Today Michael Hiltzik gets a twofer at TPC, this time regarding the appalling Supreme Court decision that favors billionaires, the decision that extends the influence of big money on elections... brought to us by SCOTUS's previous Citizens United ruling.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a major campaign finance decision, striking down limits on federal campaign contributions for the first time. The ruling, issued near the start of a campaign season, will change and probably increase the role money plays in American politics.
The decision, by a 5-to-4 votes along ideological lines, was a sort of sequel to Citizens United, the 2010 decision that struck down limits on independent campaign spending by corporations and unions. But that ruling did nothing to disturb the other main form of campaign finance regulation: caps on direct contributions to candidates and political parties.
I'm beyond furious, way past frustrated, and drowning in worry over turning on enormous spigots of money that will drown out the majority of ordinary (aka 99% of us) political donors. Our voices will no longer be heard (are they now?) over the deafening ka-chings and the triumphant stomping all over our rights and campaign finance reform efforts.
We are being silenced by five Supreme Court Justices and the powerful entities with gigantic bank accounts to which they genuflect. Money talks, we're just audience members. But we are not applauding.
Think it was bad before? You ain't seen nothin' yet. You thought Sheldon Adelson and the ass-kissing at Jewish Mingle were obscene? Billionaires like him are just getting started. Super PACs are morphing into Super Duper PACs, Mingles will become orgies, and the kajillions of TV ads will turn into mini-series sponsored by Deep Pockets, Inc.
Anyone still wondering why the GOP is trying to kill labor unions? If so, here's why: They tend to support Democrats, and those very few union sources for campaign cash are dwindling:
The notion that an unrelenting torrent of money can suborn the entire political process doesn't seem to occur to Chief Roberts.
Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the minority, didn't accept this charade. [...]
It's not only the 1st Amendment right to be heard, but also the 1st Amendment right not to be drowned out that are at issue, he wrote:
"The First Amendment advances not only the individual’s right to engage in political speech, but also the public’s interest in preserving a democratic order in which collective speech matters.... Where enough money calls the tune, the general public will not be heard."
For proof, he needed to go no further than the majority opinion.
So what do we do? Vote in droves. It's time to stop the endless obstruction by the GOP: Obstruction to voting rights, civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, and constitutional rights. Get. Out. The. Vote. We can do this.
Please read the entire piece by Hiltzik here.