Tuesday, March 09, 2021


So why is this happening?
The Democratic Party is on the cusp of passing a nearly $2 trillion economic package that will expand Obamacare, increase the generosity of food stamps, and establish an unconditional entitlement to cash welfare for all U.S. parents.

And Republicans are talking about Dr. Seuss.

... To be sure, the American right isn’t wholly consumed with frivolous culture-war spats about Dr. Seuss’s lesser works; it’s also made time to defend the masculinity of Mr. Potato Head.
Many have argued that it's happening because the GOP realizes that its policy ideas (low taxes on the rich, tight-fistedness toward the non-rich) are unpopular, even with the party's base. But in the past, the GOP has held on to its non-wealthy voters even while ignoring the interests of those voters and sticking with a pro-plutocrat agenda.

Except that now, according to Reuters, the plutocrats are doing a smaller share of the giving.
Individual donations of $200 or less have made up a growing share of campaign money in recent years, while the share given by corporate America shrinks. That trend has accelerated with the rise of anti-establishment figures on both the right and left, such as Trump and progressive firebrand Bernie Sanders, a Vermont senator.

Reuters examined contributions by more than 45 corporate donor committees.... The review found that the political action committees (PACs) gave about $5 million to the lawmakers during the 2019-2020 election cycle - or only about 1% of the money the lawmakers raised, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) disclosures.

By comparison, Republican fundraising operations supporting Senate and House candidates raked in a combined $15.8 million in January alone on the strength of small-dollar donations. These groups outraised their Democratic counterparts by more than $2 million that month, regulatory filings show....

The waning importance of corporate money reflects a fundamental shift in fundraising over the past decade as the advent of online platforms such as Act Blue and WinRed made it easy to solicit donations from rank-and-file voters. Individual donations, small and large, accounted for two-thirds of funding for last year’s elections.
Reuters confirms what I've been telling you -- that corporate PACs aren't likely to go right back to bamkrolling Republicans who wanted to overturn the results of the election -- but, according to Reuters, corporate money matters less to Republicans than it used to.

It still matters a lot, though, so Republicans will continue to be pro-plutocrat. Nevertheless, small-donor cash can add up -- except that the way to get it if you're a Republican is not to provide good constitutent service, but to inspire rage.

So we may have the worst of both worlds: Republicans are still servants of the wealthy, but while they're increasingly responsive to voters, they're responsive in the most toxic way possible.

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