Friday, January 22, 2010

I can't believe I Actually Witnessed the End of Democracy in the United States of America

The story goes something like this:

NY Times: The Supreme Court has handed lobbyists a new weapon. A lobbyist can now tell any elected official: if you vote wrong, my company … (will) spend unlimited sums explicitly advertising against your re-election.

Is it any surprise that the party that brought down the world economy would think an outright corporate takeover of our democracy's elections is a good thing, and can be made even better. Get this next gem:
Republicans disputed the partisan impact of the decision … some Republicans argued for bolstering parties and candidates by getting rid of the limits on their fund-raising as well. Several cases before lower courts, including a suit filed by the Republican National Committee against the Federal Election Commission, seek to challenge those limits.
So what good will come out of the conservative activist courts decision?
Benjamin Ginsberg, a Republican campaign lawyer (said),“Candidates lose control of their message. Some of these guys lose control of their whole personalities. Parties will sort of shrink in the relative importance of things,” he added, “and outside groups will take over more of the functions — advertising support, get out the vote — that parties do now.”
The conservative bully who intentionally brought this case to the activist supreme court, knowing he stood a good chance of winning based on pure ideology, can't wait for the next election.
David Bossie … who brought the case to defend his campaign-season promotion of the documentary “Hillary: The Movie,” said he was looking forward to rolling out his next film in time for the midterm elections. Titled “Generation Zero,” the movie … lays much of the blame for the recent financial collapse on the Democrats. “Now we have a free hand to let people know it (the campaign film) exists,” Mr. Bossie said.
I'll be honest, I'm still stunned at how blatantly ideological the justices were conflating individual rights with a "corporations" imagined group rights. Strict constructionist... my ass.

Below is a frightening discussion of possibilities of unprecedented corporate influence of elections from Democracy 21's Fred Wertheimer and Patton Boggs Att. Ben Ginsberg. Hardball's Chris Matthews struggles to understand a few of the details.

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