To me it looks like Harper's American advisors have been having quite an effect over the last little while. The kinds of negative ads and the use of repeated talking points to shape coverage and political reality, often without any concern for transparency or integrity, but rather as a means of making lies take on a life of their own, shows something of a mastery of the science of smear and fear.
And still what stands out for me is the irrelevance of all these guys. Oh boy - I could get a bit of cash if I had kids and took them to art classes! The bureaucracy can handle anything that really matters. All the politicians matter for is in how they might be able to sabotage the work of bureaucrats, or come up with some sort of bullshit that they think we might care about.