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Bush V Soros
November 11, 2003 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Celebrity Death Match: Bush v Soros
posted by H. Roark (44 comments total)

 
end of article:
Asked whether he would trade his $7 billion fortune to unseat Bush, Soros opened his mouth. Then he closed it. The proposal hung in the air: Would he become poor to beat Bush?

He said, "If someone guaranteed it."

posted by H. Roark at 11:29 AM on November 11, 2003


Overnight, Soros, 74, has become the major financial player of the left. He has elicited cries of foul play from the right.

Mmmm, ironilicious.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:32 AM on November 11, 2003


"They were ready to kiss me," Soros quipped.

Any MeFiers willing to do more than that?
posted by orange swan at 11:36 AM on November 11, 2003


This election is going to be so ugly and brutal they ought to sell it on Pay-Per-View.
posted by tittergrrl at 11:37 AM on November 11, 2003


Love the shoes, love the bag, love the hat; love it all. Delicious.
posted by squirrel at 11:38 AM on November 11, 2003


In related news: Gore is to take on Sterling for 3rd Place.
posted by DaRiLo at 11:42 AM on November 11, 2003


this article is sexy.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 11:48 AM on November 11, 2003


"Bush feels that on September 11th he was anointed by God," Soros said. "He's leading the U.S. and the world toward a vicious circle of escalating violence."
posted by matteo at 11:48 AM on November 11, 2003


it goes without saying that soros has done a helluva lot more good for this world than the bush dynasty - i'd argue that he's done more for the world than the collective right and all the machiavellian skinflints who make up its ranks..

www.soros.org

posted by specialk420 at 12:14 PM on November 11, 2003


great news! i'd heard about the MoveOn matching contributions elsewhere, but it's great to see this type of commitment from a man with so much resources.

unfortunately, as long as political contributions = free speech, conscientious rich men and women are the only hope the U.S. has.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:21 PM on November 11, 2003


Someone show me a model that removes money from elections and doesn't interfere with free speech. We've got to save our democracy, but I'm flummoxed.
posted by pejamo at 12:28 PM on November 11, 2003


Oh good, now politics is "Battle Of The Rich Guys" completely. This differs from big coroporate donations to the Republicans (which would have many here howling "corruption!" "buying elections!") how exactly?

I mean I want Bush unseated too, but I can't help but notice a bit of hypocrisy here.
posted by jonmc at 12:30 PM on November 11, 2003


Hypocrisy indeed. I had similar thoughts when Dean supporters "decided" to forego federal matching funds in an effort to circumvent spending limits.

But without high profile spending, there's no way a more progressive candidate can hope to compete with Bush. And frankly, $15 million from Soros doesn't amount to much when compared with the Bush war chest.

So what's a conscientious voter to do?
posted by aladfar at 12:37 PM on November 11, 2003


jonmc has a point.
*rushes to wash hands*
posted by squirrel at 12:40 PM on November 11, 2003


Oligoplutocracyfilter.
posted by signal at 12:42 PM on November 11, 2003


This differs from big coroporate donations to the Republicans (which would have many here howling "corruption!" "buying elections!") how exactly?

heh
it _is_ sad that politics has come to this, but it's sad because electoral laws are so fucked-up that you actually need half a billion dollars to get to the White House. I've always said here, let's abolish all electoral tv ads -- that'll cut down costs for real.
just broadcast debates, public-service ads, with equal time and all that stuff.
but I know, political contributions = free speech, so it's pretty hard to change the system (not to mention, there's so many holes punched in McCain-Feingold that by now it's kind of a joke)

also, do you think that Democrats should be the only ones playing totally clean and letting the Republicans raise a fuckload of military-industrial/NRA/OverturnRoe money?
pocket money vs Bush's "Rangers" and "Pioneers"?
I liked enormously Dean's "turkey sandwich" ad, but still.

are we for unilateral disarmament? wasn't that an unpatriotic idea, back in the 80's?

also, it's unclear what kind of favors Soros -- far from being a saint, of course -- could ask President Dean for. Unlike the Halliburton gang, whose interests -- invade lots of Middle Eastern countries at all financial and dead-GIs cost -- are pretty clear.


posted by matteo at 12:50 PM on November 11, 2003


also, do you think that Democrats should be the only ones playing totally clean and letting the Republicans raise a fuckload of military-industrial/NRA/OverturnRoe money?

