Thursday, May 31

Answer: His Lips Are Moving

George Eff Will, "Montana bucks the court". May 30

VINTAGE George Eff Will--but I repeat myself!--wherein the mock aristocrat's mocking sneer withers all the imaginary Liberals in his path:
Montana uses an interesting argument to justify defiance of a Supreme Court decision: Because the state is particularly prone to political corruption, it should be trusted to constrict First Amendment protections of political speech. At issue is the court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, which held, unremarkably, that Americans do not forfeit their First Amendment rights when they come together in corporate entities or labor unions to speak collectively. What do liberals consider the constitutional basis for saying otherwise?
Yes, Reader, I too descended into hours of blackest Despair on realizing there was absolutely no counter-argument to Citizens United.

So I did what I always do, and in the middle of my laudanum dream it occurred to me: Let's make the same Constitutional argument Will's Catholic Right has made against Roe. I had just managed to scribble this down when the doorbell rang, jarring me from my reverie, and I realized that "None" probably wouldn't do in this instance. Since George Eff Will is the arbiter.

Oh, let's turn it on its head, then. Suppose the inherent right to privacy was the foundation of Citizens United, and the notion of corporations as people and money as speech were at the heart of Roe. Fill in Will's subsequent arguments for yourselves.
Reasons for the Supreme Court to reconsider Citizens United are nonexistent. The ruling’s primary effect has been to give unions and incorporated nonprofit advocacy groups freedom to spend what they choose on political speech as long as they do not coordinate with candidates or campaigns. Campaign “reformers,” who advocate speech rationing, apparently regard evidence irrelevant to argument, probably because there is no evidence for their assertion that 2012 has been dominated by corporate money unleashed by Citizens United. An amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court by Sen. Mitch McConnell, Congress’s staunchest defender of the First Amendment, notes: 
Through March 31, the eight leading super PACs supporting Republican presidential candidates received contributions totaling $96,410,614. Of this, $83,220,167 (86.32 percent) came from individuals, only $13,190,447 (13.68 percent) from corporations, and only 0.81 percent from public companies. McConnell says, “Not a single one of the Fortune 100 companies has contributed a cent” to any of the eight super PACS. These facts refute such prophesied nightmares as The Post’s fear that corporate money “may now overwhelm” individuals’ contributions.
While you're at it, write your own union joke. I'm tired.

Here's a glorious thing about the modern age: one no longer has to rely on Mitch McConnell, Congress' staunchest defender of the First Amendment, for information. As of today Super Pacs have raised $218 mil and spend $115 mil. The political parties themselves, which people are still free to donate to provided they don't object to bright light, have spent $4.5 mil. Corporations, unions, and individuals have spent another $19 million. Get the picture? [Full disclosure: I don't know how much, if any, of that money has gone to George Eff Will's wife.]

Congressional aspirants in the 2010 midterms spent $1,433,017,867. That's campaign totals, not outside money. They didn't do so for the salary.
Before Citizens United removed restrictions on independent expenditures by for-profit corporations, a majority of states already had no such restrictions. Neither did they have records of distinctively bad behavior.
Good Lord. The man has a Ph.D in politics from Princeton.
Last year, Procter & Gamble, America’s largest advertiser, spent $2,949,100,000 — more than will be spent by the Obama and Romney campaigns and super PACs supporting them. The fact that more is spent to influence Americans’ choice of their detergent than of their president is as interesting as this:
Ah, yes, Corporate Advertising vs. Quadrennial campaign expenditures, another pet trope of the sort Will's been able to get away with for his entire cosseted career--he was added to This Week, chilluns, in 1981, in order to "balance" the Evil Librul Media Bias; in thirty years of America's rightward plummet no one's felt obliged to add a liberal voice to balance him--like Political Correctness, Liberal Elitism, Media Bias. And with the same cheap veneer of Truthiness: the 2008 Presidential campaigns spent $2.4 billion; anybody wanna take the Under this time?

Of course the major difference between Proctor&Gamble and our two major political parties is that the former is erroneously accused of working for Satan.

Hell, not only does this not pass the Laugh test, or the Smell test, the question is how the stench hasn't knocked every citizen of the country to his knees. There's no recognition of a corporate right to petition the government in the Constitution; corporate personhood is based on a notorious misreading of the 14th amendment, and the fact that shame alone was not enough for the current Court to rein that in is telling. It's entirely a matter of Money, and the convenience of the ruling class. That this is now celebrated by the so-called "conservative" party ought to be enough to make Will's head explode. Instead it's grounds for him to lecture "liberals" on intellectual consistency. Does P&G make eye bleach?


KWillow said...

I like to ask: "If corporations are people, why aren't they subject to all the laws most Americans are? Why aren't they prosecuted for murder when an employee is killed on the job due to hazardous conditions (See the many BP rig explosions)? Why aren't they prosecuted for Theft (see all US and many European Banks)? Why aren't they prosecuted for theft when they "buy" a weaker company, steal all its money and dump it?

and so on and so on...

Both Sides Do It said...

They don't make a specific product to fill that need but the regular stuff is quite suitable for the purpose.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could take credit but alas I read it elsewhere and I don't recall where. Anyway, it's the acronym for the conservative (extremely) wing of the Supreme Court: RATS or Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia. It kind of has a ring to it, don't you think?

Sator Arepo said...

"my laudanum dream"

Doghouse, are you holding? Hook a brother up, it's been dry as hell around here.

Anonymous said...

The day my choice of laundry detergent has an impact on the entire world and might result in the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents is the day that I'll start worrying about the size and power of P&G's advertising budget.

Li'l Innocent said...

I had just managed to scribble this down when the doorbell rang, jarring me from my reverie...

In Washington did GeorgeEff Whill
A spurious quiddity exude
Where Cash, the sacred river, ran
Through Channels measureless to...


That character from Porlock again; now he's got more to answer for.