When the Securities and Exchange Commission announced a civil suit against Goldman Sachs, Rush Limbaugh saw a conspiracy: "this whole thing was organized, with Goldman probably involved in it." He claimed it was all agreed to "in exchange for being in bed with the Obama administration." According to Limbaugh, "There aren't any coincidences in politics."
Limbaugh has spewed a lot of insane conspiracy theories, but this one is over the top even for him. Limbaugh actually believes that Goldman Sachs wanted to be sued by the SEC to help make Obama look good. There's no evidence that Obama had any influence on the SEC decision, and there's certainly no evidence that Goldman Sachs persuaded the SEC to go after them.
Today, Limbaugh declared about Goldman Sachs that "Republicans don't get any donations from these guys." Oh really? According to OpenSecrets.org, in the 2010 cycle so far, Democrats received $332,375 in donations from Goldman Sachs employees, while Republicans received $190,200.
That means Democrats received 63.6% of the Goldman Sachs donations. Democrats hold 303 out of 521 positions in the House and the Senate, or 58.2%. This is a marginal difference. In fact, based on geography (most Goldman Sachs workers are in the overwhelmingly Democratic area of New York City), the Goldman Sachs donations are probably unusually pro-Republican compared to fellow New Yorkers.
One example of this is Republican Congressman (and candidate for the US Senate) Mark Kirk of Illinois, who ranked 3rd in the House (behind two New York Democrats) in Goldman Sachs donations. Kirk announced that he would return his donations. And the top Senate recipient of Goldman Sachs money? Alabama Republican Richard Shelby.
Yes, the majority of money from Goldman Sachs workers has gone to Democrats. And the influence of the financial elite on American politics is a bipartisan problem to worry about. But at this moment, the differences between the two parties are clear: the Democratic Administration is going after these financial crooks, and proposing substantial financial reforms. And the Republican opposition is resisting all regulation of Wall Street. All of the faux-populism in the world can't change these basic facts.
Crossposted at DailyKos.