• http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    Very slightly off-topic, but regarding my banging the drum that Obama is just another politican, check this out:

    Obama Prepares Argument to Discard Public-Financing Principle

    “We have created a parallel public financing system where the American people decide if they want to support a campaign they can get on the Internet and finance it, and they will have as much access and influence over the course and direction of our campaign that has traditionally been reserved for the wealthy and the powerful,” Obama said.

    That’s obnoxiously hypocritical, and a redefinition of “public financing” which would draw a firestorm if Clinton tried it.

    Note: THIS IS WHY CHANGE CONGRESS IS ULTIMATELY DOOMED! (in terms of producing *change* – not commissions). A politician will make reform noises just as long as it is expedient. I’m not happy about it, but the incentives are just too obvious and tempting.

  • http://civilities.net/people/JonGarfunkel Jon Garfunkel

    Hold on, Seth. I can accept varying levels of reform and still claim to a political liberal if others would allow me. I see transparency as a more important value than limiting individual influence. So I’ve never been jazzed by public financing in practice, and clearly, neither do Howard Dean or Barack Obama.

    I do share your skepticism about the ultimate success of Change Congress (beyond the proximate success of coloring maps). To quote Hillary Clinton (heaven forbid), many PACs do represent our interests as well. Incumbents take in 10x the amount of PAC money that challengers do, simply because it’s easier and there’s no downside of doing so.

    On the topic, I can’t seem to find any blog coverage of last night’s event at UPenn/Wharton. Strange. I noticed that patent reform was missing from the teaser. Granted, the best hope for reform is in the federal circuit court. What I read elsewhere points to the fact that the federal circuit hearing this en banc is most unprecedented, and could lead to the “abolition of software patents.”