The United States is now for sale

Charles Pierce provides some pithy commentary on yesterday’s Supreme Court decision.

The remarkable story of how we have come to privatize political corruption in this country reached another milestone today as the Supreme Court, John Roberts presiding, handed down its decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, effectively demolishing the aggregate, two-year limit on contributions by individuals, and taking a big chunk out of Buckley v. Valeo, the misbegotten 1976 decision that got the ball rolling in the first place. It was a 5-4 vote, with the court split exactly as it had in the Citizens United case. In writing the opinion for the court, Roberts further emphasized the equation of money with speech, and also seemed to agree with Anthony Kennedy’s famous assertion in Citizens United that the ability of megadonors to shovel gobs of money into the election process,"We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption."

We’re done. The only hope would be if legislation were passed to close this giant campaign finance loophole (“gaping wound” might be a better phrase than “loophole”), but in a legislature dominated by kamikaze Tea Party freaks and cautious Democrats who just care about getting re-elected, I don’t see it happening. Goodbye, cruel world, America is standing in the toilet bowl and the Supreme Court just opened the door to selling the right to press the handle. This is Sheldon Adelson’s United States now.

Comments

  1. Al Dente says

    “We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”

    Whatever Kennedy is smoking that’s some really righteous shit.

  2. vaiyt says

    It already happens here. Trust me, you’ll live. Tons of your money will be funneled to the private enterprises of politicians, but you’ll live.

  3. beergoggles says

    It looked to me like the ruling just changed using loopholes for the rich to funnel money into political campaigns to now being able to do it out in the open. So not much has really changed – it’s just made them more brazen.

  4. A Masked Avenger says

    Uh, have you just waken up from a 150-year nap? At no time was corruption in any way reined in; campaign finance laws have always been a cynical mix of laws intended to attack the other party’s preferred fundraising methods, and pure theater that doesn’t affect either party at all. Soft money, PACs, super-PACs, etc., are all just minor adjustments in gaming the system, perpetrated by the same politicians that created the laws in question.

    Outrage at this decision is understandable. What isn’t understandable to me is anyone believing that ANY politician EVER made an honest attempt to cut off HIS OR HER OWN SOURCE of political power–that any politician ever would, or ever will–or that any laws that purported to do that weren’t designed from the start to be easily evaded while appeasing the masses with a bit of a show.

  5. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.

    I disagree. Corporate expenditure on political campaigns appears to me to give rise to corruption. Therefore it obviously does give rise to, at least, the appearance of corruption. QED.

  6. mikeyb says

    Why not take the next step and have politicians wear advertizing like NASCAR drivers or just brand Koch Bros on your forehead. Why not allow the superrich and corporations to just buy votes say $1000/vote. At the same time its also considered free speech to simultaneously disenfranchise thousands of voters with voter ID laws, reduction in early voter days, certain limitations in the number of paperless voting machines in certain districts, blatant removal of people from voter roles. Why don’t we rename the country the Plutocratic States of America (PCA) where every vote can be bought at the right price.

  7. doublereed says

    Yea, I’m always blown away by the assertion that it doesn’t even give the appearance of corruption. I’m sorry, have these people not spoken to like 85% of the American people? Hell even most conservatives disagree with that.

    This court sucks.

  8. borax says

    Sheldon Adelson spent a weekend publicly buying politicians. The pretense is over, the Plutocracy is here.

  9. says

    I suppose “free” speech isn’t all that free any more.
    Perhaps campaign commercials will become more like Verizon ads;
    “Can you hear me now?”
    (Adds a stack of hundred dollar bills to the already large pile.)
    “Can you hear me now?”
    (Adds a stack of hundred dollar bills to the already large pile.)
    “Can you hear me now?”
    (Adds a stack of hundred dollar bills to the already large pile.)…

  10. gussnarp says

    Anybody hear Reince Priebus talking about this? He’s overjoyed, crowing about what a victory for free speech this is and how good it will be for his party and democracy, cue dramatic music and montage of flags, babies, and an eagle weeping a single tear of pride and joy….

    Do the voters, even Republican voters, accept this? Do they think that it’s a good thing that the chairman of the Republican National Committee basically just not only admitted, but proudly proclaimed, that he’s happy that democracy is for sale, that it’s good for his party and America and Eagles and Fuck Yeah!? Do they really not get that what he just said is that the Republican Party, at least that part that’s not already bought and paid for, is up for sale and they’re ecstatic to have you come buy a congressman or two hundred?

