By now, Americans have been treated to practically every boilerplate argument against the corrupting influence of money in politics by a Left wing that only sounds more and more shrill the more and more obvious it becomes that their policies are driving the deep-pocketed donors away. Except for George Soros, of course. However, even we were surprised when former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, now a host at Al Gore's Current TV, advanced the argument that fundraising is terrible because politicians hate it.
Yes, according to Granholm, politicians positively loathe having money tossed their way from every possible direction, and would dearly love it if everyone would just stop doing it. At least, that's what she says at first in the above segment. The story changes a few times, you see. First, Granholm says politicians hate getting all this money. She never explains why, except with some vague allusions to politicians getting into their business because they want to change things. From what we can infer, this means Granholm is upset that running for office involves actually caring about the concerns of constituents over your own intellectual commitments. Oh, representative government, why must you be so cruel?
But then Granholm pivots to talking about how terrible it is to have to raise money. Specifically, she talks about the humiliating experience of having to cold call long lists of potential donors, begging for money, while she gets tracked in her fundraising progress. And apparently, at least if Granholm's account is to be believed, she did this while acting as sitting Governor. We're not sure what's more troubling, the fact that she's obviously stretching the truth since cold calling donors is generally work reserved for volunteers and campaign staff, or the possibility that she might not be lying, and actually spent time fundraising that she should have been spending looking after the people of Michigan.
Ah, but all of this has a point! Granholm says she had to do all of this before the Supreme Court case Citizens United came down the pike. "I cannot even imagine how much worse the pressures are now. That case has corrupted our political system, so our politics is no longer about doing the will of the people, it's about raising the money from some of the people," Granholm says.
Governor Granholm, no doubt, is unaccustomed to considering the internal logic of what she's saying. Firstly, if the hellish experience she describes occurred before Citizens United even came down from the Court, then wouldn't reversing that case put us right back in a time when that awful experience was commonplace? Secondly, if she's concerned about learning "the will of the people" rather than fundraising from "some of the people," then shouldn't she want to have to cold call as many people as possible, rather than relying on a select few mega-donors (which is what Citizens United allows, according to its critics)? After all, "the people" can vote with their wallets as well as at the ballot box.
But wait, we're missing the part where Granholm explains the cure for this problem: "The fix to get money out of politics is to amend our Constitution to save our Democracy."
Setting aside the fact that there's nothing to save, because America is a republic, not a democracy, what exactly does this mean? Amend the constitution to do what? Ban corporate money? Ban contributions? Set up public financing? What? No answer, perhaps because there is no problem other than Granholm's own position.