Against Crony Capitalism notes that cronyism is as destructive within political parties as it is in the business/government intertwining:
It appears to at least a few, that consultants hired to get the vote out were more interested in getting dollars into their bank accounts.
Republicans are the last ones to give someone a hard time for making a buck, but a growing number of GOP insiders see cronyism throughout the 2012 election effort.
The report links to a pair of Washington Times columns that scoff at the new GOP panels charged with examining the party’s performance during the campaign, quoting political guru Cleta Mitchell:
But Cleta Mitchell, legal adviser to several GOP House and Senate leaders, said the RNC and the party have more fundamental problems.
“Until Chairman Priebus and other GOP leaders focus on rooting out the greed, cronyism, and corruption of the ‘little white boy’ consultants who make millions of dollars, year in and year out, and yet lose elections — and until there is real accountability and transparency to donors to ensure that integrity is restored to GOP circles — none of these initiatives will matter,” Mrs. Mitchell said.
Indeed, it is only good sense to regard the insiders as corrupt and inept until they prove otherwise. One of the most common of Washington games is to create a panel of inquiry into some disaster and then name to it those who caused the disaster, so as to ensure that they can point the finger elsewhere (such as at those who warned of the impending catastrophe).
The champion here may be Jamie Gorelick, whose policies as Deputy AG contributed to 9/11, who sat on the 9/11 Commission, and who then went on to make millions of dollars as Vice Chair of the finanical disaster Fannie Mae. Gorelick is a Democrat, but the Republican establishment is always ready to learn from a master.
This question about the competence of the establishment ties into one of the stories linked in the Headlines feature of C4P — Where big GOP bucks could matter. Glenn Reynolds points out how the Republicans missed the opportunity of publishing in women’s magazines. He says:
The thing is, those magazines and Web sites see themselves, pretty consciously, as a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party. So while nine out of 10 articles may be the usual stuff on sex, diet and shopping, the 10th will always be either soft p.r. for the Democrats or soft — or sometimes not-so-soft — hits on Republicans.
Another missed Republican opportunity is identified by William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, in Money, money, everywhere, but not a drop for small conservative bloggers. He links back to a 2010 post by Robert Stacy McCain:
For $4.3 million, you could have paid 86 bloggers $50,000 a year. To date, during the 2009-10 election cycle, GOP national committees (RNC, NRSC and NRCC) have raised a combined total of $440.5 million.
Do the math, and you see that a mere 1% of that total would go a hell of a long way toward permitting the conservative blogosphere to do more actual political news reporting of the sort that would help balance what the MSM are doing. I’m not saying that I want to be on the GOP payroll. What I am saying is that giving money to the GOP is not going to fix this problem, because the people who run the GOP don’t even understand the problem.
Just as the establishment ignores resources such as women’s magazines or small bloggers that might be credible messengers to important communities, but that are out of the establishment’s ambit of control (and profit), it tears down every individual that it cannot control — Sarah Palin; Alan West; Richard Mourdock.
As the old saying goes, once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, thrice is a conspiracy. So a real inquiry is needed, not a convention of foxes asking what could possibly have happened to that chicken coop.
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