Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Supreme Court says corporations and unions may contribute to political campaigns

This is simply the latest chapter of bad jurisprudence resulting from the absurd ruling in Santa Clara County v Southern Pacific Railroad (1886) that said corporations were people under the 14th amendment. My position is very simple. No person or entity that is not eligible for the franchise should be allowed to spend a dime on political campaigns or propaganda.


Wordsmyth said...


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

And corporations can contribute as much as they want!!!

Chew on that for a while. And then kiss goodbye to democracy. Or what little of it there was left before today.

The Archer of the Forest said...

Amen, brother.

Anonymous said...

RIP Democracy, ca. 594 BC - January 21, 2010. All hail our new corporate overlords!

Anonymous said...

Well, things have been going in this direction for a long time. It works because the masses prefer to remain largely uneducated and are rather easily persuaded by advertisement ("campaigns").

I believe that in his book, Obama admitted that he is what the media makes him out to be, or that that is how people will see him--something to that effect.

He is correct.

The problems have been around for a long time.

Phil said...

OK, John, I'm going to be the lone dissenter. First of all, I somewhat agree with your last sentence; my feeling has always been that only eligible voters should be able to contribute to candidates. But, why should there be limits on any group, corporation or otherwise, spending money to print or air ads advocating for or against a position or candidate? After all, corporations aren't automatons making those decisions. There are people within the corporations doing so.

Anonymous said...

So let the individual people of the corporations contribute. When large groups donate money, they expect something back in return. Just look at the White House and the Unions.

VSO said...

Corporate money? Hardly:

I'm surprised to see such negative reaction here to an affirmation of the First Amendment. Folks, all McCain-Feingold did was keep incumbents in office and remove competition for Big Labor. Citizens United btw is a non-profit.

So how's that audit of the AOANA coming?

Matthew the Curmudgeon said...

You make me laugh. First of all, we have NEVER been a 'democracy'. No authentic, true democracies have ever existed, not even in Greece. We are an elected limited Republic. That's as good as it is going to get. It's all down hill from here.
It's always been about the money. Always will be.
Whether companies and corporations are free to contribute to the candidates and issues or not the money will flow. Get over it.
American 'Christians' take politics more seriously than they do GOD; in fact, it is their God. Americanism = Christianity. Especially conservative politics.
We even have the Patriot Bible now. American flag and all on the cover - wow - how Christian.
Move American Christians (of all denominations) believe the Kingdom of Heaven is a democracy and all the decisions GOD makes will be defined by the 'saints' votes yea or nay.
As Yakov Smirnoff says "WHAT A COUNTRY"!
As I say, What a religion.
Gag me with a spoon.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Yup, it's always been about money, and we've always tolerated that, assumed it was normal, and have winked as well at a variety of corrupt political practices, for a long time. We are even willing to vote for people we KNOW are crooks, on the theory that they are lesser crooks than their opponents! So in a way, what has happened to us now is justice.

The reason there should be limits on what corporations can contribute is that their "contributions" many times outweight that of all the American individuals put together. How long will it take now before every politician, from mayor and councilman to senator and president, will be company-owned men? This decision thoroughly undermines every individual's right of free speech, meaning you can still speak all you like, but to none effect. NONE. Zero.

† Clement said...

My first time visiting your fine blog site. Quite wonderful!

As to my comment -

I find it not so oddly interesting how those who advocate for some sort of 'leveling of the playing field' (whatever that means in leftspeak) are the very ones who are voicing so much objection about this latest Supreme Court decision.

Will this decision open the door for abuse? Of course. But there is already abuse, has been for some time (as someone has already pointed out).

What this will do, I believe, is to allow the little activist groups and small business groups who heretofore virtually had little or no chance at all against the well-funded leftist dominated mainstream media propaganda machine of getting their (often conservative) message to the people by allowing a pooling together of financial resources.

Our Constitution (which foundation of Rule of Law we are supposed to governed by, but alas!) and the Founding Fathers who constructed it established not a democracy nor a republic but a Democratic Republic which in itself implies and demands a delicate balance.

We have lost that balance and this decision by the high Court might (at least theoretically) help to restablish such a balance.

It is only one small step of many that are needed.


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

I wish that were what will happen, but am afraid that's wishful thinking. What will really happen is that now those same "little activist groups" will have their message drowned out by a corporation-dominated mainstream media propaganda machine even better funded than the "leftist dominated" one.

And of course, after a while, there will be no more leftist media, or rightist, either. Big money from big corporations will see to that.

One of the main principles of American jurisprudence, or so I thought, was that my rights end where yours begin, and vice-versa. Well, corporations' rights have just swamped everyone else's.

Well, the bright side of it is that religious groups can also give unlimited money, time, and talent, now. Mosques, for instance. They have pretty nearly unlimited funds from Saudi Arabia.

Ed said...

Hey John, better ax that last ("Chinese") comment. Blogger's comment spam filter is apparently starting to break down. In any case, don't click the links. Let's just say they're bad for the soul. If only there were some way of suing people for inflicting that sort of thing on the unwary...

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Thanks Ed. I took careof it.


John (Ad Orientem) said...

My main problem with your argument is that corporations do not spend their own money. They spend other people's money which gives them something of an advantage. The idea behind the court's ruling is that they are leveling the playing field for corporations. After all if IBM contributes 5 million dollars to a campaign and I don't like it... I am perfectly free to spend $5 million of my money to counter them... right?


† Clement said...

Theodoridis ...

You may be right, of course about my 'wishful thinking'. Time will ultimately tell on this issue.
I am hopeful, however, that those myriad little 'political action' groups that ceaselessly pester my email box with donation solicitations (to which, as a monastic, I cannot donate to nor would I if I could since I consider the effort to effect the outcome of history through political means to be a waste of time and money) will band together to combat the corporate juggernaut.

While it is true that,
traditionally, constitutional rights end when you are endangering someone else’s rights or are threatening to cause physical harm to others, it is also true that when the Bill of Rights was written and adopted, the rights that mattered politically were of one sort—an individual’s, or a minority’s, right to be free from interference from the state. Today, rights are most often thought of as an entitlement to receive something from the state, as opposed to a freedom from interference by the state.

This is the distortion that gives momentum to ideas such as a woman has the 'right' to an abortion or homosexuals have the 'right' to be married or that everyone has a 'right' to healthcare.

As it stands now (unfortunately) the state cannot legally prevent a woman from acting on her decision to have an abortion but she does not have a right to an abortion.
Similarly, some states have decided to legally recognize homosexual cohabitation as "marriage" but this has nothing to do with rights (or with equality for that matter).
Much the same with the healthcare issue. Congress does not have the Constitutional authority to nationalize that industry in order to grant entitlements.
Actually, there is no Constitutional authority for about 70% of what Congress does but that's another story.

Perhaps our time would be put to better use by striving to be informed principled voters who do not buy into the assertions or claims of ad campaigns no matter who or what pays for them.
We can vote them in and we can vote them out. We can vote for a thing or we can vote against a thing. And that's really all we have power to do.