There are a lot of people who have been saying a lot of things about the way elections are run in the United States ever since the Supreme Court opened up new avenues of campaign spending in the Citizens United case.
This wasn't always the case. Back in 2008 nary a word was heard when Barack Obama announced he would be the first general election candidate to refuse public funding for his presidential campaign, a good government safeguard in place since Watergate.
If that were not bad enough, none of the so-called campaign watchdog groups showed any interest in the fundraising irregularities surrounding the Obama campaign that were uncovered by The American Spectator and other investigative journals.
That was then. This is now, as the saying goes. Now that Obama is having trouble raising money while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is raking in the cash at a good clip, the idea that money is a problem in campaigns is once again at the center of the debate.
On Monday the U.S. Senate is going to again take up the DISCLOSE Act, an effort the Democrats and their allies want to pass in order to be able to intimidate donors to the GOP, to Romney, and to conservative causes.
The problem is not how the money enters the system. The Democrats have their own groups who are doing just what the GOP is. As the Washington Post reported in June of 2011, "Senior Democrats, fearing a repeat of that scenario in 2012, have put together a shadow party of their own this year—an operation led by Priorities USA but that also includes super PACs aimed at Senate (Majority PAC) and House (House Majority PAC) contests." Pro-Obama super PACs were first out of the gate in their attacks on Romney and they have thus far been paying a significant portion of the freight for efforts supporting the president's re-election.
It's not the new system they don't like—even while they attack it. It's that without knowing the identity of the donors who are giving the money to the GOP, they can't send their mobs arising out of the "Occupy" movement and like-minded groups to the homes of donors in an effort to intimidate them into closing their checkbooks. Last week, for example, hoards of protesters descended on a neighborhood in New York to picket the home of a couple holding a Romney fundraiser, including a plane towing an obnoxious banner overhead.
Other donors to Romney have been singled out by name by the Obama campaign, triggering boycotts of the companies with whom they are affiliated. No such actions have been taken, on the other hand, against individuals or events organized to raise funds for pro-Obama groups. The hypocrisy of the left on these issues should be apparent to anyone who cares to look. They don't want an even playing field. They don't want fairness. They want to force, through new law or through intimidation, the GOP's money out of the political process so they can do all the spending they want, unmatched by anyone who disagrees.
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