Is This What Plutocracy Looks Like?
Must Be The Money
- GOP Declares National Victory in Wisconsin--The Nation
Scott Walker's win doesn't necessarily mean Mitt Romney will triumph in November. But it does prove that corporate money threatens American democracy.
- Wisconsin recall shows labor isn't coming back. So what's next?- The Washington Post
". . . But if you take labor's decline as a given, then another question presents itself: How do you limit the resulting corporate power over elections and legislators?"
There is nothing more frustrating to see a lot of hard work go for naught. The workers of Wisconsin had that experience when despite their efforts, Gov Scott Walker won retention.
To start with, I cannot help to think that the "Tea Party", and it's "%1" backers will have Walker make the public employee unions pay some price for their insolence. I could see "Right To Work" legislation coming to that State's legislature.
And one can see why. They likely played a big part in Walker staying in office, and Wisconsin may be a glimpse into what American elections may look like in a post Citizens United world. With corporations the same rights as citizens, save to be held criminally accountable, they will be able to spend unlimited amounts of money to advance their agenda. The type of grassroots action that brought people like the late Paul Wellstone into office may be a thing of the past. The "%1" need merely purchase as much advertising as they want.
But can this election also be a rallying point. Unions are not the only group of people that could see their power wane in the age of the "SuperPac"; women, Hispanics, homosexuals, etc, all could see their voices silenced by the "%1".
Could the solution be a "Fair Election" movement, based on getting the corporate genie that the Supreme Court unleashed at least under control? Something along the lines of the DISCLOSE Act, requiring groups to make lists of donors available would likely have broad support, except among those who fear what would happen if people knew who were being bankrolled by.
Of course this has a problem all its own. There are divisons among the opposition, many the result of the tactics of the "%1". Labor and environmental groups have often been at odds. The machismo-driven Hispanic and African-American cultures still may not fully accept the homosexual community. Can the idea that all these groups are fighting a common, corporate, enemy be enough to unite them?
Or is "Occupy" right? Is the system broken beyond repair? If that be the case then the question becomes how to replace this system with a new, more populist one. Maybe it's already too late and "USA Inc" is an inescapable reality, leaving resistance and perhaps (cyber)insurgency as the only options.