Quick background: [mc_name name=’Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001191′ ] is running in the Florida Democratic Senate primary (against the equally full-of-himself [mc_name name=’Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’G000556′ ]). Murphy used to be a Republican; his parents still are. But that hasn’t stopped them from going out and buying their son some Democratic political endorsements in the past; and now they’ve bought [mc_name name=’Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001191′ ] an actual Senator ([mc_name name=’Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’F000457′ ])!
Only took Murphy’s parental units two maxed-out campaign contributions (just over ten grand in 2014) to do it, too – and before you say that that’s far too cheap to get yourself a Senator; no. No, it is truly not. This isn’t Hollywood; American politicians can be bought for far less than you might think. I did a post back in 2009 about the relationship between the late, unlamented super-lobbyist PMA Group and the particularly odious rogues that were on the Appropriations Committee then. Take a look at those numbers: basically, if you gave tens of thousands of dollars to a Congressman on that list, you got millions back in earmarks. It’s always how it works, whether legal (campaign contributions), or illegal (“…in his freezer“); you only have to put out a little money now to get a big return later. This is either a searing indictment of the system, or a backhanded compliment to it. I mean, at least our legislators aren’t building solid gold yachts, or something.
But back to the matter at hand. I think that we can all dispense with the amusing pretense that Al Franken might prefer Patrick Murphy to Alan Grayson; after all, Senator Franken is just as progressive – and just as unaccountably full of himself – as Rep. Grayson is. And, of course, it’s not in any way illegal to decide that you really, really like a candidate whose mommy and daddy gave you a big, fat campaign contribution in 2014. It’s just not, you know, principled of someone to pick one’s friends by the sound of the KA-CHING!
I imagine (but do not hope) that progressives wonder sometimes why, even when they win elections, they never ever really get what they thought that they’d get. There are two reasons for this. The first is, of course, that there’s no real way to give progressives what they want and still maintain a functional civilization (and by ‘functional civilization’ I mean ‘civilization that can maintain basic agriculture’). The second reason? Well, to be nastily honest about it… they’ll just sit there and take a beating by their legislators. Say what you like about the GOP, but push the base too hard and the fangs come out*. The Activist Left just doesn’t have the nerve to try that.
(Image via Shutterstock.)
PS: Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it before: progressives are a well-oiled machine who crush all in their path. Whatever gets you to the voting booth, folks. But remember: there are going to be lurkers cruising the comments thread here desperately looking for ‘proof’ that, no, they’re not wasting their lives and money on politicians that will just break their hearts. Why give them hope?
PPS: In my opinion, the answer is not ‘campaign finance reform.’ That’s just an invitation to figure out how to warp the system further. The answer is, in my opinion, transparency. Mind you, in our current political climate that’s a nonstarter, too, and for good reason. So I guess we’ll just muddle through as usual.
*Just ask Eric Cantor, who went in a single night from being the next Speaker of the House to being some guy working a lobbying job in Dizzy City.