Results 1 to 27 of 27

Thread: It Could Be the End of Our Democracy as We Know It

  1. #1

    Lightbulb It Could Be the End of Our Democracy as We Know It



    [h1]It Could Be the End of Our Democracy as We Know It[/h1]
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/...as_we_know_it/

    Posted on Sep 6, 2009

    By E.J. Dionne
    President Barack Obama’s health care speech on Wednesday will be only the second most consequential political moment of the week.
    Judged by the standard of an event’s potential long-term impact on our public life, the most important will be the argument before the Supreme Court (on the same day, as it happens) about a case that, if decided wrongly, could surrender control of our democracy to corporate interests.


    This sounds melodramatic. It’s not. The court is considering eviscerating laws that have been on the books since 1907 in one case and 1947 in the other, banning direct contributions and spending by corporations in federal election campaigns. Doing so would obliterate precedents that go back two and three decades.


    The full impact of what the court could do in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has only begun to receive the attention it deserves. Even the word radical does not capture the extent to which the justices could turn our political system upside down. Will the high court use a case originally brought on a narrow issue to bring our politics back to the corruption of the Gilded Age?


    Citizens United, a conservative group, brought suit arguing that it should be exempt from the restrictions of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance law for a movie it made that was sharply critical of Hillary Clinton. The organization said it should not have to disclose who financed the film.


    Instead of deciding the case before it, the court engaged in a remarkable act of overreach. On June 29, it postponed a decision and called for new briefs and a highly unusual new hearing, which is Wednesday’s big event. The court chose to consider an issue only tangentially raised by the case. It threatens to overrule a 1990 decision that upheld the long-standing ban on corporate money in campaigns.


    I don’t have the space to cite all the precedents the court would have to set aside, going back to the Buckley campaign finance ruling of 1976, if it threw out the prohibition on corporate money. Suffice it to say that there is one member of the court who has spoken eloquently about the dangers of ignoring precedents.


    “I do think that it is a jolt to the legal system when you overrule a precedent,” he said. “Precedent plays an important role in promoting stability and evenhandedness. It is not enough—and the court has emphasized this on several occasions—it is not enough that you may think the prior decision was wrongly decided. That really doesn’t answer the question, it just poses the question.”


    This careful jurist continued: “And you do look at these other factors, like settled expectations, like the legitimacy of the court, like whether a particular precedent is workable or not, whether a precedent has been eroded by subsequent developments.”


    He learnedly cited Alexander Hamilton, who wrote in Federalist 78: “To avoid an arbitrary discretion in the judges, they need to be bound down by rules and precedents.”
    Chief Justice John Roberts, the likely swing vote in this case, was exactly right when he said these things during his 2005 confirmation hearings. If he uses his own standards, it is impossible to see how he can justify the use of “arbitrary discretion” to discard a well-established system whose construction began with the Tillman Act of 1907.



    Were the courts that set the earlier precedents “legitimate”? This ban was upheld over many years by justices of a variety of philosophical leanings. We are not talking about overturning a single decision by a bunch of activists in robes seizing a temporary court majority.
    Are the precedents “workable”? The answer is clearly yes, which is why there is absolutely no popular demand to let corporate cash loose into our politics. Our system would be less “workable” if the court abruptly changed the law.


    Has the precedent been “eroded”? Absolutely not. In case after case, no matter where particular court majorities stood on particular campaign finance provisions, the ban on corporate contributions was taken for granted. As the court stated just six years ago, Congress’ power to prohibit direct corporate and union contributions “has been firmly embedded in our law.” That’s what you call “settled expectations.”


    This case is the clearest test Justice Roberts has faced so far as to whether he meant what he said to Congress in 2005. I truly hope he passes it. If he doesn’t, he will unleash havoc in our political system and greatly undermine the legitimacy of the court he leads.

    E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is ejdionne(at)washpost.com.

    © 2009, Washington Post Writers Group

    Illustration courtesy of Adbusters



  2. Remove this section of ads by registering.
  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by CivilRadiant View Post
    [h1]It Could Be the End of Our Democracy as We Know It[/h1]
    It's like we're watch two parallel tracks of deception. First, there is the covert destruction of our form of government and our liberties, which has been viciously underway since before it started over 200 years ago. Then we have these overt "events", like this sham of a court case, that come much later and publicly tear away the system using obviously contrived theater.

    I think everyone here knows where this case is headed and what the decision will be. I would not be the least bit surprised to learn that "Citizens United" is a front group with establishment characters behind it, as this entire set of event appears contrived to begin with.

    Finally, I find Truthdig's reporting of the entire incident almost as dishonest as the entire set of contrived events, presenting the story as if we live in a democracy now where corporation don't already totally control the political process. The entire framing of this story is a sham. Who the hell is Truthdig anyway? Who is behind them?

    On edit, here is what I found at the bottom of the linked page...

