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Thursday, January 21, 2010


"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."

"Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are NOT actually members of it. They cannot vote or run for office. Because they may be registered and controlled by nonresidents, their interests may conflict in fundamental respects with the interests of eligible voters."
- SUPREME COURT JUSTICE JOHN PAUL STEVENS, speaking in a dissent, 1/21/10 -

Yesterday marked the worst decision in the history of our Supreme Court, and effected a corporate coup-de-etat of our government. In a hasty, poorly researched, and very poorly reasoned decision, the Roberts Court ceded, by a 5-4 vote, all de facto control of this government of, by, and for its people to the moneyed corporate aristocracy Thomas Jefferson warned us of two centuries ago. Voting with the majority were conservative Justices Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia (dumped on us by Ronald Reagan), Clarence Thomas (dumped on us by George H.W. Bush), and John Roberts and Samuel Alito (dumped on us by George W. Bush). Enemies of the people all, they granted corporations the right to contribute, without any restriction whatsoever, to the political candidate of their choice in any election. Even a child can understand how this ruling will give unprecedented power and ability to buy the favor of any congressperson or President in the future to those with the most money. You can be certain that corporations will use this newly granted power to flex their muscles this fall. They will do so in a way that will make what they did to sabotage health care reform these past six months look like they were only fooling around. Average, ordinary, individual working Americans and the poor will be completely unable to effectively elect candidates to best serve their needs and interests, as their candidates will invariably be underfunded and buried in relation to those funded by big money. Liberals and progressives will become oddities of the past. We are now entering a political dark ages of unchallenged conservative plutocracy.

This ruling is an abomination and will radically transform the way this country is governed in a terrible manner. Several weeks back, I painted a horror story set in 2017 whereby plutocratic conservative Republicans had regained total control of government and were enslaving the rest of us for the benefit of the elite, wealthy few. The implications of yesterday's hideously flawed Supreme Court ruling are far more terrifying than was my little story. They have legally instituted a plutocracy to replace our democracy.

So now it's "Hello CSA (Corporate States of America), R.I.P. USA (United States of America)". Say goodbye to the country you grew up in, everybody, and savor the memories. This will be a diabolical new phase in our history, and our lives will never be the same. Keep your eyes and ears open, folks. Regrettably, now, in our lifetime, we may have to all go underground to protect ourselves from the invariable corporate excesses this horrible decision will create!


Beach Bum said...

Dammit Jack, your "Shape of things to come" post was just born. But while many in the GOP cheer the birth of this little monster wasn't Dr. Frankenstein ultimately killed by the monster he created?

mud_rake said...

Boehner called the SCOTUS decision 'a victory for free speech and the 1st Amendment.'

Of course you and I laugh at such a remark yet millions of Americans nodded their heads, not knowing anything about the implications of this decision.

General ignorance is a terrible pandemic here in America and the right-wingers and neofascists are geared up and have whet their knives to get their 'share' of our once-grand democracy.

Yesterday marks the turning point of our 'experiment in democracy,' as it was called. The end had to come sometime. January 21, 2010 will be the date that future historians mark as the day democracy died here in America.

Marc McDonald said...

Nice piece and a great quote by Thomas Jefferson.

The Supreme Court has gone from being an august body that interprets the law of the land to a bunch of rabid, right-wing partisan hacks.

The wingnuts are always bitching about "activist" Supreme Court justices.

But you can't get much more activist than appointing George W. Bush president, over the wishes of the electorate.

Jack Jodell said...

Beach Bum,
That is exactly what will happen. Given unlimited access to lawmaking and lawmakers, big business will very shortly be able to divest itself of government altogether. Naturally, when that happens, the GOP, Democrats AND Independents will all be discarded like stale bread. This is no longer the exercise of freedom. It is an overreach of irresponsibility, and a nightmare too horrifying to fathom. God help us all!
Boehner is, as aren all who applaud this decision, stark-raving mad. He and his fellow believers should be booted off the public payroll and put on a big fat corporate salary. For they are no longer working for we the people - they're being the foot soldiers of corporate America.

VERY sadly, your last paragraph sums up the situation perfectly. R.I.P. USA!

Jack Jodell said...

You are absolutely correct. I might add, you also can't get more activist than deliberately selling your government and its people off as slaves to the highest bidder!

TomCat said...

Jack, Dred Scott was a rey of enliughtenemt compared to this one. It sold one group down the river. This sells us all down the river. It takes judicial activism to an unprecedented extreme.

Max's Dad said...

Hey Jack, with your ESP intact, will The Vikings win this weekend? Seriously, you called it with the 2017post. I just didn't think it would happen in 2010. Those five Supremes have done more damage to this nation than Mohammed Atta and his buddies ever thought of doing. But all America cares about is some hunky guy from Massachusetts with an anchorwoman wife and a karaoke contest winning daughter. It's sad. I fear for us.