Not at this point, no. But nobody gives away that kind of money out of the sheer goodness of their hearts, especially not to a political campaign. And people don't get to be as rich as Soros is by being nice guys. So I'm just wondering if it's gonna come back and bite us on the ass. Obviously the quid pro quo Bush has going on is horrible, but that dosen't mean I'm not a mite suspicious here.
posted by jonmc at 1:02 PM on November 11, 2003


But nobody gives away that kind of money out of the sheer goodness of their hearts,

Soros, by now, has given about 5 billions to charity

especially not to a political campaign

yes, but Bush's policies are anathema to Soros' idea of an open society. I don't have a problem believing that Soros is genuinely worried. Millions of people are
Of course, the kind of access he could gain to an (unlikely) Dean White House would be reason of concern, yes

also, three words for our Compassionate Conservative MeFi friends: Richard Mellon Scaife

but I don't see Republicans complaining when they're the ones getting the millions


posted by matteo at 1:31 PM on November 11, 2003



no to mention, I'm not sure Soros is planning to use his money to fund slanderous magazine anti-Bush stories and to investigate Bush's past cocaine/alcohol use, like the patriotic Scaife happily did

posted by matteo at 1:39 PM on November 11, 2003


Oh yeah, the Republican's who howl abou this are hypocrites, but it still unnerves me. Most of my life as an adult has been for the most part largely in the hands of extremely wealthy people that I've never met, so I'm not all that anxious to hand it over to another smiling guy in a suit, no matter what he says. Which is a long winded way of saying that generally speaking, I don't trust rich people. or smart people. and I've come into contact with plenty of both.
posted by jonmc at 1:42 PM on November 11, 2003


What's the matter with being smart? Or do you mean in-your-face "smart?" Smart people invented computers 'n' crap. "Smart" people just act snooty to you, even after they've sent off e-mail missives to people in which they spell "definitely" as "definately," say. Why? Nobody has the heart and/or balls to tell them.
posted by raysmj at 1:54 PM on November 11, 2003


Pejamo:

Broadcast licenses are considered to be public trust conferred. The ability to make mucho dinoero comes with this trust.

In all of Europe, one of the conditions for getting the license is that you must donate free airtime during elections to all contenders. For.Free. As in Speech.

In the US, elections represent major sources of revenue and profit for media.

The newsmedia would rather lose a testicle than give up this cash cow. To give you an example, The silly little micro-election on Cali, just completed, generated over 50 million in ad fees.

The ads work. They cost money. The Pols need money. The contributors buy influence in exchange for financing the ads. Its a dirty ugly vicious cycle, with everyone getting rich all the way around.

Campaign reform is simple: Make the Broadcasters provide free, but finite amounts of advertising to candidates. Impose spending limits for any campaign. (they can say all they want, they just can't spend more than X for the total campaign)

And make all campaign contributions anonymous. By Law. You want a guy elected, great. You wanna put him in your pocket, go to jail.

The real problem is that those that have the power to fix the system, have every reason not to.
posted by BentPenguin at 2:05 PM on November 11, 2003


BentPenguin -

This idea has definite merit, and II might support it. However, this does not address the issue of organizations like the NRA, MoveOn.org, AARP, ACLU etc., etc. These are organizations with a political agenda. Should they not be allowed to air issue based ads? And wouldn't you agree that one man's issue ad is another man's attack ad? Do these groups, then, not have a right to air ads?

And what about me. What if I wanted to take out an ad to say that I think Bush is a simple-minded bully. Would I be allowed to do this under your system? If the answer is "no", then I think this will be a hard sell to the American public.
posted by pejamo at 2:28 PM on November 11, 2003


There's no perfect solution in a free society. Yes you (and Soros) have a right to buy all the free expression you can afford.

