Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Clinton and systemtic corruption in the Citizen's United era

"This ruling strikes at our democracy itself," said President Obama when the Supreme Court handled down its Citizens United decision in 2010, barely into the second year of his Presidency.

"I can’t think of anything more devastating to the public interest," he also said.

Now, over six years after that, we don't hear much from our liberal Republican Democratic President except the occasional rhetorical flourish. Unfortunately, it's classic Obama. It was good to hear the President weighing in on the serious of the problem Citizens United was going to cause. But his actions never matched the grim seriousness of the situation he correctly described six years ago.

Lauren McCauley looks at how Hillary's defense of her speaking fees and the Clinton Foundation's donations give reason to wonder whether she will be any more serious about undoing Citizens United than Obama has been: 'Artful Smear' Attack Backfires as Clinton Accused of Denying Impact of Big Money Common Dreams 02/09/2016. McCauley reports:

Since last week's Democratic debate, Clinton has repeatedly accused rival Sen. Bernie Sanders of attempting to 'smear' her with insinuations that she's been bought through political donations, speaking fees, and other payments.

"What the Sanders campaign is trying to do is link donations to my political campaign or really donations to anyone's political campaign, with undue influence with changing people's views and votes," the former secretary of state told CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday, repeating statements made during Thursday's debate. "I've never ever done that and I really do resent the implication or as I said the other night the insinuation."

Kurt Walters, a campaign manager with the anti-corruption group Rootstrikers, told Huffington Post's Zach Carter that he understands how this "might be an appealing defense," given how this charge has resonated with voters and considering Sanders' recent gains on the frontrunner.

"But just like the Citizens United line of thinking," Walters adds, "it ignores all of the other ways that money influences politics beyond the explicit exchange of cash for a vote."

"Clinton, like our Supreme Court, ignores thousands of years of human experience in how money corrupts politics not just through quid pro quos, but also by shaping attitudes," agreed Pulitzer Prize-winning economics writer David Cay Johnston. [my emphasis]
Here are the things the President had to say about the Citizens United decision at first, Weekly Address: Fighting for the Public Against Special Interests 01/22/2016 01/22/2010:

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