Steaming hot commentary on journalism, Tennessee, politics, economics, the war and more...

Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States


Those Fat-Cat Democrats
I read this next story and laughed and laughed and laughed...

From the Saturday edition of the WaPo:

The evidence is growing that Democrats shot themselves in the foot by forcing passage of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law restricting what had been unlimited "soft money" donations to political parties.

A report released yesterday by the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group, found that, contrary to common perceptions, Republicans have a big advantage over Democrats in donations from small donors, while Democrats are king among only the biggest.

The study, analyzing donations during the 2002 campaign cycle, found that those little guys giving less than $200 to federal candidates, parties or leadership political action committees contributed 64 percent of their money to Republicans. By contrast, those fat cats giving $1 million or more contributed a lopsided 92 percent to Democrats. The only group favoring Democrats, in fact, were contributors giving more than $100,000.

"The findings illustrate the Republicans' strong advantage over Democrats in the current system," the center concluded. That's for sure. With the McCain-Feingold law capping total contributions at $95,000 per person, the Democrats are plain out of luck.
Lemme see if we understand what we just read.
1. Democrats rely on on a relatively small number of elite millionaires and wealthy fat-cats for their support, while Republicans rely on a vast army of small donors.

2. The campaign finance reform law known as McCain-Feingold was pushed for by Democrats, and most of the Republicans who voted for it did so becuase they were tired of being beaten up in the press and on the campaign trail for being against "campaign finance reform" and against taking "big money" outta politics. But the party that will be hurt most by McCain-Feingold is going to be the Democrats.

3. Because Republicans are the party of the little guys, while the Democrats are the party of the wealthy fat-cats.
There IS justice in this world!

I just wonder of McCain didn't snooker Feingold and the rest of the Democrats on this.

[Hat Tip: John Dunshee]

UPDATE: Even funnier...
In 1996, after it was clear that Bob Dole would be the Republican nominee but before he had selected a running mate, the Clinton campaign ran a series of commercials linking Mr. Dole to Newt Gingrich, then the abrasive speaker of the House, implying that the Republican ticket would be Dole-Gingrich.

The Dole campaign was out of money, having spent what was allowed before the general election. But the Republican Party answered the challenge somewhat with soft money, the unrestricted donations from corporations, unions and wealthy individuals.

The Democratic nominee next year cannot count on soft money as a backup. The campaign finance law enacted last year banned soft money. If the law, commonly known as the McCain-Feingold law, is upheld by the Supreme Court this fall, the Democratic nominee in 2004 is not likely to have the means to respond to the commercials attacking him.

If the Democratic nominee has accepted matching funds to compete in the primaries, he will almost certainly have reached his spending limit by the end of March.
UPDATE: Michael Williams has some additional commentary. Would it surprise you to know that Democratic party leaders are hard at work evading McCain-Feingold? I didn't think so. Republicans are doing it to - but, as the WaPo made clear two months ago, it is the Democrats who are charging ahead the fastest in seeking ways to evade the campaign finance reform they championed.