Sunday, January 24, 2010

Corporations are NOT People - Opportunity for Democrats

Last week's Supreme Court Ruling that allows corporations to have the same rights as individuals when it comes to making campaign contributions is a historically bad ruling. However, it could be political gold for Democrats and even the Teabaggers should be on the side of the Democrats on this one, since the Supreme Court ruling takes away power and freedom from the people.

Republicans have come down squarely on the side of favoring the Supreme Court ruling and favoring taxpayers not getting their money back from the big banks. I wonder how that will play with independents and fiscal conservatives.


djtyg said...

I bet Lieberman does his best to screw this one up.

vomamike said...

djtyg - I'm thinking that he is setting himself up so he gets a sweetheart job when he gets defeated in his next election.

Silverfiddle said...

1st Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...

Note that it says nothing of special interests, corporations, etc. It says Congress shall make no law

And the reason is clear if you look through the jaundiced eye of a founder. They mistrusted government and we should too.

It's human nature: Where power and money is concentrated, mischief soon follows.

Congress can and should mandate complete and full disclosure. If people can follow the money, they can make up their own minds.

Bruce Fealk said...

Silverfiddle, the founders never envisioned that corporations would be considered "people." Only people were envisioned as having free speech.

In the founders' day they envisioned corporations dying with their founders. Corporations now have eternal life. I don't know of any people that have eternal life.

Also, many corporations have foreign investors and foreign owners. I would think even you wouldn't want foreigners having such a direct role in America's political system as can be now had via the Supreme Court's ruling.

Silverfiddle said...

"Shall make no law" means what it says. If someone doesn't like it there is a process for amendment.

Speech is not a threat, the stifling of it is.

Do you seriously think foreigners have no influence now? There are 537 men and women in DC who want to be reelected and they'll dance for money, regardless of where it comes from.

Free speech is the only way. Full disclosure and We the People can sort it out.

Bruce Fealk said...

Silverfiddle, you know as well as I do, disclosure in this case is not enough. Yes, there is some foreign influence, but do you really want foreign owned corporations with branches in the United States controlling our Congress completely?

Wouldn't that have the possibility of being a national security concern?

The amendment process is such a high hurdle, even if an effort were mounted, it would take years, if not decades to get an amendment to the Constitution done.

Corporations are NOT people, therefore they have to right to speech. PERIOD!!!!

This was a politically motivated decision made by a bunch of activist judges if I ever saw one.

Anonymous said...

Shut the fuck up Siverballs. We need to get rid of the Constitution and rewrite it so it is with the times.

Bruce Fealk said...

No one said anything about getting rid of the Constitution. It has served us well, but it has been abused from time to time, such as under George W. Bush.

Unfortunately, President Obama isn't doing anything to reverse some of the things that George W. Bush did to subvert our civil liberties.

J.Higgins said...

Bruce I agree with Anon. This is our last chance and we need to fight. The Constitution as it stands is outdated and holds back the progressive agenda. We need to do what we do best and that is protest and scare the teabaggers. That John is saying some bad shit about you all over here. We need to take it back to them. We only have a short window to push the Democrats to the left. Bruce I live in Flint but if you can get a protest together I'll be there. By any means... Lets do it. And if that bonsai lets you have a voice on his blog you need to use it. He has a lot of liberal readers and they are our audience. Take the war to them.

J.Higgins said...

Bruce you should stop posting anyone from the right. Or cut them back. Don't give them a voice.

djtyg said...

I'm detecting sarcasm from the anonymous folks.
Silverfiddle, the First Amendment was meant for people, not corporations. If corporations were meant to be treated like people, it would say so in the Constitution.

Besides that, the ruling from SCOTUS has destroyed our sovereignty. There's nothing stopping foreign corporations that do business in the US from buying the Senate now.

If you want Hugo Chavez running this country after he uses the never-ending supply of money that is CITGO gasoline to buy the government, go ahead and support the SCOTUS decision.

As for me, I will fight for America.

vomamike said...

