During Wednesday night’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart and liberal historian Doris Kearns Goodwin repeatedly slammed the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling which Goodwin called “the most poisonous thing that’s happening in our system.”
The outgoing Daily Show host launched into a favorite attack among liberals, money in politics:
I wonder about this, Citizens United opened the process up to billionaires and multimillionaires of all stripes. And I wonder if these candidates are able to in the absence of what appears to be any popular support, stay in because they have got a backer.
Goodwin insisted a that huge donor “betting” on a candidate keeps them viable, before she called for an end to Citizens United:
I think if I were young now, the thing I would do more than anything was to fight for an amendment under Citizens United. And that is one of the things you should do too.
Channeling the views of socialist Bernie Sanders, Goodwin concluded her money in politics rant by calling Citizens United “the most poisonous thing that’s happening in our system...That money is doing everything. They are spending all their time raising funds. It's ridiculous.”
While Stewart and Doris Kearns Goodwin may blast Citizens United and the role of money in politics as “poisonous” and “terrible” recent polling shows that the American public does not really care about the issue. According to Gallup’s latest survey, among non-economic related problems, only 1% of Americans view elections/election reform as the most important problem facing this country today.
See relevant transcript below.
Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
July 29, 2015
JON STEWART: My guest tonight, a best selling author, presidential historian, her best selling book Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream is going to become available as an e-book on August 4th. Please welcome back to our program Doris Kearns Goodwin, come out here, Doris. How are you? Here is what we are going to do. We'll talk a little modern politics and then we’re going to get into a little LBJ. Here’s what I want to ask you Doris Kearns Goodwin. We are in a situation right now, we have a Republican primary with 16 candidates. Yourself as an historian, have you ever seen a primary field that is 16 people deep? Is this, how unprecedented is this
DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN: Never have I seen it.
KEARNS GOODWIN: Never, ever, ever.
STEWART: And it's never happened.
KEARNS GOODWIN: As far as I know. Are you going to put up something that shows that it happened before?
STEWART: No, no, no. But what is going on?
KEARNS GOODWIN: Well, here's the crazy thing. You know, the first presidential primary was in 1912 when Teddy Roosevelt wanted to be president and Taft was already president. So he needed a primary because Taft had control of the party machinery. They started yelling at each other so much, calling each other puzzlewit’s, fat heads--
KEARNS GOODWIN: Puzzlewits, fat heads, traitors that the New York Times wrote an editorial saying if this is the first presidential primary, it should be the last. It should make every American blush. So it said let's go back to the convention system which was rational. In the summer you nominate somebody. Two months in the fall and it's over. I would go back to that tomorrow. You must love it, but I mean it's too long.
STEWART: I mean it's destroying our country from the inside, it's corrosive, you must love it but the thing is, but completely understandable. I wonder about this, Citizens United opened the process up to billionaires and multimillionaires of all stripes. And I wonder if these candidates are able to in the absence of what appears to be any popular support, stay in because they have got a backer.
GOODWIN: Right, somebody’s getting on your horse.
STEWART: And backers can help you ride.
KEARNS GOODWIN: That's the horse metaphor, somebody is betting on them. I think if I were young now, the thing I would do more than anything was to fight for an amendment under Citizens United. And that is one of the things you should do too. Remember we talked once about writing a book together.
KEARNS GOODWIN: It is the most poisonous thing that’s happening in our system--
KEARNS GOODWIN: That money is doing everything. They are spending all their time raising funds. It's ridiculous.