The Real Cost of Citizens United, Explained

October 26, 2012 | Esquire |

The money is the story. The money is the only story. The money was not the only story ever since this campaign began, which was 15 minutes after the past one ended, but it became the only story on January 21, 2010, when the Supreme Court reversed a lower-court decision in the case of Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, thereby demolishing almost a century of state and federal laws aimed at controlling the system by which we finance our political campaigns. The decision deformed American politics to an extent almost unrecognizable to anyone who hadn't grown up in our previous Gilded Age, in which plutocratic influence and entrenched oligarchical corporate power rendered self-government a sad farce.

And the real problem is that everybody knows it.

The folks at Demos, working in conjunction with the Corporate Reform Coalition, released a report yesterday that illustrates quite clearly that the opposition to what the Supreme Court inflicted upon our politics with this decision, and the revulsion against the current election that is its most immediate product, is well-nigh universal. The survey discovered that over 80 percent of the respondents believe all of the following: