Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) explained on The Ed Show how the Koch brothers are using threats and their money to keep the government shut down.
Ed Schultz asked the Vermont Senator if the Citizens United was the root cause of the government shutdown standstill.
In many respects it is. What’s going on right now. We have seen some moderate, moderate conservative Republicans having the guts to stand up to Boehner and say,ok, we don’t like Obamacare, but you know what? We don’t think you should shut down the government. We are prepared to vote for a clean CR, Continuing Resolution.
What’s happening now, as I understand it, is when moderate Republicans are saying that, or thinking about standing up to Boehner, the extreme right wing is coming around saying you do that, let me tell you what’s going to happen. We have the Koch brothers behind us. We have hundreds of millions of dollars behind us, and if you dare to support a Continuing Resolution, a clean CR. We’re gonna primary you. We have unbelievable sums of money to defeat you.
So what you are looking at now is what Citizens United is all about. And that is giving a handful of billionaires, the Koch brothers and others, incredible power to tell members of Congress what they can and can not do, very dangerous.
Citizens United is the Supreme Court decision that opened the door for billionaires like the Koch brothers to control the Republican members of Congress.
The Koch millions didn’t disappear from our political system after Obama was reelected in 2012. The government shutdown demonstrates that the Kochs and their fellow right wing billionaires are still fighting in defiance of the results of last year’s election. Moderate Republicans may say that they are willing to defy Boehner and vote for a clean CR, but many of these same Republicans aren’t willing to defy the Kochs. Until the Koch brothers are the other right wing billionaires are going to feel any pain, expect Republicans to refuse to open the government and raise the debt ceiling.
Democrats have to dig in and fight, because this battle isn’t about really spending, budgets, or even Obamacare. The confict isn’t even about who controls the government. What is at stake is the kind of government that the United States will have. Will democracy’s brightest star be a government for the many, or will it be a government dicatated by the wealthy few?
The government will eventually reopen, but what is to be determined is what kind of government it will be.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association