People are bemoaning the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing donors to spend far more money on campaigns. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) used this decision to state that the Founding Fathers intended for “a government of the many, not a government of the money.” And then she got busy raising thousands of extra dollars.
I’m not certain this is a bad thing, because it will help elections be more fun. According to a NY Times article I read, incumbent Republicans are holding off Tea Party challengers in primaries because they (the incumbents) have large war chests. Hoping to hold onto seats, large conservative donors aren’t funding Tea Party challengers. But everyone knows that a primary isn’t fun unless there’s one guy claiming that the moon-landing was faked.
So this ruling could bring back the fun. Take, for example, the race between Pat Roberts (R-KS) and a primary challenger. Roberts has $3.3 million on hand while his opponent only has $268,000. But according to the Times story, the challenger “is a cardiologist who has a penchant for posting X-rays of his injured patients online.”
Yup, these people ooze entertainment. They make a race worth following. But they need our help.
So, here’s what that extra money allows us to do. Someone can now call up the challenger and say:
“If you take a nail-gun, shoot a nail into your own head, and then post an X-ray online? That gets you two million.”
“Sit on the office photocopier, take a picture of your naked butt, and put that online? Another million.”
We now have a competitive race sure to be loads of fun. And if there’s another challenger who thinks rail-to-trail projects are really attack-routes for the imminent UN invasion? That guy gets three million bucks. All of a sudden it’s time for a three-way!
The Supreme Court can take our democracy and hand it to the oligarchs. But they can never take away our fun.