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“The Right’s Grifter Problem”

June 11, 2019

The title of this post is in quotation marks, because I copied it. Ponder for a moment what an article by that title might be about.

Trump is the obvious first example. His university was sued and shut down for fraud. His charitable foundation was closed by New York. He brags about negotiating in bad faith. He is infamous for cheating contractors. He lies incessantly. He is so dishonest that he thinks it is suspicious when a lawyer takes notes in a meeting with him.

If the topic were not the conman who currently heads the GOP, perhaps it is about the long-time symbiosis between the GOP and the industries that walk the legal line of fraud: the payday loan industry, the private colleges burdening students with debt and worthless certificates, the direct marketing industry, and all the other businesses whose customers look a lot like marks. Which marks include many of the GOP’s most faithful. Those marketers work hand-in-hand with mass media preachers, with pretend cognoscenti selling everything from investment advice to diet aides and cures for erectile dysfunction, and with right-wing celebrities who will be happy to chat up those who pay good money for a touted seminar or cruise. In many of these industries, the line between con and mark gets quite blurred. That blurred line is how MLMs work. The links above go to posts on those topics from years past, before Trump had come on the political scene.

The National Review article, whose title I quote, discusses none of that. Its sole complaint, its narrow focus, is that conservative PACs are run mostly to skim money from their donors, sometimes with completely bogus claimed purpose. The author, Jim Geraghty, displays all the self-awareness of a chronic alcoholic dying from liver cancer thinking that his real health problem is a lack of vitamins. To give him some credit, he does recognize the sleazy ways its PACs are run is a distinctively a right-wing problem:

Perhaps you’re thinking, “Oh, every PAC does this.” Nope. In that RightWingNews study, Club for Growth Action PAC had 88 percent actually went into independent expenditures and direct contributions. Republican Main Street Partnership had 78 percent, and American Crossroads was at 72 percent. That allegedly corrupt “establishment” is way more efficient at using donors’ money than all of these self-proclaimed grassroots conservative groups. Over on the liberal or Democratic side, ActBlue charges a 3.95 percent processing fee when passing along donations to campaigns.

He just seems completely oblivious to why that might be so, from the GOP’s long-time ties to the grift industry, to the grifter nature of its pundits and preachers and leaders, to the current grifter in chief.

For those who don’t want to read through the Mueller report, Anne Landman summarizes the instances of obstruction described in the Mueller report.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2019 4:29 pm

    Long time reader (going back to netnews times!). Zero time commenter. Megathanks for the Anne Landman pointer.


  1. The NRA grift | Rturpin's Blog

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