Friday, January 22, 2010

More on yesterday's Supreme Court ruling

This is from a short article by Michael Kieschnick:

It is devastating for democracy because the dollars available to corporations, should they choose to engage, dwarf other sources of campaign expenditures. This ruling will have an effect on policy and elections literally today. Those running for elections this fall will know that every policy vote will be watched closely by corporate interests. Too many of today's elected officials lack the bravery to stand up to this level of implicit pressure. Today, corporations influence policy through a variety of means, with the most expensive being through lobbying. We can expected a significant share of those lobbying dollars to move into electoral expenditures.

It will be extremely difficult to undo because doing so will require either a constitutional amendment to declare that corporations are not persons or a material change in the composition of the court. The first is simply impossible and the second extremely difficult even if one of the conservative majority retires. The Republican minority has shown extraordinary discipline, and emboldened by Massachusetts and this ruling, will have every reason to filibuster any court nominee that might rule differently. And, of course, the Court ruling materially changes the odds that there will be a Democratic majority in the Senate after November.

Here's someone's comment:

Wouldn't this make a representative's vote go to the highest bidder? Doesn't this basically legalize buying votes in congress? So, if there was a renewable energy bill up for a vote and the oil company said "Vote no on this and we'll give you $2 million." but the solar power company could only offer $500K, wouldn't the representative go with the highest bidder?

I'll say what I said yesterday: Horrible. Just horrible.
UPDATE: Here's another comment to the Kieschnick article:

So...we weren't able to make it through. I thought maybe we'd survive Bush. Guess we didn't.

It's more than sad; it's tragic.

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