The Monkey Cage's Joshua Tucker tackles the insipid, George Willesque argument that ever-higher heaps of campaign cash are but the equivalent of potato chip purchases (which exceed $6b annually) or--Will's favored analogy--splurging on Easter candy. Notes Tucker, and I quote:
*Potatoes do not have to spend time or effort soliciting donations so they can be converted to potato chips.
*Once purchased, people rarely lobby potato chips for favors in enacting preferential legislation.
*Potato chips rarely, if ever, face trade-offs between trying to please the individual who bought them, their constituents, and the country at large. They can just simply be oh-so-tasty.
*Anyone in the United States is allowed to buy potato chips, not just citizens. Indeed, even children and foreigners can purchase potato chips.
*Potato chips are accessible to all citizens, rich and poor alike (with the possible exception of people dealing with cholesterol issues).
*Sheldon Adelson doesn’t purchase $15 million worth of potato chips for his own personal use (at least I hope not).
We might add that Sheldon Adelson's mere threat to purchase $15 million worth of potato chips within, say, some particular House district won't influence or dictate the voting behavior of that district's representative.