The “establishment” should have been more careful about what they wished, and worked, for


Crossposted from


All In With Chris Hayes on the bind that traditional GOP big donors are in due to new campaign finance rules:

Link to video (because BofA never likes any video I try to embed)

As Hayes and a later panel with guests explained, the post-Citizens United reality means that “bundlers”, the wealthy, connected lawyers, lobbyists, and business types who have wielded electoral power for decades by shaking down multiple contributions, are penny ante compared to billionaires like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers, who have the ability to funnel piles of money directly wherever they want.

The Republican “establishment” is worried about that now, as they rightly should be. But if they weren’t exactly eager to open the floodgates to the kind of unlimited campaign contributions with no transparency we have now, didn’t they still do their utmost put the conditions in place for that to happen? Getting George W. Bush installed so he could nominate business-friendly Supreme Court Justices. Check. Gutting public financing of elections. Check. Relentlessly pushing for tax cuts and derugulation. Check, and check.

Then, of course, there is Citizens United, which many country club Republicans in Arizona supported, as well as substantially increasing campaign contribution limits. Those things were supposed to increase the “free speech” of sensible business leaders and enable them to have even more control over elections, which (having Clean Elections mostly out of the way) would lead to moderate, business-focused Republicans getting elected in primaries. While it’s debatable that did happen in a few legislative districts, it takes an incredible amount of cognitive dissonance to believe that the exorbitant sums of money spent on our statewide races (mostly for Republican candidates) have ushered in a utopia of temperate governance.

Some have made valiant efforts to persuade themselves that Doug Ducey et al won’t be a nightmare. On the TV election night coverage I heard several pundits repeat Ducey’s mantra of his business expertise and desire to bring “broad coalitions” together. Which is looking to be the horseshit I’ve always believed it to be, judging from Ducey’s picks to run his administration, such as Koch’d up Kirk Adams as Chief of Staff. Seriously, I don’t think Ducey could communicate better to the world that he will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Kochs than that. Bob Robb of the Republic thinks Ducey is preparing to “do some unpopular things” but pretends that it will be about carefully and shrewdly balancing the budget. Robb dares not let on that there’s a strong possibility that Ducey will either immediately or incrementally inject shock doctrine economics into Arizona, as Sam Brownback did in Kansas.

And should that happen, I predict that the establishment types will continue to flail about helplessly, whining about Clean Elections and primaries a) because they’ll never admit that they helped bring this on themselves and b) because they’ll have to suck up to the new Governor in the hope that he’ll care about their piddly problems.