Saturday :: Jan 23, 2010

The Five Traitors

by Steve

For several days, I have resisted writing about the threat to American democracy brought upon us by the 5 conservative, big business lobbyists masquerading as Supreme Court jurists. My immediate reaction upon learning of the right wing judicial activism contained in the Citizens United decision was 1) this was the end of American democracy as we know it; and 2) there is a direct linkage between this decision and the Bush v. Gore decision. Several days of contemplation have not changed my pessimistic view of these developments. We should not kid ourselves that Bush v. Gore was the predicate for this decision, a long-planned takeover of the American government by Corporate America through the judiciary rather than the more obvious other two branches of government. Coupled with Corporate America's ownership of our media, the truth is that everyday Americans are screwed for the next several decades and are at the mercy of organizations that place profit above morality, and who John Roberts and Sam Alito prefer to own the government over ordinary citizens.

I will leave it to others to point out that the legal basis for the decision is shaky at best, and along with Bush v. Gore represents a final dismissal of conservative whining about activist judges. Both Roberts and Alito flat-out lied at their confirmation hearings about their respect for already-decided law, but stupid Democrats went along with both of these charlatans, even though it should have been clear to many that the 2000 election was stolen for this exact purpose: to stack the court with enough right wing traitors so that Corporate America could roll back the unions, environmental protection and occupational safety laws, and have a free hand in buying and operating the United States government for its benefit.

Mission accomplished indeed.

However, there are some things progressives can do to deal with this decision in the next year or so. First, since the Five Traitors have now attempted the fiction that unions and corporations should have an equal treatment in this area, then it is only fair that corporations like unions have to get the consent of their shareholders before engaging in political activity. Second, if we are going to allow corporations to directly buy Congress and the president, we have foreign influence laws on the books in this country that would require us to now ban any corporation of any foreign ownership from operating a PAC. Likewise, any corporation incorporated offshore to escape American taxation would have to repatriate itself onshore in order to operate a PAC lest we have foreign agents directly influencing our government.

From a short term perspective, progressives need to recalibrate our expectations in the aftermath of this decision and Obama's first year. Climate change legislation is now dead, as Big Oil and the Pollution Lobby will steamroller their opponents this fall. Likewise, any meaningful health care reform is now gone for another generation. The same goes for any meaningful financial regulatory reform or energy policy. You might object to these dire predictions by responding that Obama and the Democratic leadership will still fight for these initiatives even at their political peril, but seriously, ask yourself if you really expect this Democratic Party to show any guts in taking on the special interests who have already bought them within the previous campaign finance structure, let alone what we'll see now.

That leaves it to the president to do the dirty work: it's time to demonize the Five Traitors on the bench, and he is already doing that. It would be even better if he looked down at them during the SOTU and called them out for their right wing treachery.

My only hope going forward long-term, is that there is now an opening for new alliances and new political movements. Both major parties are corporate-owned entities, and the Democrats will be rewarded for their whoring by being made extinct over the next several cycles. But in its zeal for cash, the GOP will now totally align itself with Wall Street to pursue the Democrats' demise, exposing that party to internal fissures from the libertarian wing of the party, who will reject replacing government regulations with corporate control at the expense of individual freedoms and liberties. I can't imagine the Cato Institute loving the idea that Corporate America will now have a free hand for domestic surveillance and the destruction of privacy laws. Moreover, the Tea Bag crowd did not sign on for Corporate America to make them serfs. Progressives will have opportunities in the coming years to seek alliances with those of like mind who oppose corporate control of our government and the endangering of our lives and liberties for the sake of maximum corporate profit.

The best thing the progressive wing of the Democratic Party can do now is to spend the next 6 months setting this narrative in place of an out-of-control Corporate America taking away our rights and killing our environment, in advance of the blizzard of corporate funded attack ads this fall. The Wall Street wing of the party is doomed and lost, especially the Blue Dogs and the New Democrats, and perhaps that is finally for the best. Why would Wall Street continue to fund DINOs when they can buy the real thing now? Progressives should start the party rebuilding process from their safe districts and make the sole focus of their message about the dangers to this democracy of an out-of-control Corporate America. It is now open season on Corporate America for progressives, and we should be launching a new populist effort at shaming these con men and traitors into the ground. If the GOP can turn "liberal" into an epithet, then we can likewise brand "Corporate America" as a threat to this democracy in the wake of this decision. We can ask voters why the same people who caused the economic collapse have now been freed by GOP judges to buy the United States government away from Main Street with the active help of the GOP, both eager to ruin even more lives than they have already.

Disaster can lead to focus, and that is where we find ourselves today. Progressives need to remind voters that our founding fathers and our veterans did not make their sacrifices just so the GOP could turn the whole enterprise over to Corporate America.

Steve :: 3:15 PM :: Comments (17) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!