Bad Politics: Should greenbacks … flood elections? Obama v. Court?

Money and Votes in American politics Who’s right in “Obama v. Supreme Court”?

Here’s the gist of the issue: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled recently that it’s OK for corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on political ads in elections. Call it one dollar, one vote: If you have lots of dollars, you have lots of votes. Of course, ads are not votes, but they do carry weight—and corporations have a lot of weight to throw around.

Obama lashed out at the U.S Supreme Court in his State of the Union address, criticizing the Roberts’ court ruling. Using the address this way appears to be rare, if not unprecedented.

And it irritated the heck out of the justices, especially Roberts himself. This week he struck back, calling Obama’s remarks “very troubling” and saying that the address has “degenerated into a political pep rally.” Roberts made these comments in respond to a question posed by a University of Alabama law student, according to media sources like the Huffington Post.

The White House responded immediately with a statement to reporters by spokesman Robert Gibbs, according to media accounts. “What is troubling is that this decision opened the floodgates for corporations and special interests to pour money into elections—drowning out the voices of average Americans. The President has long been committed to reducing the undue influence of special interests and their lobbyists over government. That is why he spoke out to condemn the decision and is working with Congress on a legislative response.”

That’s Obama v. Supreme Court. Not a real case, but a moniker for the struggle between a conservative court and a liberal president.

Was Roberts right to strike back? Was Obama right to make his criticism during the annual address?

Or, do we just have more bad politics in a broken Washington?

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