The Spectacle Blog

The Koch-pire Strikes Back

By on 4.3.14 | 3:57PM

Crisis! Sound the alarm!

The Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. FEC has given the Koch brothers new, unabated power to destroy the little guy and fund as many crazy right-wing activists as they so desire—completely destroying democracy! Fear King Kochs!

In case you haven’t heard, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Shaun McCutcheon’s case, which argued that aggregate caps on campaign financing restricted his free speech. He was permitted by law to give no more than $2,600 to no more than nine candidates in an election cycle. If he liked a tenth candidate? Too bad. Giving to the tenth would reek of corruption.

The 5-4 ruling was certainly close, but the outrage from the left is deafening. Here are just a few examples of the doomsday hysteria. First from the Huffington Post:

[T]he current majority in the Supreme Court has no earthly idea how money in politics actually works.

HuffPo even retells the story of Benjamin Franklin telling a woman we have a republic, if she can keep it. Of course, they think this ruling marks the end:

On days like today, it's hard not to feel like we're losing that republic. But our republic can't be truly lost until the people stop fighting to keep it.

Salon.com was particularly insightful in their piece “Supreme Court’s Abomination," where they resorted to blatant attacks on the Koch brothers:

If the Koch brothers want the First Amendment to mean that rich people have a constitutional right to buy unlimited political influence, they and their ilk will use their wealth to eventually bring about the social and political conditions that will guarantee that five people who sincerely agree with them on this point will be sitting on the Supreme Court.

If the only way to avoid plutocracy would be to employ political processes that the plutocrats themselves will eventually buy lock, stock and barrel, then the only way to avoid being ruled by the Lords of Capital is to become one of them. This, in effect, is the contemporary GOP’s economic creed in a nutshell.

Even the “straight-news” Washington Post’s article was dripping with apocalyptic predictions:

An elite class of wealthy donors who have gained mounting influence in campaigns now has the ability to exert even greater sway.

I don’t understand how Democrats somehow believe that a.) money doesn’t already play a huge factor in every election, and b.) no one on their side has money to burn.

They pretend like they are all the little poor guys who’ll never get a say in the political process. They exclaim that the worst will happen, without ever considering that their side has the same chance to play dirty. (Of course, I want everyone to abide by the law).  

Just look at the 2012 election: Obama raised $1.123 billion and Romney took in $1.019 billion. Money won elections long before the aggregate cap was struck down.

I’m not sure I agree with McCutcheon that aggregate caps stifled free speech, but I also don’t think that doing away with them is going to destroy our republic.

Besides, this doesn’t give Republicans an advantage over the Democrats. The Kochs actually love democracy. And everyone needs to calm down.

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