Thursday, January 21, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court Legalizes Corruption Undreamt Of

Some of the earliest commentary has centered on the overreach of the court in issuing their appalling ruling, today; the fact that the ruling went so far beyond the scope of the campaign finance reform case that was before the court, the blatant activism of it, the disregard for the consequences of it. Few, so far, seem to grasp the full implications of it. This is an historical decision. An historically bad one, belonging, at birth, in the same dustbin of history as Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, Kelo v. New London, Bush v. Gore (the latter two the work of some of the clowns responsible for today's decision).

To put the matter in its proper perspective, the court has very likely just brought down the curtain on the last vestige of democracy that existed in the U.S. The right-wing majority empowered by too many years of ultra-conservative and quasi-fascist infestation of the White House has, in one fell swoop, just, in effect, removed all impediments to corporate interference in U.S. elections. Building on the dual fiction that money equals speech and that corporations are "persons" (an abomination imposed on U.S. law by a right-wing court of a previous era), the court held that these corporate "persons" can now endorse candidates. They can spend as much as they want promoting them. Restraints on their activities in the political arena imposed by campaign finance laws have been swept aside. The already corrupt system of all-but-open bribery popular efforts had attempted to reform has now been replaced by one of official, open, limitless bribery, given the false patina of free speech, and sanctioned by the highest court in the land.

And woe is us, indeed.

--classicliberal2

8 comments:

Jim Sullivan said...

" An historically bad one, belonging, at birth, in the same dustbin of history as Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, Kelo v. New London, Bush v. Gore (the latter two the work of some of the clowns responsible for today's decision)."

Interesting, since the dissenters in the latter two were completely different sets of justices:

Kelo vs. New London dissenters; O'Connor, Scalia, Thomas and Rehnquist

Bush vs. Gore dissenters; Ginsburg, Souter, Stevens and Breyer

Of particular note is your disdain for Kelo vs. New London. Given your drivel over at Chez Erb, I would have thought this decision would be in line with your statist shibboleths. Oh, whoops. In line with your... thoughtful convictions. But that's neither here nor there.

It's amusing to note two of the "clowns" responsible for the Citizens United decision(Scalia and Thomas) agree with you on the Kelo case.

classicliberal2 said...

Kelo was written by Kennedy the same clown who authored the present Citizens United atrocity, and who sided with the reactionaries on Bush v. Gore (which both the author and the other members of the majority who called it were too ashamed to sign).

Of particular note is your disdain for Kelo vs. New London. Given your drivel over at Chez Erb, I would have thought this decision would be in line with your statist shibboleths. Oh, whoops. In line with your... thoughtful convictions.

That's because, like so many of the right-wing idio... er, thoughtful conservative commentators, you deal in caricatures. Kelo wasn't popular with anyone. That it was decided as it was bespeaks the very poor intellectual state of the court at present, which is something toward which all of these cases point with a flashing neon sign 20 feet tall.

Jim Sullivan said...

The Kelo decision was written by Stevens. Kennedy wrote a concurring opinion.

Bush vs. Gore (the 5-4 decision,not the other two) was per curium. Rehnquist wrote a concurring opinion.

Unless your privy to facts other than the public record.

Right wing idio..er? What's that? You can call me an idiot, it won't hurt my feelings. I'd expect nothing less from you, given your rhetorical skill thus far. Well, the right wing part might hurt me, since I'm far from that. Conservative? If you only knew! My wife might agree with the idiot part, though.

And caricatures? You were the one going on about "ephemeral" property rights,Einstein, over at Chez Erb. You know, that stuff about property rights being ultimately subservient to the decisions of the community. It was just a couple of days ago. You haven't forgotten already have you? The Kelo decision is consistant with your line of "reasoning". At least what you wrote over there. You caricature yourself, Sparky.

"That it was decided as it was bespeaks the very poor intellectual state of the court at present, which is something toward which all of these cases point with a flashing neon sign 20 feet tall."

Oh, I don't know. Maybe it speaks about the intellectual state of those that decided for the city of New London. Poorly. That's debatable. But as a whole? Look who deals in caricatures.

You're all about Projection aren't you?

classicliberal2 said...

The Kelo decision was written by Stevens. Kennedy wrote a concurring opinion.

Correct, and my mistake--Kennedy wrote a concurrence, not the decision itself.

