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Mayer writes: "Barack Obama's new embrace of Super PACs is a concession to the reality of running for President in 2012: it's not enough to be an incumbent President, with one of the best networks of small donors in history. In this campaign, every candidate needs his own billionaires."

President Obama during a speech in Washington, 02/09/12. (photo: AP)
President Obama during a speech in Washington, 02/09/12. (photo: AP)

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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

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+4 # Barbara K 2012-02-09 16:12
Obama has no choice but to play this game like the Republicans are playing it. He cannot just open his piggy bank, while the Rs are being funded the billionaires. They will be throwing so many lies and smears at him that he needs a strong defense and enough money to stay in the race. It is sad that he had to do it this way, but if the Rs weren't using "bombs", he would be able to stay with using "pea shooters". Glad to see that he is playing fire with fire.

NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN !!

our future is at stake
 
 
+10 # Okieangels 2012-02-09 17:17
So....after re-election he's going to do all he can to get corporate money out of politics???
 
 
+2 # jon 2012-02-10 19:45
If he gets a fillibuster proof Democratic majority in Congress, THEN - and only then - will we begin to reverse the steady corporatist/fas cist takeover, by first:

restoring the Fairness in Broadcasting Act that Reagan destroyed,

and,

second, removing all money from elections - restore a level playing-field.

Until those two things happen, we will continue to REMAIN, a FORMER Democracy.
 
 
+4 # steve98052 2012-02-09 18:55
It's a drag that the President has to play dirty to keep up with the dirt on the other side. Fortunately, most of the billionaires likely to fund Obama are mostly working for the good of the country, rather than just to line their pockets.

For example, Warren Buffet may get cranky if the government were to take action against one of the companies he has a big stake in, but for the most part he's looking out for the little guy.

Likewise, George Soros might have made a big chunk of his fortune from the misfortunes of the Bank of England and various mismanaged Asian governments, but he mostly spends his wealth toward good causes.

There will probably be some entertainment figures donating too. Quite a few of them are on the wrong side of the SOPA issue, but they're on the right side of most other issues.

As for getting money out of politics, it just is not going to happen, at least not until a few right wing Supreme Court justices are replaced by moderates. It makes more sense to fight for rules that force the money in politics to be spent fairly than to try to get it out altogether.
 
 
+1 # Stephanie Remington 2012-02-09 22:41
Barbara K,
You say that "Obama has no choice but to play this game like the Republicans are playing it." If this is true, and his decisions to go with the SuperPAC, sign the NDAA (that formally allows people to be imprisoned indefinitely based on accusations), negotiate a settlement with the banks that is actually the second bailout on his watch, bomb rescuers and funeral attendees with drones, and enact many other policies that are indistinguishab le from or worse than those undertaken by Bush are “necessary” because the Republicans are doing it, then what is the point of fighting for either “side” in this “war”?

As far as I can tell, the only war occurring inside the United States is the one both parties are waging against those of us who don’t donate to their campaigns.
 
 
+2 # jon 2012-02-10 19:53
Stephanie,

"then what is the point of fighting for either “side” in this “war”?"

There, is, of course, no point, except for one thing, the practical reality part of our situation.

We all share your frustration.

If we - because of an emotional attachment to "you promised!" - allow this subtle "divide and conquer ploy" by the republicans to keep some of us not voting, then THEY win.

Is that what you want?
 
 
-1 # Stephanie Remington 2012-02-11 00:12
My views have very little to do with an emotional attachment to Obama's promises because I didn't believe him the first time.

I am absolutely horrified by multiple policies of his: ordering drone attacks that kill hundreds of children and innocent adults, assassinating and detaining (anyone) based on accusations, declaring the entire world -- including 'the homeland' -- a battle field, shielding high-level government officials and corporate contributors from any accountability for serious crimes (including war crimes), targeting whistleblowers, eliminating checks and balances by claiming the need for secrecy ...

Is this what you want?

The fact that the Republican candidates are even worse than Obama on some issues is not as relevant as how similar they are on many others.

"They" (corporations) are already winning because they've got us convinced that we must choose between two candidates who will make virtually identical decisions, once in office, on a wide range of issues vital to our freedom, rights, and security because of their "debt" to big-money contributors.
 
 
-1 # RLF 2012-02-10 07:38
Babs K...O's girl in the trench here kiss the o'bumma again! This small donor won't be giving him anything this round because he took it last time and only worked for the 1%. He can kiss my bum. I'll be voting third party and make the turncoat pay for his actions even if it hurts in the long run. If this country wants a republican president or a Democrat that act like one (Clinton, Obama) they can have it and to hell with this country.
 
