Money Can't Buy Me Wha?
Mo' money, mo' problems? Not if you're the monopoly guy, and your hobby is spending millions on elections!
So you voted this week and - well, actually statistically you probably didn't vote... but the good news is Obama wasn't re-elected and the terrorist splinter cell E.B.O.L.A. didn't get us in our PJs, thank god.
Remember, remember the 4th of November…. The Republicans’ Koch money plot. The Dems know no reason that this election season should ever have been forgot.
Welcome, friends, red and blue, purple and green - to all my stars and stripes out there, to this edition of MAJORITY VILLAIN, November 7th, 2014. Just a reminder that this show does include profanity, and so to those sensitive to such issues, my apologies and fair warning in advance.
Before continuing a brief note. Today’s show is a shorter episode, and as you may know by now I try to get these shows out twice a month between the first and the fifth, and the fifteenth and the twentieth. This is my goal. It doesn’t always happen that way, but I am trying for these deadlines. Producing Majority Villain is difficult, because I do this in my free time, and I do not get paid. That means that most of my time is spent working.. and now the issue is further complicated by the fact that I am now a full time university student in Tübingen, Germany! Do you remember the story about the Asian kid who got stuck in a giant stone vagina statue? Same Tübingen!!! Interesting fact is the school is located at the epicenter of an almost 1000 year old castle, and the university itself is older than the “discovery” of that jovial slave-loving Italian, Christopher Columbus we talked about last time.. Maybe you’ve heard of him before? Just check out the last episode for all my thoughts on this character. Oh, and a fun fact for you all out there who may be upset by the fact that the United States are profiting, yes profiting, off of our over $1 trillion student debt, including $30k of my own – You may be interested to know that I am paying 142.10€ for the semester. That’s like $160… And that is, the entire semester. I know exactly what you’re thinking. “Those fucking socialists.”
Now enjoy the rest of the show!
So here we are after a sweeping victory by the Republican Party in the 2014 midterm election. If you’re like me, then you were sleeping as the first results started to come in. I was honestly a little terrified to look at the aftermath the next day. Being a former Democrat, and registered Independent I was a little shocked to see that the Republicans picked up 14 seats in the House of Representatives and 7 seats in the Senate, giving them control over both chambers of the congress. But if you’re a hard-nosed conservative, the good news is that Obama did not win!! Hooray! Really though, if you watched only the ads, read no newspapers, and only listened to your Uncle Harry, you probably thought that Barack Obama was actually running in the election!
However, if you fell for the trap of believing that Obama was so weak on ISIS this year, that God himself cursed us with Ebola, then it wasn’t entirely your fault! The propaganda machine this election cycle was so deeply entrenched in its own bullshit that even I had to shower twice a day here in Germany. But the truth is I’m not that scared that Republican’s took control of our legislative branch. You may think that you should be a little scared when a very disgruntled, but furthermore, a vengeful, very erratic group like our National Republican Party takes office, and immediately features conservatives who are ballsy enough to go on TV and say that the #1 job in the next two years is to stop the president of the United States of America. STOP OBAMA. That’s it. It’s the same policy as day 1 of the presidency in 2009. I don’t know what to believe anymore, or rather I’m not sure what to believe most anymore. For example, I believed Obama when he said we need to close Guantanamo Prison, stop the war on drugs (or at LEAST on Marijuana), and to give equal rights to the LGBTQ community.
The worst of these failures by our Nobel Peace Prize-winning president can probably be epitomized in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Militarization Authorization Act signed days after 9/11 to write us carte blanche – a blank check to invade countless countries based on suspicion without evidence. A piece of hostile, blind legislation that was only opposed by one person on Capitol Hill – Brave, brave Barbara Lee. And boy do we use it. Boy does President Obama use it. The same legislation that he criticized in his run for presidency is the same piece that he has been willing to use for the last 6 years. But why the hell are we talking about him??? Again, he wasn’t even running!!! That no matter how much some people may want him gone, he still has a job for the next two years! And yet, his name carried more weight and influence this election than any other. While this isn’t necessarily an anomaly in U.S. politics, it is a disgusting one, and certainly an interesting example in this particular instance, and the reason is this: Barack Obama ran his 2008 presidential campaign as one of the most progressive candidates in U.S. history, won by a landslide against John McCain, and since then has turned out to be one of the most conservative presidents that we have ever had. WTF is the acronym for which you are now searching. I will wait for you to catch your breath.
Barack Obama has not made clear in certain terms that he will oppose the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, which climate experts are saying is some of the dirtiest oil on planet earth, would have devastating effects on our global emissions, locals (many of which are indigenous) say would destroy their homes and ecosystem, and could make Charles and David Koch $100B richer. By the way, those two are already two of the richest people on earth and just dropped over $300M on elections this cycle.
Well, that’s not so bad right? Ok, how about the Trans Pacific Partnership? Obama wants to fast track this deal, and that means he wants congress to give him certain legislative powers to help get this thing rolling which would probably make it easier for companies to relocate to foreign countries to pay lower wages, would allow corporations to sue governments for lost profits if they create legislation that would impede on future gains, and could place more restrictions on the freedoms of the internet. I hope that the Republicans in congress are smart enough to know that this would only create a very small class of winners, while the rest of us foot the bill, Democrat and Republican alike.
