Does Erin Burnett understand the Citzens United decision? I think she doesn't have a clue.
One result of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision is that so-called Super Pacs (technical term "independent-expenditure only committees") can now collect and spend unlimited amounts of money on attack ads, so long as they do not coordinate with candidates.
Last night on her wretched, embarrassing, nails-on-the-chalkboard CNN program, Outfront, Erin Burnett asked a Romney representative the following question...
BURNETT: All right. And a final question on super PACs. I know there's been a lot of comment about this, a lot of frustration among people like Newt Gingrich, about super PACs that were supporting Mitt Romney running negative ads in Iowa. Mitt Romney was on -- with Joe Scarborough saying he doesn't like super PACs and wish they didn't exist. Now, Barack Obama said the same thing and he's got super PACs. So, if the general election ends up being Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, would Mitt Romney say let's shake hands and no super PACs?
.... Now I ask you: does Erin Burnett understand the Citizens United decision and what a Super Pac actually is?
Based on her question I would say no, she has not a clue. What makes Super Pacs so scary and so significant is precisely the legal fiction of their independence. It might well be illegal for Romney and Obama to coordinate a ban like that. And even if Romney and Obama both made some big public statement like, "we no want no Super Pacs..." there would be absolutely no reason for the PACS to listen to them. Their lawyers would probably advise against it. That's the genius of a super-PAC. The candidates can legally benefit from them... but legally they can have no control over them.