Democrats & Liberals Archives

Sold, Sold, Sold to the Corporations

We have a Supreme Court that is supposed to interpret the Constitution and the laws of the land in a way that increases the democratic voice of all our people. What the Court has done in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case is nullify the voice of real people and amplify the voice of ersatz people: corporations. The Supreme Court sold our democracy to the corporations.

In a 5-4 decision, the conservatives on the Court found that there are no limits to campaign funding by corporations. Corporations can spend what they want and at any time before, during or after a campaign.

They call themselves originalists and strict interpreters of the Constitution. Imagine that? Court originalists Scalia and Thomas found a new interpretation for the Constitution. Although the rest of us can't see it, they concluded that the founders believed that a corporation is a person entitled to free speech. Futhermore, the more money you have the more free speech you deserve.

Forget about voting. As a person, you have only one vote. As a corporation you have millions of votes. After all, Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito and Kennedy say that money is free speech. Most of the free speech in the country belongs to the corporations because they have the vast majority of the money.

The U.S. Supreme Court sold our democracy to the corporations. Viva The United Corporate States of America.

Posted by Paul Siegel at January 26, 2010 8:06 PM
Comments
Comment #294637

Paul said: “We have a Supreme Court that is supposed to interpret the Constitution and the laws of the land in a way that increases the democratic voice of all our people.”

WHere is that writ?

Preserve, I can accept. Increase, I have to reject. The ignorance level of the American public regarding their government, the States, their politicians, their parties and the issues absolutely demands vastly improved education in America BEFORE attempting to expand democracy.

Government by the ignorant, after all, is what we already have, and that ain’t working out to well. No need to multiply the problem.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 27, 2010 8:40 AM
Comment #294643

..and that ain’t working out to well…

LOL, ther tain’t nuttin’ lik fre spech. Dan’l Boone kilt a bar here.

Posted by: gergle at January 27, 2010 9:42 AM
Comment #294686

When I first read an article discussing this issue last week, placed far from front page in my local newspaper, my immediate reaction was disgust. The idea that corporations and foreign countries can extend their hands further in dictating what is considered by the unfortunate many as a democratic election process is appalling.

Even worse than the aforementioned is what my disgust and surely countless others, implicates. The underlying issue is that we know our political representatives have sold out to interests contrary to public welfare. The issue is that politicians, once in office, wield so much power over those they subject to laws, that any organization, company, foreign government, etc. that wishes to exploit the American system only needs to extend their hand far enough to purchase campaign victories.

In times where multi-billion dollar contracts are given to “big contributors,” and it takes 1/2 billion to get into the White House, as in Obama’s campaign, I fear that this country will never see a highly elected official that is in the pockets of multinational corporate enterprise.

Posted by: Derrick Lee at January 27, 2010 8:43 PM
Comment #294687

Please note typo: “Isn’t in the pockets of” from my last sentence.

Posted by: Derrick Lee at January 27, 2010 8:48 PM
Comment #294697

“We can have democracy in this country,or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
Justice Brandeis, 1941

Posted by: Rich at January 28, 2010 7:44 AM
Comment #294698

Here is the nature of the problem. Campaign cotibution laws limit a citizen’s right to use as much of his or her money as desired to express their free speech rights. Since corporations, unions, PACs, and other special interest groups are neither individual voters or in some cases even citizens of the United States, how about requiring all campaign contributions to be in the form of a personal check that can be traced directly back to the contributor? It would require repeal of Supreme Court decisions that have granted corporations the same rights as individuals but allowed executives of those companies to hide their indentities and responsibities. The problem with this solution is who will be willing to give up the access of their favorite special interest group?

Posted by: Jim G at January 28, 2010 8:48 AM
Comment #294744

The wealthy must control the government. Its a class imperitive. They must. Its nothing new. What organized labor figured out a long time ago is that by amagamating small contributions from its members they could speak with a louder voice. Its not as much but at least it gets them in the same room.This decision did not address Unions but the logic means that they too should not have any limitations on contributions. I wonder what bizarre twist of logic the rightist Supremes will use to deny them the same “right” as Exxon. Stay tuned.

Posted by: bills at January 29, 2010 8:01 AM
Comment #294745

It promises to be grimly entertainning to watch the wing nut right jump to the defense of the decision.Yea,the same ones that think universal health care is communist. Obama thinks it is wrong,therefore it must be right. Says so right in the Constitution,don’t it?

Posted by: bills at January 29, 2010 8:26 AM
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