November 8, 2011

Bailey: Are Super PACs to political parties as asteroids were to dinosaurs?

The fundamental truth in all this is that ‘money is the mother’s milk of politics.’ Always has been and will continue to be. The present system of political parties adds great comfort to the politicians and voters who embrace them. Politicians have a source of ideological and financial support and too many voters are relieved of the responsibility of thinking for themselves.

When information and money are no longer the exclusive domain of the traditional political parties, over time maybe we’ll see the end of partisan and ideological gridlock. Perhaps a new paradigm will emerge truly based on free speech and the money to distribute ideas and positions unhindered by antiquated party machinery. Such an unintended consequence may indeed benefit the Republic.

"We are all aware of the theory of unintended consequences. Most, if not all of us, have had a direct experience with this concept. Generally speaking, unintended consequences can be grouped into three categories:
  • Unexpected benefit.
  • Unexpected detriment occurring in addition to the desired effect of the policy.
  • A perverse effect contrary to what was originally intended.
Depending on your perspective, each of the three may be happening due to the 2010 Supreme Court decision known as Citizens United. In short, this decision allows unlimited spending during campaigns as long as that spending is done completely outside of an individual candidate’s campaign or in coordination with the political party that he/she is affiliated with."

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