Background: the Florida race for Senator Marco Rubio’s open Senate seat on the Democratic side pretty much boils down to Rep. Alan Grayson and Rep. Patrick Murphy. Alan Grayson is best known for being crazy, but nasty about it; Patrick Murphy is best known for following Grayson’s lead, because “crazy and nasty about it” is apparently polling well among the Democratic base right now*. Murphy is taking a little fire right now for taking two hundred grand from his dad – well, technically, his dad is giving it to Murphy’s Super PAC. Just like Murphy’s dad gave Murphy’s Super PAC a quarter of a million bucks in 2012 to get Murphy a House seat. How dumb were these people, anyway?
And by ‘these people’ I mean the folks who set up ‘campaign finance reform.’ Come, I will conceal nothing from you (as Larry Niven might say): I don’t care, particularly, that Thomas Murphy is willing to spend half a million dollars on his kid’s political career. First off, it’s his money; second, I don’t actually know the family situation over there. For all I know, it’s the only way to permanently kick Pat Murphy off of the couch in his parents’ basement. But I am fascinated with the mindset that seems to think that you can stop people from putting money into elections.
…It doesn’t work like that. It has never worked like that. Every time you try, people figure out how to move money around your barricade. When you try to stop them, they come up with another method to evade you. And this keeps going on and on, and you try more and more desperate measures, until eventually you’re in front of the United States Supreme Court telling a panel of nine judges that, yes, it is proper to say that McCain-Feingold would permit somebody to ban a book just for its political content.
There’s an easier answer: you don’t ban political contributions. You set up a system where it becomes increasingly less cost-effective to buy your very own elected officials. Which is, sure, a radical thought; but could maybe just try it at least once? – For the novelty value, and all that.
*…Focus. Focus. Do not threadjack. This is not a request. Thank you.