February 10, 2010

No Longer The Outrage Of The Week

To Nick Gillespie's three points, I would add a few more:
  • Do you really have any doubt that in the 2008 elections, big corporations didn't figure out a way to funnel big money to both Presidential candidates? What were 527 groups if not a way for corporations to sneak around McCain-Feingold?
  • There was never any ban on "issue ads" which in practice have just as much influence on elections as regular commercials do.
  • If you really think that it's a bad thing that "corporations are legally people," and therefore entitled to Constitutional rights, then aren't you suggesting that a corporation's office may be raided by the police without probable cause or the issuance of a search warrant? Or that the government might condemn the corporation's place of business without bothering to so much as write a check to pay for the property it has taken? That doesn't strike you as somehow wrong? And when I say "corporation" in this context, I don't want you thinking about Wal-Mart or Microsoft, I want you thinking about the mom-and-pop business down the street from your house -- a business that you probably like and support, and which probably is (or at least ought to be) incorporated for the benefit of its closely-held owners.
  • If you support the stunt of running a corporation for public office, 1) don't you think the voters are smart enough to figure out whether they want a corporation to be elected, and 2) isn't that really running the corporation's President for office because that's the person who will discharge the public duties? Let's think about how a corporation is controlled -- its shareholders elect directors, who then set broad corporate policy and appoint officers, and the officers then discharge those policies by acting as agents of the corporate entity. In practice, the shareholders of a corporation hold indirect democratic control of how the corporation acts -- which exactly describes the relationship of a citizen to the government in a representative democracy.

Besides, the Constitution says what it says whether it's good policy or not.  And given the nature of Federal politics that pre-existed this case, I find it easy to predict that Citizens United will have no discernable effect on any future Federal election.

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