Can't hide my head in the sand anymore. I'd like to, but it's time to discuss the recent Supreme Court decision.
What the Supreme Court did, was to rule that corporations are entitled to "personhood" in a way that allows unlimited campaign contributions. Tom Delay is very excited because this means he probably won't go to jail on the money laundering charges he's facing. Other than that, all I can say is democracy is no longer for the people, by the people. It will be decided by corporations.
Because they are people, too.
Now, it's true that they have always had some semblance of personhood. This ruling takes that a step farther into elections. Yes, they will, just as people do, have to have their contributions recorded.
But the elections will already be decided. Imagine, ExxonMobil with the opportunity to buy a few representatives to get their environmental policies pushed through. Or the health insurance industry pocketing a couple senators to have the outcome of health reform balanced in a way that shows up in a positive bottom line for them.
Why, you say, they already do that. Yes, I would agree to some extent they do. But now? The sky is the limit. And it's legal.
So what can be done?
Not much. We can hope that corporations will want to have a positive image, which is always a line audit reports of most company annual reports as a possible risk. Although one could argue Exxon ran the Valdez into the ground, spilled oil, ruined the environment and hasn't paid a dime for it.
People still pull into Exxon to fill up. I don't but look at their profits. Please. No one cares. A bag of chips, good TV show, and most Americans are happy.
Shareholder resolutions? How can you argue that they should not be contributing when those contributions positively effect their bottom line? You can't.
Ok, so roll up your sleeves and say, enough with this Supreme Court. Let's have term limits. First, that takes a constitutional amendment. The Democrats can't even pass a bill saying people like hot dogs right now, let alone something as serious as changing the constitution. Besides, it would ultimately politicize even further the part of the government that is not suppose to be political.
I know, hard not to snicker at that one, isn't it?
Campaign finance reform? Um, let's remember about the hot dogs. Congress can't pass anything right now. And the right wing conservatives see this as playing into their favor. Ultimately, it won't. They will have short term wins- I see Roe v. Wade going down very soon. If corporations can have personhood and never be live, sentient beings, why isn't an embryo that has the possibility of becoming such a thing?
Brought to you by the makers of Pampers.
Scott Brown winning the senate seat is nothing compared to this folks. For the first time in all my years of activism, I feel completely helpless. I wish I could take a pill, like in the Matrix, and be stupid and unaware. As Hamlet asked,
"Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And, by opposing, end them."
Only I'd add a question mark- by opposing, do we end them?
I'm not sure I know what the point is anymore. I guess we can all wave goodbye to what little democracy we had left.