republicans' success in blocking legislation that would at least have required the big spenders to disclose the sources of their money means voters have to operate in the dark.

The American people are about to be complicit in the purchase of one branch of their government by organized crime. The obvious intention is for the rest of the deal to be struck in November 2012.

It gives me sincere pain to describe one of our major political parties this way. But privately, I started calling the Republicans "the party of Satan" back around 1995, when the idiots shut down the federal government out of sheer pig-headedness. (My wife said, "You're going to give Satan a bad name.") Anyway, no skin off their butts -- most of them don't have to live even partially off Social Security or VA pensions.

We need a strong and viable conservative party as one of our two major political parties. Right now, what we have is a bunch of ruthless opportunists who are much too obviously on the payroll. They have made Faustian bargains with a variety of groups -- ranging from Religious Right kooks to the kinds of corporate powers that would, if they could, have people working 80-hour weeks for a dollar an hour, and pay no income tax. (Oh, I forgot -- some of them already have the latter worked out. And we see how well it's worked for the economy.)

What Germany and Japan couldn't do in World War II, the Republicans may soon actually succeed in doing -- with the help of their rich gangster friends. To ironically paraphrase Glenn Beck, I love my country -- and I fear for it.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.


Jack Jodell said...

A superb accounting of a very real and very dangerous phenomenon, Manifesto Joe. Your analogy likening the GOP and the Cosa Nostra is very accurate: both are ruthless; both are bullies; both will lie, cheat, steal or murder to achieve their goal of total power and domination. They want to establish an official, institutionalized oligarchy wherein there will be no voice or leverage for working people and the poor. They will implement economic slavery for all but the very few wealthy elite. Slavery was made illegal here in 1865, but it will roar back into being if the Republicans regain governmental control and have their way. They have already conspired to take over the Supreme Court and are now focusing their attention on the lower courts by blocking all of Obama's appointments. FDR said it best on October 31, 1936: "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." We are beginning to see that very dangerous government by organized money today, and it will destroy 234 years of government of, by, and for the people. Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, Alito, and Kennedy should each be impeached, removed from the Supreme Court, and then hung as traitors for the horrible Citizens United decision that has led to the corporate takeover of our government and electoral process.

Texas Cowboy said...

This Texan is in total agreement with Jack, excellent and important article. I would add it could be possible contributions to the US Chamber and and the Republican Tea Party candidates they support, could very likely be from countries who harbor terrorists, how would anyone know? This is a clear war on American families and sadly at this point, the future looks grim.

Manifesto Joe said...

There seems to be more coming out in the media about where the Chamber is getting its money. I may post something more on this soon, depending on what they find.

don said...

Fine writing- thanks. I disagree with one point, that we need a 'strong and viable conservative party'. They've been wrong about pretty much every issue of importance since they were called Whigs back in the day.

What we need are more voters with the smarts to see through the BS offered up by 'conservatives', and to form an opposition to the vile Blue Dogs instead.

Anonymous said...

The Republican party would sell America out for a wooden nickle. Anyone who thinks otherwise just hasn't been paying attention.

It will be interesting to see how the Tea Party types take to Republican rule should they take back the House. After all Republicans brought us most of the bailouts, debt, and overspending that they rail against. Something tells me though that they'll "protest" as much at that point as they did under Bush. *Crickets chirping*

Anonymous said...

The Repubs have been an Organized crime syndicate since ate least Watergate. They always operate a secondary shadow government (Watergate, Iran-Contra, The Bush years) but are increasingly able to get away with it and operate more in the open. The dirty tricks of CREEP are now the forte of FOX NEWS and the likes of Breitbart.
Now, we have the irony of the open secret of anonymous donations that are protected by law. I would say that it was the Republican party who learned more from Watergate then the rest of us. They learned how to get away with it by making it legal.

BobbyV said...

The Tea Party’s carefully constructed populist veneer hides an organization addicted to the corporate largess resulting from insider deals, special favors, and biased legislation. One needs only consider the Tea Party’s large middle-class following to understand the corrupting influence of oceans of corporate cash and the ability it affords wealthy contributors to recast themselves as benefactors of America’s working class. The US Chamber of Commerce says that the foreign money flowing into its organization will not impact its view of pending trade legislation. The Koch brothers, having fought against any legislation designed to protect the physical and financial health of working people, spend millions funding Tea Party efforts to delegitimize government.

“America's conservative elites have openly thrown in with the country's legions of discontented far right thugs. They have explicitly deputized them and empowered them to act as their enforcement arm on America's streets, sanctioning the physical harassment and intimidation of workers, liberals, and public officials who won't do their political or economic bidding.” Sarah Robinson, Fascist America: Are We There Yet?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't trust any of the super rich, even Soros.
Interesting article about Soros and his NGOs in Eastern Europe...

Anonymous said...

I think the Rude Pundit also summed it all up well:

"Republicans have paid almost no long-term price for the Caligula-like madness of the Bush administration. There's a chance that, now, they're gonna get rewarded for refusing to participate in running the country."

Anonymous said...

Wow, here it is 2013 and you guys have proven to be just as stupid and gullible AS republicans. Good luck with neo-fuedalism chumps! Glad I've been smart enough to never buy either parties bullshit. My vote may have never made a "difference" but at least I sleep eel knowing I didn't cause ANY of this.....

Manifesto Joe said...

Anon, I'm so glad to hear that you sleep so eel. Perhaps a lot more rest will help you with your spelling.