Bush vs. Gore (the 5-4 decision,not the other two) was per curium.

The authors being too ashamed of it to take responsibility for its authorship, as I noted.

Right wing idio..er? What's that? You can call me an idiot, it won't hurt my feelings.

That was a play on your own first post, here, which you had apparently already forgotten.

And caricatures? You were the one going on about "ephemeral" property rights,Einstein, over at Chez Erb. You know, that stuff about property rights being ultimately subservient to the decisions of the community.

As a practical matter (the context in which those remarks were offered), that is, in fact, the case. Those rights are a product of that community, and maintaining them as "rights" depends on the support of that community (or on its forbearance). That's not dogma, that's not "half-baked philosophy" (as you mistakenly dubbed it), it doesn't make me a caricature; it's a matter of practical reality. You can stand in front of a looting mob and advance some ephemeral "property rights" notion--tell the mob you have a natural right to your property--all you like; the mob isn't really going to care, if it wants that property.

People, it turns out, aren't like a rioting mob, though. They tend to be very reasonable. The reason you can almost always leave your home without fear of it being burglarized isn't because of the speed-trap-minding cop you may encounter while driving to the grocery store or because of the bulging-to-the-bursting-point prison population; it's because most people respect your right not to have your things taken, and won't take them. And will even report it if they see someone else taking those things.

I'd consider your persistent lack of understanding of so simple and basic a concept to be an act, were it not that 1) you've continued to grind on about it as you have, and 2) there's no real motive for grinding on about it as you have. I must, then, judge your lack of understanding sincere, and that doesn't lead me to a very high estimation of your abilities.

The Kelo decision is consistant with your line of "reasoning".

No, it isn't, which is why I have it (correctly) listed as an historically awful decision. It's "consistent" only with the caricature of liberalism you've been pimping, which, in reality, properly characterizes virtually no one among the liberals.

Kelo mirrors Citizens United in that both cases aimed at empowering business interests at the expense of the public.

Jim Sullivan said...

My, my. Don't we have a high opinion of ourselves?

"That was a play on your own first post, here, which you had apparently already forgotten."

I hadn't forgotten. I just thought it was lame and unoriginal. Get your own schtick.

"Blah, blah, you don't understand me, blah, blah, blah,"

and

"I'd consider your persistent lack of understanding of so simple and basic a concept to be an act, were it not that 1) you've continued to grind on about it as you have, and 2) there's no real motive for grinding on about it as you have. I must, then, judge your lack of understanding sincere, and that doesn't lead me to a very high estimation of your abilities."

This is because you A.) parrot a philosophy that denies property rights via natural law. B.) Think that because I disagree with said philodosphy, I don't understand (hint:I do understand, I just disagree) and C.) Are unable to separate your ego from your argument which means you take any criticism of your argument personally. Roll that all up into a ball and you get that drivel above. You can't come to terms with the fact that someone would argue with someone so obviously correct and enlightened and actually enjoy it, even if said person would rather throw condescending Ad Hominem attacks instead of logical arguments.

Hey, what can I say? Winter gets boring sometimes.

"Kelo mirrors Citizens United in that both cases aimed at empowering business interests at the expense of the public."

I'm assuming, then, that the anti-private property caricature is incorrect? And that I'll have to substitute the "Corporations Are Eeeevil!" caricature? That's fine. I'm flexible.

Anonymous said...

This seems to have started somewhere else, and I'm not privy to whatever part of it went on before. I have to say it does seem to me that Jim Sullivan has misunderstood what Classicliberal2 has said here. When Classicliberal2 is talking about property rights being created and defined by the community--he's using that in a broad way, as I understand--he isn't offering any sort of philosophy, as Jim Sullivan says he is. He's just talking about "practical reality," as he said. That's just the way things work.

I could be misunderstanding him, but that's what I got from it. If I haven't missed something, he's right. That's not a philosophy, good or bad.

BTW, pretty good blog, Classicliberal2. I don't always agree with you, but at least you write well.

Jim Sullivan said...

Do I smell a...Sock Puppet!

classicliberal2 said...

Sullivan: Follow my earlier advice and find a smarter friend (if you have any); he will explain what I've written, and you'll feel embarrassed.

"Anonymous": I thank you for the kind words about the blog. Always good to hear from one of my three readers!