So why are Democrats losing the money war?
There are several answers. The simplest is supply — there are more rich Republicans than rich Democrats, a lot more.
“Second, there’s no self-interest here,” argues Begala. “Jeffrey Katzenberg is our largest donor. He gave us $2 million. He’s not going to sell any more tickets to Kung Fu Panda 2 if Obama gets a second term. He’s just doing it because he believes in his country. …
“There’s a return on investment for some of the coal and oil billionaires who want to see the president’s clean energy initiative shut down. But the third thing is the deep ambivalence that I and everybody else on my side of the aisle has about superPACs,” says Begala.
It’s an ambivalence President Obama famously shared. After telling independent groups to stand down in 2008, he welcomed them back this year. But that didn’t convince liberal billionaires such as Peter Lewis. His spokeswoman Jen Frutchy says Lewis would rather fund progressive think tanks and media groups than TV ads.
“On superPACs, he really believes that the idea of spending fortunes to denigrate opponents is deeply offensive,” says Frutchy. “I would say that is just not how he wants to spend his fortune, you know, in some kind of arms race. He does not want to be part of the negativity or any kind of corrupting influence that money can have on the electoral process.”
#2 is the heart of the problem. Just as facts have a well-known liberal bias, money has a well-known conservative one, and it’s a much more powerful motivating force than facts. Money is what pulls Republicans towards their traditional core values, and Democrats away from theirs.
In a nutshell: As long as money determines the outcome of our elections, both parties will continue to drift inexorably to the right, and Democrats will continue to be for austerity, endless war and drone strikes, and against unions, taxes, regulations, the public option and the rule of law.
Crossposted from Multi Medium