"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." Never! This is just a clever marketing slogan to give folks cover and license to entertain their fantasies in the "family friendly" world of gambling. After all, this is the city that worships limitless guilt-free social "prostituting" to any desire. How appropriate to discover that one of the richest men in the world, the aristocrat and wannabe oligarch, Sheldon Adelson, recently anted up to gamble to crown his Republican prince candidate for president in 2016. Of course, the aspiring pack of presidential hopefuls accepted Adelson's invite and came with hopes that Mr. Adelson's patronage would not stay in Vegas, but leave with them. Eager, and without embarrassment over their "whoring" for Sheldon's money, the chorus line of political dancers costumed up with their political bona fides and auditioned in Adelson's casino kingdom.
When a politically offensive position to Adelson's was voiced, apologies and re-phrasing clarifications had to be offered. No one attended with a desire for early elimination from the gaming. Such was just the case when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who by now most of us realize was marketed as smarter than he must be, referred to the West Bank as "occupied territories," a serious faux pas in Adelson's absolute world of Israel first, because it panders to how Palestinians see the land. Will the master and presidential crowner forgive Christie's revealing Freudian slip? Stay tuned.
Sheldon Adelson's weekend political extravaganza mirrors the American political market place, where there is never a shortage of capitalism on steroids that feeds the free expression of open democratic competition, and is such a wonderful world of raw vulgar free market forces. Recently, after important Supreme Court rulings in the Citizens United and the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission cases, that market has become even more vulgar. The stunning sum of seven billion dollars spent on the 2012 election will be but a wave compared to the tsunami of 2016 political spending.
We the independent collection of people, mostly insignificant to the course of history and the temper of our times, so fearful of governmental excesses, and so far economically removed from flexing direct influence on our political class, must not be fooled by the language used in these rulings.
Chief Justice Robert's majority wing of The Supreme Court in 5-4 rulings, wants us to believe they are protecting our First Amendment freedom of speech rights to put our money where our political mouth is. Watergate era reforms that limited campaign contributions and encouraged presidential candidates to accept equal public funding is over. Republican presidents appointed the 5-4 majority of this court. They were engineered to be in this position of power to loan the authority of the third branch of government in our system of checks and balances to tip the scale to promote the interests of corporate America.
We live in an era that celebrates and adores the vulgarity of our rock star billionaires. They are the givers. We are the takers. They are smarter and worked harder. It is now Un-American to limit the free expression of spending money to buy political power. There is no shame in being Sheldon Adelson and spending whatever it takes to engineer the political landscape to support a society in your own interest. There is no shame in soliciting a political advantage by conservatives in the Vegas land of vice. There is no longer shame in being a political lap dog kissing the feet and the ring of a Sheldon Adelson.