Just a quick drop of a bit seen on BuzzFeed I thought some here might find amusing.
The article by Ben Smith and Ruby Cramer, entitled The Incredibly Dumb Political Spending Of 2012, highlights a perfectly predictable but amazingly unforeseen aspect of the post-Citizens United world.
The secret story of political money has always been the disdain with which much of the political class views donors: They are meddlers and dilettantes, full of terrible advice and inane questions. And donors are justifying that disdain in 2012 as never before. The casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, by far the worst of this cycle’s political investors, put $10 million behind Newt Gingrich after he had effectively lost the primary campaign. Other groups have poured millions into states their party is unlikely to contest — like Pennsylvania. And perhaps worst of all, their messages often have more to do with donors’ priorities than with a winning ticket. The Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity has drawn particular grumbling for ads whose goal, critics say, is more about ideology than victory in November, its daily message determined, one rival SuperPAC operative jabbed, by “whatever the Koch brothers had for breakfast.”Think about it. Mitt got in hot water when the 47% tape went public, and deservedly so. The clear, unfiltered view of the candidate as a disdainful plutocrat was shocking and distasteful.
Largely unexplored were the crazy-assed questions and suggestions from his $50K-a-plate guests. Big donors are notorious for jamming campaigns with pet peeves and personal enthusiasms.
Think of how bad it gets when the donors become the drivers, plunking down tens of millions, not for some shrimp cocktail and the chance to annoy candidate and staff for the evening, but to actually make and run the ads. The sky's the stupidity limit.
But what the SuperPACs are using to fill that gap is hardly the laser-focused, hard-hitting stuff of textbook campaigns. Instead it’s a welter of mixed messages. One pre-convention week in August, for instance, the Romney campaign was focused on what his aides said was the most effective ad of the cycle, an attack on Obama for weakening some work requirements in the federal welfare law. But the SuperPACs were offering an array of different messages: American Crossroads was attacking Obama over the deficit; Americans for Prosperity was dwelling on a failed solar energy company, Solyndra; and Restore Our Future was talking about jobs.The hired guns of the political world seem actually happy about these developments, not merely because they end up looking a lot more competent and necessary to the process, but because there's just more dough to go around when you dump a couple extra billion into a race.
At times, the messages haven’t just been scattered, but have actually been flatly contradictory. The Iowa-based American Future Fund spent $4 million on an ad painting Obama as a captive of Wall Street — roughly the opposite of Romney’s message that the president is an enemy of capitalism.
“Rich people aren't wasting money this cycle,” quipped Republican consultant and former Romney adviser Alex Castellanos to BuzzFeed. “Remember, media consultants have to eat, too.”There's more of interest in the article. Worth a read, if only for the novel take on the current political landscape.