Miles Mogulescu has an important article in the Huffington Post today that lays out the many reasons why money in politics is still a huge problem, despite the fact that some of the biggest spenders in the 2012 elections didn’t get the outcome they wanted.
Here are a few key excerpts:
Since the 2012 elections — the most expensive in history at a cost of $6 billion — there has been a growing media narrative that because Sheldon Adelson’s millions and Karl Rove’s super PACs didn’t defeat Barack Obama or create a Republican Senate, money in politics and post-Citizens United super PACs really aren’t such a big deal…
To which I respond, "Bullsh*t!" The outsized influence of money in politics pre-selects the candidates of both parties, defines and delimits the range of issues and circumscribes what elected officials even attempt to accomplish once in office. Money in politics remains the greatest danger to government of, by, and for the people, and the 2012 elections only made a bad situation worse….
So some media commentators may think that 2012 proved that money in politics doesn’t matter all that much. But the millionaires, billionaires and corporations in the class that invests in politicians, and the consultants who advise them clearly think it matters a whole lot…
One of the things they know is that the extravagant costs of running for election, and the need for members of both parties to raise huge sums of money from the richest Americans, means that neither party will carry out, or even debate, policies which threaten the plutocracy….
Unless the pervasive influence of big money in elections is ended, America will never be able to solve its biggest pressing problems, whether climate change, debt, taxes, financial regulation, education, or health care, energy, or the environment….
In addition to defining the narrow limits of political debate and available solutions to America’s biggest problems, the outsized influence of money in politics continues to have other nefarious effects. Long before election campaigns, the "money primary" defines who can even run for office. If a potential candidate can’t raise large sums early, forget even trying….
The full article, available here, is excellent reading. Among other points, it covers the impact of big money preventing action on economic justice and climate change, and how it’s led to control of the House of Representatives by a party supported by a minority of voters.
Thanks, Miles, for making these important arguments.