La plaidoirie, Honoré Daumier

Five Democrats and four Republicans from the Super Congress have lined up 21 fundraisers so far, including co-chair Senator Patty Murray, D-WA. Representative Jim Clyburn is the biggest fundraiser, in line to raise perhaps $1 million for his reelection. The Super Congressfolk say they are just doing their jobs, and will not be affected by the massive money they are raising.

[Clyburn] said his constituents would be “foremost on my mind” as the committee did its work.

“Most of the people who have my ear are those who feel they don’t have a voice and will never have the money to attend a fundraiser,” Clyburn said.

McClatchy reporters Rob Hotakainen and James Rosen say that no one is calling this corruption. The worst thing that the Beltway insiders, including those billing themselves as public advocates, will say is that this gives the unfortunate impression of corruption. Their solution is to ask these representatives of the people to suspend fund-raising until the work of the Super Committee is done.

I hope Hotakainen and Rosen call me next time: I call it corruption.

Here’s an easy way to tell. When is Murray going to meet with Paul Krugman, Brad DeLong, and Dean Baker to discuss the exact reality of the current economic situation? When is she meeting with Physicians for A National Health Program to discuss the impact of Medicare and Medicaid on physicians and patients? When is she meeting with the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees or the National Association of Chapter Thirteen Trustees to discuss the financial problems facing average Americans? When is she meeting with Lynn Szymoniak and Lisa Epstein to find out about the impact of the foreclosure mess on average homeowners. When is she meeting with Yves Smith to discuss ways to tax financial transactions so as to raise massive revenue and clean up the Wall Street casino? When is she meeting with Jane Hamsher to discuss the views of the Professional Left?

That’s right. She isn’t. This kind of corruption can be stated cleanly: one side gets a hearing, the other doesn’t, on every single issue the Super Congress faces.

The Supreme Court prattles on about First Amendment and the right of rich persons of both the human and corporate persuasions to spend their money to buy shiny new terms for incumbents. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Justice Anthony Kennedy let loose with this bit of comedy gold: “The appearance of influence or access, furthermore, will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy.” Wait, you mean he was serious? That was supposed to be a statement of fact?

All those hucksters inside the beltway sell this line of crack to the rubes, Supreme Court Justices, Senators, Congressmen, Executive Directors of public interest organizations, and, of course, journalists. Anything that isn’t a quid pro quo is just fine, wink, wink, fall on the floor laughing at the ignorant fools in flyover country, let’s have another glass of that 1990 Chateau Latour Pauillac, tax deductible, of course.

The political system is so corrupt that the players no longer notice it. The Supreme Court, so removed from humanity that they don’t grasp what caricatures they are, have made it impossible to reform campaign finance. Money is entrenched in power, whether held by humans or their tool corporations and foundations.

For a chaser, can I have a nice lecture from Senator Murray on how it’s my duty as a citizen to vote for one or the other of the corrupt jerks they put in my face?



I read a lot of books.