They came, they spent ... then they limped home, tails between their legs. OK, they didn't limp — they were flown home on their private Gulfstream jets, but still their tails were tucked down in the defeat mode.
"They" are the billionaire, far-right, corporate extremists who tried to be presidential kingmakers. Unleashed by the Supreme Court's Citizens United edict to spend unlimited sums of cash in this year's elections, they spewed money into efforts to enthrone Mitt Romney in the White House and turn the Senate into a GOP rubber stamp for totally corporatizing government.
As they gathered at exclusive Romney victory parties on election night, however, the mood quickly soured, for key states were choosing Democrats. The people (damn them) seemed to be deliberately voting against the barons.
Casino baron Sheldon Adelson, for example, put down an obscene $60 million on eight candidates — and crapped out on all of them. Also, the über-billionaire Koch boys reportedly amassed an arsenal of $400 million from their corporate vault and from other billionaires to knock off Obama.
But, at evening's end, there the president stood, re-elected with more than 56 percent of the electoral votes.
And Bob Perry, another self-serving, ultra-rightist billionaire dumped $21 million into GOP SuperPACs trying to win senate races in Florida and Virginia, as well as the presidency. All for naught.
Democrats on Nov. 6 not only gained two seats in the Senate, but such new senators as Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, Heidi Heitkamp, Mazie Hirono, Joe Donnelly, Chris Murphy and Martin Heinrich are expected to stand against the corporate kleptocracy that the barons were trying to buy.
Of course, the billionaires reckon that they just didn't spend enough this year, so look for even more obscenity in 2014 and 2016.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.