Obama Says He Is In a Strong Position To Amend The Constitution and Repeal Citizens United

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According to a new book by Ken Vogel, President Obama told Democratic donors that he believes he is in a strong position to lead the movement to ratify a constitutional amendment to repeal Citizens United.

In his newly published book, Big Money: 2.5 Billion Dollars, One Suspicious Vehicle, and a Pimp—on the Trail of the Ultra-Rich Hijacking American Politics, Ken Vogel reports on a 2012 fundraiser where President Obama had some interesting remarks for Democratic donors on his future plans to get rid of Citizens United:

“The Supreme Court made a constitutional ruling that was absolutely wrong, and that I said was wrong in a State of the Union speech. In front of the Supreme Court justices,” he said,1 smiling slyly, as he recalled chastising the justices on live television a week after Citizens United. “Because I foresaw what was going to happen,” he told the donors. “I mean, this just basically eliminated all the rules.” He went on, “Because it’s a constitutional ruling—a ruling on the First Amendment—we can’t overturn it legislatively, and there are limits to what we can do administratively. There are some things that probably would comport with the ruling in terms of requiring disclosure.”

But, he added, referencing Charles and David Koch, “the disclosure is not a sufficient deterrent for a lot of these folks who are writing checks.” No, Obama continued, “the only way we’re going to do it effectively, I think, is with a constitutional amendment.” Since Citizens United, some of the goo-goos who opposed big money in politics had reached the same conclusion. “Now, I taught constitutional law,” Obama continued to Gates et alia. “I don’t tinker with the Constitution lightly. But I think this is important enough that citizens have to get mobilized around this issue, and this will probably be a multiyear effort. After my reelection, my sense is that I may be in a very strong position to do it.”

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The president’s remarks are exactly why Republicans like Sens. Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz are freaking out and claiming that Democrats want to repeal the First Amendment. The process to amend the Constitution takes years, but with the political landscape tilting more to the left, Democrats could have a real chance to see a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United ratified someday.

A popular mobilization on the issue should scare the heck out of Republicans. The income inequality issue is on the minds of most Americans. If Democrats and the left could ever successfully make the argument that Citizens United is perpetuating an inequality of democracy, Republicans and the Koch Brothers would both be in big trouble.

Republicans don’t want the American people to understand the extent of the damage that Citizens United is doing. The hyperbole has become so delusional that during his Senate testimony today, Mitch McConnell compared the Koch brothers and other right-wing billionaires to Benjamin Franklin.

The issue is not about free speech. The question is whether or not wealthy political donors should have the ability to buy the government. The Koch brothers don’t spend hundreds of millions of dollars on speech. They are spending their money to buy Republican politicians who will carry out their agenda.

Citizens United is an attack on the principle of one person, one vote. It is undemocratic for the wealthy to be able to buy the government that is supposed to represent all of the people. President Obama is in a good position to lead the charge against Citizens United. The time to act is now. Nothing less than our future as a representative democracy is at stake.

38 Replies to “Obama Says He Is In a Strong Position To Amend The Constitution and Repeal Citizens United”

  1. The gop and other factions have taken away our rights. I am sure some Dems had a hand in it too.

    Vote out the entire congress

  2. Hope its done soon, they are trying to buy congress in this years election!! DONT LET THEM DO IT! VOTE DEM!!!

  3. there should be a limit to everything !!!
    some people should NOT be able to buy the politicians the way these guys are !!!

  4. The Supreme Court has tried to take our voice away.

    We’re not voiceless.

    We can still speak with our vote in each and every election. No matter how hard they try to keep us from voting, we can and SHOULD still vote.

    And we should do this because it is the one thing politicians hear loud and clear.

  5. Hey, rightie trolls. Don’t see you around lately. Could it be you’re finally realizing you’ve been duped? You think the Koch’s and their pals have YOUR best interests in mind?

