I’ve got to think that no one breathed a bigger sigh of relief on election night than SCOTUS justice Anthony Kennedy. Having been excoriated by all but a few on both left and right for the Citizens United decision — Kennedy was the swing vote in that decision and wrote the majority opinion — he must have been sweating this election season. A breathtaking amount of money poured into the coffers of start-up PACs and Super PACs, not to mention the millions (billions?) raised by the candidates themselves.
SCOTUS had previously and repeatedly ruled that money is speech; in Citizens United, the Court reaffirmed that “Corporations are people, my friend.” Corporations could form for the exclusive purpose of funding campaigns, and go on to fund them anonymously.
Tuesday’s election proved that, regardless of how much free speech you can buy with billions of dollars, you cannot buy an election. I’m guessing that was in Kennedy’s gut when he wrote the decision — that he has more faith in the American electorate than many of us who condemned the decision. Well, if that it what he was thinking, then he was right.
Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS had a $175 million-dollar strikeout:
Minus the millions spent against the president, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS were invested heavily in congressional elections, spending the most in Senate races. Including Obama and Romney, American Crossroads spent money for or against 20 federal candidates in 14 races, while Crossroads GPS focused on 27 in 24 contests.
By our calculations, American Crossroads came out on the winning side in three of its 14 races, with one still too close to call — that’s about 21 percent. GPS did only slightly better, getting its desired outcome in just seven of the 24 elections it spent on; one contest also remains undecided. GPS’ success rate comes to 29 percent.
But at least Sheldon Adelson is $50 million poorer, and we can all rejoice in that.
One of the dumbest philosophical blunders in the losing campaign to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage was the quote you’d hear and read on signs, “Marriage is marriage.”