Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Citizens United: Oh Dear. It Wasn't Supposed To Be Like THIS!

So Much For "Activist Judges"

Under the American Constitutional design of the process, laws originate in the law making branch of the three part government -- the legislature.  The Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court made quite a departure from this more traditional idea, ironically, a departure often lamented previously by the most reactionary voices in that very same legislature.

It was essentially a "perfect storm" for the "up is down" folks who will say and do practically anything to keep their base aflame.  After lamenting for decades about Supreme Court "activist judges" making incendiary decisions which undercut legislative extraction schemes, the reactionary corporatists have now turned the tables.  Literally out of the blue, a tedious First Amendment case which began with a Citizens United dirt video about Hillary Clinton was transformed into a nightmarish decision in the hands of the high court.

There were plenty of other things about the Citizens United ruling which were equally troubling.

For starters, there was no precedent.  The ruling was not a mere "adjustment" to some sort of legislative gaffe or ambiguous decision of the past.  In fact, most of the scope of the final decision was never even particularly an element of the case.  In fact, the fundamentals of the ruling were virgin; they had never been before the Court in any similar, recognizable form whatsoever.

It was a dreamy "wish list" sort of pay back which had never seen the light of day beyond the drunken fantasies of ruthlessly power hungry media corporatists.  Chief Justice Roberts and his Supreme cronies scrounged up enough bold judicial backbone to take the odds for such an over reach.  

This gang was even prepared to be satisfied with a temporary victory which would last only long enough for a more reasoned legislature to officially vaporize their momentary hubris.  The corporatists could accomplish a great deal with their new freedom under Citizens United cover if it could be sustained just long enough.  Both the billionaires and the Supreme Cronies decided that the oligarchy's time table for the complete economic take over of all power was close enough to fruition.  Albeit risky, the stakes were sky high, but the moment for action had arrived.

Unanticipated Consequences

Almost immediately from the time of the decision through the subsequent months the predictable tsunami of anti-Obama "creative art work" emerged.  Every sort of bizarre imagery from outright falsehood to laughable fiction, each one lubricated with almost endless corporate resources, rushed onto the already smelly "fact fog" of the corporate media swamp.  The only subtle part of the show was the total absence of a single name in the "paid for" credits.

The menu of the moment is ANYTHING -- especially if it's already dead. (image source)
 Viewing Citizens United in the hard light of day.

Everything was rolling along "roses, simply roses" until the oligarchs realized that this snake could crawl up hill just as easily as it could crawl downhill.  When the anticipations of "the night of long knives" materialized into the very sharp fangs of a grotesque clutch of desperate GOP Primary candidates, it was the equivalent of a UPS same day delivery of ammo to a circular firing squad.

The Romney gang dismembered Newt in a week with a multi-million dollar "history lesson" about the Speaker during the Iowa caucus.  Gingrich, never one to slink out of a fight, counter attacked, trimming the low hanging fruit off the Romney bandwagon in New Hampshire before the band could even catch up.  Worse, the Gingrich gang had already contracted a smell factory in Las Vegas to finance a 30 minute "infomercial" [http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_politics/2012/01/gingrich-super-pacs-anti-romney-film-features-florida-company.html] about the ground up corpses left in the wake of the Massachusetts governor's corporate "rendering plant," Bain Capital.

There were plenty of other examples, too, but those attacks were funded less than the really bloody ones financed by the big boys. As usual, the Republicans made their traditional misperception error.  The damage was coming from their records, not from media manipulation.

Darn.  All of this was supposed to be happening to the President.

"Not my doing.  The out-of-control 'gangs' did it all."  

But, who were the "gangs?"

Thanks to Citizens United all these miscreant "sore losers" walked away from the mud fest absolutely unsoiled.  "Unsoiled?"  Let's just say, "Largely unsoiled."  A tiny majority of the Republican Primary voters [less than half of the Republican base has a high school diploma] were discerning enough to begin to place blame -- even in the cognitive confusion of a well engineered, media induced "evidentiary vacuum."

The "gangs" were super PACS's [political action committees] where heavy weight oligarchs could offer up vast, raw cash to promote their personal agendas.  We can see the visible fervor of such efforts by simply looking back at the Iowa caucus.

In a race with no -- absolutely none, = 0, not a one -- delegate votes in the Republican Convention, the eager beavers among the cash laden billionaires ponied up tens of millions of dollars from their respective super PAC's -- on all sides.  The "crush Newt" operation was funded with millions.  Later, the "crush Mitt" operation was funded with even more millions.

The Roberts' decision for his corporate masters contained a single, lingering sort of toothless "limit" on the freedom it granted.  The caveat?  There could be no direct association with the products of Citizens United money and the candidate they were supporting.   Amid the tearful accusations, the comedy began with each of the benefactors claiming total ignorance of -- and control over -- the actions of his PAC's.

Lasting, Irreversible, Intuitive Brand Damage

Granted, the "hearts and minds" of the Republican base are distressingly akin to the lumps of coal Santa places in the Christmas stockings of bad children, but there is still the remnant of the now road weary GOPCon talking point claims about "smaller government," "lower taxes," "family values," "less borrowing" and the like.

Before the Democrats have even scratched the little crosses in the ends of their cartridges and rubbed them with garlic, the GOPCons are literally tearing each other to shreds like a team of Komodo dragons salivating over a rotting hippopotamus somewhere in the jungle.  Republicans have recently had a real problem with thinking ahead, and the embarrassing frenzy of this latest bunch is no exception.

Sure, all this blood letting may deliver a state or two in the Primary, but what's left in those "hearts and minds" for the General election has been permanently tarnished.  Whatever candidate they select after this torturous process will still have the baggage these Citizen United attacks nailed to his back in Iowa, South Carolina or elsewhere.

As for the all important Independent voters, they are horrified.

MeanMesa is feeling better about the 2012 everyday.

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