For years, rich people were specifically targeted — singled out in a blatant attempt to prevent them from giving massive chunks of cash to politicians and policy makers. Poor and middle class folks, of course, have always been able to spend whatever they can afford to influence government policies. Thanks to the recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, that glaring inequity has been ended.
It’s a triumph for free speech. Oppressed rich people will no longer be denied their First Amendment right to pay for the campaigns of candidates who are devoted to making rich people more rich. Now rich people can play by the same rules as the poor and middle class.
This decision is cause for celebration, as John Boehner, the tangerine-colored Speaker of the House, pointed out to a group of reporters:
“You all have the freedom to write what you want to write, donors ought to have the freedom to give what they want to give. And I’m all for freedom, congratulations.”
That’s right, there’s no meaningful difference between the news media freely reporting the news and rich people giving cash to politicians. It’s the same thing! Freedom!
That sentiment is echoed by the Chairman of the Republican National Committee,
Rinse Prius Prince Rebus Reince Preibus. He called the SCOTUS decision:
“…an important first step toward restoring the voice of candidates and party committees and a vindication for all those who support robust, transparent political discourse….When free speech is allowed to flourish, our democracy is stronger.”
An important first step. Clearly, more steps are required (preferably steps taken in a pair of soft camel-skin shoes by Stefano Bemer). We still have a long way to go before the rich are able to
spend their money exercise their free speech without fear of ridicule or disrespect from jealous poor and middle class people.
Our democracy is stronger now that the rich have been liberated from the shackles placed on their
money speech. The dark days when the tyranny of the poor and middle class suppressed the free speech of the rich are almost over.
I will remind you of the words spoken by the great civil rights leader, the Reverend Martin Luther King (or the words he would have spoken if he’d been rich):
When we allow freedom to ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, rich and those other people, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual…’Free at last, free at last, thank SCOTUS Almighty, we’re free at last.’
Ah, freedom. It smells like dew-covered freshly minted silver dollars in the Spring.
Greg, you can say it like no other. This has been making my head explode for the last 24 hours.
It’s certainly one of the most wrong-headed decisions I’ve heard come from this court. It fails to recognize reality. Justice Roberts wrote there was a difference between the “quid pro quo corruption” of someone buying off a politician and “the general gratitude a candidate may feel toward those who support him or his allies, or the political access such support may afford.” He may be right, but it’s a very very very small difference.
In fact, that small difference is the reason most large metro police departments have a policy that prohibits police officers from accepting even small ‘gifts’ from small business owners. Because even small instances of favoritism can result in unequal and unfair treatment.
All hail our oligarch masters
Thank you Greg, for putting into words what I have struggled with since first hearing about this SCOTUS decision. Nicely done.
Recently, when I get calls to donate to national elections, I say that the problem isn’t too little money in politics, it’s that there’s too much. Now there will be even more. Amazing.
And you made up that Boehner quote, right?
Nope. Direct quote from Speaker Boehner. It only sounds made up.
I’m not entirely convinced the problem is money. Or even too much money. I think the problem is too much money from too few donors — which is why there needs to be donation limits. In the 2012 election, the average Obama donor contributed less than a hundred dollars; the average Romney donor contributed over a thousand dollars.
Without donation limits, the free speech of the many is drowned out by the free speech of the few.
Good point. So this issue opens a whole can of worms about equality of opportunity, which is a multi-faceted problem beyond, as you say, just money.
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