UPDATE: A better-written (and darker) discussion of this topic is available here.
For those members of America’s dumb-ass electorate who don’t know why I keep yelling about the Supreme Court whenever there’s a presidential election…
…take a look at last Thursday’s horrible decision. The court, which is packed with corporate shills, has overturned a hundred years of case law and precedent by saying that there need be no limit on spending by corporations during political campaigns. That’s presidential campaigns, congressional campaigns, statewide campaigns and right on down to local elections for your own city council.
What this means for you and me is that in about five years, all elected officials will de facto be working for at least one corporation, having been supported/paid/bribed by them, and all governing from that point on will be strictly for the benefit of said corporations, even more than it is today.
Congress over the years has sensibly tried to restrict spending by corporations for political purposes, because corporations have no conscience and only one reason to exist: to make more money. Thus their interests do not often — if ever — coincide with those of the nation or its people. That’s you and me, and oh, by the way, corporations have unimaginably more resources than you and me, so don’t get the idea that if we all band together we can outspend corporations and defeat them in that way, because we can’t.
Consider: Worried that the Obama administration was going to hit drug companies with all sorts of regulations and demands for better deals on prescriptions for Americans, Pharma struck a bargain with the White House, agreeing to give up 80 billion dollars in revenue over ten years in exchange for no additional hassles. Yes folks, that’s 8 billion dollars a year that they are able to deal away, so let me ask you: If they have that much to spill, don’t you think they have a lot more that they’re keeping?
And now that they can spend it any way they want, why wouldn’t they just call Obama and tell him they have, say, a billion dollars to spend on his next campaign, and does he want them to spend it for him or against him? Obama’s been a big disappointment, but he’s not a fool. I’m sure his answer will be simple: “How can I serve you, Master?”
Or, consider: Just last June, a New York Times/CBS poll revealed that 72% of Americans favored a “government administered health insurance plan like Medicare that would compete with private health insurance plans.” But after several months of disinformation and fear-mongering by the insurance establishment, the peasants have changed their minds and hit the streets with torches, pitchforks and yes, semiautomatic weapons, crying “fascist,” and “socialist,” and “Marxist,” and demanding that the government stay out of health care.
The court case on Thursday was called “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission,” and it was about a right wing group (a corporation) not being allowed to release a hatchet job movie about Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primaries. The FEC stopped them because everybody knows these video assassinations are potent and often change the course of elections. For example, look what the lies of the swiftboaters did to John Kerry, a decorated war hero. By the end of that election, many Americans thought Bush, a draft-dodger, was the hero, and Kerry was a lying, cowardly skunk.
So we know that you can determine the outcome of US elections with videos and advertising. Now all you need to do is get the money to make compelling, professional, good-looking videos.
Enter the Supreme Court, headed by ex-corporate attorney John Roberts. Here’s their position: Corporations are people, just like you and me (you and me with hundreds of billions of dollars in our pockets). But they have this handicap. You see, the poor corporations can’t talk. (That’s actually because they’re not people, but pay no attention to that.) So the only voice they have to make their political arguments is their money, of which they have more than God. Thus, according to five members of the Court, there must be no restrictions placed on corporations spending their money during political campaigns, because that would be the same as jailing you and me for standing up and saying “Change we can believe in” or “Country First.”
Anyone who thinks that wealthy corporations will not use this ruling to completely take over the government is simply not looking at what corporations do. (See above, the one goal of corporations.) And this ruling cannot be appealed. And no laws can be enacted to counteract this ruling. And for you slippery-slopers, here’s an icy one for you: Soon, this ruling will be used to show that corporations, being regular folks like you and me, can contribute cash directly to candidates. This will be much more convenient for them, as they will not have to have meetings with campaign managers to find out what to say in their political TV ads and their “documentaries” about opposing candidates. They’ll just be able to pay money openly to whomever agrees to play ball with them after winning the election.
This used to be called bribery. Now it’s Free Speech.
This is going to be even better than fascism. In fascism, the government and the corporations are bound together, and run things sort of as a team, with the government making the policy decisions. In the new era of the Roberts Court, there will be no government, only corporations. They are not interested in health care for all. They don’t care if the roads are fixed, only that the toll booths are operating. Education? Private schools only, charging the most the market will bear. I could go on, but you know what I’m saying. Picture a nation run by Halliburton.
Picture a nation run by Halliburton.
PS: A quick shout out to the voters of Massachusetts: You sure sent a message to that socialist Obama! Maybe you should work to throw him out of office in 2012, just in time for a Republican president to appoint a couple more big business conservatives to the Supreme Court. That’ll teach him.