Tag Archives: Citizens United

Political Parties & the New “Wild West”

Last weekend I attended the annual meeting of the Northeastern Political Science Association and participated in a panel discussion of the “Future of the Political Parties.” It is my contention that for parties uncertainty and flux are the orders of the day, both for partisans and political scientists. The political and institutional environment in which American political parties operate today looks to me like a 21st Century version of the “wild west.”

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I (heart) Pandering and Gridlock

Since Ed Markey’s comments on Dred Scott and Citizens United some including the Boston Globe’s Farah Stockman have said bad analogy, but Citizen’s United is a grave threat to democracy and should be repealed. So before I get to my admiration for pandering and gridlock let’s start today with a quiz:

Q: Has Citizens United tilted Washington toward the rich?

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Who’s Gaffe is it? Markey’s or the Media’s?

Was Ed Markey’s comparison of the Dred Scott decision to the Citizens United decision a “gaffe?” Are we in for another US Senate election where the press, pundits, and political wise men desperately try to convince us that “little things mean a lot?”

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Who will blink first?

Republican Scott Brown and his Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren, are pioneers in the post Citizens United political world. These two candidates for US Senate in Massachusetts have agreed to discourage outside group spending in their race. The impact of this noble truce is something worth studying carefully.

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Jim McGovern seeks to protect We, the People

Worcester Congressman Jim McGovern has been busy this year trying to protect the average American citizen who, he has written, has become more cynical and hopeless about politics since the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision in 2010. His cure is the People’s Rights Amendment to the Constitution.

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Spoiler Alert

Newt’s victory in South Carolina was good for the news media and good for Democrats who enjoy seeing intra-Republican squabbling, but not a sign that Gingrich will become the 2012 Republican nominee for president.

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