Friday, April 18, 2014

McCutcheon Tarnishing the Name of Free Speech

Whatever rationalizations 5 Supreme Court justices had to rule in favor of Citizens United and McHutcheon, let's get to the heart of the matter and cut away this fluff about free speech.
Citizens United and McHutcheon are about exertion of naked corporate power while free speech is just a flimsy mask to cover up the ugly face of corruption.

These 5 out-of-touch Supreme Court justices that ruled the aggregate $123,000 campaign donation limits as unconstitutional under the First Amendment are wrong on logic, law and history. It was not McCutcheon's constitutional right that was being violated. Money is nowhere in the first Amendment. It is an illegitimate court- created doctrine. 

Yet predictably so, first Amendment freedom of speech is the cover that Shawn McCutcheon used in his published op-ed titled: DonationCaps Hurt Democracy

Since the earliest days of our republic we have been able to express that freedom by contributing money to the political candidates of our choosing... Getting rid of aggregate limits is not about corrupting democracy — it is about practicing democracy and being free.”

Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts echoed this “see no evil” denial of corruption by quoting the Citizen's United ruling, claiming "ingratiation and access … are not corruption".  Basically the only thing that qualifies as corruption under Robert’s overly narrow and disingenuous definition of “quid pro quo corruption” is the image of a late 19th century-style robber baron directly placing a sack of bribe money on the desk of one of their compliant congresspersons.

Where is there not corruption? McCutcheon slammed his foot on the accelerator as far as speeding up this vicious cycle of corruption where the corporate elite buy politicians that will give them bailouts, subsidies, tax breaks and deregulation. Making the already rich even richer under these eviscerated election spending laws will empower and enable them to buy even more politicians in the next election eventually locking in a long term bi-partisan corporatist majority. This vicious cycle of corruption is basically the inverse mirror image version of the Republican’s recurring nightmare vision of the poor and minorities voting in mass to secure themselves endless welfare benefits and locking in a permanent Democratic majority.
Futhermore how can this be “speech” if the plutocrat billionaires celebrate secrecy and want to hide the identity of which donor is bankrolling which campaign ad (an issue that the filibustered DISCLOSE act would have addressed)?
These rulings made in the flowery and friendly name of free speech would not be so dangerous and corrupting if the distribution of wealth and income in this nation weren’t already so grotesquely skewed into the hands of so few. The richest four hundred Americans now have more wealth than the poorest 150 million Americans put together. That is why in 2010 the 0.01% of richest Americans accounted for one fourth of all the money given to politicians, parties and political action committees.

Shaun McCutcheon himself has made an irritating display of inverted patriotism, revisionist freedom and feigned allegiance to founding principles by making donations of the symbolically significant $1,776 to 15 different candidates.

However, the Shaun McCutcheon definition of freedom applies to only about 600 people in the whole entire nation. Only 591 donors in the entire country gave the maximum allowance of $46,200 to federal candidates in 2012, according to data from Center for Responsive Politics. So few people have both the desire and the ability to do such a feat that this is a freedom not worth defending.

But according to the Robert's Court, the purported constitutional right of a few hundred super-rich plutocrats to spend virtually unlimited sums on campaign contributions is more important than congress’s right to regulate campaign spending.

Public financing of campaigns would cause the conspirators for a permanent corporatist political majority to squeal like a tortured pig in resistance. But the legislators themselves might actually like robust campaign finance reform. It would give them the freedom to be authentic and to actually do their job instead of spending every possible remaining moment of their week dialing for dollars. If only candidates were not on such a constant uphill treadmill have to raise so many millions for media buys, the 0.1% would not have such a hammerlock control over our political process.

Giving private money free reign to interfere with our public decision making is an endorsement of highly concentrated power. The dispersion and accountability of power is the key to a thriving democracy. That is why we need respect people's ability to run for office without being tethered to corporate money and for politicians who are already in office to not have to be dependent upon the corporate elite to give them the cash they need to run in the first place. Isn’t it only fair for broadcasters provide free air time to candidates in exchange for use of our airwaves? Or is that an arrangement which is forbidden because would foil the evil plot of the oligarchs?

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