The death of democracy?

DemWit sadly notes that two honest champions of both Wall Street reform and campaign finance reform - Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) – targets of attack ads, lost their bids for re-election Tuesday.


Here’s a word the far-right – and conservatives who went along with them on November 2 - might want to learn: plutocracy.

plu•toc•ra•cy (n.)
1. Government by the wealthy.
2. A wealthy class that controls a government.
3. A government or state in which the wealthy rule.

The big joke of the week is that some Americans think a grassroots movement has swept candidates into office. You know, those salt-of-the-earth patriots who contributed their nickels and dimes to fight big government.

What these candidates really represent is a group of malleable buffoons bought by big bucks from big business. Millions of bucks funneled through their campaigns – as Patton said, “like grease through a goose” – to other big businesses – the corporate media.

So, with vicious attack ads across America, Americans got the worst representatives money could buy.

All this was made possible, of course, by the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010). This decision is, in a nutshell, “a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections cannot be limited under the First Amendment. The 5–4 decision, in favor of Citizens United, resulted from a dispute over whether the non-profit corporation Citizens United could air a film critical of Hillary Clinton, and whether the group could advertise the film in broadcast ads featuring Clinton's image, in apparent violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act.”

This “free speech” ruling opened the floodgates for corporations – foreign and domestic – to pour millions of campaign dollars into innocuously named front groups.

In the first general election since SCOTUS’ ruling, American voters were sold a bill of goods – and our democracy is on its way to becoming a plutocracy.

If you don’t know what leader manipulated wealthy businessmen on his rise to power, you had damned well better brush up on your history.


“Tea Party Vows to Block Campaign Finance Reform,” a news analysis by Zach Carter of The Media Consortium, an independent media group, 4 November 2010: LINK

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010), wikipedia: LINK

Plutocracy, wikipedia: LINK


Ahab said...

People really need to learn the difference between "grassroots" and "astroturfed". You're absolutely right -- there was nothing remotely grassroots about this election.

Tiny reflecting said...

Tiny agrees with Ahab. I wonder how long it will take for those who sold their soul to the astrofurf plutocrats to realize they have lost more than they can regain in the length of time it took them to sell out.

Tiny remembers an old hymn from her growing up years titled, "What would you give in exchange for your soul?" The answer to that for a wide population of people was made clear on 2 Nov. 2010.

The pity is, they didn't have the right to sell the souls of their fellow human beings. It is doubtful they are going to be happy when they find their Armageddon, they chortled so often, roosting at their front door.

There's a saying that desperate people do desperate things. Hungry people will do desperate things also.

BJ, thanks for setting the record straight for those who will be willing to learn. You will probably be repeating this post often.

tnlib said...

I feel like I've been raped. Very good piece, BJ, and sadly you are so right. I wish you weren't though.

Sue said...

Feingold and Grayson, the 2 losses that made me the saddest too BJ. What is wrong with people? Did you read my link to politicususa about the high speed rail project being thrown under the slow driving bus in Wisconsin? Republicans, they could care LESS about putting Americans back to work. They are the job killers!

Frodo, climbing back up Mount Doom said...

Frodo laments Joe Sestak, a couple of brave Virginians, and even a "blue dog" from Georgia. What he has been unable to accept is that there is "a dime's worth of difference" between the American Independent Party of George Wallace, it's overt racism, and the covert racism of those who call themselves "tea Party." The shill is the deficit, which mattered far less it seems when spent to protect us from invisible weaponry than when it is spent to maintain insurance coverage for those with existant malady. It is all about race, and a Speaker of the House who doesn't talk much about the Constitution since he learned it doesn't have a Preamble.