The GOP, Kissing Adelson’s… Ring

Celebrations all round the Rogues’ Gallery, it’s Politico‘s favorite kind of retail politics!:


Luxury buses pulled up to the front entrance
of the private hangar here where Sheldon Adelson keeps his corporate jets, dropping off Republican donors to hear Jeb Bush speak.

But Adelson arrived late — and in more extravagant style, pulling right into the massive structure in his Maybach limousine with dark tinted windows trailed by a second Maybach carrying glaring bodyguards.

The grand entrance was vintage Adelson. And it kicked off a Republican Jewish Conference four-day retreat this past weekend in which the 80-year-old casino mogul wowed his guests with a distinct blend of megawatt GOP politics and Vegas opulence, keeping them — and the political class, as a whole — waiting and wondering about what would come next….

“If anybody tells you what Sheldon is going to do, or how or why he is going to do it, they don’t know Sheldon. Sheldon makes up his own mind,” said Ari Fleischer, a longtime Adelson confidant. Fleischer, an RJC board member, was scheduled to lead a board discussion about what Republicans are doing to improve on their 2012 effort….

All manner of national media flocked to Adelson’s Venetian casino and resort hotel, which hosted the RJC meeting. But reporters were kept away from Adelson by coalition staff, as well as casino and personal security, and his team turned down interview requests, including for an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

As Adelson whizzed around his Venetian kingdom on a motorized scooter during the retreat, he was often trailed by GOP operatives, politicians and fellow donors eager to assess his state of mind, advise him on what he should do or just lavish him with praise and gratitude…

Other closed-press sessions included a scotch tasting, a poker tournament and a panel on “the lessons of 2012 and the current path forward for the GOP.” Then there were VIP discussions and photo ops with former Vice President Dick Cheney, [Wisconsin Gov. Scott] Walker and [Ohio Gov. John] Kasich, four Jewish prayer services for the more devout, and a Saturday night gala featuring a speech by Cheney…

Cheney said “it’s crucial” to have candidates with muscular foreign policies and for Republicans to “take back the Senate and take back the White House so we can deal with what has been developing” around the world…

Of course, there’s always gonna be a naysayer at the party…

Regardless of any shared ideology on foreign policy or other issues, an adviser to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum suggested it’s distasteful for the party’s prospective candidates to be flocking to court Adelson.

“It sets a bad precedent for a billionaire to say ‘come hither’ this early on, and some people actually do,” said John Brabender, who was a leading strategist on Santorum’s 2012 presidential campaign and is helping him build a political foundation that could serve as a springboard to a 2016 campaign. Santorum, who is an ardent defender of Israel, didn’t attend the RJC meeting, and Brabender questioned the optics for the possible 2016 rivals who did. “I don’t know why any prospective candidate wants to be seen as the mainstream Republican, because that’s got negative connotations among most Republican primary voters.”

Rick Santorum will not be ignored, you people!

In my semi-fondest dreams, the Pennsyltucky Savonarola’s henchmen wage a no-holds-barred war with the Moneybaggers and their Neocon minions through every GOP primary, leaving behind a burnt-over landscape soaked with the salt of contenders’ tears. Call me a dreamer!

The NYTimes, in its best bothsides! mode, chooses to View With Alarm:

The ability of one man and his money to engender so much bootlicking among serious candidates, which ought to be frightening, has now become commonplace. Why talk directly to voters when you can get a billionaire to help you manipulate them with a barrage of false television ads, as the Koch brothers are doing with Republican Senate candidates around the country.

It’s a cynical calculation that is turning people away from political involvement. Mr. Adelson thinks that’s not only terrific, but hilarious. Politico reported that at a party on Saturday night for the Republican Jewish Coalition, Mr. Adelson said he couldn’t give the group the $50 million it requested because its director didn’t have change for $1 billion…

Oh, now you get it — just as if this ‘turning people away from political involvement’ hasn’t been a primary Republican tactic going back at least to Richard Nixon…

41 replies
  1. 1
    Roger Moore says:

    I think it’s his cock ring they’re kissing.

  2. 2
    amk says:

    All manner of national media flocked to Adelson’s Venetian fywp word

    librul media at work.

  3. 3
    JGabriel says:

    He’p me, I been modereratered!

    And I have no idea why. Are we no longer allowed to use the f-word?

    Edited to Add: Oh, I know why now. It’s because I referenced Shellie Adelson’s career.

  4. 4
    amk says:

    @JGabriel: same here.

  5. 5
    ruemara says:

    @JGabriel: Fascist?

  6. 6
    JGabriel says:

    @amk: Did you also use the c-word (not that c-word, but the other one) for where gambolers like to play?

