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The left largely cheers Obama's Super PAC reversal


Earlier this morning, we wrote that President Obama and his campaign would be taking heat from good-government groups, the media, and liberals on their decision to encourage donors to give money to a pro-Obama Super PAC.

Two of those groups (the good-government groups and media) have followed through with their criticism. But with one notable exception -- former Sen. Russ Feingold -- the left so far has largely supported the move.

Here are a few takes from prominent liberal bloggers and writers, who've sometimes openly disagreed with the president:

Steve Benen:

[T]here's a reasonable case to be made that the president and his team are simply adapting to circumstances beyond their control. The far-right and well-financed Republican super PACs are going to exist and will spend hundreds of millions of dollars in 2012, whether Obama likes it or not. The question, then, is whether the president and his allies are prepared to fight fire with fire. As of today, the answer appears to be "yes."

New York magazine's Jonathan Chait:

The phrase “unilateral disarmament” has been used, in a negative sense, to justify a lot of unjustifiable behavior. But President Obama’s argument against unilateral disarmament in the super PAC war seems totally persuasive.

The Washington Monthly's Ed Kilgore:

Super PACs have already become a huge factor in this presidential race. Wishing them away won’t do a bit of good, and until such time as the composition of the Supreme Court changes, they will remain an unfortunate but immovable part of the political landscape.

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent:

Outside money of this nature is bad for democracy, no matter who is spending it. But here are the plain facts of the matter. Obama and Democrats tried to pass legislation that would have limited outside money and ended non-disclosure; Republicans opposed it. Democrats would close down their Super PACs tomorrow if Republicans agreed to do the same.

So Dems have a choice: Either they can lead by example — which is to say, by setting an example that Republicans will never agree to — and give the GOP a lopsided advantage in outside spending and the tsunami of ads it will finance. Or they can play by the rules as Republicans have defined them, and continue to work to change those rules.