Dark Money, the source of right-wing power

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has been laying out, in a now nine part series of presentations in the Senate that he calls the Scheme, the billions spent (tax-deductibly) over the decades by increasingly demanding right-wing billionaires to take over state governments (with organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Counsel — ALEC, authors of Stand Your Ground, anti-mask mandate, voter “integrity” and anti-abortion laws) and capture the federal courts.

Their larger goal is to end all government regulation of business, lower their own taxes, shrink government and enjoy the liberty of a luxurious life without the threat of coercion by a meddling, overeaching government that panders to the “takers”, that undeserving, ever expanding majoritarian tyranny. Their biggest advantage in this fight is an inexhaustible fund of unregulated, untraceable, “dark money”, permitted under the laws that make their political organizations qualify as non-profits. I visited ALEC’s website the other day, and, bingo:

As long as the Supreme Court they have orchestrated into being continues to rule in their favor (and the 6 reactionary majority are all members of the same far-right ideological fraternity, literally, a career-networking frat founded on the 1980s by those same dark money billionaires), they will remain safe from things like “Kamala Harris’s unconstitutional disclosure requirements.”

Imagine the irreparable harm that would be done to America’s greatest political donors if the identity of those secret donors who funded Trump’s $50,000,000 ad buy to promote the lie that Trump was robbed was forcibly unmasked. Those ads worked fabulously, by the way, about 2/3 of Republicans believe there was massive fraud in a bipartisan conspiracy so diabolical that no evidence was ever found!

It’s impossible to hear the “arguments” and read the summary, unsigned 5-4 and 6-3 narrowly ruled partisan decisions from the Trump Supreme Court without suspecting that some kind of fix is in. Here’s Whitehouse on the part of the dark money machine that selects cases the Supreme Court uses to change the laws for decades (like the Shelby County case that overruled a 98-0 Senate vote and set voting rights back fifty years). Their various dark-money funded legal arms submit countless “friend of the court” legal briefs that provide the Gorsuchs, Kavanaughs and Coney-Barretts everything they need to craft facially plausible eye-of-the-needle legal arguments:

What could go wrong? After all, once they throw a coveted chunk of red meat to their religious base by overturning Roe v. Wade, it will only be poor women, and girls without family connections (the bulk of the US plague of maternal and infant mortality deaths anyway), who will suffer the abolition of of this long time woman’s constitutional right. Everyone else can just fly to Switzerland. What’s the problem?

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