Election 2012: Koch Brothers vs. Wall Street?

The upcoming election may appear to be between a Republican and a Democrat but it could end up being a battle between two massive moneyed interests: Big Oil vs. Wall Street, i.e., the Koch Brothers and ExxonMobil vs. the savvy businessmen of Goldman Sachs and Citibank. The clash of the titans may play out in the coming year through their proxies, Wall Street backed Barack Obama and Texas oilman, Rick Perry. (Unless the GOP decides Perry is too radical and chooses Romney)

How does this moneyed influence play out in real life?

Here are a couple of examples. Unlike President Obama, the CEO of ExxonMobil has endorsed the carbon tax. Obama prefers a cap and trade market, a less effective tool on both economic and environmental grounds. But a carbon tax doesn’t provide Goldman Sachs a market to manipulate, so Obama doesn’t (and couldn’t) support it. If you want to read more about this issue, Matt Taibbi covers it well in his now classic Vampire Squid piece.

When the BP oil spill occurred in 2010, Republican governor Rick Perry, warned against a “a knee-jerk reaction” to the spill. He recommended against shutting down drilling in the Gulf because the cost to the country (oil industry) would be staggering. He suggested the spill could have been an act of God. You can read further about his oil industry friendly position on the spill at Politico.

What we can be sure of, the election will not be about us

The election will not be about the needs of working families, i.e., jobs, health care, housing, education, ending corporate driven wars, regulating banks and corporations, or getting money out of politics. We will be addressed at rallies and televised debates. We will attend campaign events where the candidates will flip hamburgers and serve us pancakes. They will drink our beer and eat our bar-be-que to assure us they are one of us, and on our side. We will listen to the stirring faux populist rhetoric of two charismatic leaders and compare their messages, hoping once again that they mean what they say.

Yet. who wins will depend on the state of the economy, the candidate who has the most money and the most effective TV ads, his or her performance in scripted, televised “debates,” and how well GOP voter suppression tactics work against Democratic GOTV efforts. That the economy is predicted to be similar to what it is today, if not worse, does not bode well for President Obama’s reelection. A tired, scared, discouraged population may, in desperation, give an evangelical Republican a chance to clean up Bush’s mess, or, if businessman Romney is the candidate promising jobs, they may give him a try.

Something similar happened in 2010, when the normally sensible, progressive people of Wisconsin, scared and discouraged about the economy, elected Koch Brothers backed Scott Walker for Governor. Why? Because he promised to create jobs, which is what Perry, pushing his Texas (un)miracle, will do if he is the Republican party’s nominee. The people of Wisconsin, who are suffering from voter’s remorse, are now trying to recall Governor Walker. Democrats have a good chance of doing so if they can overcome the rampant GOP vote tampering and suppression tactics that have been rampant in the recall elections of senators. Elections are never simple—or clean.

James C. Moore thinks oilman Rick Perry is headed to the White House

James Moore, Texas-based Emmy award-winning former national TV news correspondent, and co-author of the best-seller, Bush’s Brain, thinks the GOP candidate will be Rick Perry. Moore gives compelling reasons why Perry will be the GOP candidate and why Sarah Palin, who did badly in the Iowa straw poll, yet is still sticking around, will be his vice presidential choice. He also thinks Perry is going to win. Here’s a taste of what he has to say about Perry and the upcoming election:

Because presidential politics tend to be more visceral than intellectual, Perry’s coyote-killer good looks, $2,000 hand-tooled cowboy boots, supernova smile and Armani suits, combined with podium skills to embellish the mythology of Texas, all will create a product Americans will want to believe and buy.

After he wins the nomination, protocol will require Perry to have discussions with Bachmann about the vice presidential slot, but he will, eventually, turn to Sarah Palin. The general election will force the Texan back toward the middle and he will stop talking about faith and abortion and gay marriage; Perry will campaign on jobs and the economy. . . .

