A couple of times in the past I’ve written about what I call the conservative circle of scam, the way so many people on the right are so adept at fleecing each other. Here’s a piece about high-priced consultants milking the Koch brothers for everything they can get, and here’s one about my favorite story, the way that, in 2012, Dick Morris played ordinary people who wanted to see Barack Obama driven from office (he solicited donations to a super PAC for that purpose, laundered the money just a bit, and apparently kept most of it for himself without ever spending any of it on defeating Obama). The essence of the circle of scam is that everybody gets rich at some stage of the game, with the exception of the rank-and-file conservatives who fuel it all with their votes, their eyeballs, and their money.
Today there are two new media stories showing that the circle of scam is humming along nicely. The first comes from Michael Calderone at Huffington Post, who reports on an interesting relationship between Sean Hannity and the Tea Party Patriots. Here’s how it works: TPP is a sponsor of Hannity’s radio show. Then Hannity appears in TPP’s fundraising appeals, and some of the money generated inevitably goes back to Hannity’s radio show. Then Hannity goes on his Fox News show and talks about the terrific work the Tea Party Patriots are doing…
The second story comes from Kenneth Vogel and Mackenzie Weinger of Politico, who report that it isn’t just Hannity. A bunch of conservative media figures are in on the action, none gaining more than Glenn Beck, who has been paid an astounding $6 million by the Tea Party group FreedomWorks in recent years to promote its efforts.
Not talking about money is a tool of class war. A culture that forbids employees from comparing salaries helps companies pay women and minorities less. Ignoring the mercenary grit behind success leads to quasi-religious abundance gurus claiming you can visualize your way to wealth.
… It’s easy to say that if people are just good enough, work hard enough, ask enough, believe enough, they will be like us.
But it’s a lie. Winning does not scale. We may be free beings, but we are constrained by an economic system rigged against us. What ladders we have are being yanked away. Some of us will succeed. The possibility of success is used to call the majority of people failures.
[T]he current Republican House is quite possibly the most intransigent in all of American history. It is also, not coincidentally, among the most ideologically extreme in American history.
That means that the chances the passing meaningful legislation are near zero. It also means that any remotely controversial legislation that does manage to get passed is likely to be only marginally beneficial to the American people, if not actively harmful.
In an environment where nothing good can get passed through Congress, the only legislative tool left in the arsenal is to shame the opposition until they either give in or lose the next election. Rather than attempt to figure out what good bills have a larger-than-zero chance of passing the House, the President should simply work alongside the Democratic Senate to craft good, popular bills and dare the House to reject them and refuse to bring them to a vote…
[I]f Democrats lose the Senate in 2014 and cannot make gains in the House then Obama is already a lame duck President. He might as well do everything in his power to make life miserable for Republicans and maximize Democrats’ electoral chances in 2014.
PLEASE YOU FECKLESS BUNGLING NINCOMPOOPS — DON’T JUST SIT THERE, DO SOMETHING. CALL THE REPUBLICANS OUT ON THEIR LYING, PETULANT BULLSHIT.