Stephen Bainbridge is a bright guy (with an unfortunately warped taste in wine. Too much Cabernet!). So I was puzzled when he wrote, seemingly approvingly “that campaign finance reforms have contributed in a huge way to political dysfunction by weakening political parties:”
He links to an article in The Washington Post by a law professor at Case Western Reserve University, who cites as evidence the undeniable failure of the Republican Congress to do…well….anything. But professor Adler ignores the rather successful Democrat Congress of just a few years ago. Hell, I’m not sure I could tell the difference (the Republican Congress seems to be Democrat Lite), but that’s a topic for another time.
Most irritating is the good professor’s suggestion that one of the failures is that….
Current campaign finance regulations also impede the development of relationships among members of Congress, particularly across the aisle, that can serve as the basis for compromise and deal-making.
Oh…you mean the Republicans’ inability, but you ignore the Democrat’s curious inability and lack of desire to reach across the aisle. And I am rather sick of politicians who see as the pinnacle of the political arts a grand compromise. How about if you have the strength of your convictions and political philosophy, and say, “No” once in a while?”
I am all for campaign reform. But I have no idea what will work, other than restrictive term limits and iron-clad laws against former politicians doing any sort of paid advocacy work.
The fact remains that campaign contributions have corrupted our political process. This is a function of the huge expense of running a campaign, and the ability of our legislators to impact the financial future of individual companies. Think of a way around that and I will support it.