With the Democratic Party awakening to the horrifying reality of unlimited secret corporate spending on elections, I have but one simple request: Change your mascot from the donkey to a deer caught in a car’s headlights.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy the Democratic Party now realizes that this is a very serious problem and they are trying to draw attention to it. Money in American politics is inherently corrupting and clearly voters are worried about the dangerous new influx of cash. Since the Citizens United ruling, the millions of dollars that multi-national corporations are secretly spending to try to influence our elections is a terrifying development.
With these secret groups spending roughly nine times as much in support of the GOP as is being spent on Democrats, it is bad news for elected Democrats, but far worse news for the long term viability of our democracy. The disastrous health care bill was a perfect example of how the huge donations from wealthy corporations and special interests prevented our country from adopting the best possible policies (instead of ones that screw hard working people to enrich big corporations).
However, I’m left screaming, “How did you only realize this now?!?” The Citizens United ruling was over a year ago. Everyone should have seen this coming. Democrats with full control of Washington DC had ample time to see the problem approaching and pass legislation, like the Fair Elections Now Act and tough disclosure laws, to try to mitigate the situation. Instead, they collectively acted like deer in the headlights, standing still as the car hurtled straight toward them. . . choosing only at the last minute to scream for help. . . but without moving.
So, elected Democrats, what is your solution?
I guess it is better late than never that Democrats realized the scope of the crisis, but now they must close the loop. Dems have identified a real problem, one on which the American people agree. Now Democrats need to offer us a credible plan for fixing the system, if we vote to keep them in power. (This is called give voters a reason to support you, or a “platform,” if you will, and it is surprisingly effective.)
The plan must be credible, and not the same bullshit we’ve heard on the public option, “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal, drug re-importation, or any of the other broken promises.
Democrats need to clearly state that they will not allow our democracy to be put up for sale, or have it held hostage by Republicans who will benefit from a broken system. If voters allow Democrats to hold their congressional majorities, they should promise to pass a specific bill by February 1 to solve this problem. And this time, no letting the ridiculous abuse of Senate rules or Republicans awash in this secret corporate money keep it from becoming law.
Highlight a problem, propose a solution, and then put it in place. Then people show their support for your solution by voting for you. This is how Democracy is supposed to work.
Of course, if Democrats plan on only yelling about the problem they should have fixed a year ago, and offer up no real solutions, then the mascot change is in order–deer in headlights, all the way. At least then, people couldn’t complain they didn’t know what they were voting for.