Politicians have been selling out to the highest bidder for years. Who are the benefactors? It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to figure it out. The GOP represents Wall Street; Democrats represent Main Street. Republicans may reign supreme from time to time. But, for many, many years–Democrats controlled congress…
Democrats controlled the House of Representatives for 60 years between 1933-1995 (in all but four years); and, they controlled the Senate in all but ten years. If you wanted something done, you needed the support of the Democrats. Those were the good ol’ days- a time when Congressional leaders upheld public interest. Somewhere, along the way, things changed:
Republicans seized power in 1994 by raising massive amounts of campaign cash. Between 1994-1998, Republican candidates raised a record breaking $1 BILLION+ dollars (Kaiser, 2009. So Damn Much Money, p. 272).
In 1994 (for the first time since 1954), Republicans gained control of both houses. The power shift gave the Neo-Cons a taste of how much power they stood to lose, if they didn’t keep their sponsors happy. Perhaps, this could explain why the power hungry Neo-Cons turned their collective focus away from public interest, to their corporate bedfellows. After all, they had $1 billion+ favors to repay. But, the Democrats would not go quietly- between 1995 and 2010, congressional power shifted as many times in fifteen years as it had in the past forty-five years (Lessig,L. 2011. Republic Lost, p.94).
In 2008, Republicans were dumping campaign cash at any contender they thought could beat a Democrat (Hillary or Obama). It didn’t take long for Democrats to learn that in order to beat Republicans (and BIG MONEY), you’ve got to raise a lot of cash, too. Presidential Candidates – Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain – together spent more than $1 billion, an unprecedented figure. But, Obama didn’t win because of the massive amounts of campaign cash alone, he had a message. Of course, the cash helped Obama, no doubt, but he inspired Americans at a time when many of us had had a belly full of Bush, Cheney, the Industrial Military Complex, and failed Republican policies.
And, just when we thought we’d be able to loosen the Neo-Con stranglehold on humanity, enter the DRAGON: Citizens United.
The Citizens United ruling in 2010, was the proverbial nail in the coffin of public interest. All hail BIG BUSINESS. The landmark decision allows corporations and unions to throw endless amounts of cash at politicians. (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S.08-205 (2010), 558 U.S., 130 S. Ct. 876 (January 21, 2010)).
But, today, a silver lining appeared…today, Montana High Court Says ‘Citizens United’ Does Not Apply In Big Sky State. Lawyers attacking the Montana ban on direct corporate spending said the U.S. Supreme Court in its 2010 Citizens United ruling removed any barrier to corporate spending. But the Montana Supreme Court disagreed and took a more nuanced view:
“What was true a century ago is as true today: distant corporate interests mean that corporate dominated campaigns will only work ‘in the essential interest of outsiders with local interests a very secondary consideration.”
What does this mean? Time will tell. I can tell you that I now hold a new affection for the Big Sky State. All things considered, it’s still safe to say that Republicans will stop at nothing to defeat Democrats, and especially, President Obama. As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” Therefore, I am duty bound to open up my checkbook and throw as much cash as possible toward QUALIFIED Democrats who do not worship at the altar of Wall Street, but work with us folks down here on Main Street. Please feel free to do the same, Main Street depends on it.