Wednesday, January 13, 2021

La Foule, C'est Moi, Part III

The pattern of Republican politicians just openly identifying with the lawless mob continues with Josh Hawley, who thinks he bravely stood up to the insurrectionists who rampaged through the Capitol by actively encouraging them and endorsing all their demands. Such boldness. Such courage.

Of course, this doesn't even get into the (at least) six Republican elected officials who were actually, literally part of the marauders.

Anyway, a whopping ten House Republicans voted to impeach President Trump for his actions fostering a violent attack on democracy. That's nearly 5%! I'll tell you what, the days of the GOP being in thrall to lawless anti-democratic authoritarianism are certainly coming to a middle.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Where Does Adelson's Wealth Go Now (Politically Speaking)?

Sheldon Adelson, casino magnate and massive backer of conservative and right-wing causes (particularly in the Jewish community), has died at age 87.

I don't feel the need to do any retrospective on Adelson's life. Suffice to say, while he did donate to some good causes, particularly in the medical field, his primary contribution to public life were to bolster regressive and reactionary forces in America and Israel. This influence will not be missed.

Of course, even with his death, his money doesn't simply disappear. The question is whether his heirs are as committed to serving as right-wing kingmakers as he was. To the extent his death dries up a significant source of conservative largesse, it could make a significant difference in the ecosystem of right-wing politics (again, especially in the Jewish community where Adelson was a major benefactor of an array of reactionary institutions).

Adelson's wife, Miriam, is a physician and is probably more responsible for the health-side donations of Adelson fortune. It's possible that she will pivot to focus more on those endeavors, which would be an unadulterated good. That said, while not having as high a profile as her husband, from all appearances Miriam's politics are not materially different from her late partner, and so it is entirely possible that she'll keep up the money flow same as before.

I suppose we'll see. But it will be interesting to see the degree to which the heirs of some of the Republican mega-fortunes share their parents' politics. It's possible that deaths such as these could effectuate significant shifts in the political landscape simply by changing who signs the checks (which is itself not exactly a healthy indicia of democracy, but leave that aside for now).