Thursday, May 30, 2013

John Nichols on What Made Michelle Tick: $$$$$$


John Nichols at the Nation on what has sustained Michelle Bachmann on the national political scene, despite her clownish statements about, inter alia, light bulbs and evolution (see Gail Collins at the New York Times): it's the $$$$$$. Nichols writes,

"According to a CRP analysis, 86 percent of her big-dollar [more than $200] donations from individuals came from people who did not live in Minnesota," notes the Center for Responsive Politics. "Eighty-six percent of her big dollar donations from individuals came from people who did not live in Minnesota. Only five of her top 10 zip codes for contributions were in Minnesota, and she appeared to have strong donor bases in Texas, California and Florida." 
Notably, those are the same states that are prime sources of cash for many of the most controversial figures in Republican politics—folks like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. (Walker’s final fundraising report before then 2012 recall election showed that 70 percent of Walker’s money was raised from outside Wisconsin—with big donors from Texas, Florida and California topping the lists.) 
Don’t think for a second that Bachmann’s exit will cause the donors in Texas and elsewhere to close the checkbooks that have pulled the GOP so far to the right on social and economic issues.

And these findings--that super-rich donors in places like Texas, Florida, and California can buy elections in places like Minnesota--ought to concern the heck out of anyone interested in the future of American democracy. As James Carville has said in response to Bachmann's announcement that she won't run again, "God closes one door for Michelle Bachmann and opens three to Louie Gohmert."

The clowns aren't leaving the building simply because Crazy-Eyes Ms. Bachmann is leaving. Not as long as rich right-wing Republicans in places like Texas, Florida, and California retain the $$$$$$ (and the right, under Citizens United) to buy all the clownery their hearts desire. 

Exit Crazy-Eyes Bachmann, enter Crazy-Eyes Gohmert.

P.S. There's an embedded link in what Nichols has to say about the financing of Scott Walker's election recall defense which is not working.

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