The fight to preserve our democracy is entering a critical battle in Congress – and nobody knows about it. As the Senate prepares a massive “must-pass” $1.15 trillion funding bill, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his callously corrupt cronies are trying to sneak in a couple provisions that would” eliminate caps on the amount of cash that parties may spend in coordination with their candidates,” reports POLITICO. The government will shut down if the funding bill doesn’t pass.
They are also trying to slip in provisions that would make it harder for the watchdog agencies of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to regulate and monitor the actions and war chests of “non profit” political groups. By that, of course, they mean the Koch Brothers’ Americans For Prosperity or Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, or any of the other myriad of right-wing PACs that have sprouted up like so many tapeworms, feeding off the gluttonous hoard of dark money while draining away the life of our democracy.
The IRS and the SEC have already been crippled by Republican machinations; the IRS has been stripped of its funding in punishment after conservatives discovered they were investigating the funding for the “Tea Party” groups (which can be traced back to the Kochs) and no longer has the manpower or funds to adequately perform their duties. The SEC, a favorite punching bag of consumer champion Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MASS), is so beholden to Wall Street that it has given up policing stock buybacks and has generally bent over backward in their hurry to accommodate the oligarchs.
Republicans have framed the provisions as efforts to “improve transparency” and have attempted to build the perception of bipartisan support, but senior Senate Democrats have spoken out “against it for the simple reason that it exacerbates the fundamental problem that a wealthy few are controlling our democracy.”
Presidential candidates managed to spend $50 million dollars in the first half of this year alone, continuously breaking records with each passing month. If we want to preserve our democracy and prevent our nation from sliding into the depths of Ayn Randian oligarchy, we cannot let Mitch McConnell and his crew of plutocrats get away with this legislative trickery.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.