The most important insight from the GOP debate

My friends know I have no public affection for the Trump candidacy nor do I harbor private ones. Last night’s second debate (the one for those polling in positive territory), however, included this hiding-in-plain-sight truth from the Combed Over One.

BAIER: Mr. Trump, it’s not just your past support for single-payer health care. You’ve also supported a host of other liberal policies….You’ve also donated to several Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton included, and Nancy Pelosi. You explained away those donations saying you did that to get business-related favors. And you said recently, quote, “When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.”

 

TRUMP: You’d better believe it.

 

BAIER: — they do?

 

TRUMP: If I ask them, if I need them, you know, most of the people on this stage I’ve given to, just so you understand, a lot of money.

 

TRUMP: I will tell you that our system is broken. I gave to many people, before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. And that’s a broken system.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you get from Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi?

 

TRUMP: Well, I’ll tell you what, with Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding. You know why?

 

She didn’t have a choice because I gave. I gave to a foundation that, frankly, that foundation is supposed to do good. I didn’t know her money would be used on private jets going all over the world. It was. [Transcript.]

What Trump said in plain language, and from confessed personal experience, is those with the money are able to buy favors from those in power. Money favors power; power rewards money. It’s government of the powerful, by the powerful, and for the monied. None of the other candidates furthered the discussion. Do not hold your breath on getting a similar admission from Hillary Clinton.

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We live not in a democracy, and never have. The republic is foundering because America has become an oligarchy, or a corporatocracy. Super PACs fuel the process and special interests rule the Hill. 

Remember the 2010 State of the Union address, when President Obama rebuked the Supreme Court justices in the congregation? Mere days before the Court handed down its Citizen United ruling. In short:

In its Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, the court opened the campaign spending floodgates. The justices’ ruling said political spending is protected under the First Amendment, meaning corporations and unions could spend unlimited amounts of money on political activities, as long as it was done independently of a party or candidate.

 

The result has been a deluge of cash poured into so-called super PACs – particularly single-candidate PACs, or political action committees – which are only nominally independent from the candidates they support. What’s more, the legal protections for corporations mean much of this spending, known as “dark money,” never has to be publicly disclosed.

“Political spending is protected under the First Amendment.”

Freedom of speech. Since, y’know, money talks.

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Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.