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ROSE NOLEN: Money will determine the presidential election

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

Well, the rich are finally getting their way.

I really never thought that Americans would sit down and let money rule. But I guess after the beating they have taken with the recession and months of unemployment, they decided to give it up.

The next generation will have a big fight on its hands if they try to take the country back. If President Barack Obama does not get re-elected, he has done more for the country than most presidents have. And at least he and his wife have the kind of educations that will keep them fed for a lifetime.

As for the rest of us — well, those of us who have been through hard times before — we will probably be OK. The rich, of course, will fight each other endlessly to determine who will be top dog. Their greed and selfishness will drive them on and on, until they are broken and defeated.

All those millions of dollars that are being spent on this election, I hope, will wind up in the hands of someone who will do good things with it. Buying a government so that one can force it to operate the way one wishes is quite an accomplishment. The founders, of course, knew that it could turn out this way. They were taking the chance that they had the wheels of government so firmly welded in place that it would hold. But they were also aware of the evils of mankind and so I doubt they would have been surprised. They would probably expect it would take another revolution to get things back to normal.

I’m curious to know, if the rich get their way, how they plan to hold the country together. Many Americans are truly patriotic. They will not be led blindly into the night, and they will not bow down to money. That will present quite a problem to those who believe that money can buy anything.

Primarily, those members of Congress and their followers who are willing to sit idly by, waiting to get a leader that they want, are on a fool’s errand. They have deceived people into believing that they are willing to serve. They are accepting government pay for doing nothing. That is practicing dishonesty. They are certainly old enough to know they will pay for this, one way or another.

In any case, it took America a long time to come to this. Sure enough, we have had plenty of disreputable politicians, but we have had decent politicians to hold them to the bar. Now that we have a group of poor people desiring to be rich, worshipping a group of rich guys, who knows where this will end?

Citizens United may think that they have won the war. They are probably thinking that now they will soon own the government and they will be free to do whatever they want. But it’s not over until it’s over. Most of us have grown accustomed to living in a democratic republic. We haven’t learned to live under any other system.

So, we will probably have to get ourselves together and figure our way out of this mess. Some of us don’t want to live under any other system of government. In other words, the way it stands, the person with the most money can buy the presidency.

Most people think it won’t work out that way. Well, I wouldn’t count on it. Some people feel that it’s already in the bag.

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or emailing her at nolen@iland.net. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.


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Comments

Jim Michaelson July 24, 2012 | 8:32 a.m.

It determined tho '08 election. Obama outspent McCain almost 2:1. He spent over $760,000,000. But that's ok - your guy won.

This column is just silly...

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub July 24, 2012 | 8:45 a.m.

Rose, while buying elections has been a part of politics for as long as I remember, I still have faith in the people who actually vote, the ones that are allowed to anyway. However, the new ability for major donors to influence campaigns in secret has added an even darker side to this. Publicly supporting an unpopular agenda is risky for business but to do it in secret allows double speak to thrive, and possibly elections to be won.

Related to this and highly under reported (take note reporters), is this method which can manipulate not only elections but the welfare of entire countries. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18944...

(Report Comment)
John Schultz July 24, 2012 | 9:43 a.m.

Rose, I doubt that Citizens United thinks they own the government as you allege. But I bet they're pretty happy that groups of citizens can band together and release movies about candidates without being held to monetary or temporal restrictions imposed by Congress, First Amendement be damned.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 24, 2012 | 10:16 a.m.

"Related to this and highly under reported (take note reporters), is this method which can manipulate not only elections but the welfare of entire countries."

Had you not heard? The "welfare" of the countries surrounding BBC are doing quite well. So well, in fact, the economies of those countries, as well as ours, are about to collapse! Want all that money to magically "come out of hiding"? Reduce the taxes they are trying to avoid! Here it is again: The governments of the world do not need more money to spend, they need to spend less money!

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 24, 2012 | 10:47 a.m.

Yes, Rose was strangely silent when Obama outspent McCain. I don't know why. Seems to me her argument would have merit regardless the outcome, but apparently her antipathy for political money applies only if her favored side loses or she anticipates same.

The current election money flow remains in doubt; if Obama surges and outspends Romney, perhaps the Missourian will give Rose a do-over column. She can take a favored President Obama to task (by name) for using evil corporate/union/PAC money.

I'd certainly expect such an article simply so she could demonstrate some intellectual honesty on this particular topic.

Won't hold my breath, tho.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 24, 2012 | 11:38 a.m.

When discussing money in elections, Rose needs to pay particular attention to the following link:

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php...

The first column is "Total '89-'12" You can click on that tab (or any of the others, for that matter) to organize the data however you like.

But, most important, take a look at WHO it is that contributes money to these elections. Look at the damn names!

And then Rose can write a missive about all that horrible union (public and private) money coming into our elections. Until she does that, specifically, I'm just going to believe she is one-sided against any business money, but not "her" kind of money.

I'll even stand up and applaud her if she writes such a thing.

But, for now, all I see is intellectual dishonesty; I don't know if it's deliberate or naive. Only she can answer (or show) that.

PS: Clicking on the column entitled "Tilt" is rather interesting, too. See how many of those business corporations are "on the fence" rather than tilted one way or the other.

(Report Comment)
Richard Saunders July 24, 2012 | 11:56 a.m.

Remember, vote early, and often!

(Report Comment)
Sandra Hayes July 24, 2012 | 12:44 p.m.

Well, the rich are finally getting their way. What a way to start a column. Democrats are some of the wealthiest members of Congress, so yeah seems that way. I am so glad to see most posters disagree and see Rose's "intellectual dishonesty" as some have put it. If Mr Obama doesnt win reelection and goes on to "cash in" big time on his presidency with books and speaking engagements and no longer works as a community organizer (lobbyist) will she bash him then. I doubt it.

