Wealthy family Mercers role in shaping Trump campaign & admin


#1

An interview from Fresh Air show from NPR, interview with Jane Mayer who has investigated and written about the billionaire Mercer family and how they set the agenda for Trump’s campaign and shaped the content of his Administration.

Essentially Trump was willing to be the front man for their agenda, and they funded and put the people in at the root of the worst of Trumps agenda.

I find it all tremendously frightening, a clear victory of money over democracy, and makes me feel doubtful about overcoming it.

http://www.npr.org/2017/03/22/521083950/inside-the-wealthy-family-that-has-been-funding-steve-bannon-s-plan-for-years


#2

There are always options, it’s just a matter of waiting until they become more desirable than the status quo.

I’m not saying this is a good option, just a possible one.


#3

No matter how much money anybody has, it only has power if people are willing to take it from them. “Your money is not good here!” is a great equalizer, if people only use it.


#4

I’m a little apprehensive that what is really objectionable is whom those large benefactors are supporting, rather than the fact that there are large benefactors.

Given that the Democrats has substantially better funding than Trump did ($1.2 billion vs 650 million), would that have invalidated their victory, if they had been able to achieve it?

Obviously money allowed Trump’s policies to get enough airing that he could get elected, but it appears that reality isn’t quite aligning with the narrative of money buying elections (and more the pity in this particular case).

The painful fact is that Trump seems to be what the Republican base wanted (much to some of the Republican elite’s and most non-Republican’s horror), and then people mostly voted down the same party lines they usually voted (+/- a percent or two).

At least that’s my take on it.


#5

Even if people were willing to turn away that kind of money it’s not always legal to do so. For example, in the United States it is illegal for a TV network to sell advertising to one party’s political campaign but not another’s. And it’s often far from clear who is actually paying for the advertising anyway.


#6

I knew he was into climate change denial, but I see that he’s also into piss.

MAYER: So Arthur Robinson is a biochemist who has a - kind of a laboratory on his sheep farm in Oregon, and he is doing research on trying to extend the human lifespan by studying urine. He’s gathered something like 14,000 samples of human urine that he keeps in refrigerators that are largely paid for by the Mercers. So he’s an unusual scientist.

(Unusual as in hide the knives.)

And she has touted this very odd scientist that her family has supported, Arthur Robinson, to be the national science adviser. And so far, that hasn’t happened.

I guess that makes sense. Trump put an anti-environmentalist in charge of the EPA, similar Bizarro World appointees for other posts. A piss-artist like Robinson might be overqualified.

Category:Robert Mercer


#7

I think you are right - “just say No” is no real defense here. Campaign finance reform is really the only way, but the mechanism to enact reform is clearly powned by the money and corruption.

Criminal wrong doing seems to be the only hope here, and unfortunately a hail-mary pass, as all the other elements of bringing down this admin legally are all powned by the GOP legislation and Trump justice department.


#8

the part about believing that people’s value is based on their monetary net-value was truly frightening, fire-up-the-ovens frightening.


#9

“I feel blessed to call Oregon home. We’re a pioneer state, full of people who work hard to get the best for themselves and their community. I believe in our great state. And when you believe in something, you fight for it. And I have a freezer with 14,000 bottles of human piss!” ~Arthur Robinson.

I mean, that’s got “I live in a van down by the river” beat to hell as a talking point. (Okay, he didn’t actually say that.)

He seems to have been one of those people who started out brilliant, but had a fatal crack that sent him far over the edge.

Mercer money have been good to him: Category:Arthur Robinson
His Wikipedia entry is sad: Arthur B. Robinson


#10

Jane Mayer’s New Yorker article:


https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/robert-mercer-breitbart-war-on-media-steve-bannon-donald-trump-nigel-farage[quote=“lava, post:8, topic:98161, full:true”]
the part about believing that people’s value is based on their monetary net-value was truly frightening, fire-up-the-ovens frightening.
[/quote]

I wonder what he thinks a fun nuclear war will do to his net-value?


#11

Although there are certainly larger donors to the democrats, more of their donor base is made up of smaller donors. I do think Sanders, when he ran, had tons of donors giving at a few dollars.

Unfortunately, they do not have as strong a stand on dark money as many of us would like. So, you’re correct that it’s an across the board problem. I do think that what the donors (big donors, not us plebes throwing in a few bucks) expects from the candidate for contributing (access, policies that benefit them in some way, etc) matters. From what I understand, the Mercers have used their financial support to try and demand access and policies, meaning they get practically get more votes.

I do also agree that the party line votes are a huge problem… We’re pretty bitterly divided politically. But it also seems like the GOP is far less willing to work with their counterparts and to compromise their “principles”, or even entertain media from those that they deem “too leftists”.


#12

I think its worst than paid access in this point. They were allowed to put in the key people who have shaped the platform. Trump gladly traded all that for what he likes - winning, and shit talking anybody that does not kiss his ass. He could care less what the policies are - he has zero passion here. He likes attention, he likes people cheering him, and he’ll say anything, sign anything that he sees as delivering that. He traded the presidency to these shit-bags for 4 year blow job for his ego.


#13

did you catch the line that Mercer thought the radiation fall out from WWII was good for Japan.


#14

Yes, and Mad Arthur has been doing research into that. (I’d be a bit shocked if he’s published it anywhere reputable.)

And he wasn’t even their first pick! They’d been grooming Ted Cruz for the job for years, and then switched to Trump as their host body without breaking stride. (No wonder Cruz seemed pissed off.)


#15

Indeed, I kept thinking this would be a massively losing strategy for them, and anticipated the Republicans getting squished in the 2016 elections for the “If it comes from Obama, it must be stopped” strategy.

Unfortunately, I appear to have been very wrong. While I consider the presidential battle to be a bit of a coin flip (it’s usually a percent or two flip that decides it), the fact that the Republicans pretty much dominate state and federal governments indicates to me (as a foreigner) that the Republican message speaks to a large number of Americans…

Mostly I attribute this to higher-individualism culture and far lower rates of big-city urbanization, but I’ll admit I’m completely guessing with respect to the Republican-supporting American electorate. (My social connections in both Canada and the US span nearly the the width of Canadian political spectrum, but that still puts pretty much everyone I know to the left of the Democrats.)

Anyway, I’m unwilling to assume that a huge number of Americans (or any group) are either deeply stupid or just simply evil, so I’ll stick with sociological speculation about culture.


#16

Yes. From a plutocrat’s perspective, the U.S., and the world, has one hell of a lot of useless eaters.


#17

About 1/4.

Gerrymandering, the electoral college and disenfranchisement of the poor allows that shitty minority to dominate the country.

Overwhelmingly white, mostly middle class, primarily motivated by fear, greed and bigotry.

But there’s nothing new about that; it’s been there since the beginning. The Trumpeters have a clear lineage back to the Know-Nothings and the Confederacy. White supremacy and the exploitation of poverty are America’s founding traditions.


#18

Let’s not forget how the scum have continually ripped the guts out of public education for decades…

Along with the firehose of vile filth spouted across the airwaves, this has nurtured a cultivated flavour of idiocy that’s indigenous to the US.


#19

I have resolved never to take money from the Mercers, and yet they are still interfering with my life. Please advise.

Or to put it another way, people are willing to take money from them, so they are powerful. Now what?


#20

Given that Trump’s base is mostly white, racist and not-poor, I’m not sure how much of an influence that had. AFAIAA, that’s a demographic that trends heavily towards defacto-segregated private schools.

A shitty and twisted education, but not a public school based one.