Partisan gamesmanship in Congress turns every issue into a political slugfest. If a fewRepublicans acted independently more often one could admire the earnestness of their convictions. But by sticking to the party line and saying no to everything in order to thwart the president and skewer Democrats, raw partisanship becomes a blot on Congress as an institution just as respect for the Supreme Court dwindled when it decided the 2000 presidential election, and, more recently when it took an activist role, ruling on issues beyond the scope of the Citizens United case that was before it.

The repercussions from the Citizens decision are already being felt. Corporate giant Target has contributed $150,000 to MN Forward, a group that supports Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Ted Emmer whose fundraising lagged behind the Democratic field. Target says Emmer’s conservatism and anti-gay position did not influence its decision to support him; rather it acted on the belief that a Republican win would benefit the business community. But, however the argument is framed, clearly unfettered financial campaign funding by large corporate entities leaves smaller players with less financial heft at a huge disadvantage.