Conservatives: Do you read the Washington Free Beacon? If so, why in God's name?
It doesn't usually cross my radar screen, but a column by Matt Continetti attacking The New Yorker's Jane Mayer (sorry, I only link to things that I think are worth the link!) provides us with a good example of conservative high-horse mounting in the service of completely missing the point of what the writer was saying.
The points of Mayer's "Schmooze or Lose" in this week's issue are two: First, that Barack Obama doesn't like glad-handing the big money people, and this has cost him a certain amount of good will among that cohort; and second, and more importantly, that virtually all of the money from multi-millionaire and billionaire donors in this post-Citizens United cycle is going to the Republicans, not to the Democrats. (Mayer, I should note, is a friend of mine, but more importantly she is a great reporter, one of the very best in Washington.)
But Continetti uses the piece as an occasion to pound his high-chair about the alleged moral superiority of liberal donors, as he takes great umbrage at the idea that they give their money less self-interestedly than conservatives donors. Actually, this is true by and large. Do the Koch brothers want a better world? Well, undoubtedly, a world of no regulation and nearly no taxation is to them a better world, but it happens to be one that benefits them very handsomely. Most rich liberals, by contrast, support causes that don't really benefit them so directly.
This is not to say that some don't donate for the usual grubby reasons of access and hoping for favoritism when it comes to emerging markets and so on. Of course some do. But multi-millionaires and billionaires by and large do not benefit directly from supporting the party of higher taxes on rich people and more corporate regulation. And anyway, that wasn't the point of the Mayer article. The Free Beacon may be the former, but it's hardly the latter.
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