Unmarked bills

This article notes that a number of Republican senators (Gordon Smith, Elizabeth Dole, John Sununu – wait a second, these are all senators running for…re-election!) are ‘giving up’ money donated to their campaigns by now-indicted Senator Ted Stevens. I love the phrasing, that they will donate to charity the $10,000 Stevens contributed to their respective campaigns.

It’s not that they will donate $10,000 to charity, in repentance to or contrition for taking money from a felon – Smith “will donate to charity the $10,000 that he received from Stevens.” This is a shout-out for the Zelizer worldview, then – that money can go from being fungible-and-anonymous to incommensurate-and-marked depending on the context. I hope they marked the serial numbers on the Stevens money, or maybe it was, you know, in his freezer.

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