Barack Obama takes a step back on campaign finance.
“We will not play by two sets of rules,” say his managers, announcing a superPAC to offset Republican money to defeat the President, despite his denunciation of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that unleashed tons of hard-to-identify funds for negative ads.
As Mitt (“Corporations are people”) Romney edges closer to the GOP nomination, an Obama official explains the reversal: “We’ve been watching...the Republican primary process, the most recent filing deadline and the Koch brothers conference and what’s been coming out of that: a half billion dollars to defeat the president.”
If corporations are indeed people, they are the most greedy, selfish and ruthless in the society. During years of sitting on boards of directors, I was always astonished by what happened to individuals (including myself) when they sat around a corporate table.
Institutional roles acted simultaneously as a narcotic that suppressed conscience and a stimulant to bring out every bit of low cunning to profit the organization. I have seen religious leaders, academics and business statesmen propose solutions to problems that would make a carnival pitchman blush.
If corporations bear any resemblance to individual human beings, they are people who have been lobotomized of all social instincts except their need to protect themselves, profit and grow.
In this context the Koch brothers, who have reportedly earmarked $100 million to defeat the President, respond with indignation at being singled out by his campaign
A spokesman for their lobbying firm says the billionaire brothers will not be "intimidated or silenced by the President's aides and his allies."
Now, with both sides committed to massive negative warfare, voters will have to fasten their seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy year.