NEWS BLOG: Democracy for sale, part 1


You know this is happening, but still, the numbers shock.

On NPR’s Morning Edition today, Steve Inskeep discusses this year’s presidential campaign spending with two political strategists, Mark McKinnon (Republican) and Mark Mellman (Democrat). Among the statistics McKinnon offered:

  • Spending by the Obama and Romney campaigns will reach “a minimum of $4 billion – much more than has ever been spent historically.”
  • “The Koch Brothers themselves” – the libertarian billionaire industrialists who are determined to have President Obama defeated – “will spend more money in this election cycle than the entire presidential campaign of John Kerry in 2008.”

Every day, I get e-mails from conservative groups predicting everything but the end of the world if Obama is re-elected: the end of capitalism, the end of gun rights, the end of religious rights, the takeover of US sovereignty by the UN.

I’m still waiting, though, for some sign that they’re worrying about the end of democracy thanks to the Supremes’ Citizens United decision.



  1. Always amusing to hear the Right whine about “activist judges” whenever a moderate or liberal decision is handed down from the bench. But when a conservative Supreme Court determines the outcome of a presidential election, creates gun rights that would have flabbergasted the framers of the Constitution, and gives corporate executives free speech rights through their companies which far outweigh those enjoyed by the average citizen, then the Right sees it as a New Beginning…or perhaps a New Order?

  2. Oh please. If citizens cannot be trusted to make up their own minds, then democracy has a much more fundamental problem than too much speech.

    @Chaim DeLoye: [1] The Supreme Court did not “determine the outcome of a presidential election.” It ended a Constitutional crisis precipitated when one side furiously tried to rejigger the outcome after the fact (an outcome subsequently verified by exhaustive independent analysis). [2] Regarding the Second Amendment, what’s truly flabbergasting is how leftists desperately try to ignore one of the most straightforward and explicit provisions in the Bill of Rights.

  3. j.a.m. – Those Framers who the Right is always trying to point to as the sole arbiters of how the United States should be governed by and large were scared to death of the form of “democracy” which we have in place today. Their preference was for an electorate restricted to property- owning white males. So if you’re looking for a group who believed that, “citizens can not be trusted to make up their own minds” then I suggest you complain to Jimmy Madison, Georgie Washington, Benny Franklin, little Alex Hamilton and the rest of that gang of rights restricters.

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