Commentary Magazine


Topic: SuperPacs

Soros Flip-Flops on Super PACs

After insisting that he wouldn’t violate his principles by contributing to super PACs, billionaire left-wing donor George Soros has reportedly caved, and gave over $1 million to Democrat-supporting groups:

Billionaire financier George Soros has given $1 million to the primary super PAC helping President Obama.

The funding is a boost to Priorities USA Action in the final weeks of the campaign.  …

Soros is also giving $500,000 each to two congressional super PACs, one aimed at protecting the Democratic majority in the Senate and the other dedicated to winning control in the House.

Soros and other Democratic donors are betraying their principles, though I’m sure they make excuses for their hypocrisy. For example, many Americans believe bribery is unethical and is rightfully illegal, but if they suddenly found themselves stuck in a country where bribery was a fact of life, they might grit their teeth and cave. I imagine that’s similar to the way people like Soros justify violating their principles on super PACs — they’re doing this because they feel it’s necessary to compete with Republicans, and maybe even comfort themselves with the thought that Obama will work to put an end to the practice in a second term. (Though that’s not to suggest that super PACs are akin to bribery, which is a common argument on the left. As I’ve written in the past, the Citizens United decision was a matter of free speech).

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After insisting that he wouldn’t violate his principles by contributing to super PACs, billionaire left-wing donor George Soros has reportedly caved, and gave over $1 million to Democrat-supporting groups:

Billionaire financier George Soros has given $1 million to the primary super PAC helping President Obama.

The funding is a boost to Priorities USA Action in the final weeks of the campaign.  …

Soros is also giving $500,000 each to two congressional super PACs, one aimed at protecting the Democratic majority in the Senate and the other dedicated to winning control in the House.

Soros and other Democratic donors are betraying their principles, though I’m sure they make excuses for their hypocrisy. For example, many Americans believe bribery is unethical and is rightfully illegal, but if they suddenly found themselves stuck in a country where bribery was a fact of life, they might grit their teeth and cave. I imagine that’s similar to the way people like Soros justify violating their principles on super PACs — they’re doing this because they feel it’s necessary to compete with Republicans, and maybe even comfort themselves with the thought that Obama will work to put an end to the practice in a second term. (Though that’s not to suggest that super PACs are akin to bribery, which is a common argument on the left. As I’ve written in the past, the Citizens United decision was a matter of free speech).

Still, there’s a difference between theoretically opposing a practice and actively advocating to put an end to it. For example, it would be absurd for an anti-corruption activist in Russia to engage in bribery while lecturing others against.

Soros and advocacy groups he’s financed, like Media Matters and Think Progress, have been out front in the fight against super PACs. It’s immensely hypocritical for Soros and these groups to decry the corruptive influence of unlimited money in politics when Soros is contributing to super PACs. Either you’re against the practice when everybody does it, or you’re not. Someone who actively advocates against Republican super PACs, but supports Democratic super PACs, is not honestly concerned about unlimited political spending — he’s a partisan, pure and simple. It will be interesting to see how this changes the discourse on super PACs on the left. Will Soros-supported groups continue to oppose Citizens United? Or will they stop treating it as a major concern?

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