Friday, January 22, 2016

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: steps we can take right now to lessen the influence of money in politics

Impressive, isn't she? That's Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate on the sixth anniversary of Citizens United.

This should be a bipartisan issue. Indeed, rank-and-file Republicans agree with Democrats about stopping - or, at least, slowing - the sale of our government to the highest bidder.

But note that every Democrat on the Supreme Court opposed the majority's decision in Citizens United. It was the five Republicans on the court who overturned longstanding precedent and opened up our government for purchase by the super-wealthy.

Yes, the mistakes we make live on long afterwards, sometimes. We made the enormous mistake of electing George W. Bush and other Republican presidents, and the damage they did lingers to this day.

Make no mistake, plenty of Democratic politicians aren't as strong as they should be in opposing the sale of our political leaders. After all, incumbents in both political parties tend to benefit from these legal bribes. But only the Democrats are really fighting against it.

And we wouldn't be in this situation if we hadn't elected Republican presidents. Republicans get a partisan political advantage from this, since they're the party of the wealthy, anyway. After all, they're the party which continually wants to cut taxes on the rich.

It wasn't just coincidence that the partisan political ideologues Republican presidents appointed to our Supreme Court (all men, all Catholic - which is another issue when they have majority power like this) who opened up the floodgates not just to billionaire money, but to anonymous billionaire money.

Whether you're conservative or not, you can't think that's good for our country. (And as polls show, Republicans generally don't think that. But they still vote for the politicians who continue to make it worse, not better.)

No comments: