Tomorrow, the bankers and corporate chiefs are planning an historic victory party. With the election of Mitt Romney, their takeover of American democracy would be complete.
They thought they had accomplished that four years ago when they backed Barack Obama (he received more money from Wall Street than McCain; Goldman Sachs was his #1 private contributor). And even though he never put a single one of them of any consequence in jail and never signed any bill that would truly stop their out-of-control greed; and even though he placed two of Wall Street's favorite operatives – Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers – in charge of the Treasury and economic policy; and even though he let them use bailout money – our money – to give themselves lavish bonuses after they wrecked our economy; and even though he didn't go for a single-payer health care system and made sure that under "Obamacare" no insurance company would be fined more than $100 a day for denying a person with a pre-existing condition (thus removing many of the teeth the new law had); and even though he let them keep their Bush tax cut for another four years – yes, even after doing all of that for the wealthiest 1%, it still wasn't enough for them, so they decided to turn on him in a vicious way. They decided that they could literally buy an election and toss him to the curb. Why? Because he enacted a little "reform." Because he wants them to pay just a tiny bit more in taxes. Because, deep down, they know what we know deep down – that Barack Obama, if given a second term, is going to put the brakes on them. They know that Barack Obama will appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Citizens United. And they know that next time they crash our economy, some of them will, hopefully, be going to jail.
And they believe they can stop him tomorrow by having bamboozled enough of those "47%", those moochers, to vote for one of their own – Mitt Romney. A man who, like them, believes big business should have no restraints. A man who pays next to nothing in taxes. A man who has destroyed the livings of thousands of working Americans. A man who hides his money in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands and won't show us what's on his tax returns for the past decade.
This is who they want elected president tomorrow – and if this happens, their goal of complete corporate control of the three branches of government will be complete.
Trust me, if they succeed, we may never get it back.
There were two things in the news these past couple weeks that unfortunately got little attention. But these two stories say it all about the America we will have unless these people are stopped.
One was a story in The Nation that exposed how Romney, while publicly opposing the auto company bailout, secretly got in on the action with his Wall Street donors – and made over $15 million, a 4,000% return on his investment (which he hid in a blind trust in his wife's name) by buying up the Delphi auto parts company, the former Delco/AC Spark Plug division of GM where my dad worked. He then – get this – grabbed billions in bailout cash to "transform" it from bankrupt to a "viable business." Except what he really did was slash retiree pensions, shut down 24 U.S. factories, and ship all 25,200 union jobs to China. You'd think he'd keep quiet about Delphi – but no, he's got his supporters running ads in Ohio blaming Barack Obama for terminating the Delphi pensions – I kid you not. (When I opposed the Iraq War, Romneyites and the like called me a "traitor"; when Romney does this traitorous act destroying jobs and sending them to China, his reward, in addition to the millions he pocketed, may be the presidency tomorrow.) The other story was a bill passed by the Pennsylvania legislature that would allow businesses to take the state income taxes they withhold from their employees' paychecks and KEEP THE MONEY FOR THEMSELVES! That's right. Your taxes that you pay to the state won't go to the state anymore – they'll just go right into the pockets of your bosses. I was stunned to find out that other states are already doing this as an "incentive" to lure or keep businesses in their states. Let's be clear what this is about: the final merging that's taking place between the corporate and political power structures, coming together as one, and making the workers (serfs) pay tribute to their employer (the overlord). Welcome to the New Feudalism.
So tomorrow it's High Noon in the USA, a literal showdown on the Main Streets of America between the rich and everyone else. The 1% truly believe they can defeat the 99%. As the conservative commentator Stephen Moore (who sits on the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal) said, "Capitalism is a lot more important than democracy. I'm not even a big believer in democracy." Citibank, in an internal memo, said that the only thing that stands in the way of the plutocrats is, well, elections: "[T]he rising wealth gap between the rich and poor will probably at some point lead to a political backlash...Whilst the rich are getting a greater share of the wealth, and the poor a lesser share, political enfrachisement remains as was – one person, one vote…[W]e are keeping a close eye on developments."
We have the chance tomorrow to defeat them. They're counting on us not even showing up. The line in the sand has been drawn. Please do whatever you can today and tomorrow to get everyone you know to the polls – especially any relatives or friends in swing states. Even if you don't live in a swing state, you need to make a loud statement that you won't let this happen. And you need to take the House away from the Republicans so some work in Washington can get done.
To volunteer to walk precincts and get out the vote near where you live, go here. Or make calls to swing state voters. And don't forget that I need each of you to convince just one nonvoter to vote tomorrow so that we can deliver the million-vote margin that could make all the difference.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Now go act as if your democracy depended on it – because it does.
PS. I'll be on The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell tonight on MSNBC at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT. (Replay at 1:00 AM ET/10:00 PM PT.) Please tune in!
P.P.S. Here's a little election humor to put you in the mood for an Obama victory.