A few thoughts after reading it:
- American politics was already corrupt beyond repair, with two big-money parties freezing out every reform effort. The ability to corrupt us even further is a remarkable achievement.
- Citizens United was handed down in 2010. In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama criticized the ruling as Sam Alito looked on in disgust (never to return for the annual theater production). Since that time, Obama has done exactly nothing about it – no bully pulpit, no bearing down on congress or stumping to help ground-level reform efforts. What stops him from leading? Does he fear dark money would cost him his office? Maybe he is just insincere. In either case, he is worthless.
- The hypocrisy of Montana Democrats, who were furious when gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill received a similar, but smaller, influx, is illuminating. Says Tester (in a Baucus-like moment of dissembly), “We had no control over what they were saying. But by the same token, I think probably in the end if you look at it, they were helpful.” Later, “But it was important…We had to remind people of who I am.”
- Finally, Barker insists on describing the cash influx in the wake of CU as hailing from “liberal” and “conservative” sources. I am parroting someone, and I do not know who, but in politics there are no ideologies. Only interests. The only reason that big money is invested in small people is that they return even bigger money. If Barker were to set aside such notions, she would add another level of insight to her already good work.