There are moments in politics, and there have been a hell of a lot of them in the past two and a half years or so, when you sit and stare at a headline and think “Fucking high heeled Jesus Christ, it’s even worse than I thought, and I already thought our government was the direct representative of Satan on Earth.”
One of those moments was during the Beck v. DNC trial, when DNC attorneys argued “We are under no obligation to run a fair primary, to not steal what was meant for one candidate and spend it on another, to respect the wishes of our rank and file members.” Another was when Trump was first elected, and suddenly we started hearing a lot about “Deep State” which is basically a government behind the scenes, and word of its existence actually seemed a bit of a relief because, you know, Trump, but the principle, that no matter who people vote for, the government will still be the government, is shady as fuck.
Another was when we realized that the president could go ahead and hire all his worthless, incompetent relatives (Bobby Kennedy at least had his own political credentials, and Billy Carter never had a job in the White House) and have official government functions at a hotel he owns privately and charge the government for the rooms, and no one will prosecute him for that.
Another one happened a few days ago, when Nancy Pelosi said the DNC will stop doing business with and ‘firms’ who support challengers over incumbents. “Firms?” I thought, and wondered if they were talking about the people who run the snack stands at the national convention, which struck me as a bit odd, because I would have thought they’d be neutral. Everybody eats hot dogs, right? Or maybe she was talking about the companies that print up their brochures, which seems a bit unfair, because they’d lose half their business either way.
But, no, she’s talking about political consultancy firms. The very existence of such things sounds to me a lot like PACs, and lobbying, and “Think Tanks” (which are mostly just troll farms, internet banks with lots of people making minimum wage or less sitting in a room with excessive lighting, plasterboard walls and folding metal chairs, making shit up and posting it everywhere. It’s scary as hell to think that political consultancy is actually a business. Elections R Us. McVote.
On the other hand, it may turn out to be a hollow threat. Insurgent progressives can win without anybody spinning their message. Insurgent progressives can win because they back policies that a clear majority of Americans want. And insurgents can win because, however entrenched those firms think they are, the people of social media have them outnumbered.
We can do our own political consulting, thank you very much.