THE BLOG

Party Time

Apr 03, 2014 | Updated Jun 03, 2014

I, a yoga neophyte, was surprised when invited to recall a recent feeling or emotion I didn't much like. "Disgust" leaped to mind, as it did yesterday on hearing the Supreme Court's McCutcheon ruling.

But my instructor did not stop with naming nasties. She reminded us that we choose how we respond. So when yesterday's "disgust" gave way to "depressed", I recognized how much of my own power that gives away and chose instead "energized."

We can, with joy and pleasure, take on the smugly rich and their now-assured flood of lies and deceptions. They hope to overwhelm us with propaganda. Instead, I think I'll make a joyful noise. I'll do whatever's necessary in the coming 215 days to dam (damn) and reverse the rich guys' coming deluge of filth (sewers, anyone?).

What a potentially revolutionary way to address the solemn nonsense that got foisted on us by The Supremes in Citizens United and yesterday by McCutcheon (an Alabama coal baron, by the way) v. Federal Election Commission (FEC):

"Ingratiation and access . . . are not corruption." Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm'n, 558 U. S. 310, 360 (2010).

Really? What then would "corruption" look like? Does the quid pro quo actually have to be sex-for-money or is money-for-much-more-money sufficient?

Any regulation must instead target what we have called "quid pro quo" corruption or its appearance. See id., at 359. That Latin phrase captures the notion of a direct exchange of an official act for money. See McCormick v. United States, 500 U. S. 257, 266 (1991). "The hallmark of corruption is the financial quid pro quo: dollars for political favors." Federal Election Comm'n v. National Conservative Political Action Comm., 470 U.S. 480, 497 (1985).

Who are they kidding? "Dollars for political favors" is precisely what this decision further enables. This is not a rational decision. It is a rationalization of the decision they wanted to make. It is fully consistent with the Koch's agenda. The five justices who voted for this travesty are now legally certified Koch-heads. Like the Republican Party, they truly believe that things go better with Koch.

This decision combined with Citizens United unambiguously gives corporations sovereign power in the United States. UNLESS ...

Each of us finds joy and satisfaction in our own, genuine personhood. Each of us uses our resources (influence, money, imagination, whatever) to take power back. Each of us rejects the dystopian, mercantilist nihilism of the 5 Supremes and the Republican Party. Each of us asserts the rights and privileges and responsibilities of citizens. Each of us finds and expresses the joy of "life, liberty and the pursuit of ..." Koch-heads. Remember, they want us to suffer. If they want to suffer, fine. I'll pass. Changing the game can actually be fun.

  • Item 1 is Democratic control of the House and of the Senate (meaning filibuster-proof 60+ senators). [Though sometimes ethically challenged, the Democrats have not yet fallen beneath redemption.]
  • Item 2 is an amendment to the Constitution which defines a "person" as a natural person. Corporate Frankensteins are specifically excluded.

Let the party begin.