Obama’s New Favorite Game: Super-PAC-Man

Obama, intimidated by the overwhelming wealth lined up to fund several GOP super PACs (“super” because they could not legally have existed before Citizens United), is authorizing the formation of a super PAC of his own. Well, strictly, not “his own”; the law forbids that. But the wall of separation looks likely to be very thin indeed. Robert Reich provides details, and tells us why Obama, in going this route, is passing up a real opportunity. But honestly, as reluctant as I am to disagree with Reich on anything, I don’t see that Obama has much choice. The game is different now: it’s all-out war, “D” money vs. “R” money, for the best “democracy” money can buy.

Hmmm… “R” money… Rmoney… Romney…

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  • Madeleine Begun Kane  On Wednesday February 8, 2012 at 1:09 am

    I don’t know what other choice he has. So I agree with you Steve. Anything else is begging to lose.

    • Steve  On Wednesday February 8, 2012 at 10:18 am

      Mad, this is clearly the biggest negative consequence of Citizens United: elections can now legally be effectively bought. We already had incumbent-dominated elections (something like 90 percent of incumbents who run are re-elected), and apart from the presidency, it is almost a certainty that Republicans can cough up more money in every other election. A few years of Citizens United and all of Congress will be Republican, and probably the presidency as well. Somehow, Citizens United must be overturned, even if by a constitutional amendment.

  • L'Enfant de la Haute Mer  On Wednesday February 8, 2012 at 2:50 am

    Compare presidential candidate fund-raising

    (and yes! after one full month, I am probably back)

    • Steve  On Wednesday February 8, 2012 at 10:29 am

      Enfant, it is really good to hear from you again!

      The thing about that chart is that it appears to be comparing only actual campaign money. Not shown are such 527 org’s as American Crossroads (Karl Rove’s baby… link is to Wikipedia), which now, under the Citizens United decision, can collect and spend unlimited money independent of a candidate’s official campaign. Inevitably, the Party of the Wealthy can collect more money in the long run, and so we now have two Parties of the Wealthy, each seeking unlimited money from sources who have that money to spare. It’s about as destructive of democracy as one could imagine. Will it lead to your term “democtatorship”? I would not be surprised!

  • upyernoz  On Wednesday February 8, 2012 at 11:03 am

    yeah, i agree that the president really has no choice. mittens has already shown how he is willing to use (or rather, not coordinate with people independently doing exactly what his campaign wants) superpacs to savage his competition in the primaries. even if he really is against their existence, he would be a fool not to get one of his own.

    • Steve  On Wednesday February 8, 2012 at 11:15 am

      ‘noz, I believe “no choice” describes Obama’s position precisely. The rules really are different when 527s can raise and spend unlimited money independent of a candidate’s official campaign. I am “as serious as a heart attack” (Molly Ivins, I believe) when I say that American democracy is now on the auction block, a slave to unlimited money.

      We can fix this problem… and yes, I understand the horrors of doing so… or we can slide into an undisguised plutocracy. In the long run, there is no middle ground.

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