Activist Wednesday: So, Uh…Did Anything Happen While I Was Gone?
Posted July 18, 2012on:
“We don’t need the votes. We just need the checks.”
– Barack Obama, Pennsylvania, 2008
“Corporations are people, my friends.”
– Mitt Romney, 2012
I must admit that I hardly know where to start this post, Widdershins. Although I have been out of the country for the past couple of weeks, I stayed “in the know,” as our hotel thoughtfully gave us newspapers with our breakfast. And wow, was there a lot of Activist news!
First, our favorite “Activist judges” of the Supreme Court decided not to rip out the heart of “ObamaCare” – aka, the mandate to buy insurance. And oh, the jubilation and the horror! The “progressives” gloated about how awesome this was for Obama, whereas the conservatives had aneurysms and moaned about betrayal of some sort of “principle.” (I’m guessing the principle is: Democrats BAD!! BAAAAAAAADDDDDDD!!!!) Most people missed the point entirely, which is this: This is the same Supreme Court that said corporations were people! For heaven’s sake, none of this had anything to do with the Constitution, or Obama, or conservatism. It was all about the health insurance industry fat cats sitting down and asplaining the facts of life to the Robertses, Alitii and Scalie on the Court: that no one, but NO ONE, was going to take away their 30 million guaranteed customers FOR LIFE. Mmmmkay? Money is all this court cares about. They’ve proved it time and again. And money is exactly what the Health Whatever Bill will direct into the otherwise irrelevant insurance industry’s pockets. (As we know, thanks to Obama, Single Payer was “off the table” from the beginning – a decision that saved the industry for just a few precious years longer.) I ask you, in all seriousness: What business doesn’t love guaranteed customers? 30 million of them? FOR LIFE?
Tell me with a straight face this was about Obama’s political future, or Romney’s, or anything but buckets and buckets of filthy lucre.
And speaking of money…do we have any idea how much the Death Panel Industry has coined with this decision? No, we don’t – because there are no price caps or controls in the Health Whatever Bill. But I understand, half a loaf is probably better than none…and with all the tax revenues that will be coming into the federal government’s coffers, since Obama vetoed the continuation of the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy as he promised, the government’s chests will be bursting with funds to help out those who can’t afford the mandated insurance! Right?
I hate to say this, but I am pretty sure that Obama won’t be vetoing anything at all. Instead, the Democrats will “compromise” by upping the tax rate on only those who make $1,000,000 a year and up. (See a typical trial balloon here - it’s in the penultimate paragraph.) I don’t know how much tax revenue this tax hike will generate, but since everyone generally now seems to agree that extending the tax cut for the middle class is a good idea (I’m assuming the payroll tax cut is going to continue, helping to bleed Social Security as per Austerity 101), I’m guessing it won’t be enough to compensate for the continuing military overspending, corporate tax cuts and predatory outsourcing of jobs to third-world countries which have killed our economy.
And ah yes, we have all been actively wracking our brains trying to figure a way out of voting for the lesser of two evils in November. I have planned not to vote for either for at least a year and a half now. I see zero functional difference between Obama and Romney, and let me tell you why: Both push for policies that immensely harm our economy (Austerity) and women’s rights (the Health Whatever Act, the refusal to fight for FOCA or the ERA on Obama’s side. On Romney’s, he has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood and claims to now be pro-life.) The arguments for and against either, because of these larger issues, fail to move me in the slightest.
Let me elaborate. What truly d*mns Teh One in my mind is his continual refusal to lift a finger about creating jobs or raising the cap on Social Security or any f*cking thing that would jeopardize the predatory capitalists who fund his campaign. His latest lie about the Clinton Administration is tying the Clinton tax rates to job creation. Hello? Raising taxes doesn’t create jobs! What created those jobs was the Internet bubble, made possible, to a large degree, by the tireless advocacy of Al Gore. And Romney? He is exactly the same, if not worse. After a certain point, if things keep going the way they are, no jobs will be created that will pay enough to maintain the middle class, and our country will collapse into third-world status. This is the business model that today’s capitalists understand and count on – the presence of an undereducated, underpaid, downtrodden lower class with no role whatsoever in the government that rules them. It was the model that existed in the Roaring 20′s, which allowed for huge income inequality to persist and vast amounts of financial fraud (called “speculation” in those days) to rampage unchecked. Alas for the short-sighted, greedy Robber Barons of today, they seem not to have learned that they, too, can crash and burn when another Great Depression is inevitably created from their activism.
So I will let my other Widdershins have their strong opinions about how Romney would be a disaster, etc. etc. I truly could not care less. I am voting Dr. Jill Stein if she gets on the ballot, then Dem or left of Dem downticket.
Okay, deep breath. That was all very dark and dank, but you know it’s Activist Wednesday, so I’m not going to leave you in the depths of despair. Here is some good news: the states seem to be rising up against Citizens United.
Last week, the State of California became the sixth state in the country to call for a constitutional amendment overturning the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, and restoring democracy to the people.
With the passage of a resolution through its state legislature, California is the latest to join this growing grassroots movement across the nation. Hawaii, New Mexico, Vermont, and Rhode Island have passed similar resolutions through their state legislatures, and a majority of state legislators in Maryland have signed a letter to Congress supporting an amendment. And, just this past Wednesday, the Montana Secretary of State certified for the November ballot a voter initiative calling for a constitutional amendment, the first such statewide ballot measure in the country.
It’s true: People are realizing that the reason we have such a crappy choice in November (and had one in 2008 too) is because of all that cashola that our richest citizens spend to make it that way. And, they’re taking action to advocate the one thing that can stop the Roberts Court’s insanity: a Constitutional Amendment.
I truly hope that this positive activism is a sign of things to come. Until corporations cease to become people, and people’s votes are more important to politicians than mega-checks thrown at them by the top .0001%, then our country will continue to devolve into something we haven’t seen since 1929, or perhaps even the Gilded Age. And we will continue to have Presidential candidates who serve not the people, but Wall Street.
This is an open thread.
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