    You’d think that, even if you believe that behind the scenes, you wouldn’t come right out and say it. You’d think they’d demonstrate a little reserve and say something more like: “We understand the concerns of many people about the impact of this ruling and share some of those concerns, but we believe it is the legally correct decision and we think we can compete well in the environment that this may create.”

    But no, the official Republican response is: YES! We can sell votes for more money now! We can affect more congressional elections from the pockets of a handful of super-rich donors! And we have the most super rich donors!

    Libertarians, I may hate you, but please, look at your choices here. Even if you vote for fucking Rand Paul, you’re voting for this party. The party that believes buying and selling congressmen is a good thing in every possible way. Not just that it’s legally or philosophically correct not to restrict donations, but that it’s beneficial for your congressman to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, or whoever else turns out to be the highest bidder. And do you think those corporations who buy congressman really want increased liberty and a hands off government? Fuck no, they want corporate handouts. They are not remotely on your side. They’re not even pretending to be on your side anymore.

  11. David Marjanović says

    Is there any way at all out of this mess?

    Well, you could always get yourselves a Putin figure who fights most of the oligarchs (show trial for suspicious charges, then the slammer), integrates a few into his loyal power base, and carefully leaves one or two alone.

    Be careful this figure doesn’t try to repeat the war of 1812, though.

  12. davidnangle says

    Gregory in Seattle: “Is there any way at all out of this mess?”

    The collapse of capitalism.

  13. jaybee says

    This removes the aggregate contribution limit, but there is still a per-candidate limit (which of course is easily worked around with a PAC). Anyway, Clarence Thomas never asks questions or speaks, but in his written opinion, he says he would go further: no kind of spending limit of any kind.

  14. redmcwilliams says

    I know it’s the way it is, but I sometimes wonder why money is the most important part of a campaign. The cynic in me wants to say that it’s because very few voters actually know anything about the people and issues they vote for.

    That being the case, though, reducing corporate funding of elections isn’t going to matter much. Only educated voters will effect change. But, yeah, good luck with all that.

  15. says

    The true sign of a tipping point will be when we see negative immigration numbers, i.e. positive emmigration numbers. When people start leaving the U.S. on a regular steady basis…THEN it’s over…

    I think we’re coming to a ‘revolutionary’ tipping point soon though… I just don’t see these awful rulings by this Supreme Court as being able to stand. Plus, the crininal under-reporting by the MSM of popular protest movements in this country isn’t keeping them from happening. There’re alot more ‘forces of good doing good’ out there than we are being allowed to recognize.

    Returning vets and college grads who can’t get the kinds of jobs needed to pay back college loans is gonna be the swing point… Both groups skew young, and that’s gonna be trouble…the good kind in the l;ng run

  16. Groundhog Bob says

    What I do not understand is that even if a candidate has all the money in the world, but his/her program and views are rubbish, why would he/she has an advantage over the low budget but sensible candidate? If the sensible candidate can show on his/her homepage that he/she voted for sensible bills in the House and stands for worthy issues, rational voters should vote for him/her. Its not very hard to distribute your message on the net, on your homepage, where any interested voter can look it up. When elections come voters look up the views/program of their district’s candidate and decide accordingly, I suppose. Rubbish remains rubbish even if put on big posters and on the telly. I think the problem is not the campaign finances, but the rationality and sensibility of the electorate. Its similar to advertisments. I can not imagine buying something I do not need anyway, just because of advertisments.

  17. anteprepro says

    Just wait until the Supremes give a verdict on the Hobby Lobby, determining whether or not Corporations have a right to religious expression as well, and thus have a right to break the law in the name of Jesus! Just wait and we will have a Corporate Theocracy by the next presidential term.

  18. carlie says

    I just don’t see these awful rulings by this Supreme Court as being able to stand.

    The problem is, though, who wouldn’t allow them to stand? It’s called the Supreme Court for a reason. The only way out is for more reasonable people to be voted into the Supreme Court, and that isn’t going to happen for a very long time, and you have to hope on the crapshoot that the president and legislatures at the time the vacancy occurs are ones who are also reasonable and will bring in reasonable justices.

  19. carlie says

    Its not very hard to distribute your message on the net, on your homepage, where any interested voter can look it up.

    And there’s your problem, right there in the bold part.

