Enough’s enough. Thirty years ago–the Supreme Court’s decision in 1976 Buckley vs. Vallejo set the stage for the moneyed class being able to pre SELECT who might eventually become a candidate for office– be s/he Democrat or Republican. In this decision the Court allowed restrictions on how much a citizen could give a candidate for elective office–but not on how much a candidate could spend.
Five years ago–the Supreme Court SELECTED the current resident of the White House as president. It did so by halting a recount of the ballots in Florida that would have given the victory to the other candidate–not their guy.
A few days ago–they reconfirmed their thirty-year-old SELECTION position.
Maybe it’s time to have a new condition put on Supreme Court membership. You know–just as we have re-licensing requiremen’s to drive after a certain age. It seems the nine current members–or at least the six who voted the wrong way–can’t even differentiate their own sensory inputs.
I’m referring to the recent Randall vs. Sorrell case about which the US Supreme Court just handed down its decision. These guys think money is speech. That’s what they said. Well–let me help them a bit. Money is a thing. Sure it’s becoming more ephemeral by becoming ever more electronified–but in the real world it is tangible. We usually associate it with our sense of touch. It is property–something we own. On the other hand–speech (unrendered into writing–in its "pure" form) is a thing of the mouth and ears–not hands. It is a creature of conscience and human rights.
In the US–one is green (mostly–with some red thrown in lately) and often smells bad. The other is colorless and odorless (bad-breath notwithstanding). Hey wait that’s it–the six supremes are color blind- an affliction of the eyes that impacts ability to see green and red! Or maybe the scent of money is driving them to insanity through greed. In either–just like dogs. Maybe that’s why they’re barking up the wrong tree of equating money to speech in their rationale for disallowing Vermont to implement its new law setting spending limits on candidates for state office. Imagine–having an election where the power of money CAN’T buy a victory. Where money can’t squelch truth–issues–and ideas. Where money is secondary to the power of the people– those supporting a candidate who walk precincts or call voters or stuff envelopes. Yeah–boy–that would sure stink–we’d have a democracy–not a moneycracy.
Those idiotic ideologues can’t even see their way clear to finding an overwhelming public benefit to removing the corrupting power of money from our electoral system. In case anyone has any doubts about the screwed-up money-addled priorities of this court–consider this. It also ruled that Texas’ mid-census redistricting was also acceptable. What did it take to pull that off? Lots of money–funneled by FORMER congressman Tom Delay through at best questionable means– that’s part of the wheeling-and-dealing that’s now gotten him indicted.
So what’s the solution? How can the power of money ever be counterbalanced by people? In California–we’ll have to elect the Democrat–Phil Angelides–for Governor. The Assembly and State Senate will remain under Democratic control–there’s no doubt of it. Then–we’ll do a mid-census redistricting to reduce Republicans to half the seats they hold now–in Congress and in the state legislature. Certainly there’ll be a court challenge by California’s crybaby Republicans. It might even make its way to the illustrious supremes. Then we’ll see how true they remain to their "principles," or how fast they show their partisan colors.