23 January 2010

SPECIAL POST: R.I.P. Constitutional Democracy

Speech is what a human being emits.

Money is what a corporation uses to fund itself, its investors and its growth.

Thanks to five U.S. of part of A. Supreme Court Justices--pandering idiots all--money now equals speech and a corporation is a human being.

The Citizen United vs. F.E.C. decision allows corporations to spend as much money as they want to support any political candidate running for any office. As much money as they want. On anybody. For any political office.

The Era of Openly Bought Politicians has arrived. And lest you think, Oh Stupidly Indifferent Americans, that your politicians are going to be bought by American Greedwads only, the ruling allows this "freedom of speech" to any and all corporations, domestic...and foreign. 

And because it is a Supreme Court ruling, it applies as well to My Island, but here, it's merely a minor transition from "open secret" to "labeled breach of Constitutional precepts."

Read about the death of democracy, the stampeding overrun by special interests, the dissension by the four Justices standing on precept, decency and rule of law and a call to arrest the five pissant idiots of the Supreme Court for treason.

Arrests might not be enough. Quoting Thomas Jefferson: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

We know--beyond a shadow of a doubt--who the tyrants are. Their blood is more than enough to refresh the tree of liberty. It's now only a matter of when, and the answer is "soon." Very soon.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

[Note: 29 Jan 2010: After President Obama's State of the Union Address, where he criticized the Supreme Court's decision and Justice Samuel Alito mouthed "Not true...", commentary on how not only the decision grossly misdefines free speech, it also ferociously undermines the concept of "corruption" as related to political activities.]

[Note: 30 Jan 2010: It's a system of checks and balances. Here's Senator Al Franken's solid defense against the Supreme Court's insidious betrayal of the Constitution. And at AlterNet, 10 ways to block/undo what the 5 Injustices have done.]

[Note: 1 Feb 2010: From Rationally Speaking, a blog well worth exploring, comes two (of several)  obvious, simple and vital solutions to "The rotting of American democracy":
"1. Corporations (and Unions) are not people, they do not have fundamental rights like free speech (they have legal rights as legal entities, of course), and money does not equate with speech. Contrary to what the current Republican majority on the Supreme Court has recently, not at all surprisingly and highly disingenuously, decided.

Fix: Congress should pass a constitutional amendment that declares that rights are applicable only to individual persons, not legal entities.

2. Lobbying is a form of institutionalized bribery, a point related to the one above. In other democracies this is a crime, which is not to say that politicians aren’t corruptible, but it does mean that if caught they go to jail. Americans, who love to describe their system as “the best democracy in the world” apparently have no clue that all they have is the best democracy that money can buy. And they aren’t getting much for their money either.

Fix: all forms of lobbying should be outlawed. Individual citizens have the right to petition government, but corporations and other entities don’t have the right to pay professionals to cajole and bribe members of Congress."]

[Note: 2 Feb 2010: Now read how the legal basis for considering a corporation a person is not based on a court decision, but on a headnote. Yes, a comment, not a decision.]

[Note: 5 Feb 2010: It was bound to happen: a corporation runs for public office. The Onion? No: The New York Times.]

[Note: 2 May 2010: From David Morris, at AlterNet: 8 Words that Could Save Our Country. Corporations are not people. Money is not speech.]

[Update: 31 May 2010: A movement for a 28th Amendment: the Separation of Corporation and State.]

[Update: 12 Oct 2010: From AlterNet, 8 ways to fight against this extensive sell-out of democracy.]

[Update: 7 March 2012: In Vermont, 55 towns affirm that "Corporations are not people." Vermont has more guts and integrity than the other 49 States put together.]


The Insider said...

I am curious. What on earth were the arguments "for" doing something so dangerous?

The death of constitution democracy seems like a fair assertion, certainly not just a bold or exaggerated headline. The government is now for sale (more so than ever before).

Prometeo said...

They used to say that money talks. With this, money will now scream so loud that politician won't be able to hear their constituents.

GCSchmidt said...

Insider, quoting from this review in The New York Review of Books, by Ronald Dworkin:

"The main theoretical flaw in (Justice Anthony) Kennedy’s opinion is different, however. The opinion announces and perpetuates a shallow, simplistic understanding of the First Amendment, one that actually undermines one of the most basic purposes of free speech, which is to protect democracy. The nerve of his argument—that corporations must be treated like real people under the First Amendment—is in my view preposterous. Corporations are legal fictions. They have no opinions of their own to contribute and no rights to participate with equal voice or vote in politics."

A corporation is equal to a person and thus deserves the right to free speech?! The sheer STUPIDITY and base evil of this point of view is appalling, for it says that rights really don't belong to the individual, that rights can be assigned to any entity regardless of its position in society and that--in this case--might (money) makes right.


And why did I pick a book review site (listed below) to answer your question? Because it at least shows a wider spread of outrage than what I encountered when I posted. Tiny spread, but at least it means someone else is noticing.


The Insider said...

The Dummy's Guide... to understanding the impact. ;)