After reading this report by my good friend Werther, I would urge you to compare Werther’s analysis to the “inside the beltway,” K Street analyses published in today’s Washington Post — then decide which you like better.
By Werther (Pseudonym) Electric Politics January 22, 2010
The Supreme Court’s wholesale rejection of a century of statutes regulating corporate contributions to political campaigns is a breath of fresh air in a hypocrisy-ridden political process. It certainly ought to sweep away the tendency of timid rationalizers to deny the existence of corporate domination and control of every aspect of governance in the United States — a fact which should have already been made abundantly clear by the terms of the bank bailout and the health care travesty.
It is not inconceivable, using the Court’s logic, that antitrust laws could be thrown out as well. Since natural persons have freedom of association, why should not artificial persons have a similar freedom of association? The Court has in fact created a species of Nietzschean Übermensch: a non-human human endowed with the strength of many people and theoretically immortal.
Now that our Supreme Court, with the assistance of a little medieval alchemy, has ruled that property can be transmuted into persons, is it conceivable that it could do the opposite? Before one dismisses the thought, the executive branch, with the connivance of lower federal courts, has already been busy establishing the precedent that persons held at Guantanamo prison and other facilities can be converted into the property of the United States Government, to be held indefinitely.
Who is helped, or hurt, by the Citizens United decision? (Washington Post)
CLETA MITCHELL : The Supreme Court has correctly eliminated a constitutionally flawed system that allowed media corporations (e.g., The Washington Post Co.) to freely disseminate their opinions about candidates using corporate treasury funds, while denying that constitutional privilege to Susie’s Flower Shop Inc
ROBERT LENHARD: The balance of power in political contests has shifted dramatically away from candidates running for office and toward corporations and unions seeking to advance their policy agendas.
KENNETH GROSS: Contrary to popular reports, the sky is not falling.
ANNA BURGER: There can be no doubt: The voice of everyday working Americans in the political process will be muted.
BEN GINSBERG: The voices of candidates and political parties just got much quieter.
MARK ELIAS: While few individuals exercise their right to fund multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns, we should expect that corporations will eagerly do so. Given corporate wealth and the legislative stakes, in many elections corporations will dominate paid campaign communications — leaving candidates and political parties as secondary actors.
KAREN FINNEY: At the very moment Americans’ mistrust of big corporations, big government and large institutions has reached a fever pitch, the Supreme Court moved to replace a government of, for and by the people with a government that can be bought and paid for by just about any major corporation — from Exxon to Russian-owned Lukoil to China’s CPC Corp.