By Manifesto Joe
Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to reject Montana's case challenging Citizens United. This could actually be a death knell for democracy in America, and something much worse than a high court strikedown of "Obamacare," which could come Thursday.
Tossing the health care law could actually work in the Democratic Party's favor, and even result in some kind of single-payer system in the foreseeable future. Well, I'll amend that to say that it could have had that effect. Since the "justices" essentially ruled yesterday that government entities can be bought by the highest bidder, even the broad public outrage that will inevitably result from a strikedown on Thursday will run up against an iron wall of corporate money.
In America, we can kiss democracy goodbye, at least for the foreseeable future. It's a plutocracy now, and there's no doubt.
I always thought things were going to have to get worse here before they can get better. Now, we're going to see them get a LOT worse, and it will probably be a generation or two before anything can really be done about it.
We saw with the Equal Rights Amendment how a very determined and well-funded minority can thwart the will of a solid majority in this country. It takes a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress to send a proposed constitutional amendment to state legislatures, and then three-fourths of the legislatures have to approve the amendment for it to become law. The Equal Rights Amendment looked like a no-brainer for a while. But it was stalled, and eventually "lost."
If the same 5-4 right-wing majority of justices votes to overturn "Obamacare" on Thursday, it would probably take a constitutional amendment to establish something to the effect of Medicare-E (Medicare for everybody).
Now, with yesterday's decision, we might as well sit back and wait for the next glacier to move through. I had high hopes for single-payer just a couple of years ago, but the corporate money will likely be too much for any groundswell in this country to defeat. Now my generation will not see single-payer, of that I'm all but certain.
Problem is, a constitutional amendment for reasonable campaign finance reform in the U.S. will have to be enacted first. Health care would have to follow, and it's going to take an enormous groundswell of public will to get rid of Citizens United first.
I'll be 56 next month, and so this probably guarantees that I'm going to be writing a blog for the losing side of American politics for the rest of my days. That takes a lot of the joy out of it. But many of us will carry on -- I've got nothing better to do with my spare time. Just get ready for at least 20 more years of The New Gilded Age.
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.