Billionaires, such as the oilmen Koch Brothers, have exploited the bulldozing of campaign-finance laws to press their special interests but publicly traded corporations have been more hesitant, with the notable exception of Chevron, as Michael Winship notes.
The hundreds of millions of dollars from billionaires seeking to control the outcomes of Campaign 2012 largely failed as their preferred Republicans mostly went down to defeat. But these gushers of money remain a threat to American democracy, says Michael Winship.
The U.S. political process still has many flaws, but the voters turned back the most brazen assaults on democracy, from plutocrats trying to buy the election to Republicans seeking to suppress the votes of minorities. Fairness on gay marriage and other social issues also won, writes William Boardman.
The five right-wing justices on the U.S. Supreme Court downplayed how distorting their Citizens United decision would be to American politics. But the tidal wave of campaign cash is now inundating U.S. voters with unchecked factual claims, says Michael Winship.
Under the cloak of “free speech,” rich Americans — especially on the Right — are buying what’s left of U.S. “democracy” and doing much of it in secret, insisting their sponsorship of TV attack ads be hidden. Some of their handmaidens even boast about their impending victories, note Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.
For several decades, Corporate America has been squeezing the life out of what’s left of the democratic Republic, applying steady pressure from well-funded right-wing media and political groups. This year, under the cloak of Citizens United, the deed might finally be completed, observes Beverly Bandler.
In the era of Citizens United, a dilemma confronts Democrats who opposed the ruling but now face electoral disaster if they don’t tap into this flood of special-interest money. President Obama’s response has been to turn to celebrities in the entertainment business, as Michael Winship notes.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s recall victory was a glimpse into the future of American “democracy,” as billionaires showered him with Super PAC gifts like they might a favorite new mistress, a concern addressed by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.
As Campaign 2012 shifts into high gear, American democracy is careening toward a crash with little protection against the outsized influence of Money, used to confuse the voters, and the downsized ability of Media to keep the public adequately informed, reports Danny Schechter.