One result of the 2010 campaign is clear before any ballots are counted: Democracy is in danger.
That sounds hyperbolic. But whatever remains of the quaint notion—call it a myth—that in a democracy citizens are more or less equal is in the process of being shredded, due to the rise this year of super PACs and secretive political nonprofits. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s notorious Citizens United decision and other rulings, a small number of well-heeled individuals (or corporations or unions) can now amass a tremendous amount of political influence by throwing an unlimited amount of money into efforts to elect their preferred candidates. And certain political nonprofits, such as Crossroads GPS—the outfit set up this year by GOP strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie (which with an affiliated group is spending about $50 million)—can pour tens of millions of dollars into the elections without revealing the source of their campaign cash. [Read more]