Friday, January 22, 2010

Elections Have Consequences


Predictably, state Republicans show where their priorities lie by already having a bill in the hopper that would change Tennessee state law, enabling them to hop aboard the corporate electioneering gravy train.

I know y'all are shocked!


In 2004 quite a few of us worked our asses off to get John Kerry elected president, not because we wanted to have a beer with him or thought he was the most enigmatic speaker or liked the way he bowled or approved of the condiments he put on his hamburgers, but because we realized larger issues were at play.

And yesterday we saw one of them. A lot of people, for whatever reason, voted for George Bush and as a result we got Samuel Alito and John Roberts on the Supreme Court. And the result of that, my dear friends, was this.

The Supreme Court went straight down the predictable ideological lines, the corporatist conservatives on the “let’s give corporations more power in our government” side and the liberals on the “Oh my God are you freaking nuts?!” side, and Anthony Kennedy being the swing vote.

Slate had a good take on the proceedings which I urge you to read, in particular this:
But you can plainly see the weariness in Stevens eyes and hear it in his voice today as he is forced to contend with a legal fiction that has come to life today, a sort of constitutional Frankenstein moment when corporate speech becomes even more compelling than the "voices of the real people" who will be drowned out. Even former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist once warned that treating corporate spending as the First Amendment equivalent of individual free speech is "to confuse metaphor with reality." Today that metaphor won a very real victory at the Supreme Court. And as a consequence some very real corporations are feeling very, very good.

Yes indeed. So just remember you voted for this. If you didn’t vote for this, and stayed home, you voted for this.

I talked to a friend from the Kerry campaign for the first time in years today. She, like the rest of us, is disgusted with the state of politics in this country. She’s on a virtual news fast and vowed never to vote again, even though she’s voted in every election of her adult life. I can’t imagine she’s serious but just in case, a gentle reminder: elections have consequences.

I know we're all frustrated with the Democrats and their flaccid approach to government. I’m done with donating money to parties and donating time to candidates. But never vote again? Nah.

Elections have consequences, people. Just think about what happened yesterday if you're tempted to sit the next Election Day out.