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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/23/10

Our Democracy Clings By Its Fingernails

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A dramatic headline, but apt nonetheless. The recent Supreme Court ruling opening up a new corporate "wild west" style free-for-all political arena with no spending limits should have alarmed the f*ck out of you by now. If not, you haven't been paying close enough attention.

I'm kind of pissed, if you couldn't tell.

Now there could be a legislative remedy were the Congress an actual, functioning branch of our government, but arcane cloture rules in the Senate (and now Senator-elect Scott Brown's timely Senate seat pickup) have served to completely freeze the coffee poured into the saucer solid, so to speak.

Political Wire has a great take on the path ahead, with this bit catching my eye;
And what about the presidential election? President Obama is surely not pleased about this outcome for strategic, if not moral concerns. This ruling eviscerates his financial edge in raising money. The Obama campaign broke all records raising over $700 million from large and small donors, many of them over the Internet. Now he can expect corporate-backed advertising to be used against him.
So instead of this strange hands-off, let the legislators bicker it out approach to governing he has done thus far, Obama will be forced to go back to the barnstorming bravado he attempted to re-energize today with that obvious opening salvo of the 2010 election, campaign-style event he held today.

My take? The hubris of the huge money and corporate good graces he had previously enjoyed while passing the stimulus etc blinded the President to the reality; it was all simply a ruse, a humongous rope-a-dope perpetrated in broad daylight on an unwitting new President. I know that sounds harsh, but think about it; the schedule of cases coming up toward the Supremes through the circuit courts had to have been known by the powers-that-be for some time, if not deliberately planned by them. When this case came across the recently-packed Court's desk it was clear the conservative majority would rule one of their wonderful 5-4 contentious issue judgments that seem to be the hallmark of the Roberts Court.

Meaning corporate America smiled in President Obama's face while unobtrusively putting one leg behind his, strategically placing one hand on his shoulder, and pushing him over, electorally speaking, with the might of their seemingly endless coffers, now poised to be deployed as political weapons against elected officials not willing to toe the corporate line (in this case, their bottom line.)

Unless progressives and others band together to push back, Teddy Roosevelt style, against the powerful corporate interests that have just now finished raping our democracy, we will rue the day this ruling didn't inspire us to construct torches, grab the nearest pitchfork (h/t Colbert) and head toward Washington with bloody revolution in our hearts.

Indeed, President Bush's disastrous presidency apparently was just another ruse to hide the hardcore attention Conservatives have paid to judicial appointments for the better part of a century. I think of it as the generational pushback against FDR style populism (and his packing the courts, of course.) They knew that the law was king in America, and by influencing the law directly through strategic judicial appointments, they could thus influence America far more effectively than timid Congressional action ever could.

This ruling proves it, of course.

The only course left is to join in this new cacophony of political discourse, corporate financial "free speech" or just the real kind ("Rehnquist once warned that treating corporate spending as the First Amendment equivalent of individual free speech is 'to confuse metaphor with reality'" h/t Political Animal) is to get out and organize. We'll see if Obama's new barnstorming can rally the people enough to truly kick back against this horrific event in the political history of the United States, which as was just disclosed on tonight's Hardball, overturns over a century of precedent and overturns three previous Supreme Court decisions just to add insult to injury.

Stare decisis my ass, Chief Justice. Stare decisis my ass.

UPDATE: Here's a gem from Robert's confirmation flimflammery;
Later in the hearing, Roberts told Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, he would judge any challenge to Roe according to the principle of stare decisis, latin for "stand by a decision," meaning courts are bound by previous decisions, or precedent.

Once issues are "settled," the idea is to prevent ongoing confusion and litigation over the meaning and impact of past cases -- except in extraordinary cases.

Roberts cited Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 Supreme Court decision that affirmed Roe, as the starting point in his deliberations if a case challenging the landmark ruling came before him.

"Well, that determination in Casey becomes one of the precedents of the court, entitled to respect like any other precedent of the court, under principles of stare decisis," Roberts said.

"That is a precedent entitled to respect under principles of stare decisis like any other precedent of the court."
What do you think is next on the chopping block, if precedent and f*cking stare decisis no longer seem to matter to these shameless corporate marionettes?

Choice. Mark my words.
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Mike Kuykendall is a progressive, patriotic veteran of the U.S. Air Force, fighting hard to save our democracy.
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