    A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion. Editor, Robert Scheer.
    Bob Scheer, as in progressive journalist for The Nation and LA Times. Well, enough said. I just figured out what Truthdig is. I guess they're called Truthdig because they bury the truth.
    Last edited by InterestedParticipant; 09-09-2009 at 10:33 AM.

  4. #3
    It Could Be the End of Our Democracy as We Know It

    ...and I feel fine? Oh wait, wrong tune...

  5. #4
    These are just mild symptoms and not the main ones, this flu started when Bush/Cheney decided that investing in liberation of Iraqis/Palestinains was more important than economic prosperity and democratic freedoms at home.

  6. #5

    Huh?

    This ISN'T a democracy!!!!!! It is a Republic!!!!

    And it is already so corrupt that allowing corporations to make direct campaign contributions will only bring into the open what has already been going on since before we were born.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    This ISN'T a democracy!!!!!! It is a Republic!!!!

    And it is already so corrupt that allowing corporations to make direct campaign contributions will only bring into the open what has already been going on since before we were born.
    It's neither. I don't know what it's like to live in one of these, and I'm pretty old.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by InterestedParticipant View Post
    It's neither. I don't know what it's like to live in one of these, and I'm pretty old.
    The United States was established as a Republic, however.

    YouTube - The American Form of Government
    ----

    Ron Paul Forum's Mission Statement:

    Inspired by US Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, this site is dedicated to facilitating grassroots initiatives that aim to restore a sovereign limited constitutional Republic based on the rule of law, states' rights and individual rights. We seek to enshrine the original intent of our Founders to foster respect for private property, seek justice, provide opportunity, and to secure individual liberty for ourselves and our posterity.

  9. #8
    If the Supremes do that, then I think all purchased media advertising by any political campaigns (including referendums) should be outlawed.

    http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?t=208957

    As proposed in the thread above, campaigns should be limited to position papers and statements, debates and town hall meetings.

    These should be archived on public websites until six months after the election for losing candidates and until the candidate has been out of office for two years if he wins.

    A completely level playing field with limited government expenditure.
    Last edited by PaulaGem; 09-09-2009 at 11:45 AM.



  10. Remove this section of ads by registering.
  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    This ISN'T a democracy!!!!!! It is a Republic!!!!

    And it is already so corrupt that allowing corporations to make direct campaign contributions will only bring into the open what has already been going on since before we were born.
    It is a Democratic Republic. The participation of the people in a democratic process is something that can not be denied if we are going to protect our rights.

    There are communist republics too, remember?

  12. #10

    Premonitions of the Times

    One look at the title, and I thought, "We are not a democracy, but a republic." Then after some consideration, I realized our country wants neither. Some people claim we're a democracy, but then those same people go against it when it doesn't work in their favor (CA's Proposition 8, for example). If we are at the end of a "democracy," then we most surely are entering into a socialistic state, just in time for the red stripes to take over the white ones.
    "Then David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of Yahweh of hosts, the God of the battle lines of Israel, Whom you have reproached.'" - 1 Samuel 17:45

    "May future generations look back on our work and say that these were men and women who, in moment of great crisis, stood up to their politicians, the opinion-makers, and the Establishment, and saved their country." - Dr. Ron Paul

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulaGem View Post
    It is a Democratic Republic. The participation of the people in a democratic process is something that can not be denied if we are going to protect our rights.

    There are communist republics too, remember?
    It's hard to "protect rights" when 50% + 1 can vote your rights away.
    ----

    Ron Paul Forum's Mission Statement:

    Inspired by US Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, this site is dedicated to facilitating grassroots initiatives that aim to restore a sovereign limited constitutional Republic based on the rule of law, states' rights and individual rights. We seek to enshrine the original intent of our Founders to foster respect for private property, seek justice, provide opportunity, and to secure individual liberty for ourselves and our posterity.

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by FrankRep View Post
    It's hard to "protect rights" when 50% + 1 can vote your rights away.
    Strawman argument. The rights are constitutional and can not be voted away in that fashion.

    Our government was a well constructed ship of state. If we can keep the Republicans and Democrats from drilling holes on both sides of the keel we can keep it from sinking.

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by FrankRep View Post
    The United States was established as a Republic, however.
    We've lived in a fascist state for our entire lifetimes. I think you gotta go pre-Lincoln to get back to something that resembles what our Founders envisioned.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulaGem View Post
    Strawman argument. The rights are constitutional and can not be voted away in that fashion.
    Thank God we're a "Rule of Law" under the Constitution (Republic) rather than "Rule of the Majority" (Democracy).
    ----

    Ron Paul Forum's Mission Statement:

    Inspired by US Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, this site is dedicated to facilitating grassroots initiatives that aim to restore a sovereign limited constitutional Republic based on the rule of law, states' rights and individual rights. We seek to enshrine the original intent of our Founders to foster respect for private property, seek justice, provide opportunity, and to secure individual liberty for ourselves and our posterity.

