March 16, 2015

#Politics — follow the money for para-political groups and #fauxtrage too

There's an old saying that to really understand politics, one should "follow the money."

Well, that's true of "para-political" groups, too. That's the special interest groups, whether "liberal" (read: Democratic, usually) or "conservative" (read: Republican, usually).

Speaking from the liberal side, why do you get dozens of environmental group emails claiming that everything is an "emergency," for example? (That's only part of their general hypocrisy.)

The real, real issue, per this Huff Post piece, which connects with Politico's piece on the DSCC, is this:
There are sites which send around petitions to charge Republican senators with treason, stating erroneously that the senators who signed the letter to Iran could be arrested for violating the Logan Act, and other nonsense. These sites get money for each click. Then they have your email or your Facebook and maybe all your Facebook friends, and will continue to send click bait. People waste time signing useless petitions and sharing them. This click bait money is not the same as supporting a political party, or a candidate. The click bait money props up the organization sending the click bait, and in my opinion this is all money and time that would be better spent funding candidates or real activists (who do more than send out crap on the internet).

In other words, like most things in democratic-government politics, it's all about the money. 

That's why, per where I blogged about "the 47's" letter to Iran, or the last in my series of posts about groups like MediaMatters leading the faux outrage about the "conservative media" attacking Hillary Clinton, it's usually all about the money. This is why I warned about "butt-hurt neoliberals" last week.

Although theoretically less partisan, with civil libertarians in both parties, the ACLU is even worse about spamming. I still get "last membership reminder" snail mails from it, even though I've not given it a dime in a decade, after its un-civil libertarian purge of and coup against its own board members, described here along with other ACLU outrages. (And, yes, that's the correct word, and it's yet another reason where, outside of the War on Terror, I don't really like Glenn Greenwald.)

And, until people who claim to be Democrats recognize this, this will only get worse. And, if Tea Party wingnuts don't recognize it, that's fine. This isn't a zero-sum unilateral disarmament issue.

So, folks, stop sharing para-political clickbait on Facebook and Twitter. Stop being part of faux outrages that are ultimately about fundraising. Instead, condemn the para-political fundraising maw along with the more narrowly political fundraising one.

And yes, fauxtrage, like a lot of other online nuttery, is a bipartisan offense.

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