There's a nice trans-Atlantic meme about how you can't buy an election.
Why no, not if you're a candidate. People still lose when they outspend their supposed competitors. But isn't it apparent that candidates are the product, not the purchaser?
Just as it has been long observed that the true target of television and other programming are the advertisers, with audiences as the product and the producers the salesmen, we can see that in electoral campaigns that the real winners are out of the spectacle with which we are presented.
And some people say that elections mean nothing. IOZ usually touts a line like this, and if he doesn't, let me trot him out as a straw man. I hope he'll pardon me.
So what about the fact that elections mean nothing? I can't agree. Elections may mean nothing to the supposed voters, but while I feel that representative democracy is simply some strange, Azadian game in which the old campaigns of civil war and factional strife are abstractly represented, I feel that it may well be significant--so long as we're being clear about which players, pieces, and outcomes we discuss.
In short, all this shit about the primaries and the lever pulling? It's a minigame at best.