In America’s extremely divisive political atmosphere, one that informs there are really two separate Americas, it is remarkable indeed that Americans on both sides of the political spectrum agree on at least one very important issue. One segment of the population pants for, and avidly supports, theocratic government, widespread poverty, white racial purity, and perpetual war against everyone, and yet curiously, even the inhumane religious bigot voting bloc (Republicans) that retain power due to corporate money believes there is just too much money, especially corporate money, in politics. For Republican politicians though, and their funding machine the Koch brothers, there can never be enough money to buy control of state and federal government.
Subsequently, after at least two Supreme Court Justices commingled, conspired, and colluded with the Koch brothers and an entity (Citizens United) over how to get more corporate money in politics, the High Court ruled for the Koch brothers, Citizens United, and now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The now-infamous Citizens United ruling fundamentally put control of America’s government up for sale to the highest bidder and no human being in America, except maybe the Koch brothers, was happier than Mitch McConnell.
Earlier this month, the media was relatively silent about a ruling in Washington that was likely the second worst day of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s 35-year political life. Nearly a year ago at a ‘secret’ Koch brother strategy meeting for billionaires buying shares in the Koch venture to control of the United States government, McConnell complained mercilessly that he was forced to vote on foolish things like minimum wage and unemployment insurance, and to get retribution against Democrats and satisfy the Koch brothers he pledged to “go after” and abolish most of the federal government, if not “all of it.” Of course Mitch thanked the Koch brothers for their support because without it McConnell and Republicans could not complete the task at hand. McConnell also shared an intimate, poignant moment regarding a personal tragedy he said was the “worst day of his 35-year political life; the day George W. Bush signed the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation into law.”
Now, if that was the worst day of his political life, a unanimous (11-0) ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington must be a close second. The Appellate Court ruled that the ban on federal campaign contributions by individuals who contract with the government is constitutional. The takeaway from the ruling, besides putting a damper on McConnell’s political life, is that regardless the push by the Koch-Republicans and two horrendous rulings by Koch acolytes on the Supreme Court, 11 appellate judges firmly believe there is too much money in politics and that more “can be a very bad thing.” Mitch McConnell believes otherwise despite polling after polling revealing that an overwhelming 85 percent of Americans believe that political campaign financing needs at the very least “fundamental changes,” or better yet “a complete overhaul.” However, Republicans have an innate following the will of the people, or the Constitution for that matter, and in that spirit McConnell and Republicans are conniving to gut more from campaign finance laws to expedite the Koch brothers’ purchase and control of state and federal government.
After the 1974 Watergate scandal, Congress passed a law establishing limits on how much money people could give and how much politicians could spend on their campaigns; it also “mandated” disclosure to ensure that regular citizens could “follow the money.” The High Court eviscerated 1974 law immediately by eliminating campaign spending limits in Buckley v. Valeo; that ruling started the “fundraising arms race” the wealthy are winning and to ensure total victory, the Koch Supreme Court wiped out the rest of Buckley, and Citizens United and McCutcheon v. FEC allowed corporations to spend unlimited money directly and voided individual aggregate contribution limits; all in the name of “freedom of speech.” Apparently, the High Court’s Koch surrogates ruled according to the phrase “money talks,” and since the Kochs and corporations have lots of money, they get lots of “free speech” to buy government.
Despite the Koch Court wiping out campaign finance regulations, there was one particular rule that Mitch McConnell was unable to eliminate last year. McConnell waited until the eleventh hour of a must pass spending bill to insert a provision that “relaxed” campaign finance coordination between candidates and political parties. Having failed to enact a provision that would consolidate power within party committees that raise money for House and Senate candidates, McConnell snuck the same “campaign finance reform” in the completely unrelated fiscal 2016 Financial Services spending bill due by this Friday. McConnell, and the Koch brothers, lust to enact into law, abolish more campaign finance regulations before the 2016 general election season fully gets underway. Apparently the Kochs, who are rumored to have pledged upwards of a billion dollars to buy all three branches of government, want all campaign finance regulations abolished to buy the government in 2016 and end their costly crusade to own America. With an owned and operated acolyte like McConnell, who also wants campaign finance rules eliminated, the Kochs are closing in on their vision of America without campaign finance regulations to hasten achieving their bigger goal of abolishing the Federal Elections Commission along with free and fair elections. It is exactly what a fascist dictator would do and a means for the Koch brothers to repay Republican Mitch McConnell with the greatest day of his 35-year political life.
Although the Appellate Court’s ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court for the Koch brothers to overturn with extreme “free speech” prejudice, it was encouraging that eleven federal judges unanimously decided that there can be too much money in politics. However, that hopefulness has to be tempered with despair that the ruling did not, in any conceivable way, threaten Citizens United or the Kochs’ progress in buying government. It just temporarily kept in place the ban on federal campaign contributions “by individuals” who contract with the government; there is no ban on companies, corporations, the Koch brothers, oil industry, Wall Street, and defense industry, or Republicans would cease to exist as a political power and Mitch McConnell would know what “the worst day of his political life” really feels like.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.