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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > The brilliant tragedy that is the Colbert SuperPAC/campaign

The brilliant tragedy that is the Colbert SuperPAC/campaign
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besson3c
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Jan 14, 2012, 06:01 PM
 
Colbert forms his SuperPAC to mock the whole premise of SuperPACs, to mock attack ads and other sorts of ads that SuperPACs generate, to mock the candidates behind them, and to mock how easy it is to form a SuperPAC that has no restrictions on what sort of money can be generated.

What is at the heart of this? Money.

You need money to get into politics.

You need money to stay in politics/get yourself reelected.

You need money to defend yourself against other campaigns/politicians.

Money can have an influence on legislation, on ensuring there are earmarks and loopholes, and on influencing political agendas.

Money can easily exchange hands and mask its power centers and contributors as Colbert and Stewart demonstrated in their comedic giving Stewart the Colbert SuperPAC thing. I don't know if the document on the show for facilitating this was real or not, but it looked like a simple one or two page document requiring a single signature from both of them. The only caveat was that there cannot be "coordination", which seems like something that can never be proven.

The whole "exploring a presidential run" thing, which is where Colbert is now, is a mockery of, basically, "want me to run? Show me your love with truckloads of money". I don't understand what happens with this money when campaigns disband, but it can't always be a moral sort of process.

The whole Colbert thing seems to be about shining some light on these realities, but it is tragic that our system has become this way. Money + politics seems to be about as good of a mix as religion + politics.

What I want to know is are conservatives and liberals coming around to the ugliness of what politics has become? What will it take for them to unite enough to do something about this, the totality of which ultimately favors very few people?

How is this done? You need money to get attention and shine lights on stuff like this, and you need money to change things like this. It's very circular.

Would you agree that the relationship between money and politics is one of the key components of what is ailing this country right now? As somebody like ebuddy points out, some marriage is to be expected because you need money to do the expensive things the government does, but at what point have things gone too far, if not so already?
     
turtle777
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Jan 14, 2012, 09:33 PM
 
Lame.

-t
     
ironknee
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Jan 14, 2012, 10:32 PM
 
I bet newt disagrees
     
turtle777
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Jan 14, 2012, 11:57 PM
 
Newt is lame, too.

-t
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jan 15, 2012, 07:32 PM
 
Feel better Turtle?
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jan 15, 2012, 07:33 PM
 
Has anybody seen any of the Colbert SuperPAC ads on their TVs?
     
The Final Dakar
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Jan 17, 2012, 01:19 PM
 
No link to the Mitt is a serial killer video? For shame, besson.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Jan 19, 2012, 12:58 PM
 
I'm with David Brooks in that money in politics at the presidential level is probably not very important once you get past a certain point. It's more troubling at the local (and sometimes state) level.

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jan 19, 2012, 04:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
I'm with David Brooks in that money in politics at the presidential level is probably not very important once you get past a certain point. It's more troubling at the local (and sometimes state) level.

What is the basis of his argument?
     
SpaceMonkey
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Jan 19, 2012, 05:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What is the basis of his argument?
Particularly today as compared to 20-30 years ago, there is so much "free" coverage at the national level between the internet and cable news outlets that are absolutely desperate for content that it has the effect of helping balance out the disparaties in PACs, the campaigns' own budgets, etc. If presumably you have raised enough money to meet the minimum threshhold of having a well-functioning national campaign organization, the value added of every additional $10 million is lessened. For example, Colbert's ads are being shown a handful of times on one station, on one night in specific areas of South Carolina, but they get replayed over and over for free on the internet and cable news nationally.

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jan 19, 2012, 10:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Particularly today as compared to 20-30 years ago, there is so much "free" coverage at the national level between the internet and cable news outlets that are absolutely desperate for content that it has the effect of helping balance out the disparaties in PACs, the campaigns' own budgets, etc. If presumably you have raised enough money to meet the minimum threshhold of having a well-functioning national campaign organization, the value added of every additional $10 million is lessened. For example, Colbert's ads are being shown a handful of times on one station, on one night in specific areas of South Carolina, but they get replayed over and over for free on the internet and cable news nationally.

I see what he means.

Still, while I'm sure that the interesting content/head turning free exposure thing works up to a point, I would bet that it is no substitute for actual money.

For instance, Herman Cain was interesting, but even if those stories about the affairs never saw daylight, I still think he would have been unable to compete against the unions, lobbies, and other powerful interests that were out shopping for a candidate that would scratch their backs, if their back scratcher wasn't Cain himself.
     
The Final Dakar
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Jan 23, 2012, 02:46 PM
 
If he was hoping to have any measurable impact in SC, he failed.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jan 23, 2012, 05:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
If he was hoping to have any measurable impact in SC, he failed.

I think SC was a sideshow attraction. The real impact he hopes to have is in reform of campaign financing.
     
   
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