Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mercenaries, Prostitutes, and Politicians

We all hate politics. And politicians. It's a peculiar thing.

Here we are in a democracy, a constitutional republic that assumes leadership of the people, by the people, and for the people. Yet Americans as a whole seem to view the process of our democratic governance with a deeper and more aggressive disdain than even our most aggressive enemies. Honestly. The rhetoric of Hugo Chavez and the rhetoric of the Tea Party populist mosh pit aren't all that far apart.

Yet there's a reason for this, one that whupped me upside the head this morning as I tossed back my coffee. The tides of corporate political action committee giving have begun to roll in for the 2010 election season, and it's a tide that is strongly favoring the G.O.P. This is, given the anti-incumbent mood, perhaps something to be expected. Republicans have always been the party that self-identifies as friendly to business. It's politics as usual.

What got me was that there's an official plan amongst the Republican leadership to court the giving of corporations. Again, not a surprise. Money, particularly in this era of unfettered corporate giving, pays for the oppo research and fabricated, media-driven controversies that win elections. To win, you need folks with deep, deep pockets. What the GOP is doing is, again, just the way the game is played.

But did they have to give their marketing strategy a name? I know, I know, every major military operation gets a name. It helps define the goal, and motivate people. But to name your strategy "Selling the Fight?" Somehow, marketing language here seems...well...more than a little telling. Yeah, we know you're for sale. But do you really need to don that tube top and short shorts and parade around in front of us?


Must our democracy be such a freakin' floozy?