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(Talking Points Memo)   The dissent in today's campaign finance case is a biting indictment of the majority: "Taken together with Citizens United, today's decision eviscerates our Nation's campaign finance laws, [and elevates] grave problems of democratic legitimacy"   (talkingpointsmemo.com) divider line 116
    More: Followup, Citizens United, campaign financing, democratic legitimacy, U.S. Supreme Court, objections, indictments, Justice Stephen Breyer, political communication  
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1346 clicks; posted to Politics » on 02 Apr 2014 at 4:51 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-02 01:46:25 PM  
Democratic legitimacy isn't a compelling government interest, apparently.
 
2014-04-02 01:47:26 PM  
Are we still pretending that SCOTUS is non-partisan?
 
2014-04-02 01:53:47 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Are we still pretending that SCOTUS is non-partisan?



We're we ever?
 
2014-04-02 01:59:45 PM  
Well duh. Why do think those conservatives were placed there? It's the Republican long term strategy.
 
2014-04-02 02:00:09 PM  
To which Scalia replied "Yeah?... here's $100,000.00. Call someone who gives a f*ck"
 
2014-04-02 02:04:25 PM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: To which Scalia replied "Yeah?... here's $100,000.00. Call someone who gives a f*ck"


I really can't stand that man.
 
2014-04-02 02:05:07 PM  
I just watched "Inequality for All" last week.

Robert Reich clearly illustrates why income inequality is unhealthy for democracy.

And now, a week later, this happens.

I strongly suggest that those of you with Netflix hold off on season 6 of Mad Men, and watch Inequality for All, then consider what this ruling means.
 
2014-04-02 02:11:56 PM  

SilentStrider: Benevolent Misanthrope: Are we still pretending that SCOTUS is non-partisan?


We're we ever?


That's what my textbooks said, all the way up to Grade 12 American History - so at some point, yes.  We were.
 
2014-04-02 02:18:52 PM  
We're =were. Autocorrect screwing with me, apparently,
 
2014-04-02 02:28:20 PM  
This is the most perfect system of democracy ever devised. If one of the outcomes of that system in oepration is that it destroys itself then that just further demonstrates the brilliance of the framers, it doesn't mean the system isn't perfect.
 
2014-04-02 03:15:57 PM  

DamnYankees: Democratic legitimacy isn't a compelling government interest, apparently.


If the government's illegitimacy isn't widespread enough to provoke the overthrow of the government, that illegitimacy would appear to fall short of the inescapable threshold for "compelling".

"To get the attention of a large animal, be it an elephant or a bureaucracy, it helps to know what part of it feels pain. Be very sure, though, that you want its full attention." -- Kelvin Throop
 
2014-04-02 03:50:25 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Are we still pretending that SCOTUS is non-partisan?


I believe it's Supreme Court Republicans Of The United States.
 
2014-04-02 04:05:10 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: SilentStrider: Benevolent Misanthrope: Are we still pretending that SCOTUS is non-partisan?


We're we ever?

That's what my textbooks said, all the way up to Grade 12 American History - so at some point, yes.  We were.




No, we've had horrible Supreme Courts before. Dread Scott vs Sandford says as much.

Plus the court that faced FDR that prevented him from continuing some of his more liberal and popular programs. FDR wanted to put 3 more judges on the bench.

The theory is that Justices actually moderate their views and follow the law. This hasn't happened with this court.
 
2014-04-02 04:25:49 PM  
USA! USA! USA!
 
2014-04-02 04:27:27 PM  

cpw49684: US$A! US$A! US$A!


FTFY.
 
2014-04-02 04:31:55 PM  

cpw49684: USA! USA! USA!


Brought to you by Dixie Cups. When you think Dixie Cups, think Bob Lawrence for Congress.
 
2014-04-02 04:54:50 PM  
"Taken together with Citizens United v. [FEC], today's decision eviscerates our Nation's campaign finance laws,"

Right? Isn't that point? It eviscerates unconstitutional laws.
 
2014-04-02 04:56:22 PM  

lostcat: I just watched "Inequality for All" last week.

Robert Reich clearly illustrates why income inequality is unhealthy for democracy.

And now, a week later, this happens.

I strongly suggest that those of you with Netflix hold off on season 6 of Mad Men, and watch Inequality for All, then consider what this ruling means.


Michael Moore, you're drunk. Get off the keyboard.
 
2014-04-02 04:58:58 PM  
Now it'$ the be$t democratic $y$tem money can buy.
 
2014-04-02 05:00:15 PM  
Well, democracy was a fine idea...too bad it didn't work...
 
2014-04-02 05:01:37 PM  
Yes and Brown evicerated many laws.
 
2014-04-02 05:01:39 PM  
Leftist radical groups and individuals are also free to give as much money as they want to support their causes and candidates.

Both sides are bad.
 
2014-04-02 05:03:43 PM  
Is there anything short of a Constitutional Amendment that can fix this?

