We are creeping closer to one of those central questions of democracy that you and I love to chew over, which is the proper role of money in politics, or more precisely, whether any sort of limits ought to be placed on individual spending. In the Citizens United decision the Supremes clearly waded in on the side of an absolute minimum limitation and we are now seeing the results of that decision play out during the Republican primary and beyond.
While I was initially appalled by the decision, I have less trouble with it than many on the left, as it becomes obvious that the enormous increases will balance each other out on both sides. Barack Obama certainly isn’t going get outspent. It’s also clear as you and others have argued, that money may be necessary but is never sufficient. See Phil Graham and Steve Forbes in addition to your excellent examples.
But what is essential is sunlight. If the Koch boys, the Adelsons, George Soros and anybody else want to play in this arena, they will have to accept the exposure it brings. My guess is that exposure will dissuade many.