Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Democalypse 2014 - funding or die

The sad thing is that Jon Stewart isn't even exaggerating. If you get on any Democratic Party email lists, you're just bombarded with fund-raising pitches, every single day.

I'm disgusted with it, too, and I find it hard to believe it even works. After awhile, I just ignore everything (or unsubscribe from the list, which at least works when it comes to individual candidates).

Well, at least it's not phone calls (which do stop when you tell them not to call you). And I'm more sympathetic than Jon Stewart, because I understand why they do it.

Partly, it's because the Republican Party has most of the billionaires on their side. Because they're so firmly dedicated to cutting taxes on the rich, the rich tend to support them. No surprise there, huh? So the Democrats really need to get smaller amounts from more people - a lot more people.

The other thing is that money has become critically important in American politics. Sad to say, attack ads work. And with the Supreme Court firmly (5 to 4, anyway) in Republican hands, it's just getting worse and worse. Big money - dark money - is becoming more and more dominant in our political system.

The Democrats, at least, tend to oppose that - not all of them, and maybe not as firmly as I'd wish, but they're the only hope we've got. Republicans have made themselves the party of big money. Yeah, Democrats might like to rake in all the big money, themselves - and they compromise with big money far too often for my tastes - but you just have to look at Supreme Court votes to see which side is which.

At the very least, the rhetoric coming from the Democrats is right on the button. And rhetoric does matter. The more people convinced that big money is legalized corruption, the more chance we'll have to change the system. Meanwhile, though, Democrats need campaign donations, too.

I tend to think that money isn't as important as they think - not once you have a certain minimum (which is plenty big enough, don't get me wrong) - but what do I know? Certainly, when you're hugely outspent by your opponent, you commonly have a much worse chance of winning the election.

So, yeah, this is ridiculous,... but it's also understandable. I just hope they're spending the money wisely (in get-out-the-vote efforts, rather than idiotic attack ads). I have my doubts about that, but I really don't know. Some of both, I suppose.

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