I know, I know, he’s not President. He does not have the Democratic nomination sewn up, either. But even if he lied about driving lobbyists and money changers from the temple, he has already changed the system.
Money has ruled in politics. The money behind your candidate was no guarantee that your side would win. The other side had money too. For Democrats in every election the other side had a huge financial advantage.
California’s Jesse Unruh called money the mother’s milk of politics. You needed wealthy backing just to get into the game. No matter which candidate won at most any level of government, the winner not only owed someone big time, but needed that someone for the next and next elections.
So we got congressional bridges to nowhere. We got a superhighway for sleepy little Coconut Grove in Florida from a Congressman elected in Alaska. Alaska!!? It was flat out weird without a money trail to explain it.
Electing good folks to do away with special interests seldom worked. Those well intentioned candidates would flame out before they got started if not for financial backing from the wealthy. So bet your hope on the reformer. Then meet the new boss, same as the old boss. We’re used to voting for the lesser-of-who-cares: the hope for better always hobbled by a constant need.
Senator McCain, before his current incarnation, did try. Come on, people, give him credit. The money machine did dive through hoops and loopholes. But now comes the internet, and a candidate who raises enormous amounts without asking personally, without begging, without investing much time or effort. Owing nobody. ...Okay, okay, nobody except voters.
A political backer is said to be trying the old game, offering more than a million dollars to delegates if they will switch to his candidate. This year they are saying no. A group of fat cats threatened to pull their backing if House Speaker Pelosi did not support their position on choosing delegates. This year, she threw them out of her office. Well, almost. It actually would have been hard because the threat was by letter, but you get the point.
It was always possible to send 10 or 30 dollars, but why bother? What good would it do? It would be more expensive for a campaign to open the envelope than what you could give. But now, we can easily put our little amounts into a huge wave. Obama may be a trailblazer, but the path is open to any politician who cares to try, and to any voter who wants to help. It still doesn’t matter so much who wins, but now for a better reason. Whoever wins can later say no to big money.
Okay, I know Howard Dean tried the new internet technology on for size four years ago. And I know Al Gore, who did did not invent the internet, did get it started with funding when he was a Senator. Still ...
Audacity of Hope, anyone?
Trackback address for this post
No feedback yet
Leave a comment
|« Refusing to Negotiate||There Ought to be a Law »|