January 22, 2010

Supreme Court Campaign Finance Ruling

OK, to start off, it sucks. I'm not a fan of "Might is Right" (hearkening all the way back to T.H. White's "The Once and Future King") and in this world, dollars = might. Or as Mr. Orwell said, all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. And those with the money, are increasingly, wielding influence and power.

But, dammit, stop whining, lefties. Play some freaking chess here. How can we (as a political movement) counter this or use this? My ideas:

* What's good for the goose is good for the gander. There are plenty of left leaning corporations and entities (unions, of course, but I suspect we can imagine others) out there. We too can dump some money into the arena. Target vulnerable republicans the same way they will target Dems. Can we even create corporate entities with the sole purpose of wielding political power?

* Use your consumer influence. Watching the big evil corporations start to come around on things like the ecology, diversity, healthy eating, local foods, etc. is a good model. Corporations respond to the markets - and if we (as a movement) target corporations that are misusing their power, if we shine a media spotlight on what is going on, if we vote with our checkbooks, we can also wield influence. Perhaps easier with consumer companies (like Walmart or Ford) than with business-to-business (thinking Monsanto or ADM) but we can apply pressure. And watching in the tech sector how seemingly unassailable juggernauts rise and fall with technology shifts, imagine a world where the big evil corporations become obsolete through technological shifts. And then work to make that happen. Hate Monsanto's proprietary seed progams? Figure out how to make their technology as obsolete as the vinyl record or cassette tape. Buh-bye.....

Your goal for next few years: Exploit this ruling, make it work for your benefits. Create a scenario where the conservatives want to create legislation or appoint judges to countermand this ruling.

I am reminded of Jon Stewart's recent piece about losing the filibuster proof majority. "George W Bush did whatever the hell he wanted without a filibuster proof majority" was the crux of his rant, and yeah. Sometimes I think we on the left need to get a bit more aggressive and use our power a bit more confidently.....

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