An interesting article in Rolling Stone profiles the 16 big donors to the Mitt Romney campaign. No surprise, they are all extremely wealthy.
This unprecedented infusion of money from America’s monied elites underscores the radical transformation of the Republican Party, which has made defending the interests of 0.0001 percent the basis of its entire platform.
Most of the megadonors backing his candidacy are elderly billionaires: Their median age is 66, and their median wealth is $1 billion. Each is looking for a payoff that will benefit his business interests, and they will all profit from Romney’s pledge to eliminate inheritance taxes, extend the Bush tax cuts for the super-wealthy – and then slash the top tax rate by another 20 percent.
The wealth gap in this country is so obviously obscene, and the devotion by the Republican party to advancing the interests of the super-wealthy so nakedly transparent, that it would surely dictate the obvious strategy to the opposing party in any genuine two-party system, and that is flat out class warfare. It should be clear to the most dense political strategist that whipping up anger against the obscenely wealthy in a time of economic hardship for most people is a winner. The fact that Obama and the Democrats go out of their way to avoid such rhetoric shows, if any more evidence were needed, that there is only one party (with two factions) in this country and that it is dedicated to the wealthy.
For example, it turns out that most employees of Bain Capital (Romney’s former venture capital firm) actually contribute to the Democrats. Other surveys of political contributions simply add weight to that picture as does Vanderbilt University political scientist Larry Bartels’ examination of the political contributions of the wealthy to the two parties.
The Occupy movement was mistaken when they protested the outsize influence of the one-percenters. It is actually much a smaller group that controls the US government. The Republicans cater to the top 0.0001%. They are supported in this effort by the clueless Tea Partiers who think that this elite group is good for the country. The Democrats cater to the top 0.001%. The remaining 99.999% are merely election fodder.
This is why supporters of the Democratic party who tear their hair out wondering why their party doesn’t campaign more aggressively on issues of economic inequality are completely missing the boat. It is true that it would be easy for the Democrats to run and win on the issue of injustice and inequality. The problem for Obama and the Democratic leadership is how to campaign against the top 0.0001% without alienating the rest of the top 0.001%, which is why they tread so gingerly, trying to find very narrow issues of disagreement that will not be alienating to their own wealthy supporters.
Once you understand that, the nature of political discourse in the US becomes understandable.