Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Democrats to Pay a Price for Their Double Standard on Billionaires

Mark Pfeifle writes (emphasis added):

The hypocrisy starts with the Senate Majority PAC -- the type of corrupting, “special interest cash”-laden super PAC that the left alternately decries and adores. The group is currently running television ads defending vulnerable Senate Democrats or potential candidates in Louisiana, Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan and North Carolina. The ads invariably link the Republican candidate to “billionaires” -- especially the horrible “out of state” variety.

Who are the Senate Majority PAC’s biggest donors? They include out-of-state billionaires like Hollywood bigwig Steven Spielberg, music mogul David Geffen and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  “Mayor Mike” donated $2.5 million to the group earlier this year. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the group’s donor list isn’t short on moneymen funding races in states they don’t live in.

To be fair, Senate Majority PAC isn’t an “official” offshoot of the Democratic Party (although its staff list would indicate otherwise). But its message is spreading down to the individual campaigns in which it’s involved. These Democrats divide their time between attacking the 1 percent and taking checks from them.

Even former liberal Crossfire host Michael Kinsley is in agreement:

On Thursday, the day after the Supreme Court’s decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, . . . The articles ranged from fairly balanced news reports through only slightly slanted sidebars to open frothing and foaming on the [New York] Times editorial page.
. . .
How can anyone say — as people do say, as if this settles the issue — that “Money isn’t speech” and then, in the same breath, ask for money to spread the word about the danger to democracy posed by the Koch brothers, who are pouring millions of dollars into political campaigns supporting their conservative-libertarian point of view? Money spent trying to spread a political message is speech, whether you like the message or not. More money is louder speech, that more people can hear.

. . . 
The power of money in politics, in other words, is only as large as we allow it to be. What we need are a few more campaigns where the amount an opponent is spending becomes an issue itself. We need a political culture where a politician will have to make a calculation before accepting a contribution from Rich Plutocrats for America: Will the number of votes I gain by having more money to spend on obnoxious TV commercials be bigger or smaller than the number I will lose because people are offended by Rich Plutocrats for America (and those obnoxious TV commercials)?

The solution when you don’t like someone’s speech is not to silence that person, or that corporation. It’s more and louder speech of your own. Just like they teach in law school.

With people like Kinsley turning against them, Congressional Democrats may pay a price this November.

This double standard is glaringly obvious -- and come Election Day, you may see a Senate with fewer hypocrites.

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