Saturday, January 23, 2010

Read This Now - A Perversion Of Democracy

If you ask me the Supreme Court's Citizen's United ruling this week is much worse than Coakley managing to run such a bad campaign that a Republican has succeeded Teddy Kennedy.

I was preparing a screed of my own but the NYT editorial board nailed this one on Friday, never before have I seen such an eloquent and damning take down of the nation's highest court. Be sure to read the whole thing...

In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens warned that the ruling not only threatens democracy but “will, I fear, do damage to this institution.” History is, indeed, likely to look harshly not only on the decision but the court that delivered it. The Citizens United ruling is likely to be viewed as a shameful bookend to Bush v. Gore. With one 5-to-4 decision, the court’s conservative majority stopped valid votes from being counted to ensure the election of a conservative president. Now a similar conservative majority has distorted the political system to ensure that Republican candidates will be at an enormous advantage in future elections.

As was pointed out somewhere out there on the internets this week, it is a shocking indictment of the state of American democracy that popularly elected leaders in both the executive and legislative branches have been hamstrung in their efforts to legislate and govern because they lack a super-duper-majority in the Senate. While in the judiciary, the branch of our government with the least oversight or responsibility to voters, a bare majority can effective demolish democracy in single vicious swoops.

For Shame.

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