Jack Jodell said...

TomCat and Max's Dad,
You are both completely right. I'm not quite ready to head for the forested hills and pull a Fidel yet, but I'm starting to see forested hills in my future...

Holte Ender said...

The SCOTUS decision has as much power as genuine legislation, maybe more.

But as things settle down and the anger subsides, ways to combat this madness will become clearer, remember they are driven, and are blinded by selfish greed, we are not.

TRUTH 101 said...

I said something like this at Holte's blog. What really has changed? The corporate interests have been running the show since Reagan. Well, more likely Nixon. Hell. Forever?

The problem isn't as much them as it is weak minded, intellectually lazy fools that believe any hateful crap they hear because they heard it on television.

Whoever would have thought that the battle for America's future would in reality be a battle to convince a bunch of weak minded idiots to vote one way or another.

The birthers and tea baggers think they're voting for freedom or something when they are really voting to become slaves to their corporate masters and the real movers and shakers of the republican party.

Lisa G. said...

Grayson has proposed legislation to end this very issue -The End Corporate Collusion Act - and Conyers, the head of the Judiciary Committee, just signed on as a co-sponsor. The problem is going to be getting through the Senate.

Free speech my ass. Corporations aren't people.

Jack Jodell said...

Lisa G,
Alan Grayson has actually introduced SIX such bills, and I'm sure there will be more. And you're right about the Senate---it's damn near impossible to get ANYTHING worthwhile through it anymore. That 60 vote rule is absolutely ridiculous. The Senate needs a flooding with Ex Lax or something to get those stodgy old time-wasting turds like LIEberman, Nelson, McConnell, Inhofe, DeMint, and Vitter all flushed out.

I like your last sentence. That old 19th century Supreme Court decision giving corporations the same rights as individual people is a big load of bullshit. By that reasoning, bridge clubs, softball teams, church choirs, whorehouses, and any other entity containing more than 1 person ought to have those rights too. Why only corporations? Utter nonsense---GRRRR!!!!

TomCat said...

Jack, neither am I. I have not proposed a way forward, because I have not figured it out yet. This matter is way too important to fly off the handle, but you know I'll not give up.

Jack Jodell said...

That's the spirit! I am encouraged by the large number of people who have expressed similar outrage with this very flawed SCOTUS decision. I'm still scratching my head, too, at finding a way forward...

mud_rake said...

Free speech my ass. Corporations aren't people.

Well, sadly, they are considered of equal value in this SCOTUS decision which is why there is such an uproar over it.


Jack Jodell said...

Yes, very flawed logic, isn't it? By that token, bowling teams, the Optimist Club, the Lions Club, whorehouses, the Westminster Kennel Club - virtually any and all organizations ought to be able to have the same "rights" as corporations and trump the interests of individual voters. Where does one draw the line?

This decision to give artificial entities like corporations special privileges and rights the same as individual living human beings is wholly preposterous, and as flawed today as when it was first adopted in May of 1886, when the then-equally bought-out conservative Supreme Court handed down its absurd Santa Clara County vs Southern Pacific Railroad decision. This, just like its latest variant, must be overturned on grounds of insanity by some future Supreme Court. These outrageous rulings CANNOT be allowed to stand!

Tim Fleming said...


As far-fetched as it sounds, the day will come, I believe, when our representatives will no longer be elected and not confined to territorial boundaries, like states and districts. Instead, they will be appointed by corporations, and the messiness and financial wastefulness of elections will be done away with. In 2080 our great grandchildren will be at the mercy of the esteemed Senator from Goldman Sachs, or the incumbent Representative of ITT. Larger defense contractor/corporations may have multiple seats allotted to them in Congress. I can envision the large voting block of politicians from Bechtold, the Carlyle Group, Bell Helicopter, Halliburton/KBR, General Dynamics, and Standard Oil casting the deciding votes to eradicate Social Security, Workmen's Comp, OSHA, public schools, and Medicare. Finally, they will forever seal the Warren Commission, CIA, and FBI files on the JFK assassination to ensure that American history becomes an eternal lie.

Jack Jodell said...

2080? What a horrific thought. If that's what will be, I wonder how soon before then the incidences of "kneecapping" will start? How appalling! Sounds like the approach of decivilization to me...

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Jack! Per usual, educating and (pensive) provocative! Only now catching up at Sat Afternoon... shame on me. They have begun the touts of Senator from Walmart, etc. But, I wonder, can there be... and where is the 'silver lining' in all of this? Something has to give if this kind of pressure comes down on the election process. NO? ?? As fer me, The Party of UN-Corporation. Yeah? Great post Jack Jodell! :-)