On Elections

freedom.jpgI heard on the radio last night that these are the most expensive elections in US history. (It was not clear if that was accounting for inflation, or considering Presidential elections as well.)

They also said that only about 50 of the 454 Congressional seats are considered to be in play. This years after McCain-Fiengold drove the money out of politics. Created a level playing field. And gave us blog postings such as this one:

Ford’s Republican opponent Bob Corker called upon the RNC to pull the ad. And the RNC did stop airing it. But Corker, in making his request, may have crossed the line and inappropriately coordinated with RNC. Coordinated expenditures are treated differently than independent expenditures. Just because the coordination was done in public does not exempt it from the law… (“Call Me Irresponsible,” Ian Ayres, Balkinization, and the per-post links don’t work.)

We have a seriously dysfunctional system of addressing bad law with more bad law. We have a set of rules surrounding elections that lead to a situation where, despite deep and broad dissatisfaction with the direction of the country, we are unable to throw the bastards out.

We have lawyers who have become skilled at manipulating the systems which surround voting for the benefit of the folks that write the laws. We see a strait-laced normalcy where we ought to have change and yes, chaos, emerging.

Go vote and throw the bastards out.

(The photo is of the Selma to Montgomery march for voting rights, March 21, 1965, by Matt Herron.)

6 thoughts on “On Elections

  1. I have every confidence that the incumbents in both parties will continue to reform the system to get the money out of politics, ensure adequate representation through the correct drawing of districts, guarantee equal access to media, regulate ballot access and access to debates, and so on, until incumbents simply never lose. They’ll do this because of their deep commitment to the principle that they ought to stay in power until they decide to leave, and that the people ought to shut up and be governed by their betters.
    (Going off to hold my nose and vote for Democrats. Geez, what a set of choices we get.)

  2. My father always used to argue in favor of the incumbent bastard, his reasoning being that the incumbent had already done his stealing and the new guy hadn’t started yet.
    And sad to say, there is no good reason, usually, to believe that the new guy will be any better than the incumbent. Since money clearly drives the candidate’s train, a third party or poor (meaning not a multi-millionare) cannot afford to run, when $30 million is being spent to gain an office that pays only about $150,000 per year.

  3. I agree that the basic system architecture is flawed, but we do a serious disservice to history when we think of the last few years as simply dirty politics as usual.
    I’m with adam–throw the bums out!

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