Citizenship Annihilated

The Citizens United decision and its application joining together and heightening disgust with and alienation from multiple central institutions of republican democracy – Supreme Court, the “free” media, popular elections – with some prospect of contaminating the entire political-ideological superstructure <-> triumph of our self-consciously most ardent patriots.

Put differently:  The ideal brought to the level of purity necessary for it to be negated by any contact with the actual – the anti-matter of originalism meeting the matter of 2012 America.

Filed under “Contempt Of Court”, Vampires et al, and the Iron Laws of Historical Irony, too!

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Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution. 

3 comments on “Citizenship Annihilated

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  1. You know if McCain had raised 750 million and Obama had abided by the limits, then there might be a point, but that campaign showed one was a sucker for following the rules, from AIG to Washington Mutual, including unverified transactions
    from ‘Mickey Mouse’, Obama bought the kind of air superiority, only available to a fleet of Colonial Marine dreadnoughts.

  2. You seem to be saying, Don Miguel, that CU would be justified as some kind of payback vs Obama. If so, wouldn’t that mark the Supremes as even more politicized rather than “supreme”? If Obama somehow shares some of the blame, that doesn’t make the decision any better and certainly doesn’t make the system itself any sounder.

    I’m not convinced, yet, that the campaign contributions actually will have a great effect on outcomes at least on the presidential level, but they can help to alienate the potential electorate even further, and not just from electioneering narrowly. I don’t know whether it’s more symbol than substance at this point – a country in the fourth year of a financial crisis giving even more of a voice to the super-wealthy. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it doesn’t matter because nothing that the system can produce can matter in the way that it would matter if it mattered.

  3. Scalia, has always warned, really don’t ask us to decide something, unless it is absolutely necessary, CU was about a polemic film about that ephemera that was Hillary, that could not be shown within 60 days of a campaign, we know who all the players are behind the PACs, Mitten’s wall street minions, vs, most Adelson’s one man show, one might argue that one was more irresponsible than the other, and on the other side, you have the likes of Maher funding Campaign Priorities or some such thing.

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TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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