To understand politics, follow the money

As Glenn Greenwald shows, in politics you may be surprised by to whom big money is going, unless you are one of those who recognizes that the US is a one-party oligarchic state in which elections are contests to see who will get the privilege of serving the interests of the ruling class.

The flow of money explains the seemingly puzzling defense of Mitt Romney by Newark Mayor Cory Booker, supposedly an ally of Barack Obama. Now seen as a rising star in the Democratic party, Booker first came to my attention back in 2007 when I saw the documentary Street Fight about the 2002 election for the mayor of Newark. I wrote back then about this relatively unknown politician:

The influential The Black Commentator website has strongly criticized Booker, arguing that he is completely in the pockets of rich, right-wing, white, power brokers who are pushing school vouchers and seeking to co-opt the next generation of black leadership to serve their needs. Whatever the merits of that charge, watch out for the name Cory Booker in national politics. I think we are going to hear a lot about him in the next 5-10 years.

It looks like my prediction about his soon-to-be fame came true. What is clear is that the oligarchy has identified Booker as a charismatic and rising star in the mold of Obama. And just like Wall Street co-opted Obama long before he became president by pouring money into his campaigns, they seem to be doing the same thing now with Booker, buying his allegiance early. The Black Commentator article, written way back in 2002, identified the right-wing oligarchs supporting Booker and pushing him to prominence.

The oligarchy does not like to leave things to chance.


  1. unbound says

    I find it interesting how many people I meet that are more than happy to accept a complex conspiracy theory about what goes on in this world, but can’t seem to wrap their minds around the simple concept of how money drives so very much.

  2. Jared A says

    This makes me sad. Corey Booker has always seemed like such an earnest politician. I guess it’s just having lived in New Jersey long enough, but for me his ability to stay untarnished makes him especially appealing (and he has been quite good in terms of anti-corruption so far, at least on the small time scale). Many people feel that Booker is the only good thing that ever happened to Newark.

  3. ollie says

    Actually, I recommend that you surf to Paul Krugman’s website.

    He believes that Mr. Booker has harmed his political future; possibly ruined it.

  4. Mano Singham says

    He may well not be corrupt in the sense of being on the take personally. He may well be a good person in many ways. This is not inconsistent with him being cozy with the oligarchy.

  5. Jared A says

    Yes, I do see that. For me it is this consistency that makes the accusation believable.

    For me what I find maddening is the conflict between Obama supporters and haters on this particular issue. A cursory glance at the comments on the huff’po article (I know, utter folly) shows a bizarre us/them mentality on this issue. No one seems to grasp that by challenging Obama in this way Booker is acting in the same way Obama would in his position. Even though they “disagree”, to attack (or defend) one, you are implicitly attacking (or defending) the other.

    Anyway, unlike Obama, Cory Booker really is a super hero. Potholes fix themselves when he walks by.

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