Supreme Court Ruling on Campaign Finance and Impact on American Politics

January 24, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

The world is impressively coalescing to alleviate the Haitian population plight from the 7.0 earthquake followed by a 6.0 aftershock that hit the Caribbean nation. A spectacular performance by the benevolent Hollywood in the telethon to raise hope for Haiti should enhance the rescue operation.

Meanwhile, Washington D.C, the political capital, where the members of Congress make decisions on issues affecting approximately three hundred million American and estimated five billion lives around the globe, experienced even a greater seismic activity and an aftershock that deserves undivided attention and immediate action.

On Tuesday, January 19, 2010, the people of Massachusetts elected their State legislator Scott Brown, the republican candidate to represent their interests in the United States Senate.

Opposition is necessary to maintain checks and balances in a democracy. It’s effective when the opposing members engage constructively with valuable input in legislative matter benefiting the electorate, i.e. the people and steer the nation towards a progressive path.

Instead, politics primarily focus on destructive course aimed at bringing down the incumbent administration and the majority in power besides misleading the electorate to be dissatisfied with the power in the highest office, viz. the President.

The opposition is further emboldened through the political means such as filibuster and the news media aiding them with false propaganda, distorted views and vitriolic attacks blaring on the radio airwaves and mainstream television network.

Unfortunately, there is no bar on the opposition’s motive seeking political vengeance to regain the lost regency. The reference is suitably applied to the republican members and the selective communication media accompanied by the print press columnists ever at their disposal and,

Not precluding their powerful allies in the judiciary branch to launch snipers, witnessed in the recent Supreme Court 5-4 decision on January 21, 2010 that allows the Corporations to hijack democracy.

The newly elected Massachusetts Senator’s arrival boosts the republican minority from the existing forty to forty-one members empowering them with the filibuster right.

It’s relevant to highlight that the Senator-elect was chosen by the Republican party to strengthen the “Nay” votes to consistently derail the democrats effort to relieve the American people from the economic woes.

As expected, the Senator-elect pledged to vote against health care, climate bill and legislations designed to revive the economy.

Filibuster is a favorite tactic of the minority to subvert the majority actions in legislative affairs, available to all political representatives. However, it’s widely adopted by the republican members to protest legislations put forth by their opposition, i.e. the democrats from moving forward, thereby creating a ceaseless gridlock in legislative process.

The Senate votes crucial in the final passage of the bill in Congress often exert authority on the legislative content and framework rendering the legislation a mere formality rather than a meaningful legislative act that would safeguard the immediate and long term national interests.

It’s evident in the health care reform that has been subject to filibuster threats from the conservatives i.e. democrat, independent and the republican party to appease the Corporate sponsors.

Similar response received during President Obama’s economic stimulus package when the republican members’ unanimously abstained from voting with a warning to anticipate more obstruction on issues like the finance reform, energy, environment…otherwise, everything related to improve the ‘average’ American lives.

Republican members have continuously displayed partisanship since the dawn of the Obama Presidency. The South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint vowed to stall the health care reform claiming,

“It would break President Barack Obama. Perhaps it might be his waterloo.”

That’s not all from the SC Senator. The Christmas security issue with the Nigerian bomber on the Delta airline should be attributed to Senator DeMint’s partisan politics for blocking the appointment of TSA chief over republican alleged TSA unionization.

When the incident takes place, the Republican Regent, the former Vice President Dick Cheney and the propaganda news channel blame the President and the democrats as being too “soft on national security,”befitting the metaphor,

“They want their cake and eat it too.”

Incidentally, Osama Bin Laden proudly claiming notoriety for the Nigerian bomber attempt to wreak terror in the sky.

Same critics conveniently discard the former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the Vice President Dick Cheney’s blunder prompting a credibility factor… to set the terror mastermind Osama Bin Laden free in Tora Bora, Afghanistan.

So much for being the ‘veterans’ on national security.

The voters’ disappointment confirmed in the latest poll on the Massachusetts default victory to Republican candidate Scott Brown and the ‘controversial’ news network message reverberated in the electorate’s reason.

“There is too much government involvement aka government monopoly rather than having the businesses and individuals deal with the crisis.”

When in fact, the crisis is created by the Corporations in the finance, health care and energy industry by indulging in speculative trading and gorging practices all along.

From Reaganomics to Bush philosophy, the economic policy that gave the free market a free pass through deregulation and generous tax cuts to wealthy corporations and individuals with skyrocketing defense spending on two simultaneous wars led the economy and the global financial market to a near free fall.

Now, when President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress is elected to clean up the mess inherited from the Republican owned Bush-Cheney disastrous Presidency, the Republican legislators unabashedly resort to cheap political stunts to sabotage every legislation, instead of cooperating and resolving their manufactured crises.

For instance, the long overdue financial reform involving tax levy against the banks, originally rewarded by the Bush-Cheney republican administration in 2008 via TARP bailout is reportedly characterized by the radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh as racial profiling of the ‘Jewish,’ bank executives.

