After Senate Republicans blocked a constitutional amendment that would have overturned Citizens United, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called the Koch victory a defeat for democracy.
In a statement, Sanders said, “I am extremely disappointed that not one Republican voted today to stop billionaires from buying elections and undermining American democracy. While the Senate vote was a victory for Republicans, it was a defeat for American democracy. The Koch brothers and other billionaires should not be allowed to spend hundreds of millions of dollars electing candidates who represent the wealthy and the powerful. The fight to overturn Citizens United must continue at the grassroots level in every state in this country.”
Earlier this week when Republicans voted with Democrats to allow debate on the constitutional amendment to move forward, it was a sign that associating with the Koch brothers had become toxic. Senate Republicans tried to fool the voters back home by supporting moving forward on the amendment, but everyone knew that when the time came for final passage, Senate Republicans would bow to their Koch masters.
Before the vote, the Senate’s top Koch whore, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “Given the urgency of this situation, I have to say it’s a little disconcerting to see the Democrat-led Senate focusing on things like reducing free speech protections for the American people. At a time when the rest of the country is worried about the threat of ISIL. At a time when millions wonder how they’re ever going to find a job in this awful economy. At a time when we find out that crushing federal regulations have gotten so out of control that they now cost our economy more than $2 trillion a year. This is what they chose to make their top legislative priority this week. Taking an eraser to the First Amendment.”
To Republicans, not allowing the Koch brothers to buy the government is a limiting of free speech for every American.
After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) blasted the Republicans, “Senate Democrats want a government that works for all Americans – not just the richest few. Today Senate Republicans clearly showed that they would rather sideline hard-working families in order to protect the Koch brothers and other radical interests that are working to fix our elections and buy our democracy.”
As Sen. Sanders said, the battle to overturn Citizens United will be a long-term grassroots fight. The point of the Senate debate this week wasn’t to pass the bill because everyone already knew that wasn’t going to happen. The point was to bring the issue front and center. It is important that the American people get educated about what the Koch brothers and other right-wing billionaires are trying to do.
The Koch brothers won’t be defeated in the Congress or the current Supreme Court. Victory will come state by state as individuals stand up and demand their government back. Today may have been a defeat for democracy, but it was another step forward in the battle to be won.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and 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