  20. carlie says

    (NSFW warning: It’s Python, there’s barely-passing-BBC standards-nudity)

    (transcript: it’s about needing to work to make money until you die)

  21. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Well, the US has been for sale for years now. This just raises the price…a lot! What to do about it? Well the Rethuglicans are giving us some pretty good pointers–we just have to do whatever it is that they fear most.

    The Republicans are doing whatever they can to suppress voter turnout. They have good reasons for this. The fewer of the 99% who turn out, the fewer wingnut, single-issue voters they have to accommodate. We need to do whatever we can to increase voter turnout. This by itself could put enough pressure on The Rethuglican big tent to implode it.

    They want to keep voters ignorant so they will vote contrary to their own interests. We need to educate voters so that they see their interests and those of the nation as a whole.

    They seek to divide us. We must unite.

    They seek to make us fearful. We must be courageous.

    They lie. We must wield the truth.

    They can access unlimited capital. We must prove Lincoln’s words–that labor is the superior of capital.

    They seek to buy our democracy. We must ransom it with blood and sweat and tears.

    In the end, the result may be good. Perhaps we will be left with one greater America, rather than a million different special interests.

  22. kevinalexander says

    If the sensible candidate can show on his/her homepage that he/she voted for sensible bills in the House and stands for worthy issues, rational voters should vote for him/her.

    Bob, you are such a lamb. The bills are written by the lobbyists and only make sense to their patrons who then pay the congress to pass them.

    My irony meter always goes spoing when I hear the phrase Reagan Revolution. It has been a perfecty successful counter revolution. All of the gains since 1776 are cancelled. You’ve gone from being the personal property of the British Lords to being the personal property of the Wall Street Lords.

    I predict that this will end ugly. Money being the most powerful hallucinogen ever invented they will never see it coming. They never do.

  23. Randomfactor says

    I think we’re coming to a ‘revolutionary’ tipping point soon though…

    And what comes out of that will be worse.

  24. mattjamont says

    I may not be in the USA, nor a citizen of that country, but this still worries me. It’d be nice if a country that wields so much global power at least pretended to care about democracy and corruption issues.

    However, I am aware of one effort to correct the issue and thought I’d spread the word: Wolf-PAC is an organization that, I believe, is trying to organize the states to call a convention to amend the constitution to get money out of politics. It may be worth checking out/supporting if you have strong feelings on this issue.

  25. Mobius says

    “…do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”

    How can any sane individual come to this conclusion? Even if there is no corruption, it certainly gives the appearance of corruption.

  26. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend, Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Just as a point of correction. PZ says that new legislation is needed, but in fact an amendment to the constitution would be required.

    Not that this changes his conclusion that a congressional remedy is infeasible. Just correcting the record so people realize exactly how high the hurdle is that we must clear.

    =====
    I also want to say something about “appearance of corruption,” but I have lost all ability to even.

  27. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Folks, all that is necessary is to get as good a turnout in congressional as in presidential elections. Remember 2012, we had a relatively vulnerable President who was BLACK and who the wingnuts were portraying as a Muslim terrorist. We had the plutocrats dumping hundreds of millions into the system trying desperately to elect one of their own. AND THEY FAILED! Remember the sound of their wailing and gnashing of teeth. Remember the Donald’s incredulous, inchoate rage.

    All we have to do is increase voter turnout and educate the voters to vote in their interest and that of the country, and the plutocrats will fail again. If WE vote, THEY can’t win!

  28. unclefrogy says

    It is now a fact that we are not going to get money out of politics. Money is to a large part political and the work of politics is concerned with money and the processes of money, economics.
    OK money is speech but money is a very visible thing you can’t whisper $10 million. So the money is very public so make it legally mandatory that all money should be public. All sources of the money not just the front groups like people for freedom and motherhood and puppies should be declared when the contributions are made no 60 day delays no 30 days no 24 hour delay when the check clears it is made public.
    If we can’t get money out of politics then we need to make it all public.
    Then at least the voters will be able to see who is behind the candidates and proposals that are on the ballot. Not the secret obfuscated campaigns we see now.
    The joking suggestion of wearing patches funny but I do not think many will support open declaration of contributions and contributors however.
    uncle frogy

  29. David Marjanović says

    All we have to do is increase voter turnout and educate the voters to vote in their interest and that of the country, and the plutocrats will fail again.

    Read the OP again – do you call that a failure of the plutocrats?

    I’m not trying to discourage anyone from getting out the vote. I’m just saying that’s not enough; the problem has much deeper roots.

