I talked about this within a day of the Supreme Court Citizens' United decision, and here it is. You would have to be oblivious to think it was not going to happen, although as usual, that's exactly what the mainstream press amounts to, when it comes to threats emanating from the "job creators." From Lee Fang at The Nation, this all too predictable story:
"Saudi-Led Oil Lobby Group Financed 2012 Dark Money Attack Ads
The “American” in American Petroleum Institute, the country’s largest oil lobby group, is a misnomer. As I reported for The Nation in August, the group has changed over the years, and is now led by men like Tofiq Al-Gabsani, a Saudi Arabian national who heads a Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) subsidiary, the state-run oil company that also helps finance the American Petroleum Institute. Al-Gabsani is also a registered foreign agent for the Saudi government.
Last year, API gave nearly half a million to...dark money groups running political ads against Democrats and in support of Republicans...API’s Saudi leadership is perhaps one of the most salient examples of how the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has opened the door to foreign influence."
Of course, there's more detail if you click the link and look at the rest of the story.
I want to reiterate what I stated long ago: it was one hundred percent obvious that this would happen, and I am positive that the dictatorship of Saudi Arabia is by no means the only foreign government availing itself of the opportunity to purchase control of the American government. If you don't think the money spent by the Saudis is a drop in the bucket compared to what, say, China is willing to pony up, you are living in a dream world.
And this brings me to filibuster reform. The stated reason for changing filibuster rules, breaking the ability of people with no respect for democracy (read Republicans) to destroy the ability of the Senate to function, is true enough, but something even more frightening is at work here. Any foreign government which chooses to spend enough money to buy one Senator can, the way things are now, totally frustrate the ability of the United States to do anything. And this doesn't have to be in a high profile race, like the $40 million dollar attempt to destroy Sherrod Brown. It can be in a State like Wyoming, the Dakotas or Alaska, with under a million residents, where a couple of million could easily sway the election. Think how much cheaper that would be to a foreign country than a war, or even a trade conflict. Why, even Al Qaida could afford an expenditure like that.
I remember hearing that someone once said that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. Well, in the hands of the current Supreme Court, it just may be.