 
0 # jon 2012-02-10 20:32
RLF,

Come on. As a republican shill, you are way to obvious.

By this time the republican "dirty tricks" operation should a little more sophisticated than that.
 
 
+1 # Karlus58 2012-02-10 09:08
Yes Barbara, he, and we, have no choice now but to play the game by their rules, despite our loathing of the system.
 
 
+10 # humanmancalvin 2012-02-09 16:41
President Obama is going to be "swift-boated" every step of the way by the far right crazies. Of course the hypocrites that are the GOP are already attacking him for doing exactly what they are doing. Makes sense only in the Bizzaro world that is today's republican party.

Fight the good fight to re-elect our president or suffer the insanity that will surely come our way if we decide not to fight. This is war, make no mistake about it.
 
 
+6 # Okieangels 2012-02-09 18:41
What would make even more sense would be to fill the halls of Congress and the White House with Green Party members, and take our country back from the two-headed monster.
 
 
+2 # Karlus58 2012-02-10 09:10
Your right. But this swiftboating tells a sad tale about the electorate, that they are so gullible and misinformed.
 
 
+4 # Rick Levy 2012-02-09 19:41
One way to shield Obama from post election obligations to large donors is for them to ANONYMOUSLY contribute to his campaign. That would prove these backers sincerely believe in him and are not out for favors instead.
 
 
+6 # shortonfaith 2012-02-09 21:08
I'm checking the box with this guy;

This is just another part of the day to day passing the Republic into the hands of the bankers. Banker group A being the hedge funds that rescued Obama last time he ran. Banker group B being the Koch Bros and their sinister cronies. This is not how a republic ought to function. It becomes an Oligarchy like the Republic of Venice, a place of galley slaves instead of citizens. We become a land of the choiceless choice, a repubic of Coke vs Pepsi.
 
 
+4 # Bill Clements 2012-02-10 09:07
Agreed. The bigger picture here is obvious: the system is irrevocably broken. On so many levels and in so many ways. This is just another example of that basic fact.

Citizens United was/is a travesty of justice. If the body politic were a patient (already seriously ill), one would have to say that the Supreme Court's ruling was tantamount to injecting it with live cancer cells. In the real world such a monstrous act would earn the perpetrator life in prison or worse, the death penalty.
 
 
+5 # fredboy 2012-02-09 22:13
Obama is a realist, and in this case practical.

The rules changed. If he did not adapt, he knew he would get outspent and clobbered. So he climbed in the "new" ring, obeying the new rules, and will fight on even footing.

That is the wisest decision he could make considering the circumstances. Think about it: You're a boxer, and suddenly they say both boxers can also use a sword. You opponent immediately draws a sword. Your choice is simple: Draw a sword, flee, or await your demise.
 
 
+2 # hkatzman 2012-02-10 08:57
I am confused!
Where does all this money go? To media advertisements? Whoever wins the presidnecy, the winner of this contest seems to be the main stream media? Is the question "How many dollars does it take to get elected?" or "How many votes does it take to get elected?"? Are we such lazy voters that we passively get our information from paid ads? That we decide our future, and our nation's future, by ads paid for by the super-wealthy 1%? Then look out Afghanistan and Iraq and Libya and Iran. Maybe we deserve the resulting government that WE either vote for, or allow to occur by not voting.
How many ads from the super PAC advance our understandings of the policies of their candidate and how many just blast the opposition? It seems that the more money that gets into politics, the more candidates blast each other.
How does the internet fit into this? The costs are much much lower and it can encourage REAL dialogue with REAL people. Obama made use of this 4 years ago. Today, he seems to have reverted to the old unsuccessful model of selling himself to the wealthy.
 
 
+1 # Stephanie Remington 2012-02-10 13:05
Actually, he sold himself to the wealthy last time around, too – $3/4 billion. But the 'news' reports kept on saying that his campaign was financed by small contributors, as if big money had nothing to do with his victory. There were definitely a lot of small contributors to Obama’s campaign, but the ones that mattered (to him) were the big ones. Anybody who doubts that might consider his most recent payback to his financial investors – the $26 billion “settlement” granted to banking criminals for wiping out $1 trillion in assets of Americans, with only $5 billion to be paid for by the banks and the rest to be paid for by Americans, and in exchange for immunity for faking documents to illegally throw thousands of Americans out of their homes.
 
 
+3 # Feral Dogz 2012-02-10 12:31
When Fox sells airtime to Obama's PAC, I'll believe they are "fair and balanced".
 

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