  30. says

    @26, Randomfactor

    I think we’re coming to a ‘revolutionary’ tipping point soon though…

    And what comes out of that will be worse.

    Here we see the Modern Democratic Loyalist in its native habitat, giving one of its two highly characteristic calls. “No matter how bad things get, our only hope is the highly conservative establishment party I support!”

    @30, a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Folks, all that is necessary is to get as good a turnout in congressional as in presidential elections. Remember 2012, we had a relatively vulnerable President who was BLACK and who the wingnuts were portraying as a Muslim terrorist. We had the plutocrats dumping hundreds of millions into the system trying desperately to elect one of their own. AND THEY FAILED! Remember the sound of their wailing and gnashing of teeth. Remember the Donald’s incredulous, inchoate rage.

    Ah, and here’s the other characteristic call: “Our extremely conservative candidate will fix things because (s)he is a member of [minority group].”

    Obama is a part of the problem. He — deliberately; given the bits and pieces of evidence which exist, there is no other explanation — frittered away two years to push through Mitt Romney’s health care plan, and continues to expand military and “security” actions while — despite giving a couple of pretty speeches to the contrary — championing the “austerity” policies which are undermining the economy. And Hillary Clinton, who is almost certainly the next Democratic presidential candidate, is going to be just as bad. (Go ask the Brits if Margaret Thatcher being a woman made her any less toxic.)

    If the Republican Party vanished tomorrow, somehow — maybe aliens would sneak in and abduct all the major players and remove their offices and equipment — practically nothing would change. The Democrats already contain within themselves all the nastiness of the Republicans, they just pretend they don’t, rather like the way the right-wing was forced by the existence of Communism to pretend they cared about workers. The Democrats have become a very-much-right-of-center party, and this sort of ruling is the result of that, not some kind of aberration. Democratic loyalists who are dismayed at the way American politics keeps moving to the right are the equivalent of Catholics who express shock when the church is revealed to be helping pedophile after pedophile. Well, duh: your support makes this possible.

  31. raven says

    Cthulhu.

    I’m starting to see why people want to fly to Mars. Even if it is just a one way trip.

    True, it is a faint hope. OTOH, that isn’t much different from earth some days.

  32. says

    There is a solution. We must amend the constitution to separate money from politics. There is no other option. Any laws that *could* stem the out and out buying of our representatives, should Congress even consider passing such a law, would be overruled by the Supreme Court.

    The good news is that there is a way to do this *without* going through our already irreparably corrupted Congress. The states can call for a convention to amend the constitution. Our founding fathers knew there may come a time when the federal government was unresponsive to the will of the people so they set up a structure within the Constitution for the people themselves to fix their government.

    Full disclosure, I’m a state organizer for Wolf PAC, which is working to amend the constitution by going through the states. Rather than doing nothing, I choose to fight to restore our democracy, because we sure as hell don’t have one any more.

    Some links, for anyone who’s interested:
    http://www.wolf-pac.com/
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_eaY-qyW_hVMGR0dVI4UEZMd28/edit
    @WolfPAChq

    OK, jumping off my soapbox now. ;)

  33. gussnarp says

    The only thing that terrifies me more than the current state of political affairs in this country, is what would arise from a new Constitutional convention called by the states.

  34. says

    Bob, you are such a lamb. The bills are written by the lobbyists and only make sense to their patrons who then pay the congress to pass them.

    This is something I always find amazing. Does anyone know if there are cases in Canada where bills have simply come from a lobbyist? I hear about this happening fairly often in the US and I really do not understand why the revelation is not considered a scandal. Why doesn’t finding out a legislator has just pushed a bill that was written by a third-party end up ruining their life as a politician?

  35. raven says

    Bookforum. com;

    An ambitious study documents the long-term reign of the 1 percent

    Doug Henwood
    from the upcoming Apr/May 2014 issue

    The core message of this enormous and enormously important book can be delivered in a few lines: Left to its own devices, wealth inevitably tends to concentrate in capitalist economies.

    There is no “natural” mechanism inherent in the structure of such economies for inhibiting, much less reversing, that tendency. Only crises like war and depression, or political interventions like taxation (which, to the upper classes, would be a crisis), can do the trick. And Thomas Piketty has two centuries of data to prove his point.

