A Dim View of Americans?

If you wanted to name a group some label most people would be attracted to and endorse, what would it be?  Would you choose Apple Pie?  Or, baseball or ice cream?  How about “Americans for Prosperity”?

Prosperity seems to me like a universally desired goal.  With more prosperity, one can live better, take nicer vacations, send their children to better schools, and live the American dream in real time.  Sounds like the right answer.

But wait.  Americans for Prosperity is the name of a Super Pac backed publically by the Koch brothers.  The group is certainly in favor of prosperity, but the prosperity they favor is their own.  Thanks to a Supreme Court retrograde view of the first Amendment, Americans for Prosperity can spend gobs of money trying to influence other Americans.

It is a free country, isn’t it?  Why can’t the Kochs or anyone else spend their own money broadcasting their view on life?

There are several technical arguments about full disclosure (like who are the other donors to this Super Pac), and questions on the limits of truth (like is what they are saying true?).

The issue the Supreme Court seemed to overlook is that campaign financing rules are necessary in order that the entire field is level and all candidates get an adequate and equal chance to make their case to voters.

Americans for Prosperity along with Super Pacs for both parties are about laying out outrageous claims which skirt the truth and instead try to create a negative impression of the opposing candidate.  These groups clearly play on the belief that their audience is a bit dim, maybe lazy, and can be influenced to vote for the candidate the Super Pac favors.

A case in point is the upcoming Americans for Prosperity $25 million advertising buy. AFP wants to make the case that President Obama is responsible for the $15+ trillion debt and for raising the debt ceiling.  These charges are patently false since most (at least $13 trillion) of the current debt results from laws in place when President Obama was elected.  One could make the case that President Bush was as responsible, if not more for todays debt.

The $2 trillion of debt that is President Obama’s responsibility stems from the “stimulus”, TARP, and the reduction in wage roll taxes.  These were all steps President Obama took in an effort to restart the American economy following the steep recession of 2008.

The rules governing the 2012 elections are set.  Ads such as Americans for Progress’s will be the rules of the road.  Insulting as they may be to thoughtfulness, they will never the less be used so that certain interests (not to be confused with “Americans”) get to protect their means of wealth generation and preservation.

If for no other reason, it is important that Mitt Romney not get a chance to appoint any new justices to the Supreme Court.


Explore posts in the same categories: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Politics, Republican Party

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