RIP Democracy

When the Supreme Court handed down the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which granted corporations, unions, and nonprofits the latitude to donate freely to political campaigns and thus effectively bankroll federal elections, I grimly mused: "It is not hyperbole to say this decision is paving the way for America to become a fully-fledged corporatocracy, which, depending on your perspective, is a sibling to fascism or a version of it. ...This decision further diminishes any voice that isn't backed with a fuckload of money. Someday, we may look back on this day and realize it was the day our democracy died."

Last night, three-term Democrat and stalwart progressive Russ Feingold (Wisconsin) lost his US Senate seat. And even the conservative Wall Street Journal notes the terrible irony that Feingold, who co-authored the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation that made accepting and making unlimited soft money contributions a federal crime, was defeated by a Republican opponent on whose behalf outside groups spent nearly $3 million.
A WaPo analysis shows 92 percent of the outside spending has supported the Republican. The impact has been obvious: The Wesleyan Media Project said there have been more commercials about the Senate race in Wisconsin than in any state outside Nevada.

"I've always been a target in this stuff," Feingold said during a recent campaign stop. "And this year, I'm getting the full dose: over $2 million in these ads [criticizing him] that used to not be legal."

Trevor Potter, a former FEC chairman who was the attorney for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaigns, said there was already a "boatload of spending" by corporate interests in elections before Citizens United. But the ruling made clear that there were no legal obstacles to their participation, he said. "Citizens United put a Supreme Court Good-Housekeeping-seal-of-approval on corporations being allowed in elections."
The untold story of this election is that the Tea Partiers are nothing but useful tools for corporate interests and conservative billionaires. It's just the Moral Majority/Religious Right/Conservative Christian and other alliterative religious euphemisms repackaged for an era in which Jesus isn't playing in Peoria like he used to.

The same damn ignorant fools who never stopped to question the economic wisdom of voting for a Republican because of kissing boys are now not stopping to question the economic wisdom of voting for a Republican because the Muslim Socialist Obama wants to give them more of the government entitlements they actually really like but don't want anyone else to have because BOOTSTRAPS!

And the hilaritragic thing is that this story will go untold because of another terrible, terrible decision: The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, which opened the floodgates for partisan, for-profit nooz, ownership of which was consolidated under huge corporate monopolies who now pour money into the elections covered by their media branches. Gold.

Meanwhile, most USians probably can't tell you what the fuck the Fairness Doctrine or Citizens United even are, despite their being the two key turning-points in turning this flawed-but-great democratic republic into a giant sweatshop to line the pockets of Garbage Corp.

RIP Democracy. It was nice knowin' ya.

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