This quote by Virginia Senator Jim Webb referenced in Frank Rich’s op-ed yesterday entitled, “Still the Best Congress Money Can Buy” says all we need to know about our broken, corrupt, two-party system:
“Webb has pushed for a onetime windfall profits tax on Wall Street’s record bonuses. He talks about the “unusual circumstances of the bailout,” that the bonuses wouldn’t be there without the bailout.
“I couldn’t even get a vote,” Webb says. “And it wasn’t because of the Republicans. I mean they obviously weren’t going to vote for it. But I got so much froth from Democrats saying that any vote like that was going to screw up fundraising.”
“Now corporations of all kinds can buy more of Washington than before, thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and to the rise of outside “nonprofit groups” that can legally front for those who prefer to donate anonymously. The money laundering at the base of Tom DeLay’s conviction by a Texas jury last week — his circumventing of the state’s post-Gilded Age law forbidding corporate campaign contributions directly to candidates — is now easily and legally doable at the national level.
The story of recent corporate political donations — which we may never learn in its entirety — is just beginning to be told. Bloomberg News reported after Election Day that the United States Chamber of Commerce’s anti-Democratic war chest included a mind-boggling $86 million contribution from the insurance lobby to fight the health care bill. The Times has identified other big chamber donors as Prudential Financial, Goldman Sachs and Chevron.”
How do Democrats plan to combat this influx of corporate cash? By playing the same game:
“Since the election, the Obama White House has sent signals that it will make nice to these interests.”
“President Barack Obama is preparing new overtures to business that may start with a walk into the headquarters of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a retreat with corporate chief executive officers, according to people familiar with his plans.”
“To address corporate criticism, Obama is also contemplating bringing business leaders into his administration. Unlike his two immediate predecessors, Obama hasn’t had a prominent corporate leader in a high-level administration job.”
That was kind of the whole point of “change,” wasn’t it?