Last night on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, host Ed Schultz had the always straight shooting Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on to discuss the government shutdown. Of course, House Republicans got the usual lions share of the blame, but it was when Senator Sanders started talking about the involvement of the Koch brothers and the impact that Citizens United had on money’s influence in politics that things got interesting. Senator Sanders in the video: “What’s happening now, as I understand it, is when moderate Republicans are saying that, or thinking about standing up to Boehner, the extreme right wing is coming around saying you do that, let me tell you what’s going to happen. We have the Koch brothers behind us. We have hundreds of millions of dollars behind us, and if you dare to support a Continuing Resolution, a clean CR. We’re gonna primary you. We have unbelievable sums of money to defeat you. So what you are looking at now is what Citizens United is all about. And that is giving a handful of billionaires, the Koch brothers and others, incredible power to tell members of Congress what they can and can not do, very dangerous.”
We’ve seen this before. The Koch brothers, backed by billions of dollars, are able to harass and intimidate otherwise moderate conservatives into doing their bidding because the fear of Tea party and other like minded groups singling them out for re-election attacks is palpable.
It’s been five years since the Supreme Court ruled on Citizens United. Kudos to Bernie Sanders for reminded us of how intrusive it continues to be.