  7. 7
    JGabriel says:

    @ruemara: C*sino

  8. 8
    amk says:

    @JGabriel: Yup. And tt was just a friggin’ copy & paste from AL’s post.

  9. 9
    JGabriel says:

    @amk: Poor Anne’s gonna spend the whole night clearing responses out of the comment filter.

    Anne Laurie, you might want to update your post to add a warning about using the word c*sino in the comments.

  10. 10
    mclaren says:

    Suddenly the only thing standing between America and eight years of Jeb Bush or, god forbid, Rand Paul is a 66 year old woman with health problems and almost equal numbers of people who like and despise her. There’s no way this ends well.

    “Barrel scraping,” gin and tacos blog, 30 March 2014.

  11. 11
    mclaren says:

    @JGabriel:

    And I have no idea why. Are we no longer allowed to use the f-word?

    Fuckin’ A you aren’t, you foul-mouthed motherfucker.

  12. 12
    JGabriel says:

    @mclaren: Touché.

  13. 13
    Gex says:

    I was disappointed the link didn’t actually show said pols trailing along behind the scooter. I would love to see that image everywhere. Optics, as they say.

  14. 14
    JGabriel says:

    (Fuck it, I’ll post it again. Sorry, y’all, for the double post that this will result in when the first copy gets out of moderation.)

    I said it a few threads ago, so I’ll say it again here, where it’s more relevant to the topic:

    How does it happen that, with all of this Christie-Adelson folderol, no one in any media outlet I’ve yet seen has pointed out that the very idea that members of one of the two major parties – in the most powerful nation in the world – vying for the office of president, have to bow and scrape to a fucking c’sino magnate?

    It’s fucking humiliating, or should be, for the whole Republican party, not to mention the country.

  15. 15
    RobertDSC-PowerMac G5 Dual says:

    What’s funny to me is that many of the folks out on the far edge of the GOP nuthouse buy into the “The Jews control everything!” folderol. How must they be outraged to see their candidates bootlick a Jewish ca-sin-o magnate.

    May your fury burst heart vessels, you fascist scum.

  16. 16
    Mandalay says:

    Suddenly the only thing standing between America and eight years of Jeb Bush or, god forbid, Rand Paul is a 66 year old woman with health problems and almost equal numbers of people who like and despise her. There’s no way this ends well.

    Actually, if you are a Wall Street once percenter you can’t lose if those are the choices.

  17. 17
    Elizabelle says:

    @JGabriel:

    If this was in a novel, we’d find it farfetched.

    No longer.

  18. 18
    JGabriel says:

    @Elizabelle: And we’d assume it was written by a particularly brutal satirist with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

  19. 19
    bad Jim says:

    Originally I just wanted to say how much I liked “a burnt-over landscape soaked with the salt of contenders’ tears”, but now I’m amused by the struggle with filters. For the longest time, comments on Crooked Timber were held in moderation if they used the word “soc¡a1ist”, because it includes the substring “c¡a1is”.

  20. 20
    Ian says:

    Ari Fleischer, a longtime Adelson confidant.

    Well fuck me, Ari is a vampire. I always figured him for more of a werewolf.

  21. 21
    Elizabelle says:

    @JGabriel:

    It’s obscene.

    Catching Colbert.

    #NotCanceled

  22. 22
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Interesting who wasn’t invited. Santorum made Shellie nervous in 2012, and he apparently doesn’t care much for Cruz or Rand Paul.

    I missed it live, but looking around the twitter machines, Christie told the media he wasn’t sure if he was going to have an audience with His Lordship while he was in Vegas, and if that weren’t enough of a baldfaced lie, he’d already had a meeting.

    Even Tweety was making fun of Kasich’s ass-kissing speech, and Kasich is one of his original man-crushes.

  23. 23
    Steeplejack says:

    @bad Jim:

    It’s okay to say “socialist” here now.

  24. 24
    srv says:

    @JGabriel:

    have to bow and scrape to a fucking c’sino magnate?

    Well, Obummer bows to Saudi Kings.

  25. 25
    Ian says:

    for Republicans to “take back the Senate and take back the White House so we can deal with what has been developing” around the world

    Living proof that one should never, ever reread a post in case one might develop a heart attack or stroke.

  26. 26
    Chris says:

    Fuck Sheldon Adelson.

  27. 27
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Chris:

    Fuck Sheldon Adelson.

    I’m desperate but I’m not within light years of that desperate.

  28. 28

    This is funny, but the joke is on Adelson. These people aren’t sucking up to him because he owns them politically. Newt Gingrich took Adelson’s money and merrily skipped away. Adelson’s reaction was to wave another fistful of minions and yell ‘Who wants to rip me off next?’ It’s a feeding frenzy of grifters.

