Since Citizens United, Democrats have struggled with whether to embrace super PACs and the new politics of corruption.
Some corporate Democrats, sadly, have decided to dance with the devil, engaging in a system that accepts unlimited corporate contributions and enables D.C. consultants to rake in big money. In reality, the effort hasn’t been especially successful, in part because principled Democratic donors like Warren Buffett won’t play along.
But that hasn’t stopped Robert Draper from writing a fawning New York Times Magazine profile of the whimpering Priorities USA, the super PAC supporting President Obama.
Yet the story completely warps, and ignores, why progressives oppose these groups:
From the perspective of many Democrats, this year’s foray into post-Citizens United campaigning calls to mind an “Apocalypse Now”-like journey into the maw of something darker than death itself — namely, a morality-free zone in which Republicans alone can thrive. “I think that many Democrats feel that participating in the system would be validating Citizens United, which was a bad and destructive decision,” Geoff Garin says.
Progressives aren’t opposed to the corrupt organizations created by Citizens United just because we don’t want to be like Republicans -- progressives oppose super PACs like Priorities USA because they’re vehicles for corporate dominance of our democratic institutions and policies. And when Democrats get elected with corporate money, they join corporate Republicans to do the bidding of Wall Street. That corruption has real consequences, as when soft money bought the deregulation of our banking system in the 90s, sewing the seeds of financial crisis that triggered the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Shame on The Times. We deserve better from our Fourth Estate.