Menus Subscribe Search

Follow us


Was the Presidency Bought Last Month, or Not?

• December 05, 2012 • 9:18 AM

Over at Mischiefs of Faction, Seth Masket wades into the post-election “Potato Chip Analogy” poli-sci wars, which you can find summarized at The Monkey Cage (the question turns on the fact that Americans spend more money annually on potato chips than they did on the election campaign.)

Here’s the numbers-crunching professor (and friend of The 101) asking whether six billion bucks for an election cycle is really the corrosive, anti-democratic force it seems to be:

…If campaign spending is bribery, then by God, $6 billion is too much! $100 is too much! But it’s not bribery. What exactly are the people who donated over $600 million to Barack Obama this year getting in return, other than a Democratic president who continues to advance and protect a mainstream Democratic agenda? How exactly would Obama’s millions of donors cash in? What influence has been purchased? And what do Romney’s donors have to show for their investment today?

It escapes me why campaign spending, which is essentially a short term civics education program funded voluntarily by the nation’s wealthiest people, is considered obscene.

You can read the rest of Masket’s post, “When is Spending Obscene?” here. If you have the sort of family that “talks” about politics over holiday dinners, it’s good to start familiarizing yourself with this sort of stuff early, a bit like gift shopping.

 

Marc Herman
Marc Herman is a writer in Barcelona. He is the author of The Shores of Tripoli.

More From Marc Herman

Tags: ,

If you would like to comment on this post, or anything else on Pacific Standard, visit our Facebook or Google+ page, or send us a message on Twitter. You can also follow our regular updates and other stories on both LinkedIn and Tumblr.

A weekly roundup of the best of Pacific Standard and PSmag.com, delivered straight to your inbox.

Follow us


Subscribe Now

Quick Studies

Banning Chocolate Milk Was a Bad Choice

The costs of banning America's favorite kids drink from schools may outweigh the benefits, a new study suggests.

In Battle Against Climate Change, Cities Are Left All Alone

Cities must play a critical role in shifting the world to a fossil fuel-free future. So why won't anybody help them?

When a Romance Is Threatened, People Rebound With God

And when they feel God might reject them, they buddy up to their partner.

How Can We Protect Open Ocean That Does Not Yet Exist?

As global warming melts ice and ushers in a wave of commercial activity in the Arctic, scientists are thinking about how to protect environments of the future.

What Kind of Beat Makes You Want to Groove?

The science behind the rhythms that get you on the dance floor.

The Big One

One state—Pennsylvania—logs 52 percent of all sales, shipments, and receipts for the chocolate manufacturing industry. March/April 2014