Sunday, September 19, 2010

Russ Feingold: Finally, a Democrat with Some Balls!

As Congressional candidate Billy Kennedy said back in February in a Crooks & Liars live-chat, "I believe corporations should be able to participate in our elections when they can produce their birth certificates."

He was responding to a question about Citizens United v. FEC, decided by the Roberts Court in September 2009, which granted full "human citizenship" to corporations, or more specifically, the right to give unlimited contributions in favor of, or in opposition to, a candidate in a political race. Got that? Unlimited contributions.

Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) has spoken out against Citizens United as essentially "a lawless decision." Corporations are not "the same as us," Feingold said in a speech last week. "They do not have the same rights as all of us. And that decision is wrong on the law, and wrong for America, and an enormous danger for the political process."
Without naming any names, Feingold said that George W. Bush's Supreme Court nominees "came before the Judiciary Committee and promised me, under oath, that they would follow precedent, that they would be neutral umpires calling balls and strikes. Well, of course, they did the opposite."

He was talking obviously about John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Yeah, we got that.

A little history:
Said Feingold: "These people who pledged to follow precedent overturned a law signed by Teddy Roosevelt in 1907, proposed and backed by Fighting Bob La Follette. And it's been the law of the land for 100 years that corporations cannot use their treasuries to directly impact elections."

The full text of Feingold's speech can be read at the last link above.


brotherdoc said...

Philosophically the GOP has been captured by people who think like William McKinley. For you semi-literates out there, he was a Republican who very happily owed his soul to the Trusts, as they were called then--monopolies that controlled the railroads, banks, mines, and a lot of other stuff. It's really incredible that we are re-fighting Teddy Roosevelt's fight against the Special Interests. There are many reasons, including of course the American educational system (I bet 90 percent of college students could not tell you one thing TR promoted) but the big thing is what Feingold alludes to, the power of money in elections. More $ will flow into the 2010 elections than was spent in 2008, the most expensive election cycle in US history. If that money were used to help the hungry, fund green research, whatever, it would do a lot more good for the country. Instead we will get attack ads, vicious smears, and outright falsehoods, which the TV stations will charge the candidates for. Even candidates in safe seats feel they have to spend gazillions and the only ones who profit are the media conglomerates and a few advertising consultants. America's electoral system is broken and that's a good place to start looking for change. Of course McCain, who stood with Feingold for electoral reform in an earlier incarnation, now has gone over the reactionaries. Will we ever see campaign finance reform happen? Obviously not with this Supreme Court nor with our current crop of congresspersons who suck at the lobbyists' t*t so they can keep getting reelected. No wonder there are so many cynical TPers. The trouble is they are tools of the corporate establishment. People like the Koch brothers have found a new bunch of spear carriers in their battle for more money and power. As Yogi Berra would say, if TR were alive today he'd be spinning in his grave.

Anonymous said...

TR was a progressive socialist. He also happened to be a Republican. FDR was also a progressive socialist that happened to be a Democrat. They both hurt the country.

Anonymous said...

Feingold is going to have his balls cut off in November.

Same as the other democrats, if they had any.

He also ... said...

He also was the only senator to vote against the USA PATRIOT Act. And how right he was!