In pointing out the relative ineffectiveness of all that Citizens United money—for example, the $40 million wasted trying to oust US Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio—Markos closes by asking the following rhetorical question:
Can we make headway on a Constitutional Amendment banning such expenditures, and if not, will conservative billionaires keep wasting hundreds of millions trying to influence such races? Those guys may be assholes, but they didn't get rich by pissing money away ineffectively.
Um... I'm not so sure that final assumption is correct. As the highly paid executives and directors at Hewlett-Packard have demonstrated, you can indeed get rich by pissing money away ineffectively. As if we didn't already know that from the banking industry's collapse and subsequent lucrative bailout. So it's not so clear that this commonly presumed correlation between wealth and competence is supported by the facts.
To be clear, I'm not just suggesting that competence isn't necessarily a cause of wealth accumulation, but that the two often are totally unrelated.
Indeed, capitalist entrepreneurialism is an exercise in money pissing in itself. Most businesses fail. That's the nature of our economy. Show me a successful venture capitalist and I'll show you somebody who has pissed away an awful lot of money on losing ventures in the course of scoring big on the winners. Nothing wagered, nothing gained, and all that.
And forgive yet another cliche, but one of the absolute truisms of the business world is that it takes money to make money. That's where the capital in capitalism comes from. And many, many of our nation's One Percenters inherited their access to seed money, if not the money itself. Not all, but many. I mean, the Koch brothers may have vastly expanded the fortune they inherited, but they still inherited a fortune. And wealth like that can hide an awful lot of money pissing. (Or in Frank Blethen's case, not.)
So no, I don't think these rich assholes will stop trying to use their wealth to subvert our democracy, because A) they're all accustomed to making investments that don't pay off, B) pissing away money is just what you do when you have more money than you know what to do with, and C) I'm not so sure they're all smart enough to even realize that their money was pissed away.
And that's a business model that will assure future riches for Karl Rove, regardless of the actual return he provides on his clients' investments.