There has been so much news in the last two weeks between Haiti, Leno and Conan, Tuesday’s special election in Massachusetts (and its outcome) that it’s easy to wonder whether the full impact of yesterday’s Supreme Court decision, to lift the limits on how much U.S. corporations can spend on a political campaign, is getting lost in the mix. The decision, which ran straight down SCOTUS party lines (read more on Justice Stevens’ scathing dissent here), and overturns century-old precedents, will have enormous ramifications on future elections, from local straight up to the White House. Enormous.
As Rachel Maddow points out (video below) no need for regular voters to reach into their pockets to support a candidate anymore! Why bother when any big corporation can match a whole state’s donations in one fell swoop.
What’s the point in individual people trying to influence politics with their donations if Exxon or some other company can quite literally match and therefore cancel out the combined donations of every single individual donor in the nation whenever it wants, in one check, and it can do it every year, in every campaign, in every state, in every race.
President Obama calls it “a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.” Rachel Maddow called it a lightning bolt into “the entire American political establishment.” Also the end of Health Care reform unless the Dems get their act together immediately.
The video below is longish, but it’s definitely worth a watch. This is a decision — “one of the most radical in years” — whose only beneficiary is Big Business, grass roots voters (or even just regular ones!) on either side of the aisle should be very worried.
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