The 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver (Flickr/Rave Delay)
Last Monday, the Campaign Finance Institute -- along with the Miller Center of Public Affairs -- hosted a panel where a group of eight scholars, journalists, and lawyers sounded off on the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United and its consequences for the campaign-finance system. Representatives from the CFI noted that election-related spending by political committees and nonprofits is up 40 percent from 2008. And while some of this is expected as part of the steady increase of campaign spending -- "The big surge in nonprofit money began in 2008," says Michael Malbin, executive director of the CFI -- a significant part of it comes as a result of Citizens United.
It goes without saying that if Republicans win big in November, Democrats will fight among themselves for the right to shape their part of the election's narrative. Of course, this is all a little silly; 90 percent of November's results will have already been decided by the economy and other external conditions. Slapping a story on it doesn't actually tell you much. That said, if you were trying to shape a narrative, there are a few things you can do. If you were trying to lend credibility to your story, you could publish poll results that say exactly what you believe about the Democratic Party, reality notwithstanding.
The one sobering thought that veteran Republican consultants are already contemplating is that the larger the wave this year, the more difficult it will be to hold onto some of these seats in 2012 and 2014 in the House and 2016 in the Senate.
The bigger the wave, the weaker the class and the harder it will be to hold onto those seats. Democrats only have to look at their 2006 and 2008 classes for plenty of examples.
And The New York Timesmoves a little closer to accepting that Republicans don't actually care about the deficit:
If there is a single message unifying Republican candidates this year, it is a call to grab hold of the federal checkbook, slam it closed and begin to slash spending. To bolster their case that action is needed, Republicans are citing major legislation over the four years that Democrats have controlled Congress, notably the financial system bailout, the economic stimulus and the new health care law.