Ann Laurie over at Balloon Juice enjoys pointing out the irony that Citizen's United effectively created the Gingrich "situation" in the GOP primary.
Jonathan Chait, at NYMag’s Daily Intel, on “How Citizens United Created Newt“:
...Money is the primary mechanism that parties use to herd voters toward the choices the elites would prefer them to make. The nomination of George W. Bush offers a classic example. Bush and his network had organized so many Republicans to donate so much money that the contest was essentially over well before a vote had been cast. The Bush fund-raising network didn’t involve a handful of billionaires in a room. It required thousands of fairly affluent people working together.If Gingrich does win, veteran GOP strategists tell CNN to expect pressure on Senate Minority Leaders Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders to call key GOP donors and ask them not to contribute to Gingrich’s campaign.
In 2000, the Bush network froze challenger John McCain out of party fund-raising networks. Now, the GOP is trying to do this again on behalf of Romney:
Ten years ago, this sort of edict would have suffocated Gingrich. But under the present system, Gingrich can simply have a single extremely wealthy supporter, Sheldon Adelson, write a series of $5 million checks. “Winning Our Future” is Gingrich’s “independent” PAC, and it’s an entire shadow campaign, complete with a ground operation in addition to advertising. Adelson’s money isn’t enough for Gingrich to attain parity with Romney – he’s probably being outspent at least two to one – but it is keeping him alive…
This is indeed delicious, except that it's going to keep happening. As wealth becomes increasingly concentrated, each election cycle will bring with it another (or 2 or 3) Shelden Adelson(s) who can bankroll a single candidate.
In 2012 we saw Herman Cain and Rick Santorum, fake candidates running to increase their street cred and speakers fees. In 2016 and 2020 we'll see candidates funded by the oil lobby, or big pharma, or foreign interests (how would we know) advancing specific agendas on the national stage.
Not good, all this money. Repeal Citizen's United.