"I love money, I love power, I love capitalism."
- "Daddy Warbucks," from the Broadway musical, Annie (1982)
It's not hyperbole, or the overused metaphor of the battle for electoral victory. It's a war for political power - a war fought with ammunition of bucks rather than bullets.
Ho hum, you say? A tiresome analogy?
Look at how much money Tea Party darlings Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell have raised recently: $14 million for Ms. "Second Amendment remedies," compared to only $2 million for her opponent, incumbent Sen. Harry Reid - and that amount is only $5 million short of what the Senate majority leader has raised since he began soliciting for this election cycle back in 2005; and Ms. "I'm not a witch" has raised, since the Delaware primary in mid-September, $3.8 million, twice as much as Democrat Chris Coons.
In this war, O'Donnell and Rand Paul, Angle and Marco Rubio are not political pioneers, but cannon fodder for the super rich backing up the Right's rear flank. People like the Koch brothers push these Kool-Aid® drinking greenhorns out on the front line, telling them they are leading the charge, "taking the country back," and meanwhile, the truly scary maniacs are hiding in the background.
In this war, Gen. Palin raises the money and Col. Beck raises the hackles of weakened minds, and they are only two of a handful who can control the crazy corporals who are zealously rattling their sabers and flapping their gums on the front lines. It's not that they are smarter or less insane than their troops. They were just out there first.
With groups backed by relentless Republicans, like Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, spending buckets of money on ads against Congressional Democratic candidates that are either misleading or just plainly false, "campaign finance reform in this country is virtually dead," as columnist David Corn put it, Friday, "and that means any entity with a lot of money -- a corporation, a billionaire, a union -- can pour as much cash as it wants into an effort to rig the political system in its favor."
It is up to us, the real America, to not let money win the power it salivates for so greedily. This is our country, and - in this the Tea Partiers are right - we have lost control of it. Vote, and remind those with riches that money doesn't vote. People do.