"abriding the freedom of speech" - there is the conumdrum. Is placing restrictions on corporations an abridgement? Arguably a case can be made for yes and no - with equal vigor. But the key is giving "personhood" to entities. The Supreme Court ruled back in the 1850's that since slaves were "property", it was constitutional to have slaves. Now the Supreme Court has flipped the coin and said that now "property" aka corporations, have the status of "personhood". Both decisions were fatally flawed. You can't jail a corporation. You can't assign the death penalty to a corporation. And if corporations shall now be treated as "persons" then any corporation owning another company amounts to enslavement - or at least indentured servatude. Seem where I'm going? The Supreme Court is not infallable - history has shown us that. Congress must now take what ever measures it can, to reverse or at least mitigate this awful decision.

Silverfiddle said...

I hate to say it, but some of those anon comments look like fellow conservatives masquerading... I hope there are no libs out there who really think like that!

My point is that the constitution does not grant rights; it circumscribes government action to protect our God-given rights (or rights that exist in natural law, if you prefer).

An informed electorate is essential to preserving our nation. Information, even BS, won't destroy us.

I don't see how some foreign nation through televised propaganda would take over the country by exercising some type Plouffian mind control on us.

Dems and Repubs have been nibbling away at the constitution for over 100 years and it's time we stopped it.

djtyg said...

Don't worry, Silverfiddle. The anonymous one's are just our resident troll. The kind of right-winger who thinks that a reasonable conversation is for them to spew insults at you and you just take it.

Having said that, you seem to underestimate the power that campaign contributions have on the decisions of elected officials. Not only do they tend to do things for the people bribing them, they also fear large donors giving money to their opponent. Watching Washington the past few years should make that obvious.

You're right about an informed electorate being essential to preserving our nation, so I wonder why you say in the next sentence that misinformation would not destroy it.

Aside from that, commercials aren't considered "free speech". They're heavily regulated by both the private and public sector.

And even if it were the case, banning corporations from making commercials (like they did with tobacco companies) isn't a violation of free speech. What's a violation of free speech is if the CEO of that same corporation were to go to jail for having expressed a political opinion.

Silverfiddle said...

djtyg: I don't completely discount your concerns, but we must find a solution that doesn't violate the constitution

J.Higgins said...

Bruce, you asked me to come to your blog and post. And this is how I get treated? I thought this was a progressive blog. This is the first time I've been treated like this on a left wing blog. Control your dogs and maybe you will get more posters. I see the right wing gets treated better then the left here. If this is the future of progress then we are in big trouble. Good luck cleaning up your blog. You'll need it.

Bruce Fealk said...

J. Higgins, I do let some of the right winger comments through. I like to be able to fire back at them.

Doesn't it get kind of boring if we just have lefties here?

djtyg said...

Higgins, I don't even know who you are, but you said "The Constitution as it stands is outdated and holds back our progressive agenda."

That's got to be the most ridiculous comment I've ever heard from a "progressive". Since I don't know you, why wouldn't I assume you were some right-winger trying to be sarcastic?

The Constitution is plenty progressive. It gives us freedom from religious persecution, speech, the right to a fair and speedy trial, and the right to keep the government from snooping on you without just cause.

The problem isn't with with Constitution, it's with the interpretation of it by idiots.

Anonymous said...

J.Higgins I under stand what you were saying. djyg is heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory beliefs concerning a perceived threat towards oneself. We are not your enemy so stop fucking treating us like we are. You will get everyone to stop posting on this blog if you keep your paranoid delutions that everyone is out to get you. dj do you think that parts of the Constitution are outdated or hard to understand in todays times? Think twice before you start calling me names again. Bruce are you a Libertarian like dj and Silver?

vomamike said...