Reports also suggest the republican legislators, not surprisingly preparing to torpedo the finance reform that will essentially protect the ‘average’ American consumers from financial fraud in credit card and mortgage transactions, an epidemic hurting millions of Americans in addition to contributing to the credit crunch in the economy.

The republican legislator reportedly confessed that the agenda is to seclude President Obama from gaining any political score as he conceded it would be a sure political winner considering the public outrage against wall street.

It must be clear to the electorate from coast to coast that the Republican administration and the republican Congress members fail to stand up for the people electing them to power.

They empathize with the big corporations and the wealthiest in the society hiring them to represent their specific profiteering goals at the expense of the average American workers.

The Supreme court decision enables the Corporations to cherry pick the representative to deliver the desirable corporate results on every issue, not withstanding the religious organizations inevitably forging their religious belief on women and gay community.

For any rational political observers, the shameful conduct by the Republican ratio whether minority or majority is all too familiar as the tradition maintained from the Carter Presidency with Iranian hostage crisis and later the Clinton Presidency, resulting in the government shut down by the former Speaker Newt Gingrich.

To shed light on the irresponsible stance by the republican appointed justices in the Supreme court decision, on the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission matter, it’s a political favor returned to the party in minority not to mention the conservatism gone awry.

The decision has appropriately caused an enormous anxiety and concern among the citizens aware of the serious ramifications where the populace voice is suppressed by the Corporate power, an existing scenario exacerbated with the highest court interference in politics.

With the exception of two members, the majority republican party is jubilant at the assault on democracy by Supreme Court activist justices reflected in the minority leader Mitch McConnell greeting the message with a warm welcome.

Republican party and the conservative forces consider this opportunity an effortless return to power with an utter disregard for the people undermined in the undemocratic ruling.

Ironically, the Republican legislators declined to cast their vote for the democrat nominee, Justice Sonia Sotomayor targeting the decisions made by the then judge Sotomayor in the United States Court of Appeals as ‘political activism,’

Yet currently embracing the conservative justices’ activism on the Supreme Court decision as free speech protection for Corporations with them being the sole beneficiaries.

The abundant hypocrisy in the conservative policy worsens with time. It’s basically centered on subjugating fascism via corporatism in a democracy.

”The Supreme Court decision in the case of Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that a Title VII complaint must be filed within 180 days of the specific action that sets discriminatory pay, regardless of its ongoing and continuing discriminatory impact on the employee.”

Setbacks on women’s rights in the Supreme Court Decision extended in the Senate Bill on equal pay for equal work killed by the Senate Republicans via 56-42 votes on April 23, 2008 on the grounds that the legislation would trigger lawsuits from the affected parties i.e. the women in this case.

All of these events unequivocally reveal the ideology driven conservatism and their allegiance to Wall Street oppressing the main street regardless of economic conditions.

It’s not adequate to remain emotional on this extreme activism from the judicial bench by the republican justices, once believed to be corporate attorneys.

Citizens and Congress must take action to revoke the catastrophic trend originating from this radical conservative course and repeal the malevolent doctrine dominant in the judicial and legislative branch. A dangerous precedence that blatantly deprives citizen participation in the electoral process.

Citizens Action:

A constitutional amendment is urgently required to delineate “Corporations, Unions, religious institutions,” as intangible entities from the natural human material.

Therefore, the first amendment that guarantees free speech and human rights would not be applicable to the non-physical embodiments such as Corporations, Unions, religious institutions etc.,

The available websites for this particular action are: Corporations are not people and

Signing a petition per district and submitting to your local representative is also a place to start in stopping the unthinkable crime against democracy.

Whenever there is lack of accountability with guaranteed job security viz. the Supreme Court appointment, the abuse of power is impulsive more than prerogative.

Hence, reducing the lifetime tenure to a five-year term would be a pragmatic approach to deter extremism from the judicial branch.

Again, the citizens’ demand in this context would enforce the change for constitutional enactment and the urgency appears to have emanated from the conservative justices’ cavalier decision.

Remedy through Congress legislation:

Passing the law that would prohibit the participation of Corporations with federal and state contracts in political campaigns.

The proposal by the Illinois Democratic Senator Richard Durbin is also a constructive mechanism to minimize the corporate influence. Any one raising objection or voting against the proposal should be identified and voted out of power.

Voice of the people combined with action across the socio-economic spectrum as taxpayers, consumers, shareholders should counteract the abominable Supreme Court verdict.

Ideally, isolating corporations, unions and religious groups from the political sphere should be the American democracy’s objective.

Corporations should exclusively focus on economy by creating and protecting jobs for arguably their political intervention endangers democracy.

A message that should resonate among the electorate contrary to the conservative fear-mongering strategy about the government takeover of corporations and individual life.

In light of the conservative demolition of democratic values and principles, it’s the responsibility of the American electorate to view the status quo in broad perspective and rally behind President Barack Obama and the democratic Congress earnestly committed to resurrect the nation from the economic crisis, the Bush-Cheney republican legacy to American people.

Now is the time for the Populist movement i.e. peaceful and non-violent dissent to emerge preferably exploiting technology to protect democracy as the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant



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