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It was truly gratifying to see some of the key players in the Republican presidential sweepstakes headed for Las Vegas last week to grovel at the feet of right-wing gambling magnate Sheldon Adelson who paid out over $90 million backing Republican losers in the 2012 election. It seems that there is something called the Republican Jewish Coalition that was holding a meeting in Vegas as cover for the groveling. This is how it worked. The Coalition called a conclave and who could argue with Republican presidential aspirants attending to address the crowd and whip up support for less health care for the poor, less regulation of everything except the poor, fewer unsavory foreigners, and more unconditional military and political support for Israel. This is just good Republican business.

However, as it turns out, Adelson, a fan of Republican right-wing causes and an even bigger fan of Israel and unregulated gambling, is actually running this show and has tens of millions of dollars at the ready to buy the Republican most willing to do his bidding. Adelson apparently really wants to purchase his own Republican winner in the upcoming presidential sweepstakes, so he’s holding interviews at the Coalition conclave conveniently taking place in the luxury hotel he already owns in Las Vegas. This would be laughable, except that a nice collection of Republican aspirants actually showed up for the interviews fully prepared to be bought. These weren’t second stringers or even handlers of the first string group. This was top-tier candidates themselves arriving to kiss the ring of an uber-rich casino king offering to pay millions to the candidate most willing to sell out the American people.

This is what American presidential politics has become – a high stakes game show. Do you think anybody told Adelson anything he didn’t want to hear? I doubt it, and better yet, you and I will never know the deals that were actually made. But, when the money starts flowing to the chosen one among the groveling aspirants, we will know that some deal was made, and it probably was a really good one for Adelson and the causes he serves and surely a bad one for the rest of us.

So this got me thinking – are there also Republican Muslim, Republican Atheist, and Republican Slavic Coalitions, to name a few possibilities, that hold meetings to provide cover for the otherwise unseemly activities of Republican presidential candidates? I sure hope so. Keeping an eye on who attends these conclaves could keep both the NSA and the media working overtime. It should also keep Adelson and his cronies working overtime. These political moneybags would have to be thinking: “Are they paying more than I did to Christie?” How can I be sure that Jeb Bush will keep his promises to me?” “What if Kasich takes money from both the atheists and the Muslims? Can that trump right-wing Jewish money?” “If the Slavs pay more to Walker, will there be less money for arms for Israel?” All of this is possible. Just think how much fun this can be – a veritable ethnic and religious wheel of fortune. Stay tuned. The winner is yet to be determined. But the loser is already clear to see – whatever minimal integrity US presidential elections have left.

It should be clear that presidential candidates from both political parties are open for purchase as never before, so choose carefully next time around. We are no longer voting for candidates; we are voting for paymasters who will stop at nothing to undermine the US electoral process for private gain. For me, the scary part is that the paymasters with the most money and the most draconian message are on the hunt for a Republican candidate who might be able to win.

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