September 15, 2015

Washington, DC, The White House:

President Barack Obama announced today that he would impose “crippling sanctions” against the undemocratic regime of America.

Speaking from the Oval Office the president stated that he was taking action for two reasons: “First, it’s clear that ordinary Americans simply cannot have any influence on elections because billionaire funded SuperPACs and dark money organizations make candidates beholden to them, not the people. Second, voter suppression efforts undertaken in numerous states – oddly enough, begun after my election in 2008 – have disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Americans. Sanctions will remain in place until America limits the role of money in politics and guarantees the right to vote to all its citizens”

The Republican response was fierce and immediate.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed Congress would reverse the president’s order. In a hastily called news conference McConnell declared:

When I started in this business after Watergate there were all kinds of crazy limits on what politicians could raise from millionaires. I’ve devoted my life to making sure that speech has a suitable price tag.  Since the Citizens United decision we’ve had to pay attention only to billionaires; democracy should work for the winners.

After the 1965 Voting Rights Act almost any damn fool could get a ballot and vote against me. Brave Republican state legislators have gone a long way toward making sure that won’t happen anymore.

My fellow Americans, I grew up in an America with limits on political money and wide access to the franchise and I vow today, we are not going to turn back the clock.

President Obama seemed unmoved by protests from Senator McConnell, Speaker John Boehner, and the Koch Brothers. According to an aide, the last straw for the president was when ex-President Jimmy Carter described the nation he once lead as “just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congress members.”

President Obama told advisers that disintegration of citizen influence and voting rights in the world’s oldest functioning democracy forced him to order sanctions. “Listen,” the president said, “whenever the people topple some corrupt banana republic or an authoritarian dictator is overthrown and democratic elections are held, who goes in to make sure the old order doesn’t steal the election or the military install some tinhorn colonel? It’s always Carter. The man has seen more corrupt elections than anyone in human history. If he thinks America has gotten this bad, I just had to act.”

Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama

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