Saturday, April 5, 2014

Rant — Billionaires Are Now Holding Their Own Primaries

How can all this fly beneath the public radar? Eighty-year-old, billionaire and Casino King, Sheldon Adelson called in four Republican frontrunners to Las Vegas to audition for him.  Now keep in mind these are candidates who might very well lead the free world. Four guys pack their tutus and ballet slippers and prepare to bow before Adelson whose source of income is largely derived from gambling interests in Las Vegas, Macau, and Singapore.

Candidate number One: Jeb Bush, son and brother to previous presidents, is making the U.S. presidency a bizarre Kim Jong family thing. Both President Bushes were known for holding hands, figuratively and literally, with the leader of Saudi Arabia, a country infamous for its pitiful human rights record, but plenty of oil, oil — bubbling crude that is. You get some oil money and some gambling money and pretty soon you run the US.

Candidate Number Two: Fresh from his unfolding bridge scandal, New Jersey’s blustery bully, Governor Chris Christie, also came running. It’s quite likely that this politician, with a Ralph Kramden personality, is struggling to get his tough-guy, I’m-in-charge image back while at the same time claiming he had no control over his hench men and women. It’s hard to get your macho mojo back when you sit, beg, speak, and rollover for a guy who sends two $500,000 Maybachs just to pick up presidential wannabes for tryouts.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is candidate number three in what The Washington Post calls the Adelson Presidential Primary. Walker is a by-the numbers tea-partier — union buster, antigay, anti-choice, anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-poor. He could and would stir up controversy. But by all accounts he’s not too bright. No one quite knows what happened to moderate, sane Wisconsin. They seemed to have slipped below the Mason-Dixon Line where people regularly vote against their own interests.

Ohio Governor John Kasich is candidate number four-in the aging gambler’s personal presidential primary. Kasich is the dark horse or perhaps bland horse. But Ohio is a very important state.  As Ohio goes, so goes the nation. The problem Adelson might have with Kasich isn’t political. The candidate is pretty right-wing.  But there are some indications that he might have principles.  Dull as Romney, he might be less willing to sell out. especially to a guy who makes his money off on-armed bandits and blackjack tables. That may be a problem.

In the last primary, when Newt Gingrich flagged, Adelson moved his support to the wealthiest nominee — who best to understand Adelson’s pain? — Mitt Romney. In the end, two others on the top ten wealthiest people in the U.S., the Koch Brothers went for Romney, as did four other members of the billionaire top ten, all with the Walton (Wal-Mart) family name.  Among the many things these billionaires have in common is hate for the livable wage.

Adelson's airport shuttle — a $500,000 Maybach
How do the average Jack and Jill not notice this? As I grew up, I was taught that ultimately we could look to the Supreme Court to right these kinds of wrongs. But it was the current U.S. Supreme Court, including, Antonin Scalia, the so-called “originalist,” who declared corporations are “people,” and “money is “speech.” In other words, if you have more money, you have more speech. You think that if you invited Christie and Bush to your house for dinner, they’d show up? Certainly there are liberal millionaires, but all the liberals on the court voted against Citizens United.

I know, this blog is supposed to be about mysteries, crime and writing.  But buying a president or senator should be a crime and the subject matter is certainly ripe for a crime novel or movie.  Could be a comedy-crime in the vein of Elmore Leonard.  Hangover, Part I.  Then we move on to what a friend of mine suggested — an “All Texas Ticket” with funnymen Perry-Cruz.  That would be Hangover, Part II. Casting is underway for Part III, possibly starring a Bush, a Clinton and Ayn Rand Paul.


Teri-on-the-sandbar said...

kudos to my favorite political observer and critic. brilliant, as usual.

Mo of the North said...

More great mysteries observed here for sure!
Sorry about my Gov.
I couldn't agree more on all counts.