On the head of this pin dances lots of angels
by, 05-31-2012 at 07:54 AM (428 Views)
Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens gave a speech at the University of Arkansas and his main theme was the Citizens United case. He recalled the famous scene where the President, addressing a joint session of Congress, opined that the Citizens decision would open the gates to foreign corporations spending money in U.S. elections and Justice Alito mouthing the words, "not true. Well, turns out that the Justices are now confronted with a case in which that very question will arise. Their biggest problem is one of simple logic. The original decision held that the First Amendment generally prohibited restrictions on speech based on the speaker's identity. Pretty straight forward. They now have to decide whether that broad ruling applies to those very foreign corporations that the President warned about. And if the Court rules that money from foreign owned companies can be restricted, that pretty much undermines their previous ruling that no restrictions can be applied based upon identity.
Stevens went on to explain how in the past Congress did impose reasonable spending limits based on the absolute truism that piles of money give the wealthy, be they individuals or corporations, a much louder voice than ordinary citizens. We're seeing that in practice right now. The right wing brought the suit that resulted in this decision. Their argument was based on the First Amendment, that money was "speech" and could not be restricted. Being a student of real, practical politics, not the middle school civics class version, I understood immediately that the suit was brought because the far right wing believes that they have corporate America on their side and, thus, a lot money, and they wanted to use it. This was simply their means to get to.
I recently posted a link showing that Romney is leading Obama by a long way in Wall Street fund raising. Ant responded with something about McCain and never addressed the current situation. If Romney wins, we will be witnessing a presidential election being bought by corporate America, and they will expect to be paid back. It isn't hard to see what that will mean for ordinary Americans.
Below is a link to a Ben Sargent cartoon showing Lady Liberty lying dead in the street. Over her stand two detectives with one saying, "Yep, appears to have been beaten to death with a checkbook." We are watching the beating right now.