The rest of the country must learn from King County, which had a stunning 71 percent voter-turnout, and now has a good chance of protecting not so much a Democrat from a Republican but democracy from money. This entire election was about the power of money.

WASHINGTON — If U.S. Sen. Patty Murray ends up winning a fourth term, the Washington Democrat will have eked out a victory despite being one of the nation's biggest targets of attack ads funded by anonymous donors.

Murray's Republican opponent, Dino Rossi, benefited from more spending by independent groups funded by anonymous donors than any congressional candidate nationwide except Republican Rep. Mark Steven Kirk, who defeated Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias for the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Obama.

To call it "the most expensive midterm election in history" is to obscure a considerable part of the truth. When we call something expensive, we are implying that its cost is high or went up. This election was not about costs going up. What went up was the amount of money that went into the election. This money was unlocked by a Supreme Court ruling. This money can only be defeated by bodies. King County confronted this magic money with hard bodies. This is the new intensity of American politics: the democratic real against the hologram of capital.