How Democrats (or the NY Times, at least) are like delusional Red Sox fans 

The liberal reaction to the Supreme Court's ruling on political communications in Citizens United v FEC has been a target-rich environment for media critics and people who actually follow special-interest influence money.

The New York Times unhinged editorial on the ruling may be may favorite moment of liberal hallucination on this issue. Here's the money quote:

Now a similar conservative majority has distorted the political system to ensure that Republican candidates will be at an enormous advantage in future elections.

The editorial offers zero evidence that Republicans would be benefitted by increased corporate spending. The assumption, Big Business = Republican = Bad, is so engrained in the minds of the NY Times editorial page that no evidence is needed -- or allowed to contradict it.

Glenn Greenwald, a liberal blogger who has criticized Democrats (including Obama) from the left, offered this retort to the Times:

Over the past five years, corporate money has poured far more into the coffers of the Democratic Party than the GOP -- and far more into Obama's campaign coffers than McCain's (especially from Wall Street) If anything, unlimited corporate money will be far more likely to strengthen incumbents than either of the two parties (and unlimited union spending, though dwarfed by corporate spending, will obviously benefit Democrats more).

To get more specific, Obama shattered records for raising funds from Wall Street, pharmaceuticals, health insurers, and even the oil and gas industry. All of the most politically active industries in 2008 favored Democrats.

In the image below, taken from list of the most active industries in 2010 so far, I've crossed out the non-industries ("retired" or "Democratic) and highlighted the party which has raised more. I think the pattern is different from what the Times assumes:

Why does the Times assume Big Business loves Republicans? My guess is that they have Red Sox Syndrome. I know Red Sox fans, usually West Coasters who live near U Street, who still consider the Sox some sort of hardscrabble underdog, even though the Sox have won two World Series since 2004 and have the second-highest payroll in baseball. For some people, things like data and winning percentages don't matter -- their side is intrinsically the underdog. For the Times, their side -- that is, the Democrats -- are always up against the Big Money, even when they have all the Big Money.

[For more, on the Left's un-factual reaction to the case see my blog post on why Chuck Schumer is gnashing his teeth about his donors being freed from FEC speech codes, and my column on President Obama using the ruling as material in his populist road show.]

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Timothy P. Carney

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