Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Take Their Money: Enjoy the Spoils of War

Posted by Adam Graham on June 3, 2007

Take Their Money: Enjoy the Spoils of Victory

The following is a commentary from the Truth and Hope Report ( Weekend update by Democratic Political Dave Screwtape

There has been some controversy over Democrats receiving large contributions from lobbyists and PACs for such industries as banking and big oil. Or I should say, there would have been had our allies in the press not ignored it.

However, there is a question that has been asked by some that I’ll endeavor to answer. Should we, as Democrats follow the same corrupt path of Tom DeLay and the K Street project, that opened our government up to shame and scandal?

You bet your life! Big money contributions are what makes Washington work.

There are three things in Washington: the majority, the opposition, and money. Money is bi-partisan . There’s little to be had for being an ideologue (unless you back the agenda of the Club for Growth) but much to be had for being a friend of special interests.

Money goes with the majority and if you lose your majority, you lose many contributors as well. After all, how much influence does the 9th ranking minority member of the Small Business Committee have?

With our current campaign finance system, in order to maintain your seats, you must have the support of multiple interests. So, whether you like it or not, money is needed, and it is money by the hundreds of thousands. Corporate lawyers, lobbyists, and their friends will pour their money into the party in power. They run the halls of Congress. They paid to play and there’s little anyone can do about it.

The “solutions” offered are hard, if not completely unworkable. Public financing of elections is a pipe dream. It’d be incredibly hard to administer. Who’s a serious candidate? Who gets money? How much? How about third party candidates? How much do they get? If we could find a way to have all candidates funded at the same level, then incumbents would have an even larger advantage, but in open seats, Democrats would benefit from our friends in the mainstream press giving us an edge in their coverage.

The favorite Republican idea of eliminating all caps on individual contributions and requiring instant disclosure introduces a dangerous degree of unpredictability into our political process. If six or seven people can get together and provide $250,000 in seed money to a Congressional Campaign, this would do a horrendous amount of harm to those who make their living harnessing influence and raising obscene amounts of cash for members of Congress. In this economy should we really be putting people out of work?

In addition, for success, America requires a stable of government. We’ve worked hard to create a system where only those who are personally wealthy or well-connected to dozens of special interest power brokers can be elected to high office. Imagine what kind of harm would be done to the World’s greatest Democracy if just anybody could get elected to office?

If you’re in Congress, take my advice: take the money and use it. Buy yourself another term or so and feel good about it. You’ve shown those corporate scumbags a thing or two. You’re not selling out, they’re coming to you to pay protection money. Be sure to provide protection and you’ll continue to scare away anyone with serious thoughts of challenging you.

You should take great pains to show yourself that it’s all “worth it.” Be sure to fight for some cause of peripheral importance such as voting for non-binding resolutions affirming Roe v. Wade, and creating non-discrimination policies that don’t forbid gays from working in your office (whether you actually ever hire a gay person is entirely up to you.) Attack Bushco and know that as long as Democrats control Congress, America will be safe from the evils of corrupt Republican Congressmen.

The Screwtape Report is written by Adam Graham. The Screwtape Report is written from a Democratic perspective by a conservative in order to reveal Democratic strategy and thinking.


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