They had them at the dollar sign

Republican presidential wannabes parade before billionaire Sheldon Adelson to shout out mandatory uncritical solidarity with Israel. Then it’s back to Iowa to begin the crucial fight to win, not the nomination itself, but the endorsement of the Koch brothers.

Meanwhile, the current Democratic president fights off the progressive wing that nominated and then worked zealously to elect him, fighting to ensure that the secret Asian trade deal stays secret until it is blasted through a sympathetic Republican congress on a no-amendments-allowed, “fast track” vote.

Jeb Bush plans to “outsource” most of his campaign to a “private” PAC, in what looks at first to be a strange move to distance himself from control of his own push for the White House.

Hillary Clinton keeps as low a profile as a presumptive nominee can, hoping to ride out both the trade deal debate (“take no position, lose no supporters” seems to be her tactic here) and the Clinton Foundation contributions-for-favours stink (maybe now we know why those “private” e-mails had to go away).

What’s going on here? Is there some sort of connecting theme? Of course there is.

Money. Lots of money. Continue reading

Sanctimonious Santorum — Obama’s best bet for re-election

In 1964, as a newly-minted undergraduate with more enthusiasm than sense, I joined the quixotic effort to elect conservative Republican Barry Goldwater President of the United States.

Four years later, with less enthusiasm — too much had happened  — but with determination, I worked to push Eugene McCarthy (no relation to Tail Gunner Joe) to the Democratic nomination.

And in 1972, with the promise of LBJ’s Great Society horribly diminished by unending war in Vietnam, from the safety of the Great White North I hoped against hope for the triumph of George McGovern over Richard Nixon, whose personal letter (“Greetings from the President of the United States: You are ordered to report for induction to …”) started the sequence of events that led me north.

What do these forty going on fifty year old political campaigns have to do with today’s subject? Continue reading