    In more technical terms, the central argument of Capital in the Twenty-First Century is that as long as the rate of return on capital, r, exceeds the rate of broad growth in national income, g—that is, r > g—capital will concentrate. It is an empirical fact that the rate of return on capital—income in the form of profits, dividends, rents, and the like, divided by the value of the assets that produce the income—has averaged 4–5 percent over the last two centuries or so. It is also an empirical fact that the growth rate in GDP per capita has averaged 1–2 percent. There are periods and places where growth is faster, of course: the United States in younger days, Japan from the 1950s through the 1980s, China over the last thirty years. But these are exceptions—and the two earlier examples have reverted to the mean. So if that 4–5 percent return is largely saved rather than being bombed, taxed, or dissipated away, it will accumulate into an ever-greater mass relative to average incomes. That may seem like common sense to anyone who’s lived through the last few decades, but it’s always nice to have evidence back up common sense, which isn’t always reliable. etc.

    The book is Capital by Thomas Piketty.

    1. There is a new theory that wealth and income inequality inevitably accumulates in captitalist economies without intervention.

    2. There is data on this. It is us, the USA.

    3. I’ve only read the review, quoted above. Think about it.

    4. It’s known that income inequality societies become politically unstable. We are becoming politically unstable.

  36. Rich Woods says

    Why don’t they just go the whole hog and declare ‘one dollar, one vote’?

    Do you think that would fire up enough of the electorate?

  37. Rich Woods says

    @The Vicar #33:

    (Go ask the Brits if Margaret Thatcher being a woman made her any less toxic.)

    Don’t get me started. Just don’t.

  38. doublereed says

    This is why I support Wolf-PAC.

    This is only possible because of Corporate Personhood. Destroy that, and we can regain control of the democracy.

  39. twas brillig (stevem) says

    re Amendment:

    Yes, a Constitutional Amendment is necessary to address this, but such a move has an even lower probability than a Law. An Amendment requires 2/3 of Congress (both Houses) to approve. With so much money “flowing”; an Amendment against it is effectively inconceivable. DOOM, doom, dooooo….

    re Advertising:

    and YES advertising makes a HUUUUGE difference in selling a cr@ppy product [lookin at you , McD's] Maybe not you, Mr. Contrarian, but the vast majority thinks with such a big ad campaign, it must be a good product; worth buying, even if just to see if it lives up to its adverts.

  40. doublereed says

    @42 twas brillig

    No, that’s only one way of getting a Constitutional Amendment. An Article V Convention can occur through state legislatures coming together. You can bypass the federal government. And state legislatures are not nearly as corrupt and bought as the federal government is right now.

    And if you look at the 17th Amendment (which let’s us directly elect senators), you’ll see that the states threatened a convention, and and the federal government passed it themselves when they realized it was going to happen anyway. So you don’t necessarily need to get all the states necessary to get the Constitutional Convention. You do, however, have to seriously threaten it.

  41. ibyea says

    Vicar
    Yes, because apparently anyone who votes Democratic is a loyalist. It can’t be that we are just stalling. Nope, LOYALIST. Because apparently sitting on our asses and letting the Republicans take over in 2010 was so helpful.

  42. Kevin Kehres says

    I agree that the decision was horrible. But I’m hard-pressed to think of how this is going to actually affect real-live elections.

    I don’t think anyone — especially the mega-rich — has been inconvenienced in the slightest by the now-rejected rules in their political spending.

    Can we point to an instance where someone has not spent exactly how much they wanted to spend in the political arena? Oh sure, it was super-PAC this and astroturf that. But was someone actually and really prevented from spending money in support of their cause/candidate because of “da rulz” in the last couple of election cycles?

    I think the “marketplace”, as it were, has already discounted this decision. Maybe you’ll see more direct ads by campaigns and fewer of those dog-whistle attack ads (not a bad outcome, actually, when you think about it).

    But I don’t think a single acorn has been held back from the trough since Citizens United.

  43. anteprepro says

    Oh great, Vicar is bringing the BOTH SIDES handwaving to the table. Fuck.

    Kevin:

    But I’m hard-pressed to think of how this is going to actually affect real-live elections.

    I don’t think anyone — especially the mega-rich — has been inconvenienced in the slightest by the now-rejected rules in their political spending.

    I’m inclined to believe that as well, sadly. Though I also imagine that they don’t need hide their funding with loopholes and so forth, that they might find a new way to poison the political process with a deluge of sweet, sweet dollars. Who knows at this point, all we know is that this is most certainly not a step in the right direction.

  44. Kevin Kehres says

    @46: The number one thing I would be concerned about would be any lack of transparency.

