The Supreme Court under Justice Roberts has been a mixed bag of nuts, with some good decisions (Citizens United and Heller, for example) as well as bad (Kelo and the Obamacare justification stand out off the top of my head). Thankfully, they got the decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission right, even if they talked a lot of shit in arguing it. You can read their partially-to-mostly blithering opinions here, but I’ll shorten it down to simple points, because simplicity is what the law should be.
- This is a free speech case, first and foremost. In fact, the court mostly nails this in the first line: “The right to participate in democracy through political contributions is protected by the First Amendment….” Except for that bullshit about democracy (AKA the popular killing of free speech), this is the essentials of the case. They then immediately go into why the government should control speech (so the government can prevent government corruption (like putting a nymphomaniac in charge of an orgy with instructions to make sure no one gets fucked)), thus invalidating their first statement. And don’t even get me started on Justice Breyer’s “public interest” bullshit excuses why the government should control political speech. This brings us to point two….
- Money IS free speech, after a fashion. By this, I mean that the application of money is a key way to get your message out. In fact, it’s probably the best way to solve the incumbent problem, by making the bastards justify their legislative lunacy. My only exception is actually buying politicians, but that can be expected, because, really…
- Money is a measure of value only. People who fling the “money is the root of all evil” line should really be punched in the dick. This is because money is essentially a tool used to expedite exchange, to measure the value of an item or a service or (indirectly, because slavery is bad) a person. It is neither good nor evil. It simply is, because….
- The problem is not money; the problem is power. It is the intent of those who trade money for the power to use force that is the issue. This is why it is important to distinguish capitalism (the economic system of free exchange) with the crony capitalist (or more succinctly, corportatist) system that we have. In our current system, one does not have to produce a better product to drive competition out of business. Then need only find the right person to pass the right law to outlaw the competition (I’d list examples, but I want to finish this post today, not 2015). This power of the gun to force other people to your will is the true problem, which means….
- Government, by nature, leans toward corruption. It really doesn’t matter which part of government, which idiotic party (fuck Team Red AND Team Blue), or what talking point is used: as a government collects power, it collects corruption. By human nature, those who seek power tend to use it, then abuse it, to their own end. If you’re lucky, you’ll get someone who generally won’t dick with you while he rolls in the port. On the other hand you might get a nanny-state moralist who knows much better than you how you should live your life. This brings me to my conclusion which is….
- Campaign finance reform is bullshit, and should be thrown out. Like every other thing, people will find every loophole in the law and exploit it. Plus, the assholes that pass the crap are the ones affected by it, so they will design it so that it benefits them (the incumbent problem again). So any campaign finance law, with maybe the exception of a transparency law, doesn’t really do dick. The only way to combat corruption is to limit what any government can do. Because if you can’t buy a politician to pass a law, the “money in politics” problem is not much of a problem after all.