Where's Frodo when we really need him?
While you were innocently downing barbecued brats and craft beer this Fourth of July in celebration of our American freedoms, Harvard Law School's Lawrence Lessig was uttering The Final Incantation required to substitute his own superior judgement for the tired old democratic process you
were celebrating (you misguided little hobbit, you), all in the cause of...yes, you guessed it: saving the democratic process
. Oh, thank God!
As Lessig's own Mayday PAC web site commands us:
Ironic? Yes. Embrace the irony.
Most reg'lar (i.e., non-Harvard-tenured) little people might call Lessig's thesis 'ludicrous' rather than 'ironic,' but "embrace the ludicrousness"
hardly has the same imperative zing to it, now does it?
A recent DK diary has briefly outlined Lessig's Mayday PAC's goal: to be the SuperPAC to (literally) end all SuperPACs, by collecting millions in crowdfunded donations, matched by yet more millions in zillionaires' unlimited contributions, and to use this cash to interfere from afar in five as-yet-unspecified congressional elections this November (plus many more senate and congressional races in 2016) to fight for campaign finance reform:
the money raised is turned over to professional campaigners, who will craft interventions in targeted districts to make fundamental reform the issue in that campaign
Never mind if you and your neighbors happen to believe that the key issue in your district this year is, say, fracking, or healthcare, or the economy, or winning control of the House, or re-stocking the Supreme Court's bench.
Larry Lessig has decreed otherwise, and will unleash his army of orcs on your sleepy hamlet this fall to impose his iron Will.
"Wait, what...?" I hear you say. "Isn't that the whole problem with campaign finance today...out-of-town Big Money marching in, dominating the debate, and buying the electoral result those meddling donors and their bundlers ordain in their infinite wisdom?"
Hey, just embrace the freaking irony and shut the hell up, OK? That, and click the Donate button. Larry's a Harvard Man. He knows what you need better than you do. Maybe he'll decide the best thing to do is to defund the Department of Education and redirect those tax revenues to government-funded congressional campaigns, instead.
The previous diary also outlined in some detail why you should be suspicious of Lessig's judgement. Never mind that Mayday PAC has, as yet, taken no clear position on just what kind of election finance 'reform' is needed and most appropriate. Never mind that it has not discussed how (and who) will choose precisely which campaigns to interfere in. Never mind that Lessig demonstrates a profound affinity for politically associating with the worst sort of Republican minions and plutocrats masquerading as 'centrists' or other species of unicorn, such as his fellow Mayday board members Kahlil Byrd (past president of union-busting and charter-school-promoting StudentsFirst) and Mark McKinnon (political operative to such 'centrist' luminaries as George W Bush, John McCain, Sarah Palin, and Cindy McCain). Never mind that, as recently as 2012, Lessig embarrassed the living hell out of himself by willingly and publicly yoking up with a failed plutocratic astroturf movement (Americans Elect) to co-opt teh kidz vote...and has yet to apologize, or even publicly acknowledge, his profound error. This time for sure. It's morning in Lessig's America. He's tanned, rested, and ready. So click the damn Donate button!
And click it you did. Lessig's Mayday PAC promised that if it could not reach $5 million in online donations by July 4, 2014 it would "admit defeat and go back to the drawing board," but while you were watching fireworks last Friday, Lessig's Folly limped over the finish line with but hours to spare. In a breathless, gushing victory-lap post published that evening he enthused:
You did it. Amazingly, dramatically, beautifully, you did it....After we get some sleep, you’ll hear more from us. But fear not: the campaign to raise money is over for this cycle. I won’t be asking you to DONATE NOW again and again. That bit is done.
Perhaps not surprisingly, this assurance appears right beside the prominent, bright red Donate Now button on that same page, with suggested donation of $5,000 helpfully prefilled.
Will the Mount Doom SuperDooperPAC target your favorite Democratic congressional candidate for takedown this fall for declining to sign Lessig's new, improved Contract with America (perhaps for the compelling reason that allying with a SuperPAC of extremely questionable leadership in order, supposedly, to bring an end to SuperPACs is utter nonsense)? Keep your fingers crossed. I'll keep you posted.