From The Smirking Chimp:
Count this as another savage blow for those cherished corporate interests:
In a stunning reversal of the nation’s federal campaign finance laws, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Thursday that as an exercise of free speech, corporations, labor unions and other groups can directly spend on political campaigns.
The justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns.
“The notion that the First Amendment dictated [today’s ruling] is, in my judgment, profoundly misguided,” dissenting Judge John Paul Stevens wrote for the others.
“In the context of election to public office, the distinction between corporate and human speakers is significant. Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it,” he added. (Via FOXnews.com)
I frequently hear arguments from all sides citing the ‘restrictions’ on free speech. What used to be a staple of progressive thought is now slowly being eroded in some seemingly well intentioned yet disastrous attempt at peace keeping.
Yet when some entity with a shit-ton of money to spend on buying a politician, I mean contributing to a political campaign, exploits the concept to get a law passed, everyone is breaking their backs upholding the concept.
Except that this has nothing to do with freedom of speech, considering those angling for this decision spend millions of dollars on advertising and propaganda and cold calls that the average person does not have access to.
I can’t launch a multi million dollar campaign against an elected official I have a problem with, no matter how righteous my complaint may be. However, corporations can afford to do this. So can special interest groups, unions, oil and pharmaceutical companies, basically anyone with enough money burning a hole in their pocket can buy up some prime air time and lob away.
Of course this was all happening before, albeit behind closed doors. The Supreme Court just made it easier for crooked types to get their shady agendas passed by all sorts of sinister politicians looking to install a gold plated kidney shaped pool at one of their many manses.
I’m not one to opine some impending American revolution, because that’s kid’s stuff. Things would have to get much, much worse here for anything like an uprising to happen, and I think it’s just wish fulfillment to assume otherwise.
However, I do wonder, at what point are we going to get pissed? Taxpayers just handed over billions to Wall Street, only to see the money funneled to CEOs in the name of bonuses, while unemployment remains on the rise. The great black hope, Mr. Obama, has emerged as a rather large disappointment, in addition to being overly agreeable to corporate interests, in a stark contrast to his campaign promises. And now this. Corporations are afforded rights and privileges that many Americans find to be on the wane. If this doesn’t make you mad, please send me a little of whatever you are smoking.