Obama says court ruling a blow to democracy

By | January 23, 2010

http://xenophilia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/supreme-court1.jpgPresident Barack Obama launched an extraordinary attack on the Supreme Court on Saturday, saying a ruling on corporate donations to political campaigns this week “strikes at democracy itself.”

Obama’s broadside was triggered by a 5-4 ruling by the court’s justices on Thursday that removed long-standing campaign finance limits and allowed corporations to spend freely in campaigns for president and Congress. In the ruling, the court’s conservative majority said the limits had violated corporations’ constitutional right to free speech.

The ruling is expected to unleash a flood of money into this year’s congressional elections. Obama’s fellow Democrats face a struggle to retain control of the Congress amid voter unhappiness over double-digit unemployment, a record deficit, political gridlock in Washington and other matters.

“This ruling opens the floodgates for an unlimited amount of special interest money into our democracy,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address.

“It gives the special interest lobbyists new leverage to spend millions on advertising to persuade elected officials to vote their way — or to punish those who don’t. This ruling strikes at democracy itself,” Obama said.

via Obama says court ruling a blow to democracy | Reuters.

He’s right.  An oil droplet may make better decisions than this supreme court. Let’s replace them all with oil droplets and see if anyone notices.

5 thoughts on “Obama says court ruling a blow to democracy

  1. gavin

    The ban on corporate donations may be good policy, but the question is whether such a ban is unconstitutional. There are a lot of “bad” things that are constitutional (vitriolic name-calling of others, Che T-shirts, etc.), and a lot of “good” things that are unconstitutional (federal laws regarding domestic violence). If you think such a ban is constitutional, please provide your legal thesis therefore.

    Allowing corporations to donate does not strike the heart of democracy, though the country would be much better off if only single individuals could donate. Something that would “strike at democracy itself” would be more like standing at the polling booth with a gun or otherwise keeping people from voting.

    And Obama is a big fat hypocrite when it comes to “special interests.”

    1. Xeno Post author

      I don’t think our Founding Fathers foresaw that our country would one day be ruled by corporations with more rights than people. The checks and balances they put in place worked fairly well for a time, but corruption crept in. Surely the Declaration of Independence makes it clear that we must defend democracy by changing any system which becomes corrupt.

      “… We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

      I am the governed, and I do not give my government my consent to invade other countries, to tax my income (unless I get to say where my money goes), to jail people indefinitely without a trial, to spy on Americans, to look through our clothes with machines at airports, to lie to us about weapons of mass destruction, to kill people in poor countries by remote control, to put people in jail whose only crime is smoking pot, etc., etc., etc.

      Yes, Obama lied about closing Gitmo. That’s one example of special interests overruling safety and happiness. The fact that my country is holding people (some of them children) in military prisons indefinitely without charges (not to mention torturing some of them) definitely makes me unhappy and it makes all of us less safe because it creates more enemies of America around the world.

      No limits on corporate donations mean “We the People” will get screwed even more now. This puts the Internet and the freedoms you now enjoy at risk. For example, cable companies can now spend money to get laws passed to make you pay more for access to non commercial web sites like this one.

      This ruling could cause untold deaths because corporations only care about money. That fact will results in more unsafe drugs on the market, unsafe food and drinking water, and even crazy things like laws that allow vitamins to be sold only with a doctor’s prescription.

      Shooting people at polling booths is stupid and ineffective when entire elections can be rigged by changing the number of counted votes in the proprietary corporation owned vote counting software. See blackboxvoting.org

      1. gavin

        The Declaration of Independence, indeed, is our founding document. However, it is not our “governing document”–that is the Constitution.

        Maybe the founders didn’t foresee “corporations,” but they did foresee people joining together to express political beliefs through freedom of association and freedom of speech. How would you decide what group of people should be allowed to exercise their freedom of speech? Every group except a “corporation”?

        And if it is such a bad decision, the constitution provides a mechanism to allow a ban–by passing a constitutional amendment.

        obama is a big fat hypocrite regarding special interests by (1) forcing a healthcare mandate–why aren’t the insurance companies complaining? because they will receive 30 million new customers), and (2) he is completely beholden to unions.

      2. Xeno Post author

        I’m not against corporations having freedom of speech, I’m against them having undue influence on our lives. The will of the people is getting lost due to greed and short term thinking. People want: no war, public disclosure of results of all studies regarding food and drug safety, labels telling us what foods are GMO, and what has been irradiated, cars with better gas mileage, the ability to choose where our tax dollars are spent, and many more things that are currently being blocked by corporate interests.

  2. Marguerite

    Keep pushing and Americas people will push back. This is a war on what this nation stands for I’ll be looking into voting for the people who did not support this in my next election!

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