Sunday, November 09, 2014

Couldn't Have Happened To A Nicer Bunch of Socialists

Teachers unions spent big on the midterm elections and lost big -- dropping as much as $80 million on mostly Democratic candidates.

The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers spent their members' dues to support labor-friendly candidates in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and North Carolina, only to see Republicans win handily. Some critics say not only did they get little bang for their bucks, they may have further alienated members who don't share the organizations' politics.  link
Do the lefties still want to get big money out of politics?   Does Tom Steyer?
In the last days before the midterm elections, Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist who spent at least $57 million of his own money to influence Tuesday’s outcome — more than any other single donor — set off on a frenetic get-out-the-vote tour to Colorado, Iowa and finally New Hampshire. There, he told business owners in Portsmouth that climate change is an economic issue, thanked college students in Durham for knocking on doors, and gave a pep talk to canvassers in Dover before they fanned out to collect voter data on their smartphones. After all that, Mr. Steyer appears to have largely wasted his time and money.  (boldface mine--Darren)


allen (in Michigan) said...

The big question for me, and much of the pundit-sphere, is what the Republicans plan to do with their newly-acquired political muscle. What's the low-hanging fruit and what are the stretch goals?

My fear is that, having climbed the mountain, the Republicans will pat themselves on the back and lay down for a well-earned rest.

Ellen K said...

I know that pratfalls and slapstick are the lowest forms of humor, but I can't help but giggling when self-righteous millinaires slip on their own egos to land an puddle of rancid economic figures. Steyer should have spent that money on concrete programs or even something beneficial like building housing for the low income among us. Instead he tried to play kingmaker. I hope he's having a great deal of buyer's remorse.

maxutils said...

I have a number of exceptionally liberal friends who want to see big money out of politics …and as a third partier, I want it more than they do. But … it has to be done across the board. Until there's a real discussion about public financing and Constitutional amendments, it's not going to happen …so, really, they are being no more hypocritical than are those on the right. The Dems just tend to raise more money ...

allen (in Michigan) said...

What kind of third partier?

God, tell me your not one of those "libertarians" who's in favor of public financing of political campaigns. I'm not sure I could take that.

Money's certainly important but the history of politics is full of exceptions to the tediously cynical belief that it's money uber alles. We, the people, with an annoying regularity, prove that when our noses get out of joint they're a really bad choice of appendage with which to try to lead us around.

Rather then publicly-funded political campaigns I'd go in the opposite direction. The Federal Election Commission serves no valid purpose when you've got a First Amendment so should be disbanded.

maxutils said...

Yes Allen, I am one of those. but public funding only if we also eliminate private donations. Otherwise, there's no point. I'm very tired of not being able to see my party represented nationally, or, now to even be able to vote for them. I'm sure you would feel the same way if your party of choice were to be prevented from participating in any meaningful way in an election.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Since "public" almost inevitably squeezes out "private" the clarification is redundant.

I kind of like the two-part system. It tends to keep the leadership in a constant state of anxiety due in no small part to elections like the one that just transpired. I find to be an intensely gratifying state of affairs.

There's always a hunt for the "sweet spot" that's far enough along the spectrum to energize the faithful but not so far that it frightens the generally uninterested.

I also like the fact that the parties are largely incapable of exerting any party discipline. There are right-wing Democrats and left-wing Republicans and if you're an incumbent then you've been anointed not by the party leadership but by the people that count, your constituents.

The real problem for the smaller parties is that both the Democrats and the Republicans are highly motivated to crib from them if they show much in the way of success.