Let the spending begin anew! Now that five of the nine justices have ruled that money is speech, and corporations are people, it’s time to start REALLY pumping some money into the coffers of the purveyors of political ads…and revive the struggling print and broadcast media!
I will remind my friends on the left, who let out a wail heard ‘round the city late yesterday morning, that this ruling applies to the crowd on Nob Hill (Wisconsin Education Association Council) as well as to the crowd on East Washington Avenue (Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce). Everybody, left or right, can spend, spend, spend!!!
It’s truly a horrible decision for the American sheeple, who have demonstrated time and again that attack ads and negative advertising works, and that they’re not capable of independently seeking the truth or validity of any candidate’s claim.
But it could be a great decision for my former colleagues in the broadcast world, because it means the political ad money will flow like never before. It was political ad money during the Presidential campaign that forestalled the first round of massive layoffs in the broadcasting world. The main burr under the saddle is that broadcasters are forced (by federal fiat) to sell their ad time to politicians at the “lowest one-time unit rate”.
In other words, the politicians made sure years ago they get the best rates for radio and TV ads.
The glut of disgustingly negative political ads we’ll see in the coming months may create enough voter backlash to toss every existing politician out of office, regardless of party affiliation, and may actually hasten the demise of broadcasting in the long run. Lots of viewers and listeners are going to be thoroughly disgusted.
Senator Feingold had a news escape out shortly after the Supremes spoke, saying “It’s important to note the decision does not affect McCain-Feingold’s soft money ban, which will continue to prevent corporate donations to the political parties from corrupting the political process. But this decision was a terrible mistake.”
Corrupting the political process? Senator, you’re kidding, right?
The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign minced no words in blasting the ruling, with a news escape which opens by saying “The narrowest of majorities on the US Supreme Court legislated from the bench today, effectively enacting a radical vision of the First Amendment and a bastardized version of democracy that has never been approved by elected representatives of the American people and strays far from the ideals spelled out so elegantly by the nation’s founders”.
It goes on to say that the ruling means public offices are commodities and elections are the marketplace where they’re bought and sold.
Personally, I’m not surprised one bit at the ruling. It’s just another example of how out of touch every branch of government - executive, legislative, judicial - is with the people.
A lot of us are awfully fed up with political business as usual, and this is just another disgusting example.
Ask the folks who just voted in the Massachusetts election about that.