Hot Air: They Bought Our Democracy

Fascinating story in today’s New York Times about Cordelia Scaife May, an heiress to the Mellon family banking, oil, and aluminum fortune.

It turns out this woman’s foundation has bankrolled anti-immigration organizations over the years to the tune of at least $180 million. It can be said that the nativist, anti-immigrant carbuncles of our holy land might not exist without regular fresh injections of her dough through the years. Considering the fact that Li’l Duce began his then-quixotic presidential campaign in 2015 by demonizing brown people trying to enter the United States through this nation’s southern border and then, somehow, actually won the 2016 election (on a technicality), it can be further asserted that her money largely put the current president in office.

The Scaife/Mellon clan long has been active in political affairs, hoping in the main to turn America into a heretofore unimagined (except by them) corporate valhalla where the citizens serve as nothing more than voiceless, powerless worker ants in a global pismiric playground for multi-billionaires.

A fellow named Richard Mellon Scaife bankrolled the original “vast Right Wing conspiracy” against the Clintons way back when Bill was gov. of the state of Arkansas. See, throughout the late ’80s, Republican and Right Wing strategists figured the biggest potential threat to their burgeoning hegemony would be a charismatic southern Democrat, one who would be slavish to corporate interests while espousing moderately progressive social issues. That’s pretty much the dictionary def. of one William Jefferson Clinton.

Scaife was the sugar daddy for the American Spectator‘s “Arkansas Project,” a dedicated, obsessive probe into every pore and orifice of the future president’s life and doings. Scaife and his cohorts feared the holy hell out of the Kennedy-esque (in many more ways than one) Clinton. Hillary’s hubby, natch, didn’t disappoint the gumshoes, considering his nearly pathological predilection for extracurricular sex. It was the Arkansas Project that dug up Paula Jones, who served as the starting gun for an eventual race to impeachment.

(For a nice portrait of the concerted effort to smear the Clintons off the face of the Earth, check out The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton, by investigative journalists Joe Conason and Gene Lyons.)

Don’t kid yourself, it wasn’t a lovingly decent concern for the well-being of easily manipulable young women falling under the sway of the Rhodes Scholar charmer. The likes of Jones et al were mere pawns on the Right’s chess game of nullification and obstructionism. Scaife and his minions essentially set into motion a slow-moving coup, with Mitch McConnell’s shoplifting of Barack Obama’s 2016 Supreme Court pick and the dumb luck of President Gag’s Electoral College victory that same year serving as nails in the coffin of what we once naively referred to as our democracy.

Make no mistake, that inherited Mellon industrial fortune has brought us to this day where Republicans, corporate evangelicals, reproductive rights abrogators, ecological terrorists, and white supremacists run the White House, the Senate, the US Supreme Court, and two-thirds of this nation’s statehouses.

Money walks while everybody else talks.


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