Martha Coakley lost the Senate seat in Massachusetts. The “tea partiers” are seemingly on the rise. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) says Democrats need to move to the right—after they’ve spent all year moving right, right, right, failing to close Gitmo, upping the troops in Afghanistan, leaving all the troops in Iraq, doing nothing about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and selling out health insurance reform to Big Pharma and Big Insurance.
None of this has been sufficient to provoke a northern migration; Canucks have rested easy so far. But a Supreme Court decision today should make conservatives and liberals alike dust off their passports and get out their maps.
The New York Times:
By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: January 21, 2010
WASHINGTON — Sweeping aside a century-old understanding and overruling two important precedents, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.
Now Evan Bayh, whose wife sits on the board of several large insurance companies, need never worry about re-election again. Maybe he’ll introduce a bill giving Eli Lilly & Company the naming rights to the Capitol dome.
Big business already dominates American life; now it gets to buy all the candidates it wants. Why spend all that money on lobbyists when you can simply buy the politicians and eliminate the middlemen?
In the guise of upholding free speech rights, the Supreme Court has swung a crowbar to the knees of the middle class. Archer Daniels Midland won’t just write the farm bill, they’ll vote on it. Doubtless Halliburton can find another country to invade and put its logo on all our tanks. I’m sure Mickey Mouse can’t wait to ride the space shuttle. Who will bring us relief efforts in Haiti, Kellogg’s Sugar Pops?
In the 1960’s young men fled to Canada to escape the Vietnam War, and liberals have often been tempted to run north since. We managed to avoid putting Gay men in concentration camps to stop the spread of AIDS; but old people in northern states ride buses into Canada to get their prescriptions filled. Now we’re about to watch America test whether it’s still governable.
Many of the news reports on this awful Supreme Court decision will say “corporations and unions” will now get to run their own campaign ads. But labor unions have been decimated in the last 30 years, with only 9% of adults covered by collective bargaining, according to a Gallup poll. No doubt a few unions will run TV ads for the midterm elections, but they’ll likely be swamped by Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.
Evan Bayh’s not stupid—and it’s not just about campaign contributions. Lilly has 14,700 employees in Indiana and its economic impact of $8.03 billion represents 3.3% of Indiana’s gross state product. Wherever there’s a dominant industry, the politicians come running behind. Connecticut has lots of insurance companies, so Sen. Joe Lieberman is dead set against expanding Medicare to cover more people.
Nothing ever changes—and that’s what the voters of Massachusetts rejected on Tuesday. Everywhere there’s a tone-deaf Democrat, out they go.
Martha Coakley might as well have been Helen Keller. Two weekends before the special election, she wasn’t out shaking hands of Bay State voters, she was in Washington, D.C. at a fundraiser held by her friends at Big Pharma.
We can’t even get a Consumer Financial Protection Agency out of this Congress; the credit card companies object. In Connecticut, Sen. Chris Dodd’s about to lose his seat for getting a sweetheart mortgage from Countrywide Financial. He was a “Friend of Angelo,” y’see. Dodd’s the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee!
Scott Brown, the former Cosmo centerfold, waltzed to victory over Coakley. We haven’t seen much in the way of talent or brains out of him yet; he’s an unknown, pickup-driving state senator now headed to Washington to vote no, no, no on everything that’s put before him. Do I think Massachusetts voters will eventually regret their choice? Yes, but not today. They’re too busy being pissed off today—and I don’t blame them.
A significant number of Brown supporters voted for Barack Obama in 2008. The vast majority of those Brown/Obama supporters back a public option for health insurance, and they are sick to death of double-talking politicians.
Let the “tea partiers” and the Faux News demagogues have their moment in the sun; I suspect the electorate could turn on them as fast as it’s turned on the Democrats. This isn’t a Republican year, it’s an anti-incumbent year—and they’re not the same thing.
President Obama had better clean out the White House as fast as he can get his vacuum fired up. He’s received miserable advice and made terrible appointments—Tim Geithner? Ben Bernanke?—and if he doesn’t institute wholesale firings soon he’s going to get fired himself.
He can go back to Chicago (or Hawai’i in the wintertime; we’re getting freezing rain right now) and write a new book, “The Stupidity of Hope.”
The health care debate was never going to be easy and it certainly hasn’t proved to be. But it’s mostly theoretical to people, a distant future plan, when people are worried about jobs and keeping their houses. Tone deaf? Obama’s been a deaf-mute.
I’ve frankly been surprised that we’ve not seen public violence this past year. You know the potential was there, with crackpots taking guns to “tea parties” and Faux News doing everything it could to whip up frenzy (and ratings). But there were other interesting signs of powder being loaded into the keg; buses showing up at the homes of Wall Street bankers, and their wives complaining that they couldn’t be seen carrying their Bergdorf bags after their latest shopping spree.
But the public mood hasn’t boiled over; Americans have waited for a shot at the ballot box instead. Now Massachusetts has given us that, and there’s much more to come.
I hope security is good at the Supreme Court building, because what the justices have just unleashed threatens to bring the whole country down. Corporate political advertising is surely the world’s worst idea.
Let’s say the Dems lose big this year and Obama’s voted out in 2012; neither of those would be a catastrophe. The Republicans would take over and promptly run their ship aground. They haven’t had a new idea since George W. Bush was a fratboy, and they’re not getting new ideas anytime soon from Scott Brown.
Instead, imagine this: what goes around nationally will surely go around locally. The XYZ Corp., the biggest employer in your town, threatens to pack up and move unless Mayor Smith is defeated. Smith has already given them tax breaks and training grants, but now XYZ wants more. XYZ floods the airwaves with blackmail, “We will impoverish you unless you give us what we want.” A job’s a job, buddyboy; what are you going to do?
After all, the Supreme Court has declared XYZ a “person” with free speech rights, including the right to lie, cheat and steal on TV. The First Amendment, remember?
The minute one XYZ gets away with it, they’ll all do it. If you think we’ve got gridlock now in Washington, D.C., wait till it hits your town.
Zoning. Taxes. Pollution controls, not to mention global warming. Your air, your water, your schools. “If we don’t get what we want we’re moving to Mexico (China, Haiti).”
Life’s one big Monopoly game, bucko, and you’re about to lose your last little house on Mediterranean.
But I don’t want to go to Canada. It’s even colder there than it is here, and Smart Gay Boys Move South.++
Filed under: Corporate Oligarchs |