It seems like just yesterday that corporate tool Justice Alito mouthed “not true” during the State of the Union address after the President expressed concern about unfettered money corrupting our electoral process (even more than it already has). Well, here we are two years later into post-Citizens United America, and what do you know? The President was right… and… Alito was simply playing his part in the CON mission to ensure the American government exists solely to further the interests of billionaires.
Being that the CONservative agenda is so anathema to the health, wealth and happiness of 99% of the population, they must resort to every dirty trick in the book to get and keep their boney fingers around the neck of power. The Reich Wing corporatists attack on all fronts, from blanketing the fruited plain from sea to shining sea with pro-corporate/anti-worker propaganda, rampant election fraud, incessant voter surpression tactics and now… thanks to a fascist Supreme Court who never met a transnational corporation they wouldn’t let smash their boots across the necks of the working class, uncorked the spigot of unfettered funds to corrupt our political system with their insipidly fascist Citizen’s United v Federal Elections Commission ruling.
It’s not the first time in American history that the Supreme Court ruled in such an appalling fashion. They were the ones who originally decreed in Dred Scott v. Sandford that human beings who happen to have darker pigmentation could not be free citizens of the United States. They were the ones who originally deemed in Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. that companies could not be penalized for employing children in their factories… and, of course, they also ruled in Bush v. Gore that George W. Bush would be “irreparably harmed” if the state of Florida finished counting all it’s votes and Al Gore was actually allowed to assume the office of Presidency he legally won – the “irreparable harm” to the people of the United States be damned.
For years, Bush v Gore was considered by many scholars to be the Supreme Court’s worst decision of modern times… until they topped themselves with Citizen’s United and ruled that corporations are people, money is speech and no limits could be put on corporate entities influencing the political process with their “speech”…. er…. money… effectively giving the 400 richest Americans the same amount of political speech as the poorest 50% (over 100 million households)… and giving birth to a new type of political action committee, the super PAC.
“Thanks to this horrible decision, in a non-presidential election year, 2010 saw the most expensive election in history, beating 2008 by a whopping 40%. Republican backers spent nearly 50% more than pro-Democrat groups.
Thanks to non-disclosure laws, huge sums of money have been laundered through the Chamber of Commerce, Crossroads GPS (Karl Rove’s Super PAC), and over 200,000 similar 501(C)(6) and 501(C)(4) groups to covertly back candidates.”
Read the rest of that article here.
Two years ago, on the day Citizens United became law of the land, Michael Kieschnick, President of CREDO Mobile wrote,
“This is a very dark day for U.S. democracy, not to mention the world. Corporate influence already has severely warped U.S. policy in critical areas, and it is only going to get worse.” Despite corporate tool Supreme Court Justice Alito’s, “that’s not true” misdirection, the facts speak for themselves.
It’s important to remember that despite the fact that both Roberts and Alito both promised in their Senate confirmation hearings to respect precedent… one of the most egregious aspects of the story of “Citizens United” is the fact that the Reich Wing activist Supreme Court actually REQUESTED to hear this case, with corporate personhood and unlimited campaign cash (overturning a century of precedent) as the forgone conclusion.
Yes, Chief Justice John Roberts, a filthy corporatist through and through, actually INVITED this case before him so he and his CON co-conspirators can overturn a century of campaign finance regulations meant to discourage corruption, and thoroughly turn the United States into an appendage of the affairs of billionaires.
In his dissenting opinion, Justice Stevens wrote,
“essentially, five Justices were unhappy with the limited nature of the case before us, so they changed the case to give themselves an opportunity to change the law…
At bottom, the Court’s opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self-government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense.”
Being unabashed hypocrites who rail against the very things they, themselves, are guilty of… the CONservatives on the Supreme Court are the true “activist judges.”
Judges who are unelected and serve for life are expected to remain apolitical, and avoid even the appearance of corruption, yet Thomas, Scalia and Alito brazenly flaunt the fact that they are tools of the American CONservative agenda. Common Cause exposed the fact that Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia attended soirees hosted by the Kochs before the Citizens United ruling in January 2010. Regardless, with big-moneyed interests having their backs, they remain on the bench to shape the United States into the Oligarchy the Koch’s are paying for.
And, as we see in election after election, those who spend the most money, win seats in our so-called “representative government.”
Watch: On its 2 Year Anniversary, John Amado Discuss the Damage of Citizens United
Creeping Corporatism Didn’t Happen Overnight
In 1971, future Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, then a corporate lawyer and board member of 11 corporations wrote a memo to Eugene Sydnor, Jr., the Director of the Chamber of Commerce detailing step-by-step how CONS – and their transnational corporate extensions – can gain control of the political system and subjugate the working class. Why would they want to do this? You see, the fundamental root of CONservative ideology can be traced back to when Thomas Paine (a liberal) wrote “Rights of Man” as a rebuttal to Edmund Burke’s (the FATHER of Conservatism) philosophies that the majority needed to be governed by a minority of wealthy aristocrats. To CONS, the “natural” order of society and government is one where the rich own and run everything, and rule unchallenged over a large pool of cheap labor… who compliantly await their rewards in Heaven… with the systems in society – media, church, government – functioning and operating to maintain this hierarchy.
