This year’s off-year congressional elections will be remembered for three things. The first will be the record-breaking levels of spending and the increasingly garish and over the top television ads that money made possible. The election’s legacy will be increased public dissatisfaction with partisan politics, as it is practiced in the United States, with renewed contempt for whomever winds up in control of the levers of power in Washington. Not a good sign for the continued health of our democracy.
While the man in the White House did not produce this sordid state of affairs, he certainly did not use the power of his office or his personal prestige to change things. And having offered himself as the candidate who would change the way politics is conducted in, and presumably out of, Washington, Obama will begin his last two years of his term with a credibility gap” larger than any we have seen since Lyndon Johnson’s day. That so much money could be spent on so much garbage is an insult both to public taste and to the spirit of the First Amendment.