The general election will, quite literally, decide the fate of a nation. Every time Team Obama criticizes the Texas economy for its minimum wage job boom, the president will be accused of attacking the working men and women of America. (Texas has created a large share of the new jobs in the United States in the last decade but studies indicate many of them are at places like Wal-Mart and Carl’s Jr.)

President Obama will also get beaten up for presiding over the first bond rating downgrade in U.S. history as well as high unemployment. When the cold rains fall in early November next year, unemployed voters in places like Ohio will step into the booth and dream of a minimum wage job in the Texas sun selling fishing rods at big box sporting goods stores or working in call centers; they will vote against Barack Obama.

And in the process, they will write the epitaph to set upon the tombstone of history’s greatest democracy: Perry-Palin, 2012.

This, of course, depends on two big “ifs.” If the GOP candidate ends up being Rick Perry, and if you are banking on Wall Street losing the election. So far, in the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression, Wall Street not only hasn’t lost anything, it’s doing very well. I think the savvy businessmen will do everything possible to reelect Barack Obama rather than let Koch Brother’s backed loose canons Rick Perry and Sarah Palin in the White House. On the other hand, if the GOP candidate is Mitt Romney, they could work with him. But why would they choose Romney over President Obama who has been very good to them?

The first billion dollar presidential election will be an historical event. It will be interesting to see which moneyed interests win out. Will it be the Koch Brothers, or will it be Goldman Sachs? Will it be Obama, or Perry or Romney? The real question, though, is, When it’s all over, can we still say we have  a functioning democracy?

Madonna Gauding Madonna Gauding (252 Posts)

Madonna Gauding is a freelance writer, illustrator and book designer living in St. Louis. MO. She is the author of 10 books on a variety of "mind, body, spirit" topics.


  • Mike

    here is another post for you to delete : )

    ronpaul dot com

  • David Lewis

    Dynamite analysis!  And truly scary — a plausible scenario for the beginning of the last phase of the collapse of America.

    What you don’t address, however — and who could at this point — is what comes next? If Perry-Palin (or the equivalent) win, there will certainly be worldwide economic collapse which makes the Great Depression look like pat-a-cake. But then what?

    The questions are, (a) what happens to the sovereign political systems of America and the rest of the developed world. My guess — oh, you don’t wanna hear. And (b) who wins internationally, which is easy — China becomes the world’s next sole super power, except for the two now economically-decimated nations still with enough nuclear weapons to destroy the planet. (Actually, Russia is a wild card.)

  • David Lewis

    Sorry, but Ron Paul is one candidate who is very unlikely to support the needs of working families. Ron Paul is mostly on the Tea Party side of Madonna’s excellent analysis. If he wins, we will be back to 18th century unregulated capitalism and all that means for general misery. Without regulation, the financial elite will poised to seize control of 100% of the nations wealth rather than a mere 75% — so if you think things are unbalanced now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. But with a hostile world out there (like China), no telling what that will mean as an ultimate outcome — but it won’t be pretty.

    Ron Paul is a fantasy utopian — except what he thinks would be utopia would actually turn out as dystopia — aka hell on earth!

  • http://www.occasionalplanet.org MG1

    Great questions! I don’t know if anyone has answers at the moment, and I don’t know if we are at the last phase. The last phase will be the dismantling of the 700-800 military bases we have around the world. (Not a bad thing.) Sort of like the Brits when their empire fell apart. But the decline has definitely started in so many areas. Just another example of impermanence. 

  • http://www.occasionalplanet.org MG1

    In a fantasy world, Ron Paul may have the best chance of the GOP lineup of winning the presidency, but in the real world, big money is not behind him so it’s not going to happen. 

  • Mike

    You said dismantling 700-800 US military bases would not be a bad thing.  Dr. Paul is the only top tier candidate that is suggesting that we do that.  He speaks for the people, not big money.  He did perfect the money bomb, and he has raised almost half a million dollars *this morning* from small donations.

