Thursday, January 21, 2010

Supreme Court bolsters corporate personhood rights

Since I’m convinced that the concept of "corporate personhood" is more the root of all evil than is money or capitalism, then I suppose I’ll just have to go Church Lady on the Supreme Court’s far-reaching decision in the so-called "Citizens United" case that came down today.

The Court seems (imagine Church Lady’s raised eyebrow) to have sided with SATAN.

It seems the more things change, the more they don’t. While aggressive capitalists love to extol the virtues of free markets and competition, too many of them actually prefer the rigged game when they can arrange it. "Risk management" is what they like to call it.

Back in 1886 The Supreme Court’s decision in Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific let the genie out of the bottle, by suddenly allowing for the constitutional rights a citizen enjoys to be extended to corporations, as well. According to a court reporter Chief Justice Morrison Waite said from the bench, but didn‘t write, "The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment...applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does."

Thus an amendment originally intended to protect the rights of former slaves from being truncated by former Confederate states was allowed to be shanghaied by railroad barons.

The corporation isn’t human, it’s more like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster … run amok on cocaine.

The let's-all-pretend notion that a corporation even could be the same as a person is absurd. But it has made some Wall Street cats a lot of money over the last century. This new decision is thus being applauded by politicians who believe that corporate America will now be allowed to funnel even more damn money their way.

As much as the loss of Teddy Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat is making Democrats suffer this week, the Court’s decision to re-validate corporate personhood at the expense of the rights and best interests of real people may actually be a more important setback.

The propaganda machine that hobbled the heath care reform process this year was restricted in ways it will no longer be.

Now drug companies and insurance companies will be able to throw unfettered money at any and every political contest they target. In many cases that kind of focused maneuver will likely swamp the efforts of the locals.

This decision is going to expand the power of lobbyists over legislators. It will take away from the the power of individuals. Which means the elements of the rightwing working class that will applaud this decision, because Rush Limbaugh tells them to, will be surrendering more of their say-so to lobbyists, too.

Furthermore, it is going to mean my freedom of speech, which includes my right to have a chance to be heard, can be made meaningless by corporations that can simply drown out the sound of my voice.

When the Constitution says I have a right to freedom of speech, that can’t just mean I have the right to express myself. It says “speech,” which implies communication. This decision seems to say it’s now going to be OK for a corporation to spend billions of dollars to make sure nobody can hear what the hell I’m trying to say.

So, read this while you can … before you know who (raised eyebrow) sends a devil dog over to eat my keyboard.

-- 30 --

-- Art and words by F.T. Rea


Scott said...

This is where Obama should be harnessing some populist anger- but sadly I am not holding my breath. I think the veneer of democracy is just about gone.
Vote Green while you still can, folks.

zen said...

It's an unbelievable travesty. I suppose corporate money already controlled most things, but this is really shameless.

Anonymous said...

Maybe future campaigns can model themselves after NASCAR? You know, with all the sponsorship logos everywhere?

Jokes aside, presently there's a lots of room for corporations and special interest groups to circumvent the existing campaign laws, so the changes might not be as dramatic or pronounced as some think. Also, I do not see this giving one particular political party favor over another, albeit, it appears conservatives seem to view this ruling in a more favorable light than say liberals...(which should tell you something)

To me, this ruling will make the already obnoxious negative (mostly TV) advertising go into hyperspeed...if that is possible, scary. Some pundits are suggesting this ruling could potentially dilute the power/influence of the modern day political parties, thus transfering even more political power to special intersts groups and their specific agendas...

Either way, scary stuff and bad for us regular folks!