September 10, 2012

More About Money in Politics; or Evidence That NPR Producers Are Reading This, Too

Other than the lede of the story sounding just like the punchline from our post on campaign spending, we can't take credit for the excellent reporting on super-PAC spending in this election cycle by NPR.  Though, we can't help noticing the similarity and being flattered that maybe, just maybe, big time news editors are reading our little blog.

Image credit: Dave Granlund
This story from NPR talks about the fundraising gap between pro-Republican groups and pro-Democratic groups.  We mentioned in this post the existential crisis that the Dems were having in starting up their own super-PAC to fight back against all the money flowing into the Republican camp, but this story sheds light on how the personal ethics of President Obama differ from President Clinton's handling (coddling?) of large donors in the past.

Most interesting will be to see if and how the mountains of money backing Romney's campaign affect the race.  According to the prediction models that Nate Silver is running over at Five Thirty Eight the President now has over an 80% chance (80.7% to be exact, as of Sept. 10th) of winning re-election.  We all know The Mitt is a relatively weak candidate (There must be something about Massachusetts-based candidates.  After the Kennedys, can you think of another strong leader to come from the Bay State?) who has routinely failed to drum up enthusiasm among the Republican base.  So, if the Republican super-PACs can carpet bomb the swing states with enough money and advertising to sway the election in Romney's favor, then we will have truly seen how an election is bought.

One hopes that this strategy will be proven unsuccessful in such a way as to discourage its emulation in future contests.  No matter who wins, we would not want to live in a plutocracy, and we suspect you wouldn't either.  (More so than it already is now, anyway.)  So, we look on with trepidation with the hope that democracy wins the day.  We suspect it will prevail this time, but let's all be vigilant against further gains of influence and power by unelected groups.

[What's the ultimate answer to our money and politics conundrum?  We think it has to do with a combination of greater participation by more of us, and the passage of better disclosure laws for campaign donors...more on that in a future post. -ed.]

No comments:

Post a Comment

This is our internet. Let's be nice to and respect one another.