>Elections Have Consequences

>[UPDATE]:

Predictably, state Republicans show where their priorities lie by already having a bill in the hopper that would change Tennessee state law, enabling them to hop aboard the corporate electioneering gravy train.

I know y’all are shocked!

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In 2004 quite a few of us worked our asses off to get John Kerry elected president, not because we wanted to have a beer with him or thought he was the most enigmatic speaker or liked the way he bowled or approved of the condiments he put on his hamburgers, but because we realized larger issues were at play.

And yesterday we saw one of them. A lot of people, for whatever reason, voted for George Bush and as a result we got Samuel Alito and John Roberts on the Supreme Court. And the result of that, my dear friends, was this.

The Supreme Court went straight down the predictable ideological lines, the corporatist conservatives on the “let’s give corporations more power in our government” side and the liberals on the “Oh my God are you freaking nuts?!” side, and Anthony Kennedy being the swing vote.

Slate had a good take on the proceedings which I urge you to read, in particular this:

But you can plainly see the weariness in Stevens eyes and hear it in his voice today as he is forced to contend with a legal fiction that has come to life today, a sort of constitutional Frankenstein moment when corporate speech becomes even more compelling than the “voices of the real people” who will be drowned out. Even former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist once warned that treating corporate spending as the First Amendment equivalent of individual free speech is “to confuse metaphor with reality.” Today that metaphor won a very real victory at the Supreme Court. And as a consequence some very real corporations are feeling very, very good.

Yes indeed. So just remember you voted for this. If you didn’t vote for this, and stayed home, you voted for this.

I talked to a friend from the Kerry campaign for the first time in years today. She, like the rest of us, is disgusted with the state of politics in this country. She’s on a virtual news fast and vowed never to vote again, even though she’s voted in every election of her adult life. I can’t imagine she’s serious but just in case, a gentle reminder: elections have consequences.

I know we’re all frustrated with the Democrats and their flaccid approach to government. I’m done with donating money to parties and donating time to candidates. But never vote again? Nah.

Elections have consequences, people. Just think about what happened yesterday if you’re tempted to sit the next Election Day out.

19 Comments

Filed under corporations, Supreme Court

19 responses to “>Elections Have Consequences

  1. W

    >I've just started coming here regularly in the last few months because I find your posts enjoyable and informative. That said, this particular one is just a big "We told you so!". Is that really necessary?

  2. >A good "We told you so!" is also a reminder of what was going on before.Yes we are still living with the decisions G.W. and "neocons" made for us.The Court is the one decision that will last for many many years to come.

  3. >The problem is the undying devotion to the two-party faux political ideology we are brainwashed by.There is no real difference between them (on the issues of importance).To continue to support this bogus structure is to continue the demise of our country. Glad you see the light.There is but a whisper's difference between a "neocon" and a "neolib".

  4. >Although I'm not looking forward to the impact on political advertising, now that corporations & unions & trade associations can pile on, this is to me a realistic decision. The first amendment does prohibit restricting free speech and the legislation did that.Fortunately, there is a simpler way to limit the level of influence that an entity with lots of money can affect political discourse and it's to put a cap on the $ amount that any entity can contribute to an election. If we set a dollar limit for any entity (heck, let's pick $1,500 bucks), then no one can give more than that to a primary or general election, whether they are a person, a PAC, a union, or a corporation. Doing that sort of thing limits the level of influence, doesn't it?

  5. >The slo-mo coup is pretty much finalized. It started — naturally — with the Supreme Court handing the presidency to the spawn of Bush 1. We all sat around, drank our lattes, pissed and moaned but we all did not get out on the street and start smashing windows, burning cars, and generally wrecking the place. Big mistake. Now we have the Supreme Court again (see the pattern? No congress needed?) giving the elections to the corporations. Bypass the will of the people completely. Buy the district/state of your choice, carve up the country into corporate fiefdoms. Put your logo on voting booths! Nike! Xe!!Elections (voting) might have consequences but soft-bodied dull-witted progressives who aren't willing to get out in the street and raise hell are the real folks at fault here. Hell, the French aristocracy and power elite are *still* quaking in their boots, afraid of the real power of the people, the power to bring it all down around their heads.

  6. >So you are OK with the government supressing free speech so long as they do it to groups you don't like?Justice Kennedy was spot-on in his opinion.

  7. >Are you implying I don't like labor unions, Mike?

  8. >Mike W – do you understand that organizations (corporations and unions) are not human beings?

  9. >And yet the do have some constitutional protections Rewinn.For example 4th Amendment protections (See Marshall V. Barlow)

  10. >Let Babylon drown in it's own excess. I'm guessing the George Soros infomercials might be pretty entertaining.

  11. Jim

    >I must be confused. How many votes does this decision give to a corporation in any given election? You talk of "buying elections," so I assume this decision has some direct influence in who gets to vote, how they vote, or who they can vote for? Did it change the registration process so that only corporate backed politicians are allowed on the ballot now? Seems to me the people still have the power to elect who they want. Of course, there is some personal responsibility involved in not just accepting what you see and hear on TV and radio as the truth, but surely Americans are up for that right?

  12. >Jim:" Seems to me the people still have the power to elect who they want. Of course, there is some personal responsibility involved in not just accepting what you see and hear on TV and radio as the truth, but surely Americans are up for that right?"You've heard of Sarah Palin?

  13. Jim

    >Sarah Palin – the woman that did not win the last election? Are you suggesting that she was the better option and should have won but corporate intrests bought the election for Obama?

  14. >Jim:No, I'm suggesting that there are a significant number of idiots who believe ONLY what they are told by Fox, Limbaugh and the rest of the reichwing re: The Impalinator. She's trash, and yet she polls very well amongst the illiterati.

  15. Jim

    >demo – why is Palin "trash"? Is it because her political views don't match yours? Are you suggesting a large percentage of America is "trash" because they don't agree with you? Most people view trash as something to be thrown out and done away with. It looks like you are suggesting that conservatives have no place in America – that is not very tolerant of you.

  16. >Jim:Sarah Palin is not a conservative, she's a reactionary. If you believe that she is a conservative then that would indicate to me that you are one as well. Do you seriously think that woman has the brains to conduct the business of governance? If so, you are delusional.And, yes, she is trash.

  17. >demo – why is Palin "trash"? Is it because her political views don't match yours?Probably. Demo's standard retort is to personally attack those he disagree's with. After all, if you lack the capacity to attack the message on merits then what recourse do you have left but to attack the messenger?

  18. >mikey:Please state ALL of Ms. Palin's accomplishments in her job as Governor of Alaska, GOP VP candidate and spokesshrieker for the delusionals. Use a a whole sentence if necessary.You may have noticed that I don't "personally attack" everyone. Is Sarah one of your heroes? If so, is it because of her extensive foreign policy experience or her marksmanship?

  19. >You may have noticed that I don't "personally attack" everyoneOf course not, just those you disagree with. You think attacking them makes you superior.