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What would Alexis de Tocqueville think of democracy in America in 2014? How would Thomas Jefferson describe it? I doubt that either man would know what to make of the fact that one mind-numbingly greedy gnome might have the power to anoint the next Republican nominee for president.

If you think that's an exaggeration, you weren't watching the news last weekend when a small group of Republican governors, and ex-governor Jeb Bush, went a-courtin' multibillionaire Sheldon Adelson at a Republican Jewish Coalition event. It was an extraordinary display of groveling. Even my friend Swamp Rabbit, who can drink a bottle of Wild Turkey and not even belch, was retching as he read a Politico story that explained why the potential presidential candidates were jousting to win the casino magnate's shriveled little heart:    

...The new big-money political landscape — in which a handful of donors can dramatically alter a campaign with just a check or two — explains both the eagerness of busy governors to make pilgrimages to Las Vegas, and the obsession with divining Adelson’s 2016 leanings.

All manner of national media flocked to Adelson’s Venetian casino and resort hotel, which hosted the RJC meeting. But reporters were kept away from Adelson by coalition staff, as well as casino and personal security, and his team turned down interview requests, including for an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

As Adelson whizzed around his Venetian kingdom on a motorized scooter during the retreat, he was often trailed by GOP operatives, politicians and fellow donors eager to assess his state of mind, advise him on what he should do or just lavish him with praise and gratitude...

The governors seemed to be vying for the Most Obsequious Reactionary award as they took turns making speeches. John Kasich repeatedly referred to Adelson as Sheldon, as if the two men grew up in the same 'hood, back in the day. Scott Walker, showing he could be as big a whore for Adelson as he is for the Koch brothers, told the RJC crowd that he lights a menorah during Hannukah and named one of his sons Matthew because the name means 'gift from God' in Hebrew. Chris Christie made the faux pas of the weekend by telling Adelson and his fellow Zionists about a scary helicopter ride he took over Israel's "occupied territories."

Christie's remark reminded me of a classic Monty Python skit: Oscar Wilde, at a dinner party with the Prince of Wales, runs out of aphorisms. He says, "Your Majesty is like a stream of bat's piss" and then has to come up with an explanatory line to get back in the royal's good graces. Too bad for Christie that no one was there in Vegas to provide a witty follow-up that might have kept him in the race for Adelson's money.

"The fat man is on a serious losin' streak," the rabbit said of Christie, stating the obvious. "He's a lot better at bullyin' than he is at suckin' up."

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Comment Preferences

  •  It was a scary helicopter ride (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because it was probably having trouble staying airborne with Christie in it.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 01:15:09 PM PDT

  •  Wonderfully eye-catching title! (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  +1 for the Python ref in the title. (0+ / 0-)

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 01:25:20 PM PDT

  •  Tipped & rec'ed (0+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 01:44:37 PM PDT

  •  Please don't insult bats (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lepanto, not4morewars, OregonWetDog

    They're much saner and cleaner than Adelson.

    •  Love bats, don't eat them. (0+ / 0-)

      I like bats.  We have an insectivorous bat that lives in our patio umbrella every summer.  I like to listen to him ping his sonar in the warm night air.  

      Fruit bats (a local delicacy) are getting a bat rap now in West Africa due to the Ebola outbreak (the bats are a reservoir for the virus).  

      Choose between bats and Adelson?  I vote: BATS

  •  after being sold to the MIC, to Big Oil and to the (0+ / 0-)

    banksters, the Republic is now being sold off to casino trash

    never a dull moment in America...

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 02:45:22 PM PDT

  •  And these bats carry Ebola. (0+ / 0-)

    I remember that classic MP skit -- apt analogy!

    "Stupidity is far more dangerous than evil, for evil takes a break from time to time, stupidity does not." -- Anatole France

    by terremoto on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 02:47:42 PM PDT

  •  I wonder what Dwight Eisenhower would (0+ / 0-)

    think of party candidates who have to fly to Vegas to kiss Adelson's ass in order to win his favor and his support.  This is the depths they have sunken to.  Wonder how much lower they can go.  Afraid we haven't seen the worst of them yet.  

    We need to figure out a way to impeach or force Roberts (Supreme Court) to resign, as I read in a diary this morning.  This whole corporations are people attitude of his and his cronies has the ability to destroy us.

    The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

    by AnnieR on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 03:24:29 PM PDT

  •  republican visit with adelson (0+ / 0-)

    is not a new low and totally expected  from the republicans-you know?  birds of a feather flock together.

  •  Jefferson described them as "miners and sappers" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    after Marbury, judges at work expanding their jurisdiction and undermining the powers of the elected branches. Judicial supremacy eventually collapsed the system, in Dred Scott and continues to do so, as Jefferson could have predicted. FDR remains the contemporary model, to generate a legislative revolution and then deal with a reactionary Court from a position of supermajority support. LBJ used that model for Civil Rights after defeating Goldwater, and also Nixon surprisingly in contrast to Wallace. This is the mistake amenders make believing this is about the Constitution. There happens to be a problem with an isolated reactionary Court. But it's all about elections and what the elected branches will do to constitutionalize the revolution in legislation. See Prof. Bruce Ackerman, "We the People, the Civil Rights Revolution." The Court will follow or be dealt with. There's nothing wrong with the Constitution that needs fixing.

    An amendment is what the reactionary Roberts Court wants in order to legitimize its intrusion into political questions. That corporations are people, is another red herring. Rather the question is whether equality will be upheld in the free speech arena as understood for 200 years before Buckley. Any number of legislative ideas could be enacted, one is fundamental fairness as in the restoration of the fairness doctrine. Or, the most money that could be donated would be that affordable by the least able to pay, probably $50, as a symbolic speech act within an exclusively public financing system. To exclude any citizen from equal donation offends evolving standards of particiaption in a republican form of government.  

    The anticorruption revolution as Breyer seems to have defined it, could intervene in the 2014 elections demanding of candidates as a condition of receiving a vote, the commitment to pass defined comprehensive omnibus legislation, abolishing private financing, restoring the fairness doctrine, removing implied Court jurisdiction to review such legislation and other aligned on actions. Judicial supremacy has hit its limit in this instance and Congress must reassert its power to regulate elections on behalf of the sovereign electorate.

    •  I've got some amendments for them (0+ / 0-)
      An amendment is what the reactionary Roberts Court wants in order to legitimize its intrusion into political questions.
      First, I think we need an amendment to limit the term of Supreme Court justices to 20 years.  After that they could remain Federal judges, but at the appeals court level.  And make all judges subject to the code of ethics.
      Next, we need an amendment that denies corporations and any other "artificial persons" any rights under the Constitution, and only the rights that Congressional legislation chooses to give them, and all such rights should expire after seven years unless renewed by Congress, and renewal shouldn't be allowed until three years from the expiration date.
      And we need voter registration and voting, at least for Federal elections, to be Federally organized, controlled, and funded.  Along with that, add strict limits on campaign contributions, and federal campaign support.  Throw in national popular vote for the presidency while we're at it.

      We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

      by david78209 on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 02:17:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "like a shaft of gold when all around is dark" (0+ / 0-)

    Can't agree with that.  Adelson isn't "like bat piss".  Horse's urine, maybe.

    Also:  "shaft of gold" -- what the Supreme Court is giving the country.

    Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

    by mbayrob on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:01:57 PM PDT

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