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Ear to the Ground

Obama on Reddit: Overturn Citizens United

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Posted on Aug 30, 2012
origamiguy1971 (CC BY 2.0)

During an “Ask me anything” session on the social news website Reddit, President Obama tepidly suggested “mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United” in the days ahead.

Many of his supporters would like to see the Democratic president spearhead a campaign to end the flooding of electoral politics with corporate money. But the facts suggest it’s too little too late: Republicans are set to spend more than $1 billion in the effort to recapture the White House this November. A slew of right-wing billionaires have been pumping tens of millions of dollars into media campaigns in vital swing states.

Obama recognized the virtual impossibility of overturning Citizens United in the current political landscape, but meekly said the effort would make a necessary demonstration of what should be done with regard to money in politics—a sentiment many on the left were looking for in greater force two years ago during the battle for a public health insurance option.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

The idea of overturning Citizens United through a constitutional amendment has been gaining steam in recent months. Such a move would be virtually impossible to achieve, as it would require ratification by three-quarters of the country’s 50 states.

Obama acknowledged the difficulties, but argued that a push for an amendment would be valuable in itself. “Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.”

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