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Saturday, 23 January 2010 04:03

Two Supreme Court GOP Coups Bracket a Decade

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BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG

By Mark Karlin

From the presidential election stolen in December of 2000 by a 5-4 vote to the 5-4 vote in January of 2010, the decade is bracketed with a partisan Republican High Court that twice shoved the basic underpinnings of democracy -- government of the people, by the people and for the people -- into a garbage compactor and crushed our electoral rights.

BuzzFlash was one of the few progressive sites on the Internet -- and perhaps the loudest and most in your face -- when Antonin "the Fixer" Scalia stopped the 2000 recount in Florida because Al Gore would have overtaken Bush and become president.  Then SCOTUS, despite virtually all legal prognostication that it would never take the case and a contrary lower Appellate court ruling, annointed George W. Bush president by a 5-4 vote.

Fast forward just a few weeks more than a decade later, replace Rehnquist with Roberts and O'Connor with Alito, and you have the same 5-4 dynamic of right wing extremist judges trampling on the seeds of democracy by declaring that corporations can finance elections in the same way as people, building upon a pernicious concept -- that BuzzFlash has discussed for some time -- known as "corporate personhood."

Just yesterday, I discussed that the best and most accessible history of how we ended up here is in Thom Hartmann's book, "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights."

I was talking on the phone this morning with Thom, and he brought up the irony that may be prophetic that the infamous Dredd Scott decision that declared slaves to be property led to the Civil War.  Now, we have a Supreme Court decision that affirmed that corporations have, according to the GOP 5-4 vote, the same election rights as people.

Global corporations and Wall Street financial firms have become stifling, obstructive institutions that impede innovation and democracy, but they do not breathe; in fact, they suffocate.  They don't encourage or stimulate entrepeneurship and small businesses with new ideas; they crush them.

For America, it's been a decade of two Supreme Court coups that have stolen democracy and replaced it with something akin to activist right wing judicial rulings on behalf of the oligarchy that pulls the strings in D.C.

The Dredd Scott decision, as Hartmann points out, resulted in the Civil War.

Will we sit back and passively accept that corporations have the same rights to elect our government as people do?

Are corporations now to be championed by the "pro-life" zealots to boot?

It might not be time for a Civil War, but it is time for a non-violent populist revolt to restore our Constitutional rights as people and to protect ourselves from the predatory corporations that now will transparently buy their politicians in D.C.

BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG