Americans of all political stripes should be outraged at the recent revelation that the Tea Party was unfairly targeted by the IRS before last year's election. But the lesson that the right is drawing from the IRS's misdeeds is wrong.
The shadowy super PACs and front groups that polluted the airwaves with political ads last year are already raising millions from corporations and billionaires to batter television viewers with a new wave of ads.
The Obama victory didn't signal the demise of big-money politics. It didn't spell the end of the super PAC, far from it. And the election wasn't a train wreck for political advertising -- even after groups paid billions for spots that supported losing candidate.
Mitt Romney must realize that he has lost the industrial Midwest because he's completely lost a grip on reality. He's decided to throw a Hail Mary pass that will cause his already-struggling campaign to implode in Ohio.
This election has shown that there is a class of big-money political donors who greatly value secrecy. Their behavior under the current rules provides evidence that big spenders prefer anonymity even when other options are available.
As the parties have grown closer together on the key political questions of the day, narrowing the spectrum of acceptable policy and agreeing on much of consequence (as we saw in the final debate), it is storytelling that has been elevated to the level of competition in the marketplace.
Washington watchdogs are appalled by the sea of money washing over the 2012 election. The rest of the nation is appalled by how that money is used -- mostly on tit-for-tat attack ads that pollute the airwaves and undermine any respect for the democratic process.
"Elections are coercive ... 51 percent get to tell 49 percent how to live. So, elections are not in and of itself the character of democratic life ... Elections in America have so little to do with people -- we elect commercials."
With their canny mix of tech savvy and traditional investigative journalism, ProPublica has created a way to harness thousands of citizens journalists to reveal who is paying for which attack ads on TV and how much they are spending.
Campaigns and Super PACs are raising billions of dollars to win over voters. A large chunk of that money ends up in the pockets of local broadcasters who are selling off the airwaves to place political ads. And way too many of these ads are dishonest.
With ads like the one Courage Campaign insists on keeping up, which proclaims, "Every year my 'cokehead' brother ruins Christmas," society tells addicts and their loves ones that addicts, not addiction, are bad.
In a year of misleading political attack ads and distracted television newscasters, the Internet may offer salvation for voters seeking the truth. A new Google poll found that 64 percent of battleground-state voters have used the Internet to fact-check the candidates in 2012.
With political contributions at all-time highs campaigns have more money than ever to spend on advertising. Despite this, many are having a harder time than ever getting their message across. The reason? Voters have lost faith in the candidates.