Don’t worry – I’m sure they’ll use this power for the betterment of mankind

You heard that the US Supreme Court last week overturned limits on corporations using their own money to support or oppose candidates for public office?

By 5-4 vote, the court overturned federal laws, in effect for decades, that prevented corporations from using their profits to buy political campaign ads. The decision, which almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns, threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.

It leaves in place a ban prohibiting corporations and unions from directly contributing funds to candidates for any use.

Some of the present politicians made a bit of noise about countering the ruling, although with little hope:

President Barack Obama said that the decision gives ‘a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics.’ The president pledged to work with Congress to ‘develop a forceful response’ to the court’s ruling.

Ha, ha, ha. “Forceful”. Sure it will be.

I was going to write a more detailed response to this but Max Barry’s piece about lawnmowers really sums it up (but you’d have to read his post for the analogy to make sense). And I thought this paragraph about the oft-noticed but never effectively opposed nature of “The Corporation” was worthy of further discussion:

It’s interesting to note how corporations get to pick and choose the good parts of being a person. They can own property but can’t go to prison. They can sue you into bankruptcy, which you have to live with for the rest of your life, but if you win a big case against them, you get nothing while they reconstitute their assets and arise, Phoenix-like, under a new name. If you misbehave, you are personally responsible; a corporation jettisons a minor component it says was to blame. There is no ending them. This is the kind of personhood you would choose, if you could. It’s what happens when people making laws about corporations are themselves beholden to corporations.

It’s funny – the defenders of corporate “rights” would be as far from dewy-eyed idealists as you can imagine, and yet they expect us to just trust that immensely wealthy entities with all the power but none of the responsibilities of actual human beings, whose sole purpose is to drive out profit from the world around them, will somehow all work out for the best. That we, the people from whom this profit will be made, have nothing to worry about.

I wonder if they believe in Santa, too.

UPDATE: Keith Olbermann even worries about what will happen to Glenn Beck and the “Tea Party”ers in this new regime.

UPDATE #2: The staggeringly ironic tagline of the conservative lobby group that pushed for this decision:


“Dedicated to restoring our government to citizen control”

That seems to make no sense, until you realise that they think corporations are “citizens”.

Elsewhere, the National Review tries to put a positive spin on the decision. They trust their fellow Americans to see through “seductive messages put out by sinister, powerful interests” – why don’t you?

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17 responses to “Don’t worry – I’m sure they’ll use this power for the betterment of mankind

  1. Northern Exposure

    I want the elevator from contact like they’ve been promising.

    One thing the court does seem to have forgotten is that money isn’t speech, it’s legal bribery.

  2. Well, it’s not like our leaders would give the corporations whatever they want out of the goodness of their hearts.

  3. Northern Exposure

    But they always ask ever so nicely! A nice long lunch, some wine, a wine cellar and new fittings in the bathroom. All in very fine taste.

  4. Smaller government = larger corporations.

  5. Northern Exposure

    So not so One World Govt but One World inc.

  6. their democracy is a sham anyway, this ruling just makes it easier to funnel money to lackey politicians…without needing the “political action committees”

    it does help the unions too…

  7. Northern Exposure

    There are not hankies big enough.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the new ABC 24 could get Olbermann, or Maddow, as a guest commentator? Or Matthews? Or anyone on NBC? And then to be fair, get O’Rly and Beck.

    I hope 24 gets as many divisive opinion shows. Bolt and Milne doing a live opinion show, then Crab And Green. Oh the possibilities!

  8. You saw the update, I take it!

  9. Northern Exposure

    Looks like Keith will be out of a job anyway. I think he’d be tickled to work at the ABC when it would enrage Rupert so much.

  10. Northern Exposure

    I wonder what the Aussie diggers who went to war against commies with the Yanks would think of them whoring their democracy away?

    All the way with LBJ seems to have come full circle.

  11. You used Olberman to support a thesis? He’s the left wing equivalent of Beck. Both are full of shit but Olberman has absolutely no manners and if the U.S. had defamation laws like Australia he would also be destitute.

  12. MSNBC has Olberman.

    Whereas Fox News has Beck, O’Reilly, Hannity, Palin, Geraldo, the breakfast mob, the lesser lights you don’t associate with Fox, and the editorial slant.

  13. Northern Exposure

    Olbermann checks his facts before commenting, on anything. He’s disrespectful to people who he thinks earn it. If you disagree thats fine, but to equate him with Glenn Beck is like equating George Negus with Tim Blair.

    The facts are no different cemil, Jeremy only updated with a video of a man, who can see his country about to go up in flames, or cash as the case may be. The facts are still that companies can choose who gets into government. The facts are still that the supreme court has decided to steal elections away from the people (again). The facts do not change with a video of a latte lefty ranting about how awful it is.

  14. “You used Olberman to support a thesis?”

    Um, no, the post stands on its own. I linked to him in an update because his perspective is interesting.

    And I note that you had no response as to subject of the post itself.

  15. “Olbermann checks his facts before commenting, on anything. He’s disrespectful to people who he thinks earn it. If you disagree thats fine, but to equate him with Glenn Beck is like equating George Negus with Tim Blair.”

    Exactly – so tell me that this is wrong? Olby is WRONG HERE! Now disprove it!

    “Olbermann checks his facts before commenting, on anything. He’s disrespectful to people who he thinks earn it.”

    So this is what we see as lefty bias….it’s just as bad as the otherside…

  16. In what way is he wrong, cemil?

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