For the past two days, the Senate has been debating the DISCLOSE Act, bringing it up for a vote to end the filibuster twice. To Senate Democrats' credit, they've decided that if debate will not be closed, they will actually debate. They held a midnight vigil until 1:00 AM to debate it and have been debating it for the balance of today's session, leading up to a second cloture vote at 3:00 PM, which once again failed along pure partisan lines -- 53-47.
When yesterday's vote failed, Harry Reid stood up and got about as forceful as I've ever heard him, saying that if they can't get this bill passed "17 old angry white men will wake up the day after the election and realize they've bought the country."
During the debate leading up to the second failed vote today, Florida Senator Bill Nelson got even more specific than that. Here's the punch line:
This vote is coming at 3:00. We're not going to get it. It's going to be the same vote, 53-47. Why?
Because these outside, unlimited source of funds that are not disclosed are affecting elections and it is achieving the result.
Translated, Senator Bill Nelson just called the Republicans out for their corruption, on the record, on the Senate floor. He did not use the word "corruption", but "affecting elections" is code for that.
Bill Moyers gets specific, naming names:
One of the DISCLOSE Act's biggest opponents isn't buying that argument. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who used to say, "We need to have real disclosure," has changed his tune. Now that conservatives and the GOP are able to haul in the big bucks, he claims that divulging the identity of corporate donors would be the equivalent of creating an "enemies list," like the one Richard Nixon kept to punish his foes and settle political scores. Here's what McConnell said in a speech at the conservative American Enterprise Institute last month:
This is nothing less than an effort by the government itself to expose its critics to harassment and intimidation, either by government authorities or through third party allies... That's why it's a mistake to view the attacks we've seen on 'millionaires and billionaires' as outside our concern. Because it always starts somewhere; and the moment we stop caring about who's being targeted is the moment we're all at risk.
McConnell's not the only one -- every Republican voted to kill the DISCLOSE Act, including fourteen who just a couple of years ago supported it. Groups like Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty smell an un-American conspiracy lurking behind the demands for disclosure. So do the National Rifle Association and FreedomWorks -- the Tea Party organizers originally funded by David Koch -- each of which warned senators that their votes on the DISCLOSE Act will be included in the scorecards they keep, recording each ballot they don't approve like pins in a voodoo doll.
Here's Mitch McConnell whipping a 180 so fast your head spins like Regan in The Exorcist:
Of course, pointing out their corruption doesn't mean much as long as they get to remain corrupt. Still, it's on the record (as are they), and they should be held accountable before the voters for their hypocrisy and destruction of the republic in order to serve the oligarchs.