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Dan Rodricks Needs a Time Out

Brian Griffiths usually has the duty of piercing the inflated progressive pieties slapped together in a Dan Rodricks’s column. Still, I felt compelled to weigh in on Dano’s latest tantrum.

The Supreme Court ruling for freedom of speech in Citizens United v. FEC has injured the frail progressive sensibilities of the constantly outraged Rodricks.

The Supreme Court — the one George W. Bush gave us after the Supreme Court gave us George W. Bush — says anything goes: Big corporations, already in control of most of the wealth and power in the United States, can now spend as much money as they like to support their favorite political candidates.

They can sway elections of senators and representatives and presidents with their millions and billions; they can destroy candidates who don’t vote their way…

But now, the Supreme Court’s supposedly nonactivist, conservative majority has returned this influence to corporations, saying the power of money — of oodles and oodles of money — is a form of protected speech. Guys on Wall Street can start wearing spats again.

No one with a minimal understanding of human nature and money should be happy about this. That includes conservatives.But, of course, conservatives have been crowing because they know this decision will have the same result of Bush v. Gore — the election of a Republican.

Make that, the potential elections of many Republicans, and as soon as the midterm elections of 2010.

Rodricks high chair spoon-banging aside, the Supreme Court rebuking the legislative branch for failing to follow the Constitution—specifically the first amendment—is not judicial activism, rather the court fulfilling it’s first duty.

Also, note how Rodricks conveniently leaves out the fact that those notoriously right wing labor unions are also free to give as much as they want. Or is Dano going to throw a fit over the fact that SEIU has the ability to spend more than the $60 million is spent to elect Barack Obama in 2008? Not to mention all the corporate swells, who constituted the majority of Barack Obama’s campaign contributors.

However, let us once again dispel the myth that corporations are inherently “Republican” or “right wing.” This progressive nostrum has an especially long half life, mostly due to the fact that progressives have done a good job at masking their own historical love affair with big business.

Let’s remember that the spat-wearing corporate fat cats Dano whines about: the insurance industry, Big Pharma, General Electric, Goldman Sachs are the same mustache twirling robber barons lining up behind Obamacare, and cap and trade.






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