Monday, October 29, 2012

Are Rogue Billionaires Making Political Parties Less Relevant?

This article provides some interesting data on the advent of Political Action Committees, that are funded by billionaires, since the Citizen's United decision by the Supreme Court.  For example, American Crossroads and Crossroad GPS have spent more than the GOP congressional and senate committees on those campaigns.  Rogue billionaires also funded extremists like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum in the GOP presidential primaries.  This shifted the debate in the primaries toward the extremes represented by each of them.  The PAC's and Super Pac's are also very active in the presidential campaign.  Conservative PAC's outspent Democratic PAC's by $540,000 to $180,000.  This has also led to extremes like posters of Obama bowing down to an Arab leaader, as a courtesy, on his trip to the Mid East,  along with signs showing the rise in gas prices since Obama took office.

The power of the Pac's and Super Pac's are new force in American politics.  The Democratic party has never been as highly organized and centralized as the Republican party.  It has really changed the role of the Republican party as a filter in the choice of candidates.  It has opened up the party to more points of view, but it has also moved the party further to the right.  Some might debate whether the GOP needed to be open to more extreme views, but I don't know how anyone can argue that giving a greater voice to billionaires in our democratic process is a good idea for most Americans, or for the bastardized version of democracy that this represents.

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