  6. Seriously, Shiva? What rights have you lost because that sounds just like the Baggers. What rights has CONGRESS taken away from you? And if you think they have and cannot name the Dems who did it, are you prepared to get rid of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Sheldon Whitehouse? Seriously?

  7. Amending the US constitution is clearly pointless. The existing interpretation is clearly a falsification of the constitution, hence those corrupt judges will just issue a new corrupt interpretation of any law.
    Freedom of speech applies because to equate speech with money, means that speech can not only be made with money but silenced with money.
    As such you strip away the free in freedom and make it paid speech, can’t pay, no speech. The more you pay, the greater your freedom of speech and the more you silence others.
    Face it until those corrupt judges are removed you are screwed.

  8. And the only way to get rid of those corrupt justices on SCOTUS is to GOTV each and every year and especially in 2016.

    The next president will decide the replacements for Scalia, Kennedy, and Bader-Ginsberg. The question is, do we want another Bush or another Republican to choose their replacements? Look what the last Republican pResident put in there and why we have the Citizens United ruling today.

    Having a Democratic President and Democratic Senate, we can then choose Democratic leaning justices to neuter Chief Justice Roberts’ power on the court and undo CU through well-written suits.

    It’s the only way.

  9. It’s already gathering steam on a state-by-state basis. I don’t know how the groups are organizing, but they are quite effectively it seems.

  10. President Obama is a Constitutional Lawyer.

    There isn’t a GOP today who understands the Constitution. And their voters are basically in the same boat. If you listen to their speeches, and know the context of the law, you will realize that most of your leadership on the GOP side don’t read legislation unless it applies directly and personally to them and their investments.

    Buyer beware!!

  11. Yesterday I spent a $5.00 bill that was stamped in red with “stamp money out of politics.” I explained to the sales clerk that it was a statement in support of a constitutional amendment to prevent people like the Koch brothers from buying elections. She thought for a second, nodded, and said “oh, you mean net neutrality.” I replied that net neutrality is important too but is a separate issue. Sometimes I simply despair.

  12. It is an amendment to overturn the perversion of the first amendment wrought by the Supreme Court. Maybe an amendment guaranteeing the right of citizens to vote without barriers and toss out any election results perverted by voter suppression.

  13. In California, if I am correct, we the voters, get to vote on it in Nov. 2014, guess how I am voting? Blue@!!!!

  14. Do you despair when foreign billionaires like George Soros buy politicians and elections too? No, I didn’t think so. Can you say hypocrite?

  15. Wow very impressive. Now why hasn’t he renounce his Canadian citizenship and was his mother Irish and he just taking you rubes for a ride by grifting your money. Either way I don’t agree with Mcinsane much but he was right about this. He is WACK A BIRD and you fall for it. Stupid is as stupid does

  16. Why is nobody talking about the fact that, if the Supreme Court shifts, a challenge to Citizens United could easily result in that case being overturned in the same way Citizens United overturned many other cases?

  17. He’s having difficulty proving that his mother met the residency requirements for him to have U.S. citizenship.

  18. I guess no one’s bought the democrats at all..because they are so honorable…Yeah right!! If you believe that I got bridge to sell you.

  19. Do you people comprehend what is written? The poster did not single out any party. Sounds like someone knows the truth but is to cowardly to face facts

  20. If you take away the right to give money for a candidate then it must include EVERYONE not just one party. This proposed law takes away your right to offer your services too, like walking door to door and calling people because money is spent in doing this. This does not just stop the big spenders it stops everything. It would be better to allow money to be given and all donations and services must be made public. Both parties throw money at candidates. The democrats buy just as many votes as the republicans do. But if they had to disclose ALL then we could see what was going on.

  21. No, it doesnt take the right away for going door to door. I am not sure what type of news source would give you that. It takes only the right to buy representation for the highest bidder. And yes regardless of party.

    Your statement all donations be made public is wishful thinking. There is always a way around that. It wont work.

    The people need to demand public financing

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