The Widdershins

The sound of silence…

Posted on: April 8, 2014

Good Tuesday Widdershin friends.

Sorry to be posting so late on this fine day, but I’ve been out of town for a funeral of a distant relative.  Consequently, my offering today will be slim.

The McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission case handed down last week by the Supreme Court has been McCutcheon Fat Cat“punditized” to death, but there is a potential effect that has gone almost unnoticed in the musings by the babbling class.  It strikes me that if anything McCutcheon stands for the country maxim, “Let the big dog have it, ’cause he’s goin’ get it anyway.”

McCutcheon case stands for the proposition that the 591 people who ran up against the contribution thresholds in the last election weren’t being sufficiently heard.  Somehow, these 591 people’s right to untethered beneficence to political candidates outweighed the rights of the rest of us in an election free from the “appearance” of impropriety.

In writing for the barest of majorities, Chief Justice Roberts said:

Spending large sums of money in connection with elections, but not in connection with an effort to control the exercise of an officeholder’s official duties, does not give rise to quid pro quo corruption.  Nor does the possibility that an individual who spends large sums may garner ‘influence over or access to’ elected officials or political parties.

So the Roberts Five, believing that capping a bazillionaires right to spread the wealth, opened the floodgates in order to ensure these 591 “do-gooders” the ability to slather their wealth upon as many contribution hungry politicians as possible.  What Roberts and his four accommodating Justices fail to realize is that prior to an election and the investiture of elected power, there can’t be quid pro quo corruption.  In other words, you can’t give what you do not yet have.

The more dilatory effect is this:  If you are Joe and Joanne Lunchbucket, why bother with voting?  If the big dogs are going to overwhelm an election with monstrous contributions, why bother with reordering your already busy lives in order to cast a ballot in the ever decreasing hours afforded by Republican controlled legislatures.  Making sure 591 people participate to the fullest extent of their bank accounts seems to be a major disincentive to the millions of senior citizens, people of color, and working poor whose political expression must be sandwiched in smaller and smaller inconvenient hours.

Following Citizens United with McCutcheon, the Roberts Five has definitively said, “Money is speech.”  What they have therefore condoned is, “More money equals more speech.”  To analogize to the public square, you may have the right to speak, but if someone has the resources to purchase a bullhorn, you no longer have the right to be heard.

Money is people too

So in a way, McCutcheon isn’t so much about speech as it is about silence.  We, the 99 percent, know what bought and paid for government looks like.  It was on full display a week ago during the Sheldon Adelson Las Vegas beauty contest.

In the face of the inevitable, why should the average person continue to donate, participate, and most importantly vote?  I’m sure the 591 people affected by this decision have wondered on more than one occasion, “How much longer must we be subject to the uneducated whims of the unwashed masses?”

By overturning 40 years of policy and case law, the Supreme Court has answered:  Not much longer.

This is an open thread.

 

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7 Responses to "The sound of silence…"

I saw Mr. McCutcheon on Chris Hayes’ show, I believe. His arguments didn’t impress me but what the hell does that matter. They impressed a majority of the Supremes.

Sorry to hear of your loss of a family member. My condolences.

Prolix, your post is brilliant as always. Great points that I did not hear anywhere else. When I heard about this ruling, I was devastated. I can’t believe this court could be so corrupt, so rotten.

I hope the memorial service went well. Am sorry for your loss.

Fredster, what have you been up to lately?

Wonder what the court would have decided if Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia were not on the court? I hope they all die. sorry but they are the worst human beings America has to offer.

Sorry that I have’t been around much again..I’ve managed to snag a back muscle – again,

“The Sound of Silence”…I love that title.

Let’s just cancel elections and let the Koch brothers, Shel Adelstein and Roger Ailles pick our leaders.
From now on in, any election will just be an expensive dog and pony farce.

The conservatives bitch endlessly about the billions spent on the SNAP program, but billions on elections seems just right to them. I will never understand republican thinking.

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