Ten years ago this week, a bogeyman was born. Its name is Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruling that struck down limits on independent corporate political spending and, liberal Cassandras say, ushered in a dystopian era in which big-money interests got official permission to buy democracy.

Quick history lesson: Citizens United was a nonprofit that, during the 2008 Democratic primaries, sought to air a 90-minute ideological documentary deeply critical of Hillary Clinton to Americans’ homes via pay-per-view. The Federal Election Commission barred its broadcast under rules enforcing the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.

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