“Enough about our ‘corrupt campaign finance system’ already. Let’s talk equality.”

Lee Drutman at Vox offers a generous review of my book, Plutocrats United:

In reading Plutocrats United, I found myself doing a lot of nodding to myself. I am on board with Hasen — equality is a much more sensible and practical justification for regulating campaign finance.

But Sanders gets big applause lines when he says things like, “We can no longer continue to have a corrupt campaign finance system.” Corruption polls well. That’s the reason Larry Lessig has used it in his various political adventures.

And for decades, campaign finance reformers have played to the central role that the Court gave corruption in Buckley. They’ve now spent four decades trying to prove that our campaign finance system is “corrupt,” searching for that always elusive evidence that would somehow convince the Court.

But they haven’t succeeded. At what point is it time to accept Einstein’s famous definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”? Maybe that time has finally come.


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