I am often told that I am too cynical. Perhaps I am. But it is at least a possibility, I would argue, that others are not cynical enough.
Democratic Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico has introduced a constitutional amendment to counter the Roberts Court rulings which freed America's richest few to monopolize political campaigns.
The amendment would roll back the 2010 Citizens United and 2014 McCutcheon rulings by re-instituting the power of Congress to pass legislation limiting campaign contributions and expenditures.
The amendment will never gain two-thirds support in Congress, let alone approval from three quarters of the states. But the amendment will make a point. Americans, by a large majority, disapprove of Citizens United and the idea that only a handful of very rich Americans should monopolize political campaign advertising. Taking a vote in the Senate on Udall's proposal will be an object lesson on who in the Senate will stand with the majority of Americans, and who will stand on the side of the rich few.
In my opinion, there is only one first step in taking back our country from the oligarchs who control it....and that step is campaign finance reform. Taking the bribery factor, or the "beholden" factor, out of political elections should be Job One.
Some argue term limits would do the trick. Sorry, it wouldn't. If a game is rigged, changing the players doesn't really matter, does it? The game is still rigged, no matter who the players are.
Without any popular policies to offer We the People, and with changing demographics looking more and more unfavorable to the GOP, the way forward for the backward-looking Republican Party is to rely more and more on financial support from the oligarchs they serve. John Roberts and the Conservative Crew (2 out of 5 appointed by America's worst president) sympathize with the dwindling popularity of the GOP.... and rushed to help out by cherry-picking Citizens United and McCutcheon to help the Party of Lincoln, you know, stay competitive.
With the Oligarch Supremes prepared to swat down any new congressional legislation seeking to attenuate the damage being done by the egregiously disingenuous claim that "money = speech", the only recourse of the People is a constitutional amendment....and yet, a constitutional amendment will never be passed. Rock meet hard place.
Into this conundrum wades the strange man from Texas.....
Senator Cruz told his audience that Tom Udall's amendment was an effort by Democrats to "repeal the First Amendment."
“I'm telling you, I'm not making this up," Senator Ted Cruz said as the audience off screen gasped. "Sen. Chuck Schumer [D-N.Y.] has announced the Senate Democrats are scheduling a vote on a constitutional amendment to give Congress the plenary power, the unlimited authority to regulate political speech. Because elected officials have decided they don’t like it when the citizenry has the temerity to criticize what they’ve done."
Any potential threat to the rich few, who have quickly gained control of our nation's political campaign system in just the last decade, is a very serious threat to the GOP. Right on cue, Cruz brings the wackery in an attempt to confuse and mislead his audience. No doubt this coming week will bring countless repetition of Cruz's claims by oligarch-approved "journalists" and teevee anchors. A new "Democrat-scandal" will be born.
Yes, the oligarchs are winning and the People are losing. But politics in America have historically had an ebb and flow to them. It is possible.....after a decade more or so of the rich few rebuilding government in their image.....that there will come a backlash from the People. One that can't be denied or overcome by just bringing larger bags of money to an election process.
Then again.....it is possible that our once great Of the People nation will simply adapt to Oligarch Control and settle, quietly, into our new second world status.....as obedient servants of our betters.
At least that's what John Roberts....and Ted Cruz...are hoping for.
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