  17. #15
    On the actual issue at hand, overturning campaign finance laws, isn't it unconstitutional for the federal government to restrict campaign contributions, either from individuals or corporations? It probably would be bad news if corporations could directly donate to or spend money in support of candidates, but them's the breaks.

    It doesn't mean a state couldn't place its own campaign finance restrictions on candidates running within the state (including Representatives and Senators). Some corporations do claim headquarters outside the U.S. so I'm not sure how those could be restricted. Also, I don't know if such restrictions could be created by states for Presidential elections (does it violate the "regulation" of interstate commerce?).
    "My pride in my country is inversely proportional to Michelle Obama's pride in her country."
    - Me

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by InterestedParticipant View Post
    We've lived in a fascist state for our entire lifetimes. I think you gotta go pre-Lincoln to get back to something that resembles what our Founders envisioned.
    I agree with you on that point.
    ----

    Ron Paul Forum's Mission Statement:

    Inspired by US Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, this site is dedicated to facilitating grassroots initiatives that aim to restore a sovereign limited constitutional Republic based on the rule of law, states' rights and individual rights. We seek to enshrine the original intent of our Founders to foster respect for private property, seek justice, provide opportunity, and to secure individual liberty for ourselves and our posterity.



  19. Remove this section of ads by registering.
  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by TastyWheat View Post
    On the actual issue at hand, overturning campaign finance laws, isn't it unconstitutional for the federal government to restrict campaign contributions, either from individuals or corporations? It probably would be bad news if corporations could directly donate to or spend money in support of candidates, but them's the breaks.

    It doesn't mean a state couldn't place its own campaign finance restrictions on candidates running within the state (including Representatives and Senators). Some corporations do claim headquarters outside the U.S. so I'm not sure how those could be restricted. Also, I don't know if such restrictions could be created by states for Presidential elections (does it violate the "regulation" of interstate commerce?).
    But outlawing "brain washing" and "marketing" techniques in the selection for candidates for federal offices would be feasible, wouldn't it?

    My God, can you imagine a campaign that could only deal with issues or face to face interaction with an opponant or the people?

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by CivilRadiant View Post
    The full impact of what the court could do in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has only begun to receive the attention it deserves. Even the word radical does not capture the extent to which the justices could turn our political system upside down. Will the high court use a case originally brought on a narrow issue to bring our politics back to the corruption of the Gilded Age?
    Damn that's chilling! The politics of the Gilded Age were horribly corrupt! The only thing that saved the nation from it was the fact that the federal government started out so small. And even so, by 1900 and the peak of the robber barons, it had grown leaps and bounds. To think of corporations gaining even more power in the current atmosphere is terrifying.

    Quote Originally Posted by TastyWheat View Post
    On the actual issue at hand, overturning campaign finance laws, isn't it unconstitutional for the federal government to restrict campaign contributions, either from individuals or corporations? It probably would be bad news if corporations could directly donate to or spend money in support of candidates, but them's the breaks.
    Who the hell said the Bill of Rights applies to things? I didn't. The Founders didn't. God didn't. Reason doesn't. What the @#$% God-given rights does a corporation have?!
    Last edited by acptulsa; 09-09-2009 at 12:43 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    You only want the freedoms that will undermine the nation and lead to the destruction of liberty.

  22. #19

    What is a civil-measure versus a legal-precedent?

    Quote Originally Posted by CivilRadiant View Post


    [h1]It Could Be the End of Our Democracy as We Know It[/h1]
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/...as_we_know_it/

    Posted on Sep 6, 2009

    By E.J. Dionne
    President Barack Obama’s health care speech on Wednesday will be only the second most consequential political moment of the week.
    Judged by the standard of an event’s potential long-term impact on our public life, the most important will be the argument before the Supreme Court (on the same day, as it happens) about a case that, if decided wrongly, could surrender control of our democracy to corporate interests.


    This sounds melodramatic. It’s not. The court is considering eviscerating laws that have been on the books since 1907 in one case and 1947 in the other, banning direct contributions and spending by corporations in federal election campaigns. Doing so would obliterate precedents that go back two and three decades.


    The full impact of what the court could do in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has only begun to receive the attention it deserves. Even the word radical does not capture the extent to which the justices could turn our political system upside down. Will the high court use a case originally brought on a narrow issue to bring our politics back to the corruption of the Gilded Age?


    Citizens United, a conservative group, brought suit arguing that it should be exempt from the restrictions of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance law for a movie it made that was sharply critical of Hillary Clinton. The organization said it should not have to disclose who financed the film.


    Instead of deciding the case before it, the court engaged in a remarkable act of overreach. On June 29, it postponed a decision and called for new briefs and a highly unusual new hearing, which is Wednesday’s big event. The court chose to consider an issue only tangentially raised by the case. It threatens to overrule a 1990 decision that upheld the long-standing ban on corