Thursday, June 14, 2012

The rot of Citizen's United and the grim future of American democracy

from Richard Metzger at DangerousMinds

I realize that I keep saying this, but it’s true and the best context I can offer: Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce is one of the—I think—top two political writers in America today, the other being Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, who is far better known. Everyone with even a passing interest about what happened with the Walker recall in Wisconsin needs to read Pierce’s spot-on post-mortem on the vote, “The Wisconsin Recall Aftermath: Scott Walker Steps Right Up into the Pocket of Those Who Got Him There.” Seriously, it’s a must-read if ever there was one and so is his blog, which I encourage you to bookmark.

I’ve been noticing with satisfaction in the past few days how some of Pierce’s posts at Esquire’s Politics blog have been zooming up the charts at reddit—and I’m trying to encourage more DM readers to discover Pierce’s writing, too—like this on-target statement about how big money/big corruption is destroying America. Apologies to Charles Pierce for snagging his entire post, but it’s too short—and the sentiments therein far too important—not to pass it on in full here:

The Rot of Citizens United Is Universal. Get Used to It.

It is a capital mistake to study the corrosive effect of the utterly corrupt Citizens United decision only in the context of the presidential contest, or in the context of other highly visible individual races, like the one for a U.S. Senate seat or last night’s Wisconsin recall. The rot in the system is poisonous, general, and spreading.

(And have I mentioned really how utterly stupid it is to have an elected judiciary, especially in the current cash-soaked political atmosphere? It is the second-worst idea ever behind the Balanced Budget Amendment, aka The Stupidest Fking Idea Of All Time.)

Very soon, there is not going to be a single political campaign, no matter how small, that directly affects anything having to do with America’s corporate power, which is practically everything, that will not be swamped by anonymous cash laundered through bagmen organized under the banner of some nobly monickered political whorehouse. (While considering the names of the front groups, it is always important to remember the blog’s favorite quote from Sam Spade, of the firm of Spade And Archer: “The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.”) As the NYT says:

“...Justice John Paul Stevens predicted that such spending would overwhelm state court races, which would be especially harmful since judges must not only be independent but be seen to be independent as well. North Carolina is proving him right.”

Of course, I’m sure that, sometime later this week, an earnest young scribe from Politico will tell me that everything’s okay because Democrats spend money, too, and, anyway… unions! So, coming soon to your town: the $40 million race for Register of Probate, and won’t that be fun?

You can follow Charles P. Pierce on Twitter. He’ll be an essential voice during this election cycle. If you are on Twitter, you should definately follow him, and bookmark the Esquire Politics blog.

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