Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Supremes--All Political All the Time

With the latest Supreme Court decision favoring big money in politics, it is hard to conclude anything good about our Court. It would seem now to be at least politically corrupted, which I regard as dangerous in the extreme for our republic. Their latest decision is so radical that one wonders whether they have taken leave of their senses. They debated and then decided that what our political system needed most was more big corporate money to influence the outcomes. Really, guys? Did you actually debate that issue?

It has been clear at least since the 2000 election when Scalia decided to appoint George W. Bush President, that he has no shame and will apply right wing politics, Republican partisanship actually, to his decisions without regard to facts or precedent. That he now, thanks to Bush, has four like-minded colleagues is a clear danger.

What most astonished me in all this is that Republicans, when arguing against a potential democratic nominee to the bench, assert that they vigorously oppose judges who “legislate from the bench.” Apparently, Republicans only oppose leftward thinking judges who might do so. It is A-OK for Republicans to do so.

Now we can expect big corporate money to get behind more such judges at every level. And for those who argue that labor unions can do the same thing , while true, is largely irrelevant. Labor unions simply no longer have the money. Our banks, health insurance companies and other financial institutions seem to own most of the big money in the country. Plus, they own the largest political PR machine the nation has ever seen in the Faux News Network and Mr. Murdoch, long time friend to the wealthy.

It is hard to imagine anything good coming out of this court decision. Instead, I expect even greater corruption of our political system unless and until the angry populist groups and mobs begin to understand that big money is not on their side. It is not clear to me what they can do, absent violence, to correct this trend toward big money controlling our elections. And it should be clear that big money seems to control both political parties. Democrats do not seem to reject big corporate contributions either, although, to be fair, big money seems to favor Republicans.

Stay tuned to watch this latest court debacle unfold in real time during this 2010 election. The dogs have been let loose on the land. Let the devil take the hindmost.
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