The ones who want to talk to the Republicans instead, well they don't have time for niceties, apparently. They just want their orders followed. Forget Davos, the real deal this weekend is in Palm Springs.
This weekend, at a posh resort near Palm Springs, California, two billionaire corporate titans will convene a semi-annual meeting of a politically well-connected set. It will include wealthy donors and powerful Republicans, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
At David and Charles Koch's meeting, attendees will discuss items like how best to promote free markets and how to help elect conservatives. Donors are expected to be asked to donate to conservative causes.
It will be conducted virtually in secret, with no press or public allowed and many attendees keeping event details on the hush.
That's fueled criticism that this gathering is a sort of secret cabal - a "Billionaires Caucus," critics say. Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary in the Clinton administration, even said that the Koch brothers' meeting represents "a threat to our democracy."
Those and other criticisms were leveled during a Thursday telephone press conference for reporters organized by the liberal-oriented, nonprofit group, Common Cause. On Sunday, the group will hold events to counter the Koch's weekend conference: hosting a panel discussion titled, "Uncloaking the Kochs" and spearheading a protest rally, both near the Rancho las Palmas resort, the site of the Koch meeting.
A central issue inflaming this debate: the role of corporate money in politics, especially after last year's landmark Supreme Court campaign finance ruling. That decision, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, found that the "government may not suppress political speech on the basis of the speaker's corporate identity."
Hey, these guys already bought the ability to use their nearly unlimited financial influence on campaign politics. I wonder what else they are getting for their "donations" to Republicans this weekend? Make no mistake, the GOP leadership is getting their marching orders for 2012 from the people really in charge in America.
Tea Party populism will only go as far as the Koch Brothers allow it.