Posted by Jeremiah Goulka at 6:30pm, October 14, 2012.
It’s an election year for the record books — or maybe Ripley’s Believe It or Not. The Obama campaign has now raised close to $1 billion; “dark money” is pouring into the Republican camp and onto the airwaves; and it’s clear that earlier predictions of the first $2 billion presidential campaign are likely to fall short of the real figure. Or if you want to be staggered, consider how much the full election season, not just the presidential part of it, is now predicted to deliver in “political advertising in all media”: $5 billion. That means attack ads coming out everyone’s ears in anything close to a swing state or a contested race anywhere, including, for instance, the 19,000 political ads (mostly by “outside groups”) aired in the state of Montana (Montana!) in a recent three-week period for the tight Senate campaign there. By the way, at a national level, this sort of thing represents one of the great conflict-of-interest stories of our era that no one thinks to report (for obvious reasons): those responsible for pumping up the so-called horse race of campaign 2012 as the most important event on Earth, the greatest show since Cleopatra barged down the Nile and sank, are the very media whose owners will make more money off it if it is.
Honestly, all of this adds up to such a bizarre, nightmarish parody of “democracy” that, if you want to ward off depression, you better try to enjoy the ludicrous spectacle of it all. Take, for instance, the voter ID laws meant to disenfranchise minority voters that Republican politicians and operatives have been pushing like mad this season. … Read More