During his press conference today, President Obama took aim at Citizens United and the Koch brothers for causing many of the problems in Washington, and skewing American politics.
When asked about the latest Supreme Court campaign finance case that would go beyond Citizens United, the president said,
Well the latest case would go even further than Citizens United. It would essentially say anything goes. There are no rules in terms of how to finance campaigns. There aren’t a lot of functioning democracies around the world that work this way where you can basically have millionaires and billionaires bankrolling whoever they want, however they want, in some cases undisclosed. What it means is ordinary Americans are shutout of the process. And Democrats aren’t entirely innocent of this in the past, and you know I had to raise a lot of money for my campaign. There’s nobody that operates in politics that has perfectly clean hands on this issue, but what is also true is that all of us should bind ourselves to some rules that say the people who vote for us should more important than somebody who’s spending a million dollars, ten million dollars or a hundred million dollars to helps us get elected. Because we don’t know what their agendas are. We don’t know what their interests are.
And I continue to believe that Citizens United Contributed to some of the problems we’re having in Washington today. You know, you have some ideological extremist who has big bankroll and they can entirely skew our politics, and there are a whole bunch of members of Congress right now who privately will tell you, I know our positions are unreasonable, but we’re scared that if we don’t go along with the tea party agenda or some particularly extremist agenda that we’ll be challenged from the right, and the threats are very explicit, so they toe the line. That’s part of why we’ve seen a breakdown of just normal routine business done here in Washington on behalf of the American people.
The president explained that the Republicans who are in gerrymandered districts are much more worried about a tea party challenger, and that makes it harder for them to compromise.
Obama was obviously talking about the Koch brothers when he mentioned extremist billionaires who are skewing our politics. While the other right wing billionaires were active in the 2012 election, the Koch brothers are still spending hundreds of millions of dollars on repealing Obamacare efforts alone.
The reason why John Boehner has no power over the House Republicans is that they answer to the Koch brothers and other big donors first. This is why if the American people want their government to function properly and work for them again, Citizens United must be gotten rid of. Until this nation has elected leaders that answer to the people, the United States will continue to limp from one Republican created crisis to another. Because we have one political party being opposed by right wing billionaires who are trying to take over the government.
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