Monday, March 11, 2002

ALL YOU NEED IS CASH: Megan McArdle takes umbrage over reports that some ill-informed Democratic office-holders have just discovered that their Campaign Finance Reform bill contains insufficient loopholes to favor fundraising by Democratic incumbents. Megan laments:
Okay, so they kept up the pressure on the issue for years to pass a law that it turns out they only voted for because they thought they'd be able to sneak around it. I'm supposed to feel sorry about this?
That the pending CFR bill would lopsidedly favor future Republican fundraising initatives should have come as no surprise to anyone. For years, this point has been solidly pounded home, often with some bemusement, by the entire mainstream politcal analysis corps. I frankly doubt that all that many Dems have been caught unaware -- and certainly those who were deserve to be be on the losing side of the next election.

What's more perplexing than the D's apparently taking a principled stand in defiance of their own incumbent self-interest is that the R's are continuing to resist a sea-change in fundraising law that will apparently unlevel the playing field in their own favor.

Perhaps what the D's are prepared to risk (and what the R's most fear) is the Mickey Kaus-endorsed position -- that any significant change in the usual money-flow dynamics will radically diffuse the power of fundraising -- at least temporarily, until the flow carves out its own natural channels again. And meanwhile, at least for a time, the electorate will have to focus on the message instead of the money.


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