J. Higgins - Actually our Constitution is a remarkable doctrine that has served us well for over 200 years. There is a place for amendments provided and we have had dozens of amendments to enhance it. One could say the problem is the interpretation of that Constitution by our Supreme Court. They have now, twice interdicted or ruled where vast numbers of Constitutional lawyers and professors believe they went beyond they lawful right. The most egregious was BUSH V GORE & the DRED SCOTT case. The problem seems to be where political concerns overrode judicial concerns. I and many believe this present court had made a political decision, not a judicial one. It can be argued that when this court has a 5/4 split, there is serious cause to believe it was a political decision. Now the Congress is faced with stepping up to the bat and trying to right a wrong.

Anonymous said...

vomamike that makes sense. Thanks for explaining. You aren't as hotheaded as djtyg is. Not everyone can get their point through like you can. I'm fear our progressive inaction has made us loose much of our footing with Obama and the Democrat party. Any ideas on how we can push them back into line? djtyg don't bother answering. I'm talking to vomamike. Thanks.

Jim from the O MI said...

Are you feeling like a chump yet?

If you’re a good progressive, and you wanted single-payer health care for all, or, second best, Medicare for All Who Want It, or third best, a robust public option, or fourth best, a paltry public option, now you’ve got nothing, nada, zippo.

Has it ever crossed your mind that this is the way President Obama wanted it to be?

That he tossed in the public option at the beginning only to get progressives on board, knowing full well that he was going to jettison the public option by the end?

Have you considered that maybe Max Baucus wasn’t the problem?

And that maybe Olympia Snowe wasn’t the problem?

And that maybe even hideous Joe Lieberman wasn’t the problem?

But that Obama himself was the problem?

After all, Obama never once said he wouldn’t sign a health care bill that didn’t have a public option in it.

After all, Obama dumped on the public option at almost every opportunity, calling it just a “sliver“ of the overall package, and not the most important sliver at that.

After all, Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, was huddling regularly with Max Baucus when the Montana Senator squashed the public option the first time.

And after all, Obama didn’t even ask Lieberman to back the public option.

Seems to me that Obama played us all for fools.

His discussion of the public option was a cynical charade from the start, and now he expects all good progressives to rally around this “historic” health care bill?

Forget about it.

The most historic thing about Obama’s health care bill is the double-cross he dealt progressives.

What are the Progressive activist in Oakland County going to do? Are we going to drop the health care now? We will never get a chance like this again. I found you from the Bonsai blog. It's my first time here. Nice to meet you all.

Bruce Fealk said...

Jim, to answer your question, no, I don't feel like a chump. I am frustrated and disappointed, but I remain optimistic that a health care bill will get passed and we can improve on it later.

That's what happened with all of our good programs, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, not one of them started out as the popular programs they are today.

No, I don't think that the bill we are looking at today was what the Democrats or Obama wanted. It is partially what big insurance wanted though and they have way too much influence in our Congress.

Unfortunately that will get worse, since the Supreme Court's decision last week.

vomamike said...

Jim from O Mi - There are some things that the Obama Administration is doing - and not doing, that carries as much negative weight for me as the fiasco the health reform process has become. But Bruce is right - some of the best social programs we have created like Social Security or Medicare have been vastly improved since their first inception. But on balance I am disappointed not only in President Obama but several of our so called Democrats in Congress. And as great as that disappointment is, I remind myself what our government was like under Republican dominance - both in the House and Senate and the White House - and my misgivings aren't as great. So I will gird my loins and push for a more progressive Congress AND President. It is what I believe our country needs, so to the extend I can, I devote the rest of my life in seeking those goals. It is the least I can do for my grandchildren.

Silverfiddle said...

I don't know what the Higgins guy's problem is. This is an important issue and I appreciate you letting me have a voice here.

Higgins should take hope in the fact that many conservatives are now waking up to the fact that what we thought was capitalism was really crony capitalism.

Our beef with banks and corporations and government is not the same as yours, but we now agree with you that there is a dirty, sick money grubby relationship between the politicians and corporate America.

Who did Bush bail out first? Dirty Hank's Wall Street Bank. Coincidence? I don't think so.

We're never going to agree on everything, or even most things, but there is some common cause areas.