With all the pundits talking about how much money Barack Obama has raised and spent during the general election campaign, all the hubbub about his decision to opt out of public financing, etc. – I have wondered why so little talk about the right-wing money machine. You know, the organizations (including the Republican National Committee) that pumped untold millions into supporting George W. Bush against Al Gore and John Kerry.
Nobody mentions the little fact that if Obama had accepted public financing, he would have been outspent as badly as Kerry, or worse. That’s because although the candidates have equal public money to spend, social conservatives* and other interests behind the right wing will spend like crazy to keep their friends in power. Campaign finance “reforms,” championed by John McCain and others, didn’t reform the system – they just changed the game.
But we all know that. Right?
If you follow the campaign online, you’ve probably seen about 18 gazillion image ads run by “Newsmax.com,” asking questions like “Can Obama Win?” If you click one (I encourage you to do so, for research purposes), there’s a multi-question “poll,” followed by an email opt-in box. If you subscribe, you’ll begin receiving “news” updates via email. The “news” you’ll receive is slanted so far to the right that it makes FOX News look like, well, real news.
These ads have been running throughout the campaign. Any site with election news that carries Adsense or YPN ads is likely to be littered with them.
Is Newsmax’s spending on behalf of the McCain campaign subject to any sort of limits? Of course not – nor should it be – I don’t see how any spending limitation squares with the 1st amendment… but I do wonder how much cash Newsmax and others are pouring into this thing.
Whether you’re a pathetic tool of the vast right wing conspiracy, a pathetic tool of the vast left wing conspiracy, or just an ordinary citizen trying to make the best decision on election day, know this:
John McCain and his supporters are whining about Obama’s decision for one reason only. They’re upset about losing the huge money advantage they’ve had in previous election cycles. They can’t “Swift Boat” their way to victory. I don’t remember any of them complaining about the “unprecedented” money being spent on Bush’s behalf in 2004. The shoe was on the other foot back then.
Democrat or Republican, you can count on politicians to be outraged at the amount of money being spent, when they are at a disadvantage in a given race.
Sorry for the rant.
No, I’m not.
* Are there any fiscal conservatives left in the Republican Party? If so, why? They don’t even try to balance the budget – jeez, the Democrats managed to do that under Clinton. Isn’t it time we had a party of our own?