Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Big Sort and Actblue

Gave money to Ms. McGrath via Actblue yesterday in the vain hope she'll be able to beat Sen. McConnell.

Something this morning ( likely reading about the Republicans struggle to come up with their own version of Actblue) triggered this thought: over time our politics have become more partisan, our parties more unified, our legislative bodies more cleanly divided; has Actblue been a cause?

Back in my childhood parties were local--you had Tammany Hall dominating NYC politics, various state houses and state bosses controlling how state delegations voted in the national conventions.  National lobbies were groups like Farm Bureau and the Grange, National Association of Manufacturers and Chamber of Commerce, AFL and CIO,  American Bar Association and American Medical Association.  Dollars for national ads weren't important (Ike did the first TV ad in 1952 I believe.

Anyhow, these days individuals can easily give to campaigns across the country, and candidates can fly to New York or LA to raise money from the rich based on their policy positions, not their ability or commitment to do their best for their constituency (a la Sen. Robert Byrd).

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