Left: Who's your daddy?
(Washington, DC) The U.S. Supreme Court today loosened restrictions on corporate- and union-funded television ads that air close to elections, thus watering down a key provision of the 2002 campaign finance law. Corporations, labor unions, and special interest groups will now have more power to run broadcast ads before elections, contrary to the spirit of campaign finance reform.
I suppose that I should not be surprised by the 5-4 verdict, given that I am cynical about the state of affairs that I like to describe as an American corporatocracy. Still, when even the tepid reforms passed in 2002 - often referred to as the McCain-Feingold Act - cannot withstand a Supreme Court challenge, one begins to wonder whether campaign reform is worth the fight anymore.
Associate Justice David Souter, writing for the minority opinion, reminded us that not everyone in Washington is a money-sucking sleazebag.
"After today, the ban on contributions by corporations and unions and the limitation on their corrosive spending when they enter the political arena are open to easy circumvention," he wrote, being joined in taking the high moral road by Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.
This ruling should be proof positive to any politically-minded person about the role of big money in politics, and people who yet hold onto romantic notions about the sanctity of American democracy just received a two-by-four upside the head.
Folks: today's verdict was a slap in the face to grassroots activism of all stripes, and a victory for those supply the money that buys American elections. I will remove my cordless phone battery, bury my head in my pillow, and may
the wholesale buying and selling of the American political process resume!