* Except of course, if there ever was a trickle-down, this is it. All these scams, including the greatest scam, that the Republican Party is still a legitimate political party, flow like water from the greatest heist in history, the Reagan Revolution. Every base was covered, no stone unturned, in undermining the middle class, punishing the poor, massively enriching the rich and giving them all the political power, in other words undermining democracy and replacing it with plutocracy. Citizens United, etc, were just the final stroke, legalizing the obvious. All this was set up prior to Reagan's election, because, yes Virginia, even Republicans once had to actually be elected. The safeguards against propaganda had to go early, because no fascist system was ever built without it. Hence, Fox and hate radio and websites, building the ignoramous base, so necessary for any fascist takeover. This scam was likely in development as early as the JFK assassination, probably, though thanks to the cover-ups unproven to be the first shot of the Right-Wing Revolution. This guy says it started out pure. Horse pucky. It was as pure as the Nazi Revolution, also nonviolent and legal on the surface, from Day One.
* Grifters grifting from grifters grifting from everyone.
* Conservatives are straight out of the Bible, where ample references are made of false prophets, Pharisees and other temple's salesmen...
* And all the worst parts at that.
* The Con$ervative Movement's barrage of dishonest propaganda -- manufactured solely in pursuit of the suckers' money -- is a significant reason for the Republican base's current state of political insanity. But these Con$ervative Movement grifters are just working a well-established market. The Republican Party has been running a massive pigeon-drop on the American middle class for decades. Republicans just don't want these opportunistic scammers working their marks while they're running their own con.
* ... I despise fraud, but frankly all the GOP candidates are frauds. There's not an honest human among them. I suspect the gullibility of those who have not been trained to think for themselves has a lot to do with the phenomenon.
How con$ervatives betray conservatives: A conservative explains how grifters, buck-rakers and scoundrels have poisoned his movement
The Con$ervative Movement has turned a cause into profiteering, exploited worst impulse of grassroots conservativesBy Matt K. Lewis, January 31, 2016
Excerpted from "TOO DUMB TO FAIL: How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections (and How It Can Reclaim Its Conservative Roots"
“The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
—W. B. Yeats, “The Second Coming”
“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”
To begin, it’s important we set something straight. There’s the conservative movement, and there’s the Con$ervative Movement. The conservative movement is rooted in a proud intellectual heritage and is committed to protecting fundamental freedoms. The Con$ervative Movement has turned the cause into a profiteering venture, and, in the process, exploited some of the worst impulses of grassroots conservatives. For the conservative movement to survive and thrive, we need to excommunicate the hucksters and scoundrels who are running the Con$ervative Movement.
If you’re unfamiliar with the problem, in May of 2015, I wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal titled “The ‘Conservative’ PACs Trolling for Your Money.” In the column, I reported on a group called the Conservative Action Fund who wanted to draft former Florida representative Allen West to run for the US Senate there. “With Marco Rubio running for the White House, this seat is even more vulnerable,” the April 17, 2015, solicitation said before asking recipients to “make a generous gift of $15, $25, $35, or even $50” to circulate a petition. There was just one problem: West was unlikely to run for the Florida Senate seat, because, as I noted in the column, he had moved to Texas.
The same group also sent out a fundraising e-mail asking people to donate money and sign a petition to draft Condi Rice to run for California’s senate seat (it’s unclear which African American Republican—West or Rice—was less likely to run for senate in 2016). Around the same time, Conservative America Now, yet another group with an innocuous sounding name, was raising money to “draft Arizona representative Matt Salmon to challenge Senator John McCain.” In February of 2015, Salmon’s spokesman suggested the email “appears to intentionally mislead potential donors.”
But the problem isn’t limited to groups raising money ostensibly to support hypothetical candidates. According to FEC reports, the Conservative Action Fund (a group we referenced earlier), spent less than 20 percent of funds they raised during the 2014 cycle supporting candidates and campaigns. As is often the case, most of the money went to consultants and overhead. Again, these findings are not unique.
In 2013, Ken Cuccinelli, a staunch conservative who now heads the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), narrowly lost his gubernatorial race in Virginia. Rather than sit idly by, he filed a lawsuit alleging that much of the $2.2 million raised in 2013 by an outside group called Conservative StrikeForce PAC was the result of using Cuccinelli’s name—yet the political action committee (PAC) contributed “less than one half of one percent” of that amount to his campaign. The PAC’s treasurer, Scott B. Mackenzie, responded to a request for comment in my Wall Street Journal column and conceded the group “fell short of our expectations and we were unable to spend as much on the race as we would have liked.” In May of 2015, a settlement was reached between the parties that appeared to observers to be very favorable for Cuccinelli. Only time will tell if this has a chilling effect on this kind of activity.
Sounding the Alarm
The good news is that several media outlets—mainstream as well as ideological—have begun sounding the alarm. In February 2015, conservative blogger John Hawkins published a study of seventeen political action committees. His RightWingNews website found that the bottom ten PACs he examined contributed less than 10 percent of the money they raised on independent expenditures or direct contributions to campaigns. Hawkins then asked a series of depressing rhetorical questions: “How many conservative candidates lost in 2014 because of a lack of funds? How many of them came up short in primaries, lost winnable seats, or desperately tried to fight off better funded challengers? How much of a difference would another $50 million have made last year? That’s a very relevant question because the ten PACs at the bottom of this list spent $54,318,498 and only paid out $3,621,896 to help get Republicans elected.”
So why do they do it? In some cases, we need to understand that fledgling groups require a lot of overhead to get started. But that excuse certainly doesn’t account for all of this. Another answer might simply be incompetence. But it’s also likely that some of these groups are simply bad actors whose work is a net negative for the conservative movement. Some might have started with bad motives. But many, I suspect, began with noble intentions and were seduced into the dark side. (If you’re looking to make money and can’t cut it in the business world or as a candidate or political operative, then this is a pretty good gig.)
And for former politicians, who says cashing in at some lobbying firm is the only way to go? Creating your own gig in the Con$ervative Movement is a great way to build a retirement nest egg. Consider the case of former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who was essentially forced out of his position as chairman of the Tea Party group FreedomWorks in late 2012. Armey lost an internal power struggle with then FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe, a bespectacled libertarian known for his ridiculously long sideburns, after Armey raised concerns over royalties paid to Kibbe for his ironically titled book Hostile Takeover. (Armey argued FreedomWorks’ resources were used to write and market Kibbe’s book and that Kibbe was personally profiting at the expense of the organization.) But it’s hard to feel sorry for Armey. He landed softly thanks to a golden parachute. As ABC News reported, “Under the terms of the deal, Armey will receive $400,000 a year until he is 92—a total of $8 million—to be a consultant.”