My point is, keep the candidates an arm's length away from this all. No fundraising. No "Committees to Relect..." No Patriot's club donors...

And again, how about if you can buy all the ads you want, but only anonymously? Make it dificult to take credit for placing the ad from the candidate and you've returned the campaign process back into a marketplace of ideas, rather than a redlight district as it is now.
posted by BentPenguin at 2:38 PM on November 11, 2003


Angsty navel-gazing about ethics seems to come naturally to those of us on the left, and it's killing us. Soros used the tools he has to make a difference in something he believes in. Bully for him. Let's hope the rest of us follow his example.
posted by pomegranate at 3:14 PM on November 11, 2003


And make all campaign contributions anonymous. By Law. You want a guy elected, great. You wanna put him in your pocket, go to jail.

um, wouldn't it be better to have all contributions OPEN, to make it easy to spot under-the-table type deals? For example, if Candidate Hitler is getting all of his money from rich industrialists, it's something I'd like to be aware of. If you want to limit individual contributions, you have to keep track of who has contributed how much.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:53 PM on November 11, 2003


Three words: Bring it on.
posted by revbrian at 6:09 PM on November 11, 2003


Oh good, now politics is "Battle Of The Rich Guys" completely.

Has been for a long, long time, amigo. Still, you have to choose the lesser of two evils, I suppose, or just run away and abdicate all responsibility completely.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:20 PM on November 11, 2003


Most of my life as an adult has been for the most part largely in the hands of extremely wealthy people that I've never met ...

What's that, serf? Are you questioning your betters' right to rule? Guards, seize him!
posted by moonbiter at 6:45 PM on November 11, 2003


Soros, by now, has given about 5 billions to charity

Anybody know how to get in touch with him and see if there's some 'patron of the weblog arts' money available?
posted by billsaysthis at 7:01 PM on November 11, 2003


Uhm OK I don't see how this is "battle of the rich guys" more than it would already be. Campaign finance rules suck, yes. But this money (basically soft money with no real limits on what you can or can't do with it) isn't going to the presidential committee, it's going to 3rd parties like moveon.org. Yes, the money will probably help sway some political results. But it doesn't DIRECTLY strengthen one particular Dem campaign as it's going to 3rd parties. Hence, battle of the rich guys is something that hasn't changed at all by this.
posted by Happydaz at 7:16 PM on November 11, 2003


BentPenguin made a point I wanted to about campaign spending. So-o-o-o much of it goes into advertising (and thus into the pockets of Big Media). Yet what IS the alternative? A little-reported aspect of the Infamous California Recall campaign was that Clear Channel's top rated L.A. Talkradio Station, KFI, refused all campaign commercials (they were pretty much sold out at 18 minutes of ads per hour), while all their talk jockeys except for a couple 'token liberals' on weekends openly campaigned for Schwarzenegger on their shows (they even recruited Jill Stewart, a local political writer who had long ago come out 'pro-recall' to do a "special series" on weekends titled "Total Recall".) If this is the future with "Campaign Finance Reform", then back the truck up!!!
posted by wendell at 7:31 PM on November 11, 2003


Oh good, now politics is "Battle Of The Rich Guys" completely.

"Now"?

I don't trust...smart people.

That's just ridiculous. It's that kind of anti-intellectual cringing that has us in the pickle we're currently in.
posted by rushmc at 8:01 PM on November 11, 2003


I'm just glad to see a rich guy on my side.
posted by azimuth at 8:14 PM on November 11, 2003


I don't trust...smart people.

me neither that's why i hang out at metafilter. cause most people here only pretend their smart...

(rimshot and a cymbal)

thankyou, thankyou, ill be here all week, tip your waitstaff.

;P
posted by Dreamghost at 8:24 PM on November 11, 2003


*arranges tinfoil beanie to a more attractive angle*

So, any bets on how long Cheney lets him stay alive now that he's pledged a fortune to unseating the neocons?
posted by dejah420 at 9:05 PM on November 11, 2003


That's just ridiculous.

