I’ve not blogged much on democracy, elections and campaign finance issues. One reason is that I cannot stomach the hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle on this one. Here is a very nice illustration of the hypocrisy on the right by Marc Elias. And in today’s Wall Street Journal is an unsurprising thought question illustrating the same thing on the left:
Self-congratulation is rampant in New York after last week’s adoption of the state’s gay marriage statute. Among those who are the new toast of the town is the “group of super-rich Republican donors” (in the words of a certain Manhattan broadsheet) without whose financial backing the bill might not have passed.
It turns out that hedge fund operator Paul Singer, a prominent supporter of conservative causes, lent his checkbook and prestige to the gay marriage battle. He was joined by financiers Daniel Loeb and Cliff Asness. They underwrote a campaign that cost over $1 million to persuade four GOP state Senators to assure passage. A similar bill failed in 2009.
Yet in New York, liberals are celebrating the huge independent political expenditures of Wall Street financiers because they support one of their favorite causes. Somehow in this case, the left has concluded that these big donors are contributing to democracy, not “hijacking” it. We welcome these liberals to the view that unlimited donations are a form of political free speech
Down the rabbit-hole! It is incredibly frustrating living in a world where folks dress up their biases to be something other than they are. Almost all of us are guilty of it. I am doing my best to be brutally blunt and honest about mine — it’s harder than you think, especially if you care about being accepted in polite company, which I do not.
Oh, I should add that I am totally in favor of unlimited spending by anyone anything in politics, including by foreigners. I am also in favor of selling political favors, votes, etc. explicitly and I think I am in favor of … (maybe you can insert your favorite heretical view here)