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October 04, 2018


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Of course, why mention the spending, agitation and media outcry against? Nah, completely irrelevant.

In any event, as in USA TOday, "Believe it or not, evidence suggests campaign spending has the same limited effect. Political scientists have repeatedly found no direct link between money spent in political campaigns and policy outcomes. As scholar Jeffery Milyo wrote in 2015: “[T]he dirty secret of American politics is that this conventional wisdom [about donor influence] is not well-supported by scientific research. The last several decades of research suggest that money plays a limited and ambiguous role in our politics.”

See also, Trump v. Clinton.

BTW, the title of that USA TOday piece?

"Money spent in Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation battle is good for democracy"

Paul Horwitz

I think I've read enough of Anthony's posts by this time to render a personal view that while I may disagree with him on various things, sometimes mildly and no doubt sometimes strongly, I don't think that he would have any special aversion to acknowledging that large amounts of money get spent against judicial nominees as well, including by liberal or progressive interest groups.

I do wish it had been mentioned here, and I think the reason why it's worth mentioning spending both for and against is the dynamic on both sides, in which (1) the same groups make the same arguments again and again, (2) there is plenty of coordination of various kinds, and (3) in keeping with the interest-group interest in continued existence and influence, and for funding, every action becomes described as an emergency and every emergency is accompanied by calls for more donations. Another reason is that the amount of money involved in a very few new groups on the "left" (in this case, not the left, really, just the extra-party apparatus of a few particular Democrats), specifically those connected with David Brock and various related figures, is enormous and so are the financial benefits accruing to a few of those figures.

Anthony Gaughan

Paul, I agree 100%. I should have discussed the anti-Kavanaugh spending as well as the pro-Kavanaugh spending.

Moreover, when it comes to election spending, Democrats often surpass Republicans in the money race, particularly at the presidential level. For example, in 2016 the Clinton campaign outspent the Trump campaign by an almost 2 to 1 margin ($768 million to $398 million). And in 2008 the Obama campaign outspent the McCain campaign by a 3 to 1 margin ($750 million to $238 million).

Super PAC spending also favored the Democrats in 2016. Super PACs and other outside groups supporting Hillary Clinton spent $231 million in 2016 whereas pro-Trump Super PACs and outside groups only spent about $75 million.

Thanks as always for your comment!


After losing all three branches, despite vast spending advantages enjoyed by Democrats (as noted above), does it make sense for Democrats to constantly label Republicans as "deplorables" the "dredges of society" "evil" "facists" etc? When will it occur to Democrats that their message is not accepted by, and indeed offensive to many, including those who grew up Democrats (like me).

An example: the constant harping on Citizens United. WHEre is the evidence that corporate spending has changed the election results? Or, was it the Russians buying 100K of ads on Facebook? (Notice the consistent efforts by Dems to demonize and shut down speech that doesn't support their view.)

As noted above, spending isn't the issue. Nothing is the issue other than Democratic Party policies and messaging.

Finally, someone has acknowledged on this website (I believe this is a first) outright that "both sides" should have been described and discussed objectively.

But, my point would be, neither "side" of this issue (spending to support or oppose a SCOTUS judicial nominee) has much relevance to any real outcome, other than alienating some, and, as Paul points out, motivating others to give money and dig deeper into their holes of party hatreds.

It is seeing EVERY ISSUE as a red/blue fight to the end that is ruining this country.


Whoops. Forgot to mention the gerrymandering excuse.

THat's the reason 538 gives the Dems a 2/7 chance of taking the Senate.

Those tricky Republicans gerrymandered all those state lines, and fixed the Constitution too! All the while, of course, they were motivated by their slavish allegiance to the Czars and all that is unholy in the world.

Never mind the years and years Dems controlled both houses (e.g., when the last administration was elected). Yes, the system worked so perfectly then!


Justice for LAQUAN!


"Paul, I agree 100%. I should have discussed the anti-Kavanaugh spending as well as the pro-Kavanaugh spending.:

So why didn't you?



WHen one lives in a bubble of like-minded persons, supported by focus only on like-minded media, it is easy to perceive all contrary evidence as "Republican propaganda" -- to be ignored, or dismissed. Contrary arguments/evidence? FOX NEWS!

It appears to me at times that persons like AG filter out bits of "news" they see as showing that "the other side" is taking a foul position based on improper motives, and then attempt to loosely link those bits of information to some legal issue. (Sometimes, even the latter attempt is foregone, and the posts are just partisan screeds based on the MSNBC style "news of the day" ...)

But, on further reflection, it would appear that AG didn't mention anything about the countervailing evidence because it just doesn't occur to persons so steeped in leftist ideology that there is any alternative to a highly selective review of facts and partisan view of every issue. Partisans can no longer distinguish partisanship from actual thoughtful analysis.

It is as if they are plaintiffs attorneys who, unlike in the real world, never have heard the defense, and, indeed, do not even believe that any legitimate defense exists, ever. ANd, this is so even when the partisans on the "left" change or take hypocritical positions.

THe problem on this website? Partisans (who seem to have little training or experience or expertise in politics) portray themselves as "scholars." IMHO, that is the reason that some pushback is appropriate.

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