Glimpses of the Truth

Every now and then the mask slips and the people who ostensibly run America on behalf of the citizenry, whether by mistake or by virtue of being momentarily overcome by blusterous candor, tell you who they really work for and whose interests they really represent.  Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama has become the latest to state the obvious, telling the Birmingham News (quoted here via Salon):

“in Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks”

These comments may indeed represent the single-most honest and useful act of public service in Bachus’s career.  According to The Center for Public Integrity, Bachus’s “largest donors are political action committees for banks, insurers, and auditors, which contributed more than half of the $2.7 million in PAC money he received during the past two election cycles.”   Large donors to Bachus’s Political Action Committees include (again via the Center for Public Integrity):

  • Bank of America Corp., the nation’s largest bank holding company — at least $45,000
  • Wells Fargo, another big financial services company — at least $35,000
  • Aflac Inc., a supplemental insurance company covering more than 50 million people worldwide — at least $32,500

Valiantly answering the call from his true employers/constituents, Bachus is already fighting tirelessly against the Volcker Rule and the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.   So at least he is honest in word and deed in this particular instance.

Another, only slightly less sad, example of this phenomenon occurred in an interview that Think Progress conducted with the leader of the American Action Fund “Think Tank,” an ex-Eric Cantor lackey named Rob Collins.    Think Progress wanted Collins to explain an extremely sorry, pathetic ad that the group ran against Senator Patty Murray, wherein a charicature of Senator Murray is seen literally stepping on the backs of a man and two children.  In the twisted, nonsensical, pathological conservative worldview these images are supposed to represent a protest against Murray’s vote for an expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).  The exchange went as follows:

“COLLINS: Um, can you summarize your question? You kind of had a long line there.

TP: The summary is, your ad had Patty Murray stepping on a child, and the back up claim for that ad in the citation was that she voted for SCHIP. Can you explain how stepping on a child, or voting for SCHIP is akin to stepping on a child?

COLLINS: Well you’re clearly trying to make a point and I appreciate that point and we have a different point of view.

TP: As the leader of a policy think tank, could you explain that to me?

COLLINS: Our point of view is government decreases the ability for this company, for this country to have um, economic freedom. This ad was about small business and as you increase the size of government, you decrease opportunity. When you’re — I mean you’ll have to forgive me, you’re talking about an ad. We did 53 individual ads.”

The Freudian slip wherein he intuitively substitutes the word “company” for the word “country” is instructive and speaks volumes about the conservative worldview.  They serve business first and foremost.  A country is but a vessel to contain the vast machinery of business; just a place where the Masters of the Universe can build their gated communities.  It could be America or anywhere else they can buy or, otherwise, game the political system.  The rest of his answers is standard issue “up is really down, day is really night” conservative gibberish.

Two instructive views into which side the conservative movement is really on… in their own words.

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