Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Money Is Speech Is Silence

Charles P Pierce has written a thoughtful essay on the effects of money in our political process, and has provided somewhat of a unique take on it, concluding with this:

Citizens United -- and its ungodly spawn, McCutcheon -- have sent our politics into refraction. Nothing is what it appears to be any more. Chozick is right to point out that the result of the decision has been to create candidates drifting ever closer to the ideal ofNashville's Hal Phillip Walker, who campaigns through that film only as a voice from a sound truck. Thanks to John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy, we now have candidates who campaign primarily as characters in television commercials, like Flo from Progressive Insurance, or the two people in the bathtubs for Cialis. Moreover, the flood of money now flows so swiftly and powerfully, and so far underground, that the best you can do is guess what effect it is having on the process. Then, after it's over, ideology gets credit for what money has purchased. The new world of unregulated political money has given an even deeper sense of unreality to the way we govern ourselves. Nothing is as it seems to be. Nothing can be reckoned fully to be genuine. Not the polls. Not the campaigns. Not the candidates. Not even the results, truth be told. Unregulated political money has worked as an accelerant to all the worst aspects of modern political campaigns. More than ever before, our elections have become design contests.
The preceding paragraphs are worth a read, too. As usual he says much better than I ever could something about which I've written and pondered a lot: what explains the obvious fact that the fank and rile of the right wing vote so predictably against their own interests.

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