  29. 29
    trnc says:

    “The NYTimes, in its best bothsides! mode, chooses to View With Alarm…”

    This is the rare case where both sides actually are doing it. And I understand that there’s no reason for dems to handicap themselves while repubs rake in the cash, but are any dems in congress proposing serious campaign finance reform?

    Loved this, though:
    “His opponent, Sen. John McCain, was one of the most ardent advocates of campaign finance reform …”

    Well, his name was on a reform law, but when the SC scrapped it, his public reaction was, “Meh.”

  30. 30
    Josie says:

    In my semi-fondest dreams, the Pennsyltucky Savonarola’s henchmen wage a no-holds-barred war with the Moneybaggers and their Neocon minions through every GOP primary, leaving behind a burnt-over landscape soaked with the salt of contenders’ tears. Call me a dreamer!

    Anne Laurie: I think you are right on the money with this one. The quote from Santorum’s spokesperson is the first shot in a war between the two sides in the Republican party. If the money boys are not able to sufficiently fix their primary system, Santorum might just pull it off. I’m thinking popcorn might be in order.

  31. 31
    Lurking Canadian says:

    I didn’t see “both sides do it” in the portion Anne quoted. They didn’t mention Soros at all.

  32. 32
    Marc says:

    …an adviser to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum suggested it’s distasteful for the party’s prospective candidates to be flocking to court Adelson.

    Yes, they should be flocking to court a nice Christian sugar daddy like Foster Friess.

  33. 33
    Senyordave says:

    I take some solace in the fact that this miserable, twisted, oxygen-wasting shell of a human will be out of our hair at some point in the not-too-distant future. I always think of all the good that one could do with a couple million dollars. This POS has 20 billion plus, and he is using his remaining years on earth using his money to ensure that people who are struggling will have a WORSE life. If there is karma, Adelson will not be enjoying his time in the great beyond.

  34. 34
    jomike says:

    Politico reported that at a party on Saturday night for the Republican Jewish Coalition, Mr. Adelson said he couldn’t give the group the $50 million it requested because its director didn’t have change for $1 billion…

    That’ll go over great with Iowa and South Carolina fundagelicals! Aqua Budda’s primary attack ads & robocall scripts are practically writing themselves.

  35. 35
    Tone in DC says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    This is funny, but the joke is on Adelson. These people aren’t sucking up to him because he owns them politically. Newt Gingrich took Adelson’s money and merrily skipped away. Adelson’s reaction was to wave another fistful of millions and yell ‘Who wants to rip me off next?’
    It’s a feeding frenzy of grifters.

    Love the “skipped away” part.
    All that’s missing is the word “merrily”. Or is that implied?

  36. 36
    Lurker Supreme says:

    @mclaren:

    and almost equal numbers of people who like and despise her.

    Sadly, no!

    Gallup’s most recent polling shows Clinton with a 59% favorability rating and a 37% unfavorability rating, a 22% difference.

    In fact, her favorability has been in the high 50’s to mid 60’s since she became Secretary of State; her unfavorability has only been in the high 20’s to 30’s during that same period. In reality there are actually a lot more people who like her than dislike her.

    Thanks for playing!

  37. 37
    GRANDPA john says:

    Well this is just a reminder that some things never change. Grifters got to grift

    there are more fools than knaves in the world, else the knaves would not have enough to live upon.

    Samuel Butler

  38. 38
    Lawrence says:

    Ricky boy is proving to be not as robotic as I thought. Still, is there any doubt that he would not object to the plutocrat salad tossing if it was the Hobby Lobbyists or the Chick fellatio guy instead? Jew know?

  39. 39
    PaulW says:

    As a Presidential campaigner, the only person I will be kissing will be (insert fantasy actress name here).

  40. 40
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @RobertDSC-PowerMac G5 Dual: history repeats, first as tragedy, then as farce

    version 1.0 was the Republicans kissing Sun Myung Moon’s ring
    an evil cult leader who ruined hundreds of people’s lives to aggrandize himself*
    they went out of their way to lavish him with fulsome praise and kiss his ass, just for some donations and the Washington Times (since sold)

    *don’t worry, he may be dead, but Billy Graham’s children seem to be working on implementing his playbook… I already know at least one person who went to a Franklin Graham revival and went from normal, if Aspie Catholic to full-on Goddard quiverfull ja-nutjob, but at least so far the Graham spawn aren’t deciding which mark marries which other mark, then you know you’ve gone full blown mind control and torment

  41. 41
    mclaren says:

    @JGabriel:

    On the contrary — Republicans want to turn America into Wall Street-style casino capitalism, so it’s perfectly appropriate for Republicans to kowtow to a casino magnate.

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