Why am I still talking about Obama? Again, he didn’t even run, and yet – his name has been vital to every single race this year.
He did have the foresight to say this on August 29th, 2014:
“There has been a certain cynical genius to what some of these folks have done in Washington. What they’ve realized is, if we don’t get anything done, then people are going to get cynical about government and its possibilities of doing good for everybody. And since they don’t believe in government, that’s a pretty good thing.
And the more cynical people get, the less they vote. And if turnout is low and people don’t vote, that pretty much benefits those who benefit from the status quo.”
Now, I didn’t know he said this, but this is exactly what I said just last time on the show! And if you listen to my show then you already know how I feel about the status quo! It’s for suckers!
If you read this to a liberal and they say, “Yeah, Obama is the man and he don’t get enough respect,” then they are part of the problem. If you read that to a conservative and they say, “government sucks”, then they are part of the problem. Both parties are coming off their rockers, albeit at different paces. For instance, when a deep conservative like Karl Rove incessantly talks about a “permanent Republican majority” that should be a red flag to everyone. To EVERYONE. Do you know why? Because that’s called “autocracy” and it’s never pretty. And when I hear any leftist say something like “I wish Democrats held both chambers so we could push through anything we wanted,” I cringe with such prescient disgust for what that would mean. Trust me, none of us really want a single power in charge. It sounds great, but time and time again history shows us what a putrid and long-lasting mess it makes. Hell, we can’t even get it right with two parties.
The truth is, more and more, Democrats are losing their credibility as a progressive force and mark my words it won’t be long before a more militarized style of left-wing politics takes place – a balancing of powers takes place. Think of it as the counter-weight to the Tea-Party. I don’t want that, not many people want that. This should be an incentive for enough people in Washington to wake up to the shit sandwich that Uncle Sam is slapping together in the other room, and be a real motive for bi-partisan efforts to really help people, to build the nation, to nurture a long-lasting growth. But for some reason it’s just not.
Supreme Court rulings like Buckley v. Valeo, Citizens United, and McCutcheon have opened up floodgates to allow essentially unlimited money to act as a voice louder than most of ours and lift up one candidate over another in every single election, as is the case when the bro with the most dough wins over 90% of the time. And then we wonder why politicians spend 75% of their time fundraising instead of – Oh, I don’t know – governing? This election saw one of the most expensive midterm elections in our history. But perhaps more interesting, and definitely more troubling is that this year’s voter turnout is one of the worst we have ever had. More money, fewer people. California’s turnout was 21.4%, which is essentially the same percentage of time that most boyfriends are paying attention when their girlfriends begin a sentence with, “OMG #Seriously?” We don’t want to make and incomplete or inconsistent comparison, but we should still ask if the two issues are connected in any way. If fewer people spend more money, could it be diluting public appeal to show up to the polls?
As if the money wasn’t enough, the Voting Rights Act (arguably THE most important piece of legislation of our parents lives) took a real beating this last year as again, the Supreme Court took out integral parts of it that used to require former slave states to have changes in voting laws approved at the federal level. The Supreme Court removed this requirement. Even though voter fraud has been only proved to occur in some 30+ cases since the year 2000 and in the midst of some 1 Billion votes. States wasted no time to make certain that not even 1 more occurred. But that’s not really why. Almost every single study of illegal voter suppression, let’s just call it what it is, discriminates against young people, Hispanic, black, and poor voters – all of which are more than likely on average to vote Democrat. This is a simple and ugly fact. In fact in Texas, which now requires certain IDs to be presented at the time of voting, a gun-owning ID works, but a student ID does not. In other states, special IDs must be issued, and those can cost voters’ money, equivalent to that of a poll tax, another outlawed practice. I can wait again for your WTF moment.
But it’s not all bad news. We now have 100 women serving in our House of Representatives and that has never occurred in the history of the United States. That’s called changing the status quo.
Also, we know how to amend the Constitution so that money can’t influence it tomorrow like it does today. 2/3 of states are needed to amend (34), and ¾ of states needed to ratify (38). That may seem really crazy, and far-fetched, and impossible to achieve, but it’s not. It’s knowledge for your brain. And knowledge is power. Don’t you remember? The more you knoooooowwww….
In fact, here are four groups working on it now.
You are not alone. More and more Republicans and conservatives are beginning to see that radicals on the peripheries are hijacking their party of fiscal responsibility and strong job growth. And more and more Democrats are waking up to see that the party they thought would save us would rather get wrapped up in political games and essentially stop listening to their voter base altogether.
It won’t be like this forever. I can smell the winds of change, and they are upon us.
If you would like to comment or critique the show you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find it and should find it @MajorityVillain both on Twitter and Facebook and MajorityVillain.com. Also, if you haven’t done so yet, and want to help the show grow, the absolute best thing you can do is to find the show in the iTunes store and rate it! It takes just a minute and it helps others find it in their searches. Big thanks to Evil Bear Boris for their music, and thank you to all of you who listen. You are the reason I do it all. I’m Greg Haddock reminding you status quos are for suckers.