by Max Brantley
It's only further elaboration on the well-established, but I recommend Thomas Edsall's examination of how a handful of super wealthy are exercising inordinate influence over presidential politics with their mammoth contributions to Super PACs. Mammoth as a $10 million contribution seems to you or me, it's worth noting, it's chump change for a billionaire.
Already, by my count, 20 members of the Forbes 400, whose combined wealth is $135.8 billion, have given a total of $33 million — that’s an average of $1.65 million each — to candidate-specific super PACs. And it’s February.
Thank the U.S. Supreme Court and Citizens United and don't forget the court said this decision wouldn't be corrupting because the independent expenditures come from places unconnected to candidates. That's a fiction.
The 2012 election is shaping up as a confrontation between two opposing camps, one calling for policies to ameliorate inequality at the expense of the affluent, the other for policies likely to increase it.
The Supreme Court has tilted the playing field in favor of those who have benefitted most from rising inequality, giving the richest Americans a new tool to control the political process at a moment when their economic power has reached heights unequaled since 1929.