It’s always fun to take a look at particularly amusing past mistakes. In that spirit I offer this video of former State Rep. Cynthia Davis regaling a gathering with the reasons they should vote for her, the Constitution Party Candidate, for Lieutenant Governor this fall (h/t The Turner Report):
It’s the standard, sweetly oblivious Tea Party Cynthia we all remember so fondly, patting herself on the back for being the “most constitutional” legislator in Missouri, issuing the routine condemnations of government as incompetent and out to “ruin our lives.”
Oddly, though, Davis doesn’t seem to realize what it means that that she got a chance to fix what she perceived as wrong by serving in government. That fact might suggest to some that government actually serves a legitimate purpose and that we need it. Additionally, if, in democracies at least, individuals can enter government to correct perceived problems – and here I’m not making any judgments about the corrections a Cynthia Davis would pursue – it means that in general government has the power to self-correct through the agency of engaged citizenry, something that is not always true of other social institutions – particularly when it comes to private enterprise of which folks like Davis seem to be so enamoured.
Davis does, though, to give her credit, put her finger on a big problem facing our democracy right now. Seems that Cynthia has learned the hard way that politics involves money – and was shocked to learn that her fellow GOPers did favors in return for hefty campaign dollars. Pervasive corruption she implies, is why she, a seeming bastion of “constitutional” purity, decamped from the GOP.
Of course, a meaner-minded person than I might ask if Davis hadn’t actually been rejected by the party first – and perhaps might still be going great GOP guns if she had prevailed against Scott Rupp in the 2010 state Senatorial primary, or if her short tenure as Chair of the St. Charles Republican Party had been happier. Nevertheless, she deserves credit for speaking up now about a real and very obvious problem in Missouri (and in the wake of Citizens United, elsewhere) where untrammeled campaign donations flow far too freely with no accountability. Ask yourself, though, if someone as lame as Davis can, in her halting way, identify the biggest problem facing our democracy today, the role of big money, hadn’t we better get busy and do something about it before it’s too late?
Addendum: More on money and political favors: Paul Blumenthal and Howard Fineman write that what Super PAC donors really want is a return on their investment. Also, more on the “dark money” that, via, for example, Crossroads GPS, is influencing elections right here in Missouri – just ask Claire McCaskill who’s been blitzed with Crossroads ads and billboards – and who’s now, as a result, according to the most recent poll running behind every one of the sad doofuses vying for the GOP nomination.