Warren Buffett has fired a proverbial shot that is sure to send GOP leaders shrieking to their favorite conservative media outlets. In a race already dominated by the spending of billionaires such as Charles and David Koch, Sheldon Adelson and others, Buffet just bigfooted them all. So far, the conservative Super PACs American Crossroads, Restore our Future and Americans for Prosperity have spent about $80 million dollars on the presidential election, far more than the official Romney campaign.
Buffett's answer: I see your $80 mil and raise you $920 million.* Yes, a cool one billion for the pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA Action.
More below the doodle.
Previously, Buffet was reluctant to inject his money into the race:
"I don't want to see democracy go in that direction."But Buffet eventually realized that a silent protest against the Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizen United case was likely to have little or no effect. In fact, the only effect it might have would be the election of Mitt Romney as President of the United States, a result which would only confirm in Antonin Scalia's mind that Citizen's United was correctly decided.
"I decided that the only way to really make a statement about the danger of allowing billionaires to buy elections was to plunk down my own money and give conservatives what frightened them the most, a second term for Barack Obama. Plus, he deserves it."*This is so true. The only thing the will make conservatives such as Scalia rethink the wisdom of Citizens United is to lose an election while be outspent by the richest man of all. Well played Warren!
*Note: I made this up. The only part that's true is the amount spent so far by the conservative PACs (compared to only $7 million by Priorities USA!) and the fact that Buffett won't contribute to Super PACs on principle. I think it's mistake: a unilateral disarming that won't change anyone's opinion about the wisdom of billionaires buying elections. Do you agree? Can we send a message to Warren Buffett? Other rich Democrats? If you want the CU case reconsidered, you've got beat them at their own game. And a note to Warren or Warren's people: dude, you turn 82 in a few weeks. You can't take it with you. Make a difference with it while you have the chance!
Link for billionaires to contribute to here.
Link for you and me (Obama campaign) here.
Photo from flickr user markgregory007.
12:07 PM PT: Update: Some got hooked in by this and then annoyed. But that was kind of my point. Do you realize what a huge impact a massive Buffett contribution would have? It would dominate political news for a while and really generation discussion about the wisdom of our current political process. Of course it would also negate the millions spent on the other side. Bonus! Apologies for snarking you cruelly.