  • Mike

    I disagree.  Ms. Gauding’s excellent, albeit it defeatist, analysis hinges on a false choice:  Wall Street vs. Big Oil (restated later as Koch Brothers vs. Goldman Sachs). Dr. Paul is the only candidate that warned us of the toxic asset bubble years in advance, opposed the invasion/occupation of Iraq, and has fought consistently against violations of liberty like we have under Homeland Security and the PATRIOT Act.We are not against regulation so much as unconstitutional, perverse regulation. 

  • Ned_Flaherty

    The 13 presidential candidates’ plans for 31 million LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) citizens are now on-line:

    http://www.marriageequalityUSA.org/Election2012

  • Dubbleoj

    Yes, but the point is he will probably not get the nomination because he is anti-establishment. Left-wing media doesnt give him attention because he could probably beat Obama, and right-wing media ignores him because he would cut critical ties within the military-industrial complex (among other things). He’s the godfather of the Tea Party and he gets more support from the Daily Show than Fox News.  I would probably vote for him if he actually made it, but I dont think he can compete with Wall Street or Big Oil, no matter how unfair it is. 

  • Wilson

    Carbon Tax will give
    every person in every transaction around the globe ownership to save the planet
    and ultimately their gutbag. The next COP meeting hopes to get every nation to
    vote for it so it can be enforced. There are ties to the NWO (1991: GHWB “NWO”,
    Hughs aircraft aerosol spraying patent, our role in the UN climate oversight,
    etc)  and Gore’s later role and Nobel. The
    only thing green about carbon tax is the color of a dollar bill. Climate chaos,
    crop failures and self preservation concerns motivate backers.

      http://thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/8967-day-of-rage-wall-st-occupation-sparks-fears    Who
    lit the spark?

    Notice the
    Bircher’s first word in the article: Analysts. 
    Let me interpret that for you, Analysts = 1 % Think Tanks. If the
    article was put to press on the 13th, how much time was required to
    poll the ‘Analysts’? How early was this Alert made know to TJBS so it could be
    researched? How long has this event been a strategy to polarize? It sounds more
    like an outline of what is expected and not speculation. Find the ‘Analysts’
    and you find the think tanks, the cells, the spark.

    Why did the
    Birchers have a Sept. 13 article on the OWS quoting “analysts”?  Analysts = think tank.  Who are the Birchers? Why, Fred C. Koch
    (daddy)  is! He was a 1%’r.  The Koch Brothers are behind the TEA Party
    too. OWS was out of the CFR press for a reason, they did not want to be too
    eager to enjoy the brawl the 1% seeded. 
    Do you really think Palin is against the crony capitalists (she wants to
    drill) or is it just a coincidence that not long after her casting them in her
    mouth, OWS has Bircher analysts raising an eyebrow before anything happened? It
    was all a cyber wag. Palin’s charge on the crony capitalists is not that old,
    in fact, it merges with OWS sentiment quit perfectly. OWS is doing the bidding
    of the Koch Brothers with all the conviction they can muster. The Koch Bros.
    want chaos through dog wagging sedition. Now the CFR  media is giving the movement the ink.

    The Koch Bros.
    are employing Learned Helplessness in their sedition. OWS has real people with
    real issues just like the TEAs but there is a difference between the organic
    grass roots growth and the genetically crafted seed it sprang from. The TEAs
    were a national grass roots happening without the common person aware they
    existed. The media had to educate and inform us of this group. There were LDS
    member sites that were libertarians (and closet Birchers) that morphed an idea
    into national organization via LDS and other denominations members and it grew
    like a weed. It looked organic but it was not. The Libertarians got a face lift
    and the coup on the right directed at the GOP was launched right after the
    election.  OWS does not serve the people
    that support it, but it looks that way, This is pre-election controversy and it
    serves a purpose for the 1% who grew the seed in a smoke filled room.

    Nader was CFR in
    the 70’s. He is as green as a dollar bill and a international compulsory carbon
    tax.