Citizens United and the Corporate Fat Cats Stole This Election

Gary G. Kohls, MD

“In a country whose Supreme Court has straight-up legalized the outright purchase of elections by Corporate Fat Cats, how can the electorate possibly be shocked when the elections are outright purchased by Corporate Fat Cats?” –Anonymous blogger

Last week’s Duty to Warn column was written long before the election results were reported. As was the case for many of the progressives I know, I have long been disgusted with both major political parties, the mainstream media’s reporting on issues, the campaign strategies of almost every major party candidate, and the reliance of the voters on the ridiculous, very expensive commercials that were unaffordable for candidates who espoused the values most of us would like to see in Congress, the White House, and the courts (see that honorable list at and gear up to generate and then support political candidates who agree with that list).
I was planning on writing about the tragic realities of Kristallnacht and the Final Solution for European Jews during the week of its anniversary (11/9/38), but the election season somehow co-opted that decision. That column will have to be delayed.
Instead, I decided to quote a number of anonymous bloggers’ comments about last week’s election that I found on a couple of websites. I happen to agree with the comments. I have done some editing.

“Why does America continueto be so unbelievably blind?

“For all of the analysis of what the Republicans did and have done in the past, the question still remains, why would the American people vote for them? Why can’t America see that these Far Righters are out to destroy everything? Do the people of America really want to become irrelevant serfs, in a very real sense, with no rights, no economics, and no future?

“The bad guys are winning, but they have NOT won yet.

The Voters Threw the Wrong Bums Out

“Mitch McConnell’s and the GOP’s oath to limit Obama to one term didn’t work, but the non-stop obstruction has harmed the country to the point that the voters threw the bums out. Only the voters, because of their ignorance and apathy, threw the wrong bums out and elected a new set of even worse bums, mostly wing-nuts and whack-jobs.
“The tragedy of this election is that when the nation awakens from its long, national nightmare, it will find itself stuck for the next six years with those recently elected to the Senate. We are fortunate that the 2010 crop of Tea Party Republicans will face the voters again in 2016, a presidential election year when the Democratic base is more likely to vote.
“The current GOP policy of gridlock most closely resembles U.S. actions in the Vietnam War where the U.S. ‘destroyed villages to save them.’ The Republicans are destroying portions of the country and the lives of millions of Americans to save us—GOP style. And the people they purport to save us from are they themselves, not the fictional Obama ‘rush to socialism.’”
“Leading Republicans managed to mask their true positions—the biggest secret of the Republican triumph (that the destructive six years of obstructionism in Congress can be a winning political strategy in a nation of voters that are so easily brainwashable).
“From Day 1, McConnell and his colleagues have done everything they could to undermine effective policy, like refusing to boost infrastructure spending. This was bad for America but good for Republicans. Most voters don’t know much about the political or legislative process, so all they saw was that the man in the White House wasn’t delivering prosperity fast enough—and they punished his party.”
“Today’s Democrats don’t know how to campaign for office. The Dems could have had an over-flowing platform exposing Republicans for their blunders and their crazy policies.
“If they had told the truth about Obama’s accomplishments and included the fact that Republicans constantly and consistently obstructed his attempts to pass legislation, perhaps election results would have been different.
“Granted that the Democratic base was too stupid to vote and therefore we got the government we deserve. According to several polls, most Americans prefer a moderate Democratic agenda, and yet Democrats refuse to run on those policies that would be most attractive to most voters. They and the mainstream media went along entirely with the GOP agenda. Until Democrats can wise up and have the courage to tell the truth about political realities in this country, they will continue to lose elections.
“The American public is too busy, too lazy, too uneducated, too apathetic, too irresponsible (add here the adjective of your choice) to pay much attention to politics. I guess Democrats will only vote for president.

It Has Only Been Legal for Corporate Fat Cats to Buy Elections for a Short Time

“In a country whose Supreme Court has straight-up legalized the outright purchase of elections by Corporate Fat Cats, how can the reader possibly be shocked when the elections are outright purchased by Corporate Fat Cats?
“It has only been legal to buy elections for a comparatively short time, and there was a learning curve to such a legal bastardization of Democracy, even for the Corporate Fat Cats.
“There is no ‘mystery’ here—what we witnessed was simply the application of Citizens United to the Political Sweet Spot where the ‘rubber meets the road.’

“Why would anyone bother to rig elections in the smoke-filled backrooms of yesteryear, when it is now perfectly legal to do so right on the steps of the capitol building—and in broad daylight to boot?”

The Winners This Time? The Masters of the Art of Hate-mongering, Voter
Roll-flushing, Gerrymandering, Cheating, Lying, and Scorched-earth Policies

