In 2009, Ralph Nader published a fantasia titled Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!, in which he imagined a group of maverick billionaires banding together to defeat corporate power in America. Declaring themselves “the Meliorists,” these enlightened oligarchs force Walmart to unionize, elect Warren Beatty governor of California, establish single-payer health insurance, raise the minimum wage to a livable salary, and in general breathe life back into liberalism. In 2012, something like Nader’s utopian scenario has begun to take shape, but with a radically different ideology.
Sorry, Florida, but the biggest political news Tuesday was not Mitt Romney’s predictable win after his carpet-bombing of Newt Gingrich, but the long-awaited release of the financial disclosures for the Super-PACs that, courtesy of the Roberts Court, will utterly dominate the 2012 campaign. As Dan Eggen and Tim Farnam lay out in today’s Washington Post, Barack Obama’s record-breaking small-donor machine will be sorely tested by the big-dollar Republican donors who, liberated by Citizens United and other rulings, are giving in truly eye-popping sums.
More Karl Rove-y goodness from Face the Nation: BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. One of the people who did contribute to one of your organizations and whose name was made public was the man named Bob Perry, I think, a Texas homebuilder. He gave seven million dollars. KARL ROVE: Mm-Hm. BOB SCHIEFFER: What does someone expect for a seven million dollar donation? KARL ROVE: Yeah. Well, I can’t speak to others but I know what Bob Perry expects and that is absolutely nothing. I’ve known him for thirty years.