So much for railing against the evils of political free speech

Dark money is evil. Bright money is bad. Money is the root of all political evil. Gag the Koch brothers. Overturn Citizens United. If you buy enough advertising to tell a lie and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. People are that gullible and democracy will never work fairly without restraints on spending on free speech.

This we know because Harry and his ilk tell us so. Over and over and over, ad nauseam.

The medium might be the message, but, just perhaps, the message is more powerful than the money.

According an editorial in the Saturday-Sunday Las Vegas newspaper, President-elect Donald Trump spent $600 million on his successful presidential campaign, including a paltry $66 million of his own filthy lucre, while Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign shelled out a record $1.2 billion — nearly twice as much as Trump.

On top of that, the editorial tells us, according to the Center for Competitive Politics, the total number of ads bought by Clinton and her supporters outnumbered the number of pro-Trump ads by 3-to-1. Also, outside groups raised and spent more than three times as much to push Clinton than they did for Trump.

“Democrats love to complain about political spending,” the editorial concludes. “But they’ve shown time and again that they’re willing to shell out as much as it takes to guarantee victory. Trouble is, money is no guarantee of anything.” Despite what they keeping telling us.

Voters have to be convinced, not just browbeat. People should be free to put their money where their mouths are and voters will be free to evaluate the message and decide.

 

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17 comments on “So much for railing against the evils of political free speech

  1. Bill says:

    I suspect that the Citizens United case caused an uproar with the Left because it enlarged the potential of PACs which originally were used to counter-act the monopoly that the Left previously had on money and political workers afforded to them unfettered and unreported by the labor unions.

  2. deleted says:

    I suspect that the Citizens United case caused so much glee among the Right because the Koch brothers managed to convince at least one “Justice” of the Supreme Court to violate federal law (not to mention precedent and ethical rules) multiple times in connection with his vote to allow the Brothers Koch to buy as many politicians (and SC “Justices” on the Right) as they could afford.

  3. deleted says:

    Nope.

    Lying, under oath, as Uncle Thomas did to conceal his nefarious activities isn’t protected.

    Although, it sure seems like to some on the Right, it should have been. For some “elites” anyway.

  4. Steve says:

    Money doesn’t make intelligence. Central control is not how this country is designed and simply does not work. This is the single best message in the story linked.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/michigan-hillary-clinton-trump-232547

  5. Rincon says:

    Amazing! After Citizens United, Thomas actually thinks we can tally up how much money was spent in support of each candidate. Apparently, you don’t believe there’s such a thing as dark money, Thomas. Trump may have spent only $600 million, but a group of 25 billionaires likely spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $900 million in support of Conservative candidates. (Economist 1/30/16 p. 75). And that’s counting only those 25 or so donors. I will though, agree that money cannot overcome some disadvantages, such as John Kerry’s Swift Boat episode, which was funded by far less money that Kerry was spending.

    If the point of this piece was that money does not affect elections, then the logical conclusion is that the donors or the candidates are fools to throw their money away and that all candidates can safely operate with a tiny budget and still be elected. Of course, just about every candidate disagrees as evidenced by their fundraising efforts. The idea that money does not affect elections reminds me of people who tell me that advertising does not influence the products they buy. Their ignorance makes them the most susceptible of all.

  6. deleted says:

    The funny thing is that Citizens united overturned a more than 100 year old precedent, bed on a law begged for, by the richest men in the country that put a cap on campaign spending because they were, get this, TIRED of getting “stuck up” by politicians during every campaign for contributions.

    “In response to Roosevelt’s call, Senator Benjamin Tillman of South Carolina sponsored the bill that became known as the Tillman Act. The bill passed the Senate on June 9, 1906. On June 17, 1906, The New York Times reported that “One ‘great financial authority who is a Republican’ gave assurance that ‘he and all the financial men with whom I have talked have welcomed this legislation with very much the same emotions with which a serf would hail his liberation from a tyrannous autocrat’.”[citation needed] The article further stated that if the bill passes the House, “it will not bring about the millennium, but will lessen a very mean and sordid practice of blackmail… the great number of corporations that have suffered extortion through weakness and cowardice will have their backbones stiffened, and parties will be put to it to fill their coffers by really voluntary contributions.”

    https://instructure-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/account_18750000000000001/attachments/2042597/David%20Steinbach%20Senior%20History%20Thesis.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJFNFXH2V2O7RPCAA&Expires=1482123623&Signature=33w%2F1HHC15SmT6xqqyKj9w%2Bv2%2F4%3D&response-content-disposition=attachment%3B%20filename%3D%22steinbachdavid_12508_2042597_David%20Steinbach%20Senior%20History%20Thesis.pdf%22%3B%20filename%2A%3DUTF-8%27%27steinbachdavid%255F12508%255F2042597%255FDavid%2520Steinbach%2520Senior%2520History%2520Thesis.pdf

  7. Barbara says:

    Such as voluntary union dues?

  8. “Pitchford Ben” Tillman. There’s a guy who demands respect for this logic and pure motives.

  9. deleted says:

    But “Uncle” Thomas is?

  10. Rincon says:

    Union dues are voluntary. Anyone who doesn’t want to pay them is free to find a job somewhere else. Same as investors in mutual funds paying “voluntarily” for campaign contributions by companies in the portfolio. They are free to avoid mutual funds altogether and create their own, perhaps less diversified portfolio.

  11. Steve says:

    Only in right to work states. In many places, union dues or fees are required contractual state law.
    http://www.nrtw.org/required-join-pay-private/

  12. Rincon says:

    Read it again, Steve. It appears to have gone right past you.

  13. […] So much for railing against the evils of political free speech Dark money is evil. Bright money is bad. Money is the root of all political evil. Gag the Koch brothers. Overturn Citizens United. If you buy enough advertising to tell a lie and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. People are that gullible and democracy will never work fairly without restraints on spending on free speech. […]

  14. Steve says:

    Nope, in some states people are required to pay even if they don’t join the union.

  15. […] we forget, in the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump was outspent by Hillary Clinton by two-to-one — $600 million to $1.2 […]

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