Monday, October 11, 2010

The Supreme Court opens markets

E.J. Dionne, lamenting the escalated corruption of our politics triggered by the Citizens United decision, begins by implicitly questioning why Wall Street and so many business interests are gunning for Obama:

The 2010 election is turning into a class war. The wealthy and the powerful started it.

This is a strange development. President Obama, after all, has been working overtime to save capitalism. Wall Street is doing just fine and the rich are getting richer again. The financial reform bill passed by Congress was moderate, not radical.

Nonetheless, corporations and affluent individuals are pouring tens of millions of dollars into attack ads aimed almost exclusively at Democrats.
Dionne doesn't bother to ask why -- he focuses on the how, i.e. the new freedom to anonymously donate unlimited amounts of cash to groups deploying political ads. But as to why, as noted here once before, Bill Clinton explained succinctly to Taylor Branch in 1995:
"Bluntly, said the president, the difference between the two political parties is that the Democrats sell access and the Republicans sell control. 'Businesspeople know a bargain when they see one,' Clinton observed. 'They'd' rather have the control, and they're willing to pay a premium for it'"(The Clinton Tapes, p. 280).

Needless to say, the Supreme Court has made control a lot easier to buy.

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