I have been asked to “like” a page on Facebook that seeks to draft Martha Dean for the U.S. Senate. Without question, I think Mrs. Dean would make a fine senator, a necessary balance in the congress to a left of center New England contingent. However, it will not do to over look hurdles before attemptiung to overleap them.
If principled conservatives and libertarians are to become serious about winning office, they cannot continue to will the end without willing the means.
Many of them, standing on principle, have declined to accept public financing of campaigns; their Democratic opponents, the servants of other principles, have no such scruples. Money is the means of winning campaigns; more than that, it is the means to transport a message to people who may be confused by possibly false messages relayed to voters by opponents and a sometimes hostile media.
Let’s suppose the end a principled conservative or libertarian has in mind is this: to end the public financing of campaigns. There is only one means of doing so; you and like minded legislators must get elected to office in sufficient numbers to pass a bill repealing the financing laws you consider destructive.
Here’s the hitch: You are not likely to win office by self financing – particularly if you are not independently wealthy, and even then it’s an iffy proposition. So, conservative and libertarians should bow to the inevitable – for the purpose of attempting to repeal public financing laws that some consider are inadvisable and unconstitutional.
I don’t know that Mrs. Dean is willing to strattle that apparent contradiction, and I do not know whether she would accept a draft for the U.S. Senate. Having said all that, I think she would make a fine senator.