Thursday, June 14, 2012

Who's Laughing Now?

For more than four years we've been warning you about what would happen to elections in the United States, with respect to the Citizens United case. While our current online records don't go back that far, we have copies of Paul's cartoons and our commentaries in hard copies. Terrifyingly, virtually everything we and many others warned about is, sadly, coming true.

This will be the most expensive election season in history. It already has been, so far. As forecast, Wall Street and the wealthiest Americans are abandoning the pretense of donating to both major political parties, by giving to Mitt Romney and the GOP at a 7-1 rate, so far. In short, Wall Street has fully become the political Johns to the whores of the Republican Party.

Or maybe, more appropriately, Wall Street has become the puppeteer pitting the Middle Class against itself.

The latest example of this depraved behavior was the donation of $10 million on Wednesday by billionaire neo-con casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, to the Romney-affiliated 'Restore Our Future' Super PAC. If you're wondering about Mr. Adelson's specific political judgements, let us remind you that he's the same man who threw $21 million down the political rathole of the Newt Gingrich campaign during the GOP Primary races. Much of that was spent on ugly television ads, designed to cleave the center of the Republican Party from the far right.

Oh, yes. Oligarchy is alive and well in America again - and it was disgustingly evident on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

Jamie Dimon was in Washington, DC to testify - and nominally apologize - to Congress. Dimon, CEO of one of the largest financial firms in the world, JP Morgan, recently lost billions making risky bets, as we wrote about last month. Virtually every Republican on the Senate Banking Committee that Dimon was appearing in front of was expected to grovel at his feet - and they did not disappoint. The politicians at the highest levels of the GOP may be gutless and spineless, but they've long ago learned that sucking up to Wall Street - especially since Citizens United - will often get them what they want.

As Brian Beutler of TPM noted, "..with some notable exceptions, the senators themselves turned the cross-examination [of Dimon] into a coronation," with members of both parties showing deference to the latest idiot that could have destroyed the entire world economy.

Don't think the corporatism of the American political system stops there.

Mitt Romney himself, on a right-wing talk radio show on Wednesday proposed the idea that the Presidency - and in fact, all elected positions - should be treated just like the position of a CEO. If the elected official achieves his or her fiscal targets, they should get a bonus. If they don't, they wouldn't get a bonus. This idea might sound great, to some - or like an old Saturday Night Live skit to others. But what would happen when the official in charge isn't wholly responsible for meeting every goal? What if the official has to, for example, work with a legislative arm that wants them to fail - or work with private sector companies who don't care if the city, state, or country fails?

There is still one hope, oddly enough being discussed right now, probably as you're reading this, behind the doors of the U.S. Supreme Court - and courtesy of the Montana State Supreme Court.

As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted in February, when the Supreme Court first looked at the Montana case, “Montana’s experience, and experience elsewhere since this Court’s decision in Citizens United, make it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations , ‘do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.’”

The Wall Street wealthy think they've already purchased this election, at nearly every level. However, the same court that broke more than a century of precedent in Citizens United may be forced, by their own recent words, to admit their previous decision on this matter was less than just.

We'd recommend those corrupt rich folks stifle themselves for now. The last laugh may be on them, after all.

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