Why the American Political System Doesn't Work

Monday, June 11, 2012

A still from a negative ad produced by Crossroads GPS, a SuperPAC supporting Republican candidates. (Youtube)

Displays of bipartisanship in Congress are increasingly rare, and as the United States approaches another presidential election, the noise from super PAC-funded ads has become something of an unending background soundtrack to the campaigns.

Robert Reich discusses campaign finance, super PACs, and the polarized state of political discourse in America. Reich is the author of "Beyond Outrage" and was the Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Now he teaches at the University of California at Berkeley.


Robert B. Reich

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [6]

Let's get rid of the -isms and the niche markets that cater to them! If I learned anything from my pre-millenial youth it's that, "A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself."

Jun. 12 2012 10:58 AM
Chris Garvey from Libertarian

Campaign Finance Laws target insurgent candidates and parties.
The first federal campaign finance law was designed to prevent another Gene McCarthy campaign.
McCain-Feingold was designed to felonize another Ross Perot campaign.
It forced the Libertarian Party to reorganize itself to comply with it's complex ambiguities.
The incumbent legislators won't hamper their own money raising.
They will use complex finance penalties and ballot access laws to stop non-established opponents.
The Founders anticipated this when the 1st Amendment prohibited regulating speech.
I don't want a constitutional amendment to repeal the 1st Amendment.

Jun. 11 2012 03:20 PM

Last year the Obama campaign was supposed to mount a billion dollar campaign as the President runs from one fundraiser to the next after getting more money than McCain in 2008 and all of that were signs of his great support and popularity amongst the people.
When the Republicans start doing well in attracting money suddenly it is a "dangerous experiment" that must be restricted but most of the money and power of corporations, unions and news media supporting one (Democrat) candidate in 2008 is perfectly fine?

How about just boasting about Obama's sterling record on the economy and his bold plans to continue economic success rather than complain about money, culture, politics, the weather...ect, for his lackluster campaign effort?

Jun. 11 2012 11:28 AM

Do not recall all the vapors over money in politics when Candidate Obama threw McCain-Feingold under the bus. Democrats have $$$ = good Republicans have $$$ = bad.

Jun. 11 2012 10:56 AM

We as the American consuming public spend more -- a lot more -- every year on potato chips than we do on elections in our biggest (every four years) general elections.

The Takeaway is really milking "Citizens United" and campaign finance reform these days. Every day a new story, every day a new concern about Citizens United, even a special report project by Ann Sale; transparently devoted to making an excuse for the left's devastating defeat in Wisconsin on something other than basic policy.

When in fact, Citizens United had nothing whatsoever to do with Wisconsin:


It must be embarassing, for The Takeaway's producers to try to explain how campaign finance only became such a big issue for the program when it began to appear that Obama might be out-raised and outspent in 2012, after he raised 3/4 of a billion dollars in 2008 and outspent the McCain-Palin campaign 2 to 1.

Jun. 11 2012 10:09 AM
Jennifer from Westchester

If any of these guys really meant to create jobs, how many would they create by donating their gigantic kitties of campaign funds back into the economy instead of the major dentertainment outlets.....

Jun. 11 2012 09:30 AM

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