Money still doing the talking in Gottschalk's America

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QatzelOk
Money still doing the talking in Gottschalk's America

 

QatzelOk

In his recent article "The American people have finally had enough," Keith Gottschalk is heartened by signs of a "seismic shift" in the political actions (and/or convictions) of a majority of Americans. Then, as a sign of this democratic surge, he writes:

quote:

Literally within hours, a progressive 'coalition of the willing' from all over the country buried her little known challenger Elwyn Tinklenberg in so much cash (over $1 million in a matter of days) that he probably needed the National Guard to extricate him from the money blizzard.

So for Gottschalk, the "change" in American politics can be qualified by examining the sudden change in money flow towards one particular candidate.

I'm not encouraged. Money is still calling the shots in US politics, and how progressive can this be?

oldgoat

...and [url=http://www.rabble.ca/news_full_story.shtml?sh_itm=4daa86d0e4d6ea59f30fd4... for your babbling convenience is the link.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

The "seismic shift" Keith talks about will be more accurately measureable on election day.

My guess at this stage is that the shift involves only about 3% of the voting population. And a shift from Republican politics to Democratic politics is hardly what I would call seismic.

pogge

quote:


Originally posted by QatzelOk:
[b]So for Gottschalk, the "change" in American politics can be qualified by examining the sudden change in money flow towards one particular candidate.[/b]

There's a difference between a million dollars in the form of large donations from a small number of corporate/lobbyist donors looking to buy influence, and a million dollars in small donations from individuals supporting a challenger because the incumbent just did her best impression of Joe McCarthy on television.

ThePB

Can Americans really rise above all the brainwashing of the Reagan-Bush years and walk into the voting booth November 4 with the better angels of our nature perched on our shoulders?

quote:


Or is the question, 'WIll they get an honest vote in the 1st place?' Considering the extent of all those voting machine 'mishaps' in the last 2 elections, the conviction of a man for fixing election counting software... unfortunately, too many things to list here.... ( see blackboxvoting.org )I wonder if it will make a difference.

janfromthebruce

You know if all indicators strongly pointed to Obama winning and somehow the republicans won, I think there would be mass revolts in the streets of America.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Yes, just as happened in 2000 when Bush stole the election. [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]

QatzelOk

quote:


There's a difference between a million dollars in the form of large donations from a small number of corporate/lobbyist donors looking to buy influence, and a million dollars in small donations from individuals supporting a challenger because the incumbent just did her best impression of Joe McCarthy on television.

There's a difference, yes.

But it still means that political 'activity' is only possible with a million dollars. That still rules out the participation of 95% of the people in the US. And it still means that the outcome of political activity HAS TO enrich someone monetarily. So how big can 'the change' be with those kind of constraints?

pogge

I absolutely agree that American politics has been polluted with too much money. But I doubt that will change if one side unilaterally disarms. That would just allow the other side to dominate.

George Victor

quote:


But it still means that political 'activity' is only possible with a million dollars. That still rules out the participation of 95% of the people in the US. And it still means that the outcome of political activity HAS TO enrich someone monetarily. So how big can 'the change' be with those kind of constraints?


Any idea how many donations came in from how many people just to produce that "infomercial"?

"Big oaks from little acorns grow." [img]cool.gif" border="0[/img]

QatzelOk

quote:


I absolutely agree that American politics has been polluted with too much money. But I doubt that will change if one side unilaterally disarms. That would just allow the other side to dominate.

I'm not arguing that American politics has been ruined by its scale. I'm suggesting that liberal democracies - including our own - are failing because of the role of money.

It buys (and controls) everything in liberal democracy, including the truth. Including the public's perception of reality.

That we are so close to civil war over poverty, and extinction because of pollution, is in large part because of business ownership -- money's control over [i]the means of public opinion management.[/i]

Money moving from one place to another - no matter how this money was accumulated - is not an encouraging "change" that will remedy the lack of other currency in our society. Like morality or the common good. What happened to them? Did they get bought out in a hostile takeover?

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

I didn't read this article as talking about a 'seismic' shift between Democratic policy or Republican policy per say but as a comment about the actual 'type' of politics or discourse present within the respective campaigns. As he says "is not necessarily about what Obama has done or will do as President, " but about rejecting a particular culture of politics, the 'bully culture' as he puts it which is pretty much the foundation of the Republican campaign at this point which is basically an extension of the type of campaigning that worked for Bush but worse.

His examples have little do with actual policy points or some new found love for the 'Democratic' party.

I'd also say that this rejection is also reflected in the numerous conservatives that are publicly being critical about the actual campaign tactics or totally jumping ship to endorse Obama. For many it appears to be more a statement on the state of there own party, (pandering to the extreme end, with Palin sitting as a symbol of that)then some sort of switch to the other side of the aisle.
What appears to be playing out is a public fracturing and division of the party itself.

How significant this is will be determined on election day as I'm still not convinced that Obama is going to win. Regardless if he does or not it will be interesting to see how the infighting plays out and which faction(s) will come out on top in the end.

pogge

quote:


Originally posted by QatzelOk:
[b]Money moving from one place to another - no matter how this money was accumulated - is not an encouraging "change" that will remedy the lack of other currency in our society.[/b]

Next Tuesday Californians will vote on Proposition 8 which is intended to make gay marriage illegal. The religious right led by the Mormon church has been pouring money into the state in an effort to get this passed. Should the opponents of Prop 8 keep their wallets and chequebooks closed? Is it more encouraging if they sit on their hands and allow the Yes side to dominate the discussion and pass a measure that might set the cause of equal marriage back in the U.S. for a decade or more? Or is it better -- more progressive -- for the No side to raise the funds necessary to support their effort and defeat this thing?

It's all very well to keep your eyes on the long term prize in the form of a fundamental change in the system. But you still have to get from here to there. Short of violence, I don't see how without getting better at the game than your opponents until you can actually change the rules.

QatzelOk

quote:


Should the opponents of Prop 8 keep their wallets and chequebooks closed?

As all the other species (and nations) on earth start to go extinct because they just don't have the money to represent themselves in all of our successful liberal democracies and their wonderful texts, gay marriage will quickly move down everyone's list of priorities.

Money can not buy survival or justice. It can only create power clusters.

This one issue doesn't change the dynamic of one-dollar/one-vote tyranny.

pogge

Okay, then.