Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Political shorts

This is the weirdest American political campaign year that I’ve ever seen—and by now I’ve seen a few. There’s so much to comment on, and so little time, so here a few stories that caught my eye this week.

Republicans have been busy enacting state laws to make it harder for people to vote. They claimed they were doing it to fight election fraud, but there’s one slight problem: They really haven’t actually found any. What isn’t explained is why the vast majority of people that will have a harder time voting this year just happen to be from demographic groups associated with the Democratic Party. Must be a coincidence, right?

A study released by the Sunlight Foundation reveals that 78% of the outside spending on this year’s elections is directly attributable to the infamous Citizen United Supreme Court ruling: $272 million comes from Super PACs that only came into being after the ruling, and $93 million comes from corporations, trade associations and non-profits, all groups that can now spend unlimited amounts on campaigns. This is a very bad thing for democracy.

Picking up on one of my favourite unanswered questions, Media Matters asks, “When Will The Media Stop Treating FRC Like A Serious Policy Organization?” It remains a mystery why the SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group is treated as if it was a legitimate representative of conservative thought when they’re really just run-of-the-mill bigots. The fact that they’re factually wrong—and deliberately spread falsehoods—ought to make the mainstream media keep the hate group at arm’s length, but that’s not what happens.

And that’s enough for now.

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