(Report Comment)
James Armes July 24, 2012 | 12:47 p.m.

Michael, the only naiveté is that which oozes from your comments on her article. Do you really believe there to be an equivalence between the money available to unions and people like Sheldon Adelson? If so, you need to spend less time on the Fox News channel, and more time looking for facts. When a single billionaire is able to silence the voices (monetarily) of thousands, there is a problem.

Yes, Obama outspent McCain in '08--and a lot of the donations he received was by corporate interests. However, to pretend that the $2300 (ish) maximum that existed in '08 is equivalent to the INFINITE limit that exists today, and that this new limit will not influence elections greatly is foolish at best.

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub July 24, 2012 | 12:49 p.m.

So Frank you openly advocate tax cheating? 24 trillion not being used to create more business, or jobs, or innovation is better in the hands of the greedy who surely toil very hard for that money. Seeing that Goldman Sachs is one of the banks hiding this money, I am sure is very titillating to you. I assume you are not one of the millions who lost a lot while GS was raping retirement funds, IRAs, pension funds, etc. None of that money was lost but re-distributed to those that are now hiding it so they rest easy while the majority of us are struggling to reclaim what little we had. So what is the price of a soul these days?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 24, 2012 | 1:06 p.m.

Michael Williams:

Thanks for posting that URL, but are we certain Rose has access to the Internet?

We SHOULD be proud: We have the best federal government money can buy, and it seems to matter less and less which political party is running it. (I'm sure Frank will not agree with me on that, but we've previously established that Frank's an optimist and I am not.)

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance July 24, 2012 | 1:12 p.m.

All the "soon to haves" bashing Rose. It is so pathetic to see people that try to emulate the very people that threatened their economic stability in the desperate hope they can be in "the club" just like them.

Gary, this is the kind of dissonance I find fascinating.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro July 24, 2012 | 3:09 p.m.

("If President Barack Obama does not get re-elected, he has done more for the country than most presidents have.")
And I hope that many of his executive orders get rescinded by President Romney.
http://1461days.blogspot.com/2009/01/cur...
Obama Outspends Romney 2-1 With $43 Million in Funds for Ads
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07...
("Start with the black community. President Obama's record in the black community has been abysmal. Aside from appointing a record number of blacks to his administration, he's done nothing for the black population in America. They're worse off than ever in terms of employment and income. But Obama has a plan to exploit them.")
http://townhall.com/columnists/benshapir...
So why does the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People hate Romney?
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news...

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 24, 2012 | 4:58 p.m.

James Armes say I ooze.

I don't think so, at least when I looked last. I HAVE been known to sweat, spit, tinkle, and drip, but never have I oozed.

As far as Sheldon goes, I was thinking more along the lines of George Soros, but apparently you weren't. After all, there's "good" rich and there's "bad" rich.

And you know the difference.

I'm amazed so many liberals think conservatives MUST get all their news from Fox, Limbaugh, or whomever, instead of being able to think and figure stuff out for ourselves just by having two good eyes and two good ears; I can only assume liberals think that way because they do what they claim conservatives do. Got Daily Kos?

When liberals discuss money from unions/PACs/etc in the same way they discuss money from corporations, I'll begin to take their complaints seriously. Until then...no, I won't take you seriously.

Ellis: I don't know if Rose has the internet or not. I am still unable to discern if her repetitive intellectual dishonesty about these matters is deliberate or naive. I suspect the latter.

Tim thinks we all want to emulate some of those who helped get us here. Speaking for myself, I can tell you truthfully that I do not wish to emulate Barney Frank.

PS: I don't watch TV except I do like the show "Castle". I sometimes watch I Love Lucy, MASH, and Deadliest Catch, but that's about it. I can't remember when I last watched Fox or CNN or MSNBC, but it is good to know from y'all that they've been reading my original stuff posted in this forum and reporting on it.

Heck, I seldom watch the local evening news except to confirm tomorrow's temperature will be 400F.

(Report Comment)
Skip Yates July 24, 2012 | 6:38 p.m.

"..he has done more for this country than most presidents have...." Wow, have you been in a comma for the last 3 years? Man is unfit to be President of the United States.

(Report Comment)
Skip Yates July 24, 2012 | 8:07 p.m.

Coma, not comma....sorry!

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 24, 2012 | 9:19 p.m.

Skip: You have my sympathies.

But stay away from the word "public".....to easy to forget the "L".

Isn't it, Ellis?

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 27, 2012 | 1:04 p.m.

G. Straub - Left town for a while so am little late here.

Tax cheating? Your author didn't call it that, but if you wish to put "cheating" in that context, then lets discuss John Kerry married to a billionaire parked his new yacht in RI, rather than pay MA. sales tax. Has opportunity to pay the higher rate on a MA tax that was given an optional lower rate for low income payers. John pays the low rate. Our D' Treasurer Geithner is a tax cheat. Former D' leader of the Senate is a tax cheat. According to Senator Scott Brown, 98,000 federal workers are tax cheats. http://www.newsmax.com/US/unpaid-taxes-I.... Why aren't you writing about them? My retirement is in dire straits because of this financial malaise. I have no doubts about who caused it, while you go searching far away sources to try to show us that "rich people", not their government, are to blame.

UK Prime Minister T. Blair, during Iraq War publicly, told the directors of the British Broadcasting Co. (BBC) that if they did not do more to assure Truth in their reporting, he intended to replace them all! Did he do that?

(Report Comment)

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