Most of you good information consumers still aren't looking up your strings to see who is pulling them. As liberal as you want to be, you live in the puppet theater of the Far Right. If you want to be a real boy or girl or anything in between, you need to cut the Right strings. The Far Right's 10 Most Wanted are the biggest of the puppeteers.
Putting together lists looks easy, but it's quite hard, especially when you're trying to factor out who, in the labyrinth of GOP power brokers, potentates and propagandists really holds "key" influence.
During the decade+ that I published MLNSports.com we reshaped the baseball and hockey rankings by adding a reality dynamic: If there wasn't a space for you to advance to the major leagues, then that affected your overall ranking as a probable major league player. It was a positive death sentence at the Yankees farm, and endeared me no end to their player people and fans that follow their farm system alike. Unfortunately it was the bedrock reality of the business.
In the compilation of the Far Right's 10 Most Wanted that we just wrapped for t2P, the process was similar.
We looked at a lot of lists of GOP bad actors that had tons of very visible faces, from the usual Beck and Limbaugh lot to the Bachmann Cain Gingrich group and a few pointing their cannons at least in the right general direction by throwing in the Koch brothers.
We also charted out the political forces within the modern Republican Party. It may only represent around 12% of the American public , but it makes better than 80% of the news by being a very loud and well funded minority. The two factions vying for control of the Party are the NeoCons and the Libertarians.
The Neo Conservatives had held sway from Reagan through ol' W. The melt down of 2008 was on their watch. The 2010 Teahadi takeover of Congress was misread by pretty much every major political pundit. It was not a rebellion against the Left, or President Obama. It was a political coup by the Libertarians who had been slowly co-opting the religious zombies, extreme gun nuts, and other members of the fringe away from the NeoCons.
Teahadis exist because the Libertarians, whose cause is near-zero government, wanted to throw a monkey wrench into a political system where the NeoCons were feeding the massive military industrial complex real pork. Not the addition of a road improvement or the job training center here or there that was the lubricant of the functioning Congress, but trillions of dollars lobbed at Luke Skywalker next-gen weaponry where much of it, like the vertical take-off/landing aircraft like VTOL and the Ospreys were big ideas that were slow to work and cost lives as well as buckets of cash.
Forget the politicians. They're puppets. So are people like Coulter, Schlafly, and the other members of the Conservative Clown tent. Our list tries to get to the root of the operation of this GOP UnCivil War.
The generals were very clear: Grover Norquist is probably the most powerful individual in Washington. He channels the astroturf grass roots groups, and has the big vision thing about leveraging the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and creating the Rubber Stamp President to effectively hand over control of the government to his partisans.
Karl Rove has assumed the role defacto leader of the NeoCon movement. He orchestrates, speaks, and put together the biggest non Libertarian slush fund, er Super PAC, for the Cons. Romney the waffle man is a blip in a much larger stream of politicians that Rove will tap to wrest power back from the Libertarians and their Teahadis.
We stocked the list with a couple of major propagandists. There are plenty, to be sure, but our top two picks on the sub list both are influencers of the influencers, the general and the wordsmith of the hard Right's punditocracy.
The majority of the ten most wanted, though, are the folks with the deep pockets. None of this happens without them. The Kochs are the most visible, but we want to drag into the light the others who are hoping that you don't connect up their brands to their giving activity that may be very out of step with that of the consumers of their goods and services.
We tossed in a "justice" section at the end of each bio of the 10 Most Wanted. Some of them are very untouchable, but if readers educate themselves and organize, many can be hurt badly enough that, perhaps, their selfish interests will cause them to pull back on their full frontal assault of American Democracy.
My shiny two.