Not really. Intelligence dosen't neccessarily equate to good sense or moral integrity. Plus general speaking most people who consider themselves "smart" tend to be arrogant and condescending towards the rest of us. And it never feels good when someone is looking down their nose at you. Or trying to put one over on you. Which is what it seems like the Braniac Elite Corps is doing whenever I'm around them. But ultimately I've found that they're just as full of shit as the rest of us.
posted by jonmc at 6:39 AM on November 12, 2003


So, any bets on how long Cheney lets him stay alive now that he's pledged a fortune to unseating the neocons?

dejah, I'll bet on *a long, long time* - if he makes the DNC the primary beneficiary of his will and life insurance policy. (... and that hat looks stunning on you!)
posted by taz at 6:47 AM on November 12, 2003


Soros believes that a "supremacist ideology" guides this White House. He hears echoes in its rhetoric of his childhood in occupied Hungary. "When I hear Bush say, 'You're either with us or against us,' it reminds me of the Germans." It conjures up memories, he said, of Nazi slogans on the walls, Der Feind Hort mit ("The enemy is listening"). "My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have sensitized me," he said in a soft Hungarian accent.

Whatever you think of money in the electoral process this guy bears listening to. He knows of what he speaks. Ashcroft and the Patriot Act should be proof enough unless you are a blinded aWol partisan.

And no, that is not a Godwin above.
posted by nofundy at 7:44 AM on November 12, 2003


George Soros made his money in extremely EVIL ways, but lately he's been doing good with it.

eh?

What are you going to do? Voting in the other guy didn't help, appealing to reason doesn't help, perhaps this money can talk for me.

Disclaimer: some of my friends live off of Soros grants.
posted by goneill at 10:06 AM on November 12, 2003


Not really. Intelligence dosen't neccessarily equate to good sense or moral integrity.

But you didn't say that. You said that you use intelligence as a negative criteria in judging people, not that you believe it doesn't give them a moral advantage (and even that is debatable, because those who understand an issue are more likely to make good choices concerning it than those who don't).

As for the arrogance and other negative traits that you are suggesting are correlated with intelligence, well, YMMV. And correlation != causation. If you want to see some world-class arrogance and bad behavior, check some of the most ignorant folk you can find; they have it in abundance.

I think we would agree about some of the negative personality traits and behaviors that should be avoided—in oneself and in others—but scapegoating "intelligence" as a root cause of such traits—and therefore a fundamentally negative characteristic—strikes me as just plain wrong.

Being intelligent doesn't keep one from making all bad choices (and it's an unrealistic expectation to think that it would), but properly applied it helps to minimize them. Intelligence doesn't hurt people; people hurt people (and some of them may be intelligent).
posted by rushmc at 10:41 AM on November 12, 2003


Advantage: rushmc.
posted by squirrel at 1:27 PM on November 12, 2003


GOP will trumpet preemption doctrine

Faced with growing public uneasiness over Iraq, Republican Party officials intend to change the terms of the political debate heading into next year's election by focusing on the "doctrine of preemption," portraying President Bush as a visionary acting to prevent future terrorist attacks on US soil despite the costs and casualties involved overseas.

The strategy will involve the dismissal of Democrats as the party of "protests, pessimism and political hate speech," Ed Gillespie, Republican National Committee chairman, wrote in a recent memo to party officials -- a move designed to shift attention toward Bush's broader foreign policy objectives rather than the accounts of bloodshed. Republicans hope to convince voters that Democrats are too indecisive and faint-hearted -- and perhaps unpatriotic -- to protect US interests, arguing that inaction during the Clinton years led to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

posted by y2karl at 10:36 PM on November 12, 2003


Republican Party officials intend to change the terms of the political debate heading into next year's election by focusing on the "doctrine of preemption,"

Ooh, I SO hope they do this!
posted by rushmc at 4:59 AM on November 13, 2003


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