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Fighting the Court

February 15, 2010

People never hate the judicial system when it works in their favor.  Case-in-point?  The McCain-Feingold decision.   Conservatives (yes, conservatives) were applauding the ruling.  It seems they’re so desperate for a victory nowadays that they’ll settle for one that goes against one of their core philosophies.  Of course, this doesn’t eliminate the inherent “judges have the power to pass legislation if Congress won’t cooperate” philosophy that some liberals propound.  In fact, they seem positively furious about the manifestation of that philosophy.  All of a sudden (I know you’re shocked), Democrats have a problem with legislating from the bench:

House and Senate Democrats struck back Thursday at the Supreme Court’s decision to let corporations and unions sponsor political campaign ads, calling for tighter restrictions and more disclosure about who’s buying the spots ahead of this fall’s midterm elections.

Recipients of federal bailout money, government contractors and foreign corporations would be banned from making such campaign expenditures. CEOs of other companies paying for political ads would also have to say in each spot that he or she approved under the Democrats’ proposal.

It was the first concrete response to last month’s 5 to 4 Supreme Court ruling seen as vastly increasing the power of corporations and unions to influence federal elections and government decisions. The action freed companies and unions to spend their millions directly to sway elections for president and Congress.

Ladies and germs, this was not a policy decision.  It was indeed a good example of the scourge of judicial activism, but the Supreme Court did not “let corporations and unions sponsor political campaign ads”, nor did it “[free] companies and unions to spend their millions directly to sway elections for president and Congress”.  It prevented the Feds from regulating the way the American (and I do stress American) private sector donates to politics.  This is not subject to a “response”, nor is it subject to a “[strike] back”.  If it’s unconstitutional to prevent corporate political spending, as the highest court in America dictates, then there is no basis for preventing corporate political spending, and that includes corporations who were bailed out.  It doesn’t matter who has which incentives or what the political ramifications are.  There is no fight.  There is no Congress vs. Supreme Court.  Of course, that doesn’t matter for the Religious Party, which feels the need to push the wheel of history forward (something I shamelessly stole from Jonah), regardless of what exactly going “forward” entails.

This is not Nam, Smokey—this is bowling.  There are rules.  And we have to follow them, like it or not.  I usually reserve this for Michael Steele, but:

Shut up, Democrats.

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