The Supreme Court Trauma Center
(image by DonkeyHotey)
Caricature of Supreme Court Justices looking at doctors operating on "patient" in Flag draped coffin.
Is it possible there are people out there still believing we have a representative democracy?
Many of us thought the five "Supremes" outdid themselves in 2010 when they ruled in favor of "Citizens United" v/s FEC. Now on Wednesday they did one better ruling in favor of "McCutcheon" v/s FEC striking down the $ limits individuals can contribute to federal candidates and parties.
Where "Citizens" unleashed the flood of corporate moolah inundating and further corrupting the electoral process, "McCutcheon" will let individuals like the Koch Bros., casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and their other assorted billionaire cronies insure the stooges they select get elected.
But certainly the cancer in our democracy didn't begin with SCOTUS ruling in "McCutcheon" or with their ruling in "Citizens".
Our democracy has been tainted since the time of the founders when only white male landowners were allowed to vote. So it doesn't take much imagination what interests those in office represented. Compared to today, that was petty bribery.
Let's put it another way; the "five" should be referred as the undertaking firm of "Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Kennedy" who took the body-representative democracy- and put it in a "coffin" with "Citizens United" and then with "McCutcheon" provided the nails to seal it airtight.
So it's clear; we have a plutocracy pure and simple. But now what do we do throw in the towel, remain in the words of Paul Craig Roberts, insouciant; without a care?
I believe, as I've said many times before, the way out of the current morass is with serious campaign finance reform and a constitutional amendment that gets big money out of the electoral process.
And let's not forget; those in office control the all important political agenda, who do the bidding of their financial underwriters and enact the legislation, regulation, oversight and enforcement that goes to their benefit.
Sure there's Bernie Sanders, Mark Udall, Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden, Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren in the Senate and Alan Grayson, Paul Sarbanes, Zoe Lofgren, Henry Waxman and Jim McDermott in the House-who along with few others- are in the system not beholden to the Koch's, Adelson and the AIPAC crowd but most of the rest are bought, sold and paid for by those big moneyed interests that underwrite their campaigns.
As to the movement for a constitutional amendment thus far there are some 16 states and multiple cities and smaller jurisdictions that have sent to the House their request for an amendment that would overrule SCOTUS rulings in Citizens and now McCutcheon. With polls showing an overwhelming majority-regardless of right or left political persuasions wanting big money out of elections- it's not a stretch SCOTUS ruling in McCutcheon could provide the impetus and a renewed focus on this most necessary amendment that could resurrect our broken democracy.
It's fairly simple; unless the representatives selected to run and elected are freed from the big moneyed umbilical cord that tethers them to these interests, NOTHING will change.
Part of the reality is campaign finance reform has traditionally been a somewhat stodgy issue unlike slavery, segregation, civil rights or women's suffrage that were easily defined and understood. That must change.
The McCutcheon and Citizens United rulings are the smoking guns revealing unmistakably a completely broken system, that a plutocracy of oligarchs has usurped and taken over our democracy and made it their own.
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