What did the U.S. Chamber of Commerce president mean when he remarked that they would "get rid of" any freshman members of Congress who didn't vote to raise the debt ceiling? In a post-Citizens United world, the answer is pretty clear.
Politico reported today on the alleged "joke" from the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue, which was viewed by many as a direct threat to some freshman members of Congress.
The reality, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC that allowed corporate and special interests to spend freely in our elections, is that the Chamber can indeed "get rid of" lawmakers who don't vote their way. By spending millions in attack ad's and mail hit pieces, these "independent" groups have a greatly increased role in deciding who makes laws in Washington, D.C.
And too often all this election spending drowns out the voices of ordinary Americans. The result? We end up with a Congress that is beholden to these groups who can run them out of town, and not their constituents, who they are supposed to represent. And we wonder why so many Americans feel like their government doesn't work for them.