Thursday, January 21, 2010

Clouds on the domestic front

A considerable quantity of liberal and progressive teeth are being gnashed in the USA this week. First - the results of the Massachusetts special election on Tuesday night - which gave the victory to Republican candidate Scott Brown. Nothing particularly remarkable about the man, from what I have heard, but the victory is particularly disturbing for progressives because:

1. It's seen as a repudiation of Obama's domestic policies.
2. Brown's victory makes passage of health care reform legislation much more difficult.
3. This happened in Massachusetts, in a special election to fill the position formerly held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. And Massachusetts is supposed to be liberal!

But - quite a few people didn't get that memo. Brown won the election decisively.

Tuesday's news was bad enough. Today's news, if anything, was worse. The Supreme Court effectively struck down a law that had limited the amount of corporate cash that could flow into elections. The US election system is already awash in corporate cash. This will just open the flood gates.

Our government was essentially owned by corporations already. I suppose this will just remove whatever fiction remains about our democracy. "The Pledge of Allegiance .... sponsored by Coca Cola and Wal-Mart."

I am an optimist, so I am hoping that an effective response will be mounted to this destructive decision by the US Supreme Court. This group is starting a petition drive to devise a legislative remedy to this very real threat to what remains of our democracy.