It’s the age-old struggle. The dream of America was that We The People ruled ourselves, rather than an inter-generational aristocracy akin to the one we fought a revolution to escape. Repugs (& DINOS) have been putting that oppressive system back together piece by piece since America swallowed the Reaganomics Voodoo they are now dying from. The appalling Citizens United ruling is a step in their natural progression towards solidifying America as a Plutarchy (which literally means, rule by a wealthy Oligarchy) – as reflected in the infamous Citigroup Memos that informed their wealthiest investors that America is no longer a democracy, it’s a plutonomy – a country which is controlled by the richest 1%.
The objective of Right – which cares about America about as much as it does about Mother Earth as a whole – is to return us to the economic order last seen under Herbert Hoover. This was an America with incredible wealth disparities, nonexistent labor standards and a government indifferent to the plight of the average citizen. FDR reflected on that society when he said, “Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent. “
The 40 years between the New Deal and Reaganomics (1947– 1979) became known as “The Great Prosperity” because the gap between rich and poor was slim, and government policy greased the wheels of economic mobility.
Republicans are currently dismantling policies that made the economically secure, vibrant and stable middle class possible by disingenuously labeling these policies “job-killing” when, in fact, the only “killing” will be visited on the workers forced to be subjected to the same unsafe working conditions their ancestors fought and died to prevent.
The one ironic tragedy of FDR’s New Deal was that it created economically stable middle classes who, with the aid of incessant Right Wing misinformation campaigns, were convinced their interests and the interests of billionaires were one in the same.
As memory of pre-New Deal life faded with the passing of our grandparents, many “Average Joe” Americans were thoroughly propagandized into voting Republican – and therefore voting for their own demise.
It’s a dismal existence for the “have-nots” who, ideally for the “haves,” toil their lifetime away in a system that operates to keep them in bondage. All the more reason Republicans are bent on whittling away at the slim line separating church and state, as churches have always historically worked in tandem with the ruling elite to keep the huddled masses subjugated and passively resigned to their “natural place.”
Look around. From the assault on unions, attacking OSHA workplace afety regulation, attacks women’s privacy rights, attacks on the EPA, scapegoating of the LGBT community, racist attacks on the poor, obstructing every attempt to offer relief to the late, great, American middle class and yes… even trying to end child labor laws, this vision is on display in all of today’s Republican policies.
Bernie Sanders’ Remedy
Senator Bernie Sanders is leading a fight to stop & rectify the damage from Citizens United… this most offensive CONservative activist assault on our democracy. His statement on the 2 year anniversary of Citizen’s United follows:
We must stop this corporate takeover of American democracy
By Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
January 20, 2012
The corporate barbarians are through the gate of American democracy. Not satisfied with their all-pervasive influence on our culture, economy and legislative processes, they want more. They want it all.
Two years ago, the United States supreme court betrayed our Constitution and those who fought to ensure that its protections are enjoyed equally by all persons regardless of religion, race or gender by engaging in an unabashed power-grab on behalf of corporate America. In its now infamous decision in the Citizens United case, five justices declared that corporations must be treated as if they are actual people under the Constitution when it comes to spending money to influence our elections, allowing them for the first time to draw on the corporate checkbook – in any amount and at any time – to run ads explicitly for or against specific candidates.
What’s next … a corporate right to vote?
Don’t laugh. Just this month, the Republican National Committee filed an amicus brief in a US appeals court contending that the natural extension of the Citizens United rationale is that the century-old ban on corporate contributions directly to candidates and political parties is similarly unconstitutional. They want corporations to be able to sponsor candidates and parties directly while claiming with a straight face this would not result in any sort of corruption. And while, this month, they take no issue with corporations being subject to the existing contribution limits, anyone paying attention knows that eliminating such caps will be corporate America’s next prize in its brazen ambition for absolute control over our elections.
The US Constitution has served us very well, but when the supreme court says, for purposes of the first amendment, that corporations are people, that writing checks from the company’s bank account is constitutionally-protected speech and that attempts by the federal government and states to impose reasonable restrictions on campaign ads are unconstitutional, our democracy is in grave danger.
I am a proud sponsor of a number of bills that would respond to Citizens United and begin to get a handle on the problem. But something more needs to be done – something more fundamental and indisputable, something that cannot be turned on its head by a rightwing supreme court.
Read the rest of Bernie’s Statement here.
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