Government is a slow-moving beast--it takes a long time to get things done, and only after a slew of people get finished arguing. But billionaire Republicans have figured out that it's oftentimes much easier to just funnel their money into the Super PACs of potential or standing congressmen, senators, or presidential candidates, maybe spend a few hundred million on takedown ads for the opponents of the these so-called "leaders."
What is strange, and indicative of the Democratic Party's problem (or one of their problems), is that no one on the Left has aped this strategy in a widespread and meaningful way. If the GOP Elite have accepted that government won't move as fast as them or even in the direction they so desire, and if they've decided to work around that with aggressive spending, why haven't the Democrats followed suit?
Citizens United is an anti-American and tyrannical plutocratic construct of the Right and it needs to be repealed as soon as possible. But that is not going to happen today, tomorrow, or the next day. What will need to happen in the interim, if liberals hope to move the needle (faster or more efficiently than moving through the chambers of lawmakers) in the way that Republicans hope to move the needle, is that they need to emulate the strategy of the opposition.
We need Bizarro Kochs (or Reverse Kochs or Nega-Kochs or Anti-Kochs). We need progressives with money--lots of it--who are willing to spend the millions or hundreds of millions propping up progressive lawmakers to enact change. Businesses and corporations with skin in the game--say, alternative energy companies or female/minority-led organizations--should get to footing the bill for people who will fight for them, in the local governments all the way to the top of this racket we call a democracy.
Imagine a Bill Gates or an Oprah Winfrey or an Elon Musk who openly supports democratic policy, but also puts their money where the mouth is. Imagine a company like Chik-Fil-A, an organization that wears its (horrid) ideology on its sleeve (or its chicken rather) that instead of supporting continued bigotry in these Failed Staes of America, but rather supports measures like Marriage Equality, a woman's right to choose, or clean energy reform. Imagine more companies like this:
-- from NBC
To put it succinctly, we need more rich liberals who give a shit, ones that will vote with their wallets and their hearts.