    If someone is hiding their contributions, to me that’s a bigger problem than the size of the contribution.

    All-in-all, if the decision results in more reportable direct-to-candidate contributions and fewer astroturf organizations running “carbon dioxide is life” ads, that’s just fine with me.

    What I don’t expect to see is an influx of new money. Not from the mega-rich in any event. They haven’t been inconvenienced in the slightest by the old regulations.

    FWIW: I keep the remote on my TV handy during election season. The mute button is an awesomely powerful thing.

  45. kevinalexander says

    “We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”

    Technically he’s correct. If corruption is defined as illegal cash to pol for favours then Roberts has simply legalized it so it’s no longer corruption.
    So that Supreme shit don’t stink.

  46. sugarfrosted says

    I’m so glad we have our second amendment rights. That way we can rebel and use our guns and overthrow the plutocracy. The revolution is gonna happen any moment.

    :tumbleweed:

    Thought so…

  47. says

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/watch/loophole-open-for-big-money-supreme-court-214791235799

    The link is to Rachel Maddow’s coverage of the Supreme Court decision. The video is 7:06 long.
    Nicholas Confessore, political correspondent for the New York Times, talks with Rachel Maddow about the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling throwing out limits on certain campaign spending and the likely consequences for American politic

    And here’s a link to Nicholas Confessore’s most recent article.

    “The Supreme Court ruling will dramatically increase the importance of major donors in federal elections,” said Robert K. Kelner, a Republican election lawyer.

    Two groups in particular stand to be most empowered by Wednesday’s decision: Those with the wherewithal to spend millions of dollars on campaign contributions and those with access to them, including party leaders, senior lawmakers and presidents. […]

    Current rules limit each donor to a total of $74,600 worth of contributions to party committees and political action committees, and $48,600 to all federal candidates, enough to permit a donor to make the maximum $5,200 in contributions to as many as nine candidates. But when the Supreme Court decision goes into effect, a single donor will be able to contribute the maximum amount to every candidate in the country, every political action committee, and every party committee, campaign experts say. […]

    […] the ruling opened the door to circumvention schemes […]

  48. kreativekaos says

    Could not believe this sorry excuse for an SC has pounded yet another nail into the coffin containing the democracy of this country. I personally think this country’s ability to work for the benefit of all citizen–but particularly the huge swath of the most needy and most needed (the poor and middle class)–is pretty much toast. I have no confidence that anything will ever be reversed or otherwise improved for the betterment of the widest population

    They’ve essentially ensconced corruption into law. The the momentum that power and wealth has gained over the past 34 years is pretty well unstoppable, IMO. If I could expatriate, I would.

  49. mikeyb says

    Sheldon, Sheldon you built your $38 billion stash on Casino’s in Las Vegas. Now you want to launch a campaign to end online gambling to protect children. You are such a rich morally righteous dude. I totally believe all your propaganda is firmly in the public interest.

  50. Fishwood Loach says

    I lack the required social network or google-fu, but I have been thinking ever since I heard about this the other day that we need to make Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Kennedy, and Roberts synonymous with corruption. We need a google-bomb. Google their names, get corruption. I don’t expect they will change their opinion, but the American people should come to associate the Supreme Court with bought-and-paid-for pseudojustice. Scalia is a friend of Charles Koch. I want everyone to know that Scalia is as corrupt as Viktor Yanukovitch.

  51. Azuma Hazuki says

    It’s over. It’s fucking over. We passed the tipping point. All we can do now is stand here, terrified, like a rabbit in headlights, and watch what’s coming. Fuck.

  52. frankensteinmonster says

    That is just a consequence of a much more fundamental problem. If the democracy devolved to the point that the election victory goes simply to the one who can buy more flashy ads and misinformation campaigns to sway the large majority of voters which are incapable of independent rational thought, the root problem isn’t in the “can buy more flashy ads” part, but in the “the large majority of voters which are incapable of independent rational thought“. If manipulating them though expensive PR campaigns were somehow made impossible, someone else would just find another way, and the democracy would fail anyway.

  53. David Marjanović says

    Democratic loyalists who are dismayed at the way American politics keeps moving to the right are the equivalent of Catholics who express shock when the church is revealed to be helping pedophile after pedophile. Well, duh: your support makes this possible.

    So what do you suggest?

    Voting for a third party? Unless that third party immediately wins the election, that would only help the Republicans.

    The US is stuck in its two-party system as long as its constitution isn’t amended – and you know what that takes, right?