President Obama seems pretty pissed about the decision by the Supreme Court to open the flood gates on corporate money into the political arena:
With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans. This ruling gives the special interests and their lobbyists even more power in Washington — while undermining the influence of average Americans who make small contributions to support their preferred candidates.
That’s why I am instructing my Administration to get to work immediately with Congress on this issue. We are going to talk with bipartisan Congressional leaders to develop a forceful response to this decision. The public interest requires nothing less.
The bipartisan talk really gets me here. The only Republican I have heard bash the decision so far is Olympia Snowe. The rest seem rather giddy about it. Here’s a list of some reactions from GOP leaders:
– Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): “It is about a nonprofit group’s ability to speak about the public issue. I can’t think of a more fundamental First Amendment issue. … [The ruling could] open up resources that have not previously been available [for Republicans].” [NYT]
– Rep. Steve King (R-IA): “The Constitution protects the rights of citizens and employers to express their viewpoints on political issues. Today’s Supreme Court decision affirms the Bill of Rights and is a victory for liberty and free speech.” [Statement]
– Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN): “If the freedom of speech means anything, it means protecting the right of private citizens to voice opposition or support for their elected representatives. The fact that the Court overturned a 20-year precedent speaks volumes about the importance of this issue.” [Statement]
– Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): The court took a step toward “restoring the First Amendment rights [of corporations and unions]. … By previously denying this right, the government was picking winners and losers.” [AP]
– RNC Chairman Michael Steele: “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC, serves as an affirmation of the constitutional rights provided to Americans under the first amendment. Free speech strengthens our democracy.” [Statement]
So we are back where we were when we talked bipartisan support about health care – Olympia Snowe. You can also be certain the reach of Wall Street will stop some Democrats for voting for such a reform and given the lack of leadership Democrats have right now, it doesn’t appear likely we will get any new law to limit the money. We will hear another round of crying about “we don’t have 60 votes” while Harry Reid capitulates on everything and doesn’t even force a filibuster. This is what a losing party looks like when they are in control.