Thursday, January 21, 2010

How's This For Transparency?

Washington's apparently not even going to pretend it's for the people anymore -- at least, not if we can read anything into a Supreme Court decision on Thursday that effectively repealed the McCain-Feingold Act and allows corporations to spend however much they see fit on political campaigns ... even going so far as to create ads for politicians they support.

Corporate money in Washington was already a hot-button topic -- without fail, it seems one can look at members of Congress who opposed health care reform or financial reform and see that massive campaign contributions were made by either the insurance companies or Wall Street. What Thursday's 5-4 decision does is make that connection -- the concept of a politician bought and paid for by an industry -- more obvious.

President Obama released a statement on Thursday decrying the decision, and Democrats in Congress are already rallying to craft legislation in contradiction with the court's ruling. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) had introduced a series of bills leading up to the decision, and on Thursday, both Democrats and Republicans came out against the decision.

Whaddya know? Bipartisanship does exist in Washington.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) perhaps said it best on Thursday, when he said that "the Supreme Court has just predetermined the winners of next November's elections. It won't be Republicans. It won't be Democrats. It will be corporate America."

Not that corporate America wasn't already winning; they're just not going to try and hide it anymore. If anything, it will make those in Congress doing the bidding of their contributors instead of their constituents easier to spot, but the precedent is dangerous at best.

Lincoln once proclaimed that America was a country "of the people, by the people and for the people." If Thursday's decision -- handed down by a conservative high court presided over by a George W. Bush appointee -- stands unchallenged, America will instead become a country of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations.

Words cannot express how bad that is.

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