Senior White House advisor David Axelrod was on Meet the Press today, where defended Obama’s criticism of the recent Supreme Court decision on campaign finance at the State of the Union. Axelrod said, “I certainly think it was appropriate for the president to talk about the threat that this decision brings to our democracy.”
Here is the video:
Moderator David Gregory asked, “Was it appropriate for the president to criticize the Supreme Court during the State of the Union? And do you consider Justice Alito’s response to be appropriate or inappropriate?”
Axelrod answered, “Well, I certainly think it was appropriate for the president to talk about the threat that this decision brings to our democracy. Basically, it’s going to be open season for special interest groups and big corporations to participate in our elections with all their might and all their money. And that includes foreign–domestic branches of foreign-owned businesses, even government–foreign government-owned businesses. In fact, some of the, some of those companies signaled on Friday, according to The Wall Street Journal, that they’re going to lobby vigorously against any effort to rein this in.”
He continued, “One thing we ought to be able to agree on, and, and maybe we can here today, is that we shouldn’t have foreign-owned businesses and foreign–you know, Hugo Chavez should not be playing in American political campaigns. And I, for the life of me, don’t understand why we wouldn’t make that illegal.”
In an age of multinational corporate interests the scenario that Axelrod laid out is not an unrealistic possibility. Of course corporations are going to lobby against any attempts to right the wrong carried out by this decision legislatively. The ruling gave corporations, all corporations unlimited ability to influence elections.
Obama’s criticism at the State of the Union was not only justified, but the president had a moral obligation to directly address the Supreme Court. The Court has opened the door to the biggest threat to the American electoral system in our lifetime, and it is the constitutional duty of the two remaining branches of our government to protect the integrity of our electoral process.