The now infamous Citizens United vs. FEC decision, thought by many to be the worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott, has worried progressives because of the tsunami of corporate money it is expected to unleash into our electoral system. It was thought that the flood of cash would disproportionately favor the Republican Party, the traditionally corporate party (although both parties are now well and truly in the thrall of corporate money).
Whatever the reality is behind those fears, it is ironic that in this year at least, the ready access to big sugar-daddy donors and amped-up Super PACs has kept both Gingrich and Santorum viable much longer than they would have been in former elections. The big donors have kept the GOP clown car running on a full tank of gas, with no end in sight.
One of the effects of this circus has been to push all GOP candidates, including the presumptive front-runner Romney, more and more into the arms of the extreme right-wing fringe of the party, competing by supporting losing policies that appeal to that fringe — the war on women, “self-deportation” of paperless immigrants and other anti-Latino policies, etc.
A party of birthers, creationists, theocrats, climate-change deniers, nativists, gay-bashers, anti-abortionists, media paranoids, anti-intellectuals, and out-of-touch country clubbers cannot govern America.
It’s hard to see how any GOP candidate this year can be elected with the stink of fringe extremism clinging to him.