In a  response that was addressed to an Obama-hating, racist troll, one blogger said, “(I will not grace you with the title “Conservative” as that implies an individual one can have a discussion with and perhaps agree in a respectful manner to disagree whilst both are able to make concessions.) I suppose that you will temporarily flourish under your temporarily revived masters of the art of hate-mongering, voter roll-flushing, gerrymandering, cheating, and lying with the scorched-earth toadies that wish to take this country back to elite-ruled feudalism.”
“That’s all part of the long-term plot. America is the most powerful but one of the least civilized nations in the world, known in some rational lines of thought as ‘The United States of Amnesia.’ The alleged ‘Land of the Free’ has lost its center, as well as its common sense, its common civility, and the power of the commons to shape its present and future.
“And like all empires, it will overreach (in fact, it is already doing so from sheer habit) and collapse in on itself, in spite of itself, its ambitions, and its grandiose size, much like the controlled demolitions on 9/11/01 that exploded and pulverized into fine dust both World Trade Center towers and then demolished Building 7 five hours later.
“That is, of course, if it survives an intervening self-generated apocalypse.”
“There are few patriots in the elite class and none in the One Percent; and the .001 Percent lust for the U.S. to become a banana republic so they can own it.”
“The Republican Party has been taken over by religious zealots and, like all religious zealots, they will never admit their errors under any circumstances or consider their dogma to be wrong in any way. The Republican (atheistic) Ayn Randian Tea Party religion, like ISIS, can only be destroyed by education and by replacing their zealotry with common sense. Like ISIS, it will take a generational change to do this.”
“After the 2008 Bush crash, I had hopes that it was the end of the 30 -ear conservative era. I thought that this disaster was too great to ignore exactly what the obvious causes were. Boy was I wrong! Republicans successfully blamed Carter, Clinton, Barney Frank, Pelosi, and low-income home owners for the mortgage crisis and then successfully blamed Obama for the debt he inherited from the Bush tax cuts. Reagan has been given sainthood, and they still believe in his discredited trickle-down economics, proposing even more tax cuts to deal with this debt. Yes, Democrats hold plenty of blame over the last 30 years, but it’s only to the extent they have embraced conservative ideology.
“Enough of this endless, mindless partisan bickering. The mainstream media needs to talk about these failures that continue to be repeated.”
“Psychological studies have shown that the basic mindset of conservatives and progressives are different and each reacts differently to the same input. The conservative brain is more attuned to fear, less able to discern nuance, and more rigid.
“Trickle-down taxation and free-market economics have been a disaster for the common man.
“The agenda of commoditizing politicians, tax ‘relief’ for the undeserving rich, and gutting industry regulation was pushed by conservatives. I’m no fan of corporatist Bill Clinton, but it was a harried presidency that signed on to the GOP’s Gramm-Bliley-Leach (all Republicans) bill that repealed FDR’s Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. Then Cheney/Bush et al. bankrupted the nation by sending our youth to an illegal and immoral war whose primary goal was to create business opportunities for oil companies.
“Every politician that goes to bat for the common man caucuses with the Democrats (Warren, Sanders, Grayson, others). There is not a single Republican in Congress that is working for the benefit of We The People. You don’t have to look behind the curtain to see that.”

Two Parts of the Problem: Democrats Place Political Survival Over the Good of the
Country, and Both Parties Serve the Needs of the One Percent

“Part of the problem is that the Democrats place political survival over the good of the country. The country would have been better off had Clinton not signed off on Glass-Steagall and instead spoke strongly to voters about the potential disaster of this move.
“Democrats caving into Republicans over and over again has brought us to where we are today. This recent election was one more example of this weakness. Democrats shy away from progressive principles and their own president and lose anyway. Even when Democrats are in the majority, Republicans continue to push the country to the right because Democrats will not stand their ground.
“The debate needs to be about conservative vs. progressive ideology rather than Republican vs. Democrat. Define a center by what voters support, not by the culture war, which is largely a distraction. The partisan debate is not reality based.”
 “Nixon, Reagan, both Bushes, both Clintons, Kerry, Romney, the 5-4 Supreme Court, Obama and BOTH political parties serve the needs of industry. The obstructionism of the Corporate Congress was merely a way to make it happen.”

A Winning Political Strategy: Obstructionism Bordering on Sabotage

“But the biggest secret of the Republican triumph surely lies in the discovery that obstructionism bordering on sabotage is a winning political strategy in America.
“Of course, that pro-corporate strategy has been ‘business as usual’ in most so-called democracies for decades.”
“Obama and his handlers hung themselves out to dry when the nebulous promises of ‘hope and change’ and ‘yes we can’ were revealed to be only empty campaign promises.
“Six years of unfulfilled (admittedly often sabotaged by the GOP) promises (closing Guantanamo; getting out of Iraq permanently; no new wars, versus what happened in Libya, Syria, Ukraine) and then ‘half-a-loaf’ ‘reforms’ (corporate-friendly Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, quantitative easing, waffling on pipelines and fracking) nailed the lid on the Democrats’ reputation with even the most optimistic progressives.
“While the Republicans are wrong about everything, that doesn’t make Obama’s Democrats ‘right’ about everything either.
“The Republican base is intransigent; they will vote for the party until Armageddon comes—maybe longer. The ‘progressive’ voters Obama coaxed away from the third parties (and off the couch) this time only voted for local politicos and ballot items where they believed their vote mattered.
“Both halves of Washington’s duopoly (i.e., the two wings of our single Corporate War Party, one wing center-right and the other far right) are seen as unsupportable to informed voters that still have some morals.”
“I received an email Thursday from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, asking that we let President Obama know that we stand with him. I fired back the most angry response ever (knowing of course they wouldn’t even see it, but it felt good).
“I said, ‘You ask me to let President Obama know that I stand with him???? You G-D mother f**kers! While you ran away from a successful president you are asking me to stand with him? You ran away from his ending the war in Iraq; you ran away from his bringing unemployment down from over 10 percent to 5.8 percent; you ran away from the president who gave 30 million Americans access to health care; you ran away from our president who kept us out of a recession; and you asked the president to hold off on immigration reform so as not to hurt the candidates who LOST ANYWAY? By running away you ran right into the Republican message! And the DCCC wants me to let the president know I’m with him? I WAS WITH HIM WHEN YOU RAN AWAY FROM HIM! This is why the Democrats lost: they are limp, wet noodle, pantywaists who don’t stand for anything anymore.”
“They asked me for money constantly throughout the campaign. And they counseled the candidates to run away from a successful presidency. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of a party that is weak-kneed and frightened by Tea Party lunatics! Republicans can take the Senate when Congress’ approval is 9 percent and Obama’s is 41 percent? Are you F**KING KIDDING ME? Sorry, Democrats, you got what you deserved, but for once can’t you think about us? I’m mad! You should be too.”