Is there no appeal to the notion that this shuts out regular people from the campaign/nomination processes, or is it now an unwritten SCOTUS directive that if we don't like plutarchy, we should just run our own candidates, with $.50 blackjack and rotted-teeth hookers?
 
2014-04-02 05:04:03 PM  

jigger: "Taken together with Citizens United v. [FEC], today's decision eviscerates our Nation's campaign finance laws,"

Right? Isn't that point? It eviscerates unconstitutional laws.


Correct. It was the founders vision that we become a plutocracy.
 
2014-04-02 05:05:14 PM  
I'm just a bill, sitting on Capitol Hill, until I was hung up by the gills, by a Supreme Court of shills.
 
2014-04-02 05:05:42 PM  
Honestly, since relatively small individual limits are still in place, this is a drop in the bucket compared to Citizens United.
 
2014-04-02 05:06:11 PM  

Dr Dreidel: Is there anything short of a Constitutional Amendment that can fix this?

Is there no appeal to the notion that this shuts out regular people from the campaign/nomination processes, or is it now an unwritten SCOTUS directive that if we don't like plutarchy, we should just run our own candidates, with $.50 blackjack and rotted-teeth hookers?


Not really. This is in a lot of ways the same issue as gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics; courts need to be super-sensitive to things which can affect the results of elections, because those things can create negative feedback loops which make it harder to fix through the legislative process.

The court seems to have not given two shiats about that, though.
 
2014-04-02 05:07:50 PM  
Majority opinion, to paraphrase Anatole France -

 "In its majestic equality, the law permits both rich and poor alike to donate unlimited sums to the candidates of their choice"
 
2014-04-02 05:09:29 PM  
You got your Capitalism in my Democracy!
 
2014-04-02 05:10:14 PM  

Irving Maimway: MaudlinMutantMollusk: To which Scalia replied "Yeah?... here's $100,000.00. Call someone who gives a f*ck"

I really can't stand that man.


The man is certainly not debunking the Italian-American stereotype as mafia scum, is he?
 
2014-04-02 05:10:50 PM  
Will one of the "conservative" justices please just retire/step down/pass away? Quotes because "conservative" should not mean "batshiat crazy."

I really hope Obama can appoint another justice.

*sigh*
 
2014-04-02 05:11:59 PM  
Glad they included the actual legal paperwork, those are fun to read. But why is legal stuff always so narrow? Remember that story about the kid that did the math and realized the government would save a few hundred million bucks on ink if they changed fonts -- how much money would the world save if they actually used the whole sheet of paper for legal stuff?

/and what's the deal with airline peanuts
 
2014-04-02 05:12:31 PM  

Adolf Hipster: I really hope Obama can appoint another justice.


Assuming the Senate goes to the GOP, you might want to hope they all hold on until the next President. I'd rather risk the 2016 election than worry who the hell Obama would nominate who could get through a GOP Senate.
 
2014-04-02 05:13:00 PM  
Fight fire with fire and start your own PAC!  Get yours while the gettin's good!
 
2014-04-02 05:13:15 PM  
Is there anything about prohibiting this sort of mandate?
i41.tinypic.com

The NASCAR model, where every sponsor gets added to the suit depending on the size of their sponsorship. And we need to stop calling this crap "campaign finance" it's sponsorship.
 
2014-04-02 05:13:32 PM  

DamnYankees: Dr Dreidel: Is there anything short of a Constitutional Amendment that can fix this?

Is there no appeal to the notion that this shuts out regular people from the campaign/nomination processes, or is it now an unwritten SCOTUS directive that if we don't like plutarchy, we should just run our own candidates, with $.50 blackjack and rotted-teeth hookers?

Not really. This is in a lot of ways the same issue as gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics; courts need to be super-sensitive to things which can affect the results of elections, because those things can create negative feedback loops which make it harder to fix through the legislative process.

The court seems to have not given two shiats about that, though.


Roberts notes three less restrictive alternatives that won't abridge First Amendment rights.

1. Targeted restrictions on transfers among candidates and political committees.
2. A prohibition on earmarks in PAC donations to ensure that a substantial portion of a donations isn't rerouted to a certain candidate.
3. Disclosure of contributions.

He then chuckled to himself knowing this was just Judicial rhetoric and that Congress wouldn't pass alternative 1 or 2.
 
2014-04-02 05:13:39 PM  

Scrotastic Method: Glad they included the actual legal paperwork, those are fun to read. But why is legal stuff always so narrow? Remember that story about the kid that did the math and realized the government would save a few hundred million bucks on ink if they changed fonts -- how much money would the world save if they actually used the whole sheet of paper for legal stuff?

/and what's the deal with airline peanuts


It'd be marginal.
 
2014-04-02 05:15:07 PM  
The good news is that money doesn't corrupt politicians
 
2014-04-02 05:15:36 PM  
Come on, TPM, When you need to find succor in the dissenting opinion you're pretty much putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg.
 
2014-04-02 05:21:47 PM  

Isitoveryet: Scrotastic Method: Glad they included the actual legal paperwork, those are fun to read. But why is legal stuff always so narrow? Remember that story about the kid that did the math and realized the government would save a few hundred million bucks on ink if they changed fonts -- how much money would the world save if they actually used the whole sheet of paper for legal stuff?

/and what's the deal with airline peanuts

It'd be marginal.


But justified.
 
2014-04-02 05:22:16 PM  

BillClintonsCigar: He then chuckled to himself knowing this was just Judicial rhetoric arglebargle and that Congress wouldn't pass alternative 1 or 2.


But seriously, wouldn't #1 run into the same problems? Candidates are allowed to support other candidates and issues, right? If I'm running on a "repeal Obamacare" platform, shouldn't I be allowed to donate my funds to other candidates in other races who feel the same way? (I know there are restrictions on how campaigns and PACs spend money, and that the former are heavier, but couldn't the same argument be extended?)

#2 would be alright, but it wouldn't really stop the problem, as those PACs could keep accepting billions. It also might create a scenario where we just have sub-PACs, like the "Gay-Hater Arm" of GOPAC or something - a way to direct donations to your pet issues anyway.

#3 is something they've been trying to get for a while. The money-men don't want it, the PAC people don't want it, and forced disclosures are something of a hot potato button for the GOP, what with SarbOx being the worst thing to happen to America until Benghazi got socialist healthcare all over MH380.
 
2014-04-02 05:24:14 PM  

DamnYankees: Democratic legitimacy isn't a compelling government interest, apparently.


Is ti ever?
 
2014-04-02 05:26:36 PM  

lostcat: Robert Reich clearly illustrates why income inequality is unhealthy for democracy.


As long as money is power, you can't have political equality.

And money is always power.

This isn't a new argument.
 
2014-04-02 05:27:26 PM  
Deal with it, Libtards. The 1% have upped their campaign contributions, now up yours.
 
2014-04-02 05:29:54 PM  
SCOTUS simply made the oligarchy official.
 
2014-04-02 05:34:35 PM  

elchip: Honestly, since relatively small individual limits are still in place, this is a drop in the bucket compared to Citizens United.


The small limit still in place is the part where individuals cannot give more than $2600 to any one candidate.

The other part of the limit was a total donation limit of $2600 (i.e. any one person could donate any sum of money to any candidate, but the amount of money donated to ALL candidates combined could not exceed $2600). Today's ruling eliminates that limit, and now anybody with enough money to spend can donate $2600 to Candidate A, $2600 to Candidate B, and so on.

This is on top of Citizens United, which allows unlimited and almost completely unregulated spending by SuperPACs.
 
2014-04-02 05:35:50 PM  
One of the best quotes I've heard on this case, from RNC chair Reince Priebus, who I heard say on NPR that this ruling would give his party 'access to funds needed to win an ever-expanding set of races'.

Which I thought sounded odd, since the number of Senate races every year has held steady at around 33 since 1959, and the number of house races has held steady at 435 every two years since 1913.
 
2014-04-02 05:36:36 PM  

Scrotastic Method: Glad they included the actual legal paperwork, those are fun to read. But why is legal stuff always so narrow? Remember that story about the kid that did the math and realized the government would save a few hundred million bucks on ink if they changed fonts -- how much money would the world save if they actually used the whole sheet of paper for legal stuff?

/and what's the deal with airline peanuts


Actual professionals looked at that fourth grader's science fair project and concluded it would save no money.

1. Garamond at 12pt is physically smaller than Times New Roman at 12pt.  They are not appropriate to compare, as the kid did.  Scaling Garamond up to equal size of Times New Roman severely diminishes the difference in surface area between the two.

2.  Government documents are not printed with ink.  They are usually printed with toner.  Toner is much cheaper than ink.

3.  The government rarely actually prints the physical pages, they contract with a printer who doesn't vary pricing based on "amount of toner on each page."  They pay for extra color and things, but the pricing is flat.

4.  For incredibly large scale printings (like government forms) the capital costs of tooling the printing presses far outweigh the per unit cost of paper and ink.  In those quantities the government deals with the actual commercial price of ink, which isn't horrendously inflated by HP and Canon for their cartridges.

Maybe switching everything to a suitably equally readable version of Garamond will save some money, but it certainly wouldn't be the proposed 400 million.  that would be if you or I were printing every single government piece of paper on our HP inkjet and decided to basically make the font even smaller.

That is not to say the government doesn't care about fonts.  It helped develop Clearview.


It's one of those stories that gets spread and repeated because "it feels true" and makes us feel good by confirming out beliefs:  That the government is inefficient and could be improved by simple methods.  That even a child could come up with that method.  That there exist simple solutions to problems that anyone could find.
 
2014-04-02 05:39:01 PM  
Well, it was a decent country while it lasted. RIP America.

I was wondering how long it would take for us to make those shiatty futuristic movies from 20 years ago, They Live and Running Man come true.

Try not to get killed in a food riot f folks.
 
2014-04-02 05:39:47 PM  
So hang on. As a foreigner, I could open a branch of my office in the United States and then throw unlimited cash at candidates that I want to win?

Thanks, suckers.
 
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