This piece is part of the Prospect's series on progressives' strategy over the next 40 years. To read the introduction, click here.
I have an instinctive reluctance to think about long-term plans. Too much uncertainty, too little flexibility in responding to unanticipated problems and opportunities. It would be tragic to fashion a grand strategy, this time on behalf of a very different set of values and objectives than those in the Powell Memo, that risks damaging our democracy as the new conservative (or, more appropriately, radical) strategy has done.
What are campaign finance reformers to make of the fact
that Republican billionaire Michael Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York last
month? Bloomberg's success has reignited the issue of money in politics and
underscored the power of constitutionally protected, wealthy, self-financed
candidates. His personal spending of nearly $70 million and Virginia
Governor-elect Mark Warner's generous self-subsidy of his own campaign followed
on the heels of the more than $60 million in personal money New Jersey Senator
Jon Corzine spent in 2000 and the elections of millionaires Maria Cantwell and
Mark Dayton to Senate seats in Washington State and Minnesota, respectively.