But along came the first-fruits of the Citizens United decision. Suddenly, at least to their eyes, there was all this money that started pouring into the election campaigns.
We saw it coming. Hell, the President TOLD us what was coming in his State of the Union Speech. But everyone was focused on Alito's antics and the "outrage from Republicans that the President would DARE criticize the court in a captive setting like that."
We even saw it coming back in 2009, when even the Villagers talked about how much money the insurance industry was spending against health care.
And remember how we warned everyone about the Koch brothers and the Tea People? We were pooh-poohed at and laughed at by what wingnuts we know. All the Very Serious People took the Kochs at their word.
And remember when Ed and Karl decided to form their shadow RNC? Everyone in the Village was concentrating on Steele's follies to see what they were doing. Everyone but us, that is.
Even this summer, Rachel was on this story and constantly talking about it.
Now normally, when you can see a punch coming from this far away, you take steps to block it, evade it, or counterpunch. And this story has been going on for 2 years. At least in OUR part of the world.
Now granted, we didn't think that this was going to be a prominent feature of the final push towards the election. This attack on the Chamber and how they're funding hundreds of million dollars in Republican ads I think took everyone by surprise. But when the numbers started coming in for the ad buys, I think some Villagers were a bit stunned.
And then came ThinkProgress. Their expose ripped the curtain off the behind the scenes shenanigans. Curiously, at about the same time, the White House started attacking HARD the Chamber and all the hidden and foreign money.
And what has happened? What a true October Surprise is supposed to do: Throw EVERYONE off their game.
Let's take a look at what's happened. The Chamber, Republicans, and corporations et al, sputter and feign indignation, and the Villagers ignore it and say "DOOMED!" and "It'll never work". The President, Chairman Kaine, and other candidates begin hammering on this. Meanwhile, we learn that the White House was polling language related to this issue, a la Frank Luntz. The Villagers unite in their narrative that "it's a non story" and try their best to ignore it.
Then, ThinkProgress releases the names of the foreign corporations giving money to the Chamber. MoveOn and other groups release polling that show the American people LESS likely to vote for someone funded by anonymous outside groups. Republicans are still stammering and pretending outrage. They try to throw up the "unions do it too" flag only to have it shot down by semi competent research of election rules.
The backlash continues to grow. Slowly but surely, it's growing. Today, major shareholders of NewsCorp asked Rupert point-blank about Fox's donations to Republicans. Rupert tried to dance, but then said "if you don't like it, then vote the directors out". And, he also said that shareholders have no say in who money goes to.
And on the Front Page, we have a link to a story about the Chamber being accused of Fraud. We have the HEAD of the Chamber OPENLY advocating outsourcing OUR jobs. And we also have David Koch himself DIRECTLY taking responsibility for the Tea Party.
Now as this snowballs, it becomes harder and harder for Republicans to do damage control. We are unwittingly assisted by the media, who continue to play this as a non story. But people are starting to notice, thanks to the efforts of the President. People are going "Now wait a minute here...why are you hiding this? Why is no one disclosing who's paying for this stuff?" This is happening ON THE GROUND. Where the Villagers don't go, being happy in their city in the clouds (Stratos reference for all you trekkies).
And that's the beauty of this. By using US, when we canvass or phone bank, or even talk in the store, we are spreading the word about this. And things will leak out ever so slowly, and those who are benefitting from the Chamber are starting to have questions asked of them.
Now all this could have been avoided, of course. Republicans and the Chamber could have just simply disclosed their funders right away, and saved themselves from what will be coming and turned this into just another blip. Instead, their strength has been turned against them--the lockstep repetition of set talking points and their own perceived "superiority".
How well has it worked? The Chamber is backing several Democrats as well. It was just announced, and in a diary here it was suggested they're covering for possible losses. Glenn Nye (D-VA, VA-02) is one of them. In an earlier diary, in the debate, the Republican actually ATTACKS Congressman Nye on this. However, the Chamber this year has thrown an overwhelming majority (over 80%) of its money towards Republicans. The false equivalency of "The Chamber supports both parties" is DEAD.
This will continue to grow and consume Republicans, especially if WE do our jobs. Remember, the President has ALWAYS designed his campaigns around grass-roots support. He knows that all the money in the world cannot replace face to face contact with voters on the issues. So go to ThinkProgress, read up, and arm yourself with names of companies giving to the Chamber supporting outsourcing, "shady groups from THOSE parts of the world" (like banks in Bahrain--I know that's not quite right, but use Republican fear tactics against Republicans), and just general facts to use in your phone and canvass conversations.
Eventually the Village will notice, especially in the next week or so, as more information gets released.
And no one saw this coming. No one could have expected this.
UPDATE Thanks for the rec list! Only my second time.
Someone downthread asked for information about the shareholder meeting of NewsCorp today. Ask, and ye shall receive:
Audio of Murdoch defending donations
From the Politico
And just one more
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