Desperation drives politicians to talk about process rather than policy. Obama, who is understandably reluctant to talk about what people are concerned about, the economy, is instead talking about the political process. He is in a terrific lather of insinuation, suggesting that torrents of foreign money are pouring into U.S. campaigns.
He recently said: "Just this week, we learned that one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly takes in money from foreign corporations. So groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections." It takes a perverse craftsmanship to write something that slippery. Consider:
"Just this week, we learned. . . ." That is a fib. The fact that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- this is what he is talking about but for some reason is reluctant to say so -- receives membership dues from multinational corporations, some of them foreign-owned, is not something Obama suddenly "learned." It is about as secret as the location of the chamber's headquarters, a leisurely three-minute walk from the White House.
"Regularly takes in money from foreign corporations." Obama cites no evidence to refute the chamber's contention that it sequesters such funds -- less than one-twentieth of 1 percent of its budget -- from the money it devotes to political advocacy. The AFL-CIO, which spends heavily in support of Democratic candidates, also receives money from associated labor entities abroad, but Obama has not expressed angst about this.
"So groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections." The "so" is a Nixonian touch. It dishonestly implies what Obama prudently flinches from charging -- that the "huge sums" are foreign money.