Your grandchildren will live in shanty towns with no running water

"Who is more incorruptible than the millionaire, right?"

-- Justice Antonin Scalia - in discussion of the "millionaire's amendment" of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.

While I avoid being a reactionary if at all possible, and find that to be a dastardly trait, let me be reactionary for a moment - Was Scalia serious? Because, if he was, then 80 percent of the U.S. will be living in shantytowns with no running water in a generation or two.

Let me point out - if he was being sarcastic, I'll gladly take it all back in a follow-up blog post where I discuss other things I find loathsome about Scalia. But I think he may have been serious. All I have to go on at this point is the N.Y. Times account:

WASHINGTON — A law meant to level the financial playing field in political campaigns involving rich candidates met with a mixed reception on Tuesday in the Supreme Court.

The law, known as the “millionaire’s amendment,” imposes special rules in races with candidates who finance their own campaigns. Those candidates are required to disclose more information, and their opponents are allowed to raise more money.

The court has upheld campaign finance laws meant to drive the potentially corrupting influence of large contributions out of politics. But the millionaire’s amendment, part of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, is animated by a different rationale: that of compensating for the additional financial resources available to candidates willing to spend their own money.

The law was a response to Supreme Court rulings that forbid limits on the amount that candidates can spend on their own behalf. Its purpose, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Tuesday, was to combat “the perception that the seats in our Congress are there to be bought by the wealthiest bidder.”

But that rationale, Justice Antonin Scalia said, has nothing to do with fighting corruption and should be viewed with suspicion on both constitutional and practical grounds.

“Who is more incorruptible than the millionaire, right?” Justice Scalia asked.

Now, they reported it like he meant it. Which is just freakin' amazing. Seriously, with these kind of far right-wing ideologues interpreting the laws up there, I'd suggest becoming a millionaire really quickly, or risk the inevitable journey to the new "Bushvilles" coming to a neighborhood to you in the next couple of generations.

"Who is more incorruptible than the millionaire, right?"



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