Monday, May 17, 2004
Probably not you though. Even if you're a dyed-in-the-wool Republican and one of the President's biggest fans, chances aren't too good you got an invite to the party down at the Greensboro, GA Ritz-Carlton last month. As reported in The Washington Post by Thomas Edsall, Sarah Cohen and James Grimaldi, the event at the Ritz was in celebration of the 2004 Bush Pioneers and Rangers - folks who have collected at least $100,000 and $200,000 respectively in campaign contributions for Bush-Cheney '04.
These good ol' boys from Wall Street and Texas played a little golf, were entertained by Dennis Miller, and if they were a Ranger, got to meet with President Bush himself. After making it clear that $200,000 means a meeting with the President whereas $100,000 only gets you some golf and some yuks by a one-time SNL star, it was time to get down to business. Some 300 Pioneers and Rangers met in a windowless conference room (no media allowed!), where they heard the news:
It was time to give more money.
A new category of donor was unveiled - the SuperRanger. Admission required raising $300,000 for the RNC. Not everyone in the room was thrilled. As one relatively poor attendee said:
The rest of us, who don't have members or clients with deep enough pockets to come up with $25,000 said, 'Oh, [expletive].'
You'd think the guy just lost his paycheck at Santa Anita.
Well, now he knows how the rest of us feel. We can't afford to give a Presidential candidate the $2000 allowed under McCain-Feingold, so we don't get invited to any Thanks a (Half) Million celebrations at the Ritz. We don't have thousands of dollars to give, so nobody checks with us about who we think ought to run for office, or what their stand should be on the issues. I don't know too many folks who have "Exploratory Committee" on their resume. I guess if they're going to ignore the interests and issues of average Americans when they're in office, that makes sense.
I wonder what the pols would do if everybody could only give $100. Imagine all the people they'd have to talk to then . . .