Monday, June 25, 2012

Skew the Game

My wife has some Republican tendencies.  As a result, she's made a big deal of the fact that Obama recently had the single largest, in terms of money, campaign fundraising event ever, and that Obama spent far more than McCain in '08.  The angle of attack is that Obama isn't any representative of the common man but a tool of wealthy interests.  I can always tell when she's been watching Faux News.

There are major flaws with this line of thinking.  First, Obama's spending in '08 was from large numbers of small donations, not big spenders.  Kind of had to be, then, as Citizens United hadn't been decided yet.  The campaign money spiggot that's now open was closed then.  So nowhere near as much money could even come into the campaigns unless it was from a wider base of sources, which dilutes the influence of the large money donors.

This is the flaw in the thinking behind Citizens United.  Well, one of the flaws.  By equating money with speech, the Supreme Court decided that the speech of the wealthy is more important than the speech of the non-wealthy.  Everyone has an equal right to spend as much money as he or she wishes on campaign electioneering that's not directly controlled by a candidate, but the wealthy easily shout down all those who don't have the disposable cash to spend on TV, radio, and newspaper ad buys, as well as internet ads, come to think of it.

Anyway, back to the point.  The fact that Obama raised the most money at one event isn't nearly as significant as how much money is raised over the course of a camaign.  Romney is quickly overcoming Obama there with all the unregulated money of wealthy donors, which is another vast difference between the two campaigns.  While only something around 16% of Obama's donations come from those making the maximum contributions, Romeny's percentage is around 80%.  The huge number of dollars coming in to Obama are from small donators,  giving what they can.  Obama manages to get a few larger contributors together at one event, but that's nothing compared to the many large donations coming in to Romney.

Who does Faux News think it's kidding (other than the obvious answer of my wife)?  They helped lobby for this fucked up system that Citizens United has wrought because it provides diproportionate benefits to the few that their party represents.  Now they try to portray this free money system as benefitting the very man they targeted by this effort.

No comments:

Post a Comment