While writing this comment I was struck again by the strangeness of politics being legal and prostitution being illegal in most of the U.S.A.
When you think about it, the transaction between a prostitute and the customer is typically fair and honest. Both parties know pretty much what they are going to get. The prostitute gets X amount of dollars, and the customers gets Y amount of sex. With the exception of pimping, no one is forcing either party into the transaction. Both are free to say no and to walk away. (In principle, they are, and in reality, too. The trouble is that most people have swallowed the whole victim of circumstances mentality that they're now too chickenshit to stand up for themselves in the most basic ways.)
The transaction between a prosti..., sorry, politician and a large donor is much the same, except that the donor gets a less solid guarantee that the prosti..., sorry again, politician will do the utmost to ensure that the customer's, sorry, donor's desires are fulfilled in the law. This pretty much resembles the transaction between prostitute and customer with the exception that the prositician can easily take the money from the customer and not fulfill any of the customer's expectations, thus essentially committing fraud (and if it were a truly commercial transaction, it would be fraud and politicians would be sued and quite often).
The transaction between a prostitician and the voters is even less honorable and even more closely resembles fraud. The politician will make vague promises. The politician will present a certain public image. The politician will claim to fight for the people (who are analogous to the customer above), when the politician has already made other promises that quite possibly run counter to the interests of the very people whose votes are needed to get elected. The politician in this case lies, or at best, obfuscates the real agenda behind the drive to office. Once elected, the promises of the campaign are no longer required and the prostitician can get down to the business of satisfying the client's, err, donor's desires.
So, tell me again, why prostitution is illegal and political campaign contributions aren't? Free speech? Really? You believe that garbage about money being speech? This is about commerce, plain and simple, about exchanging money for getting service that you want.
Aside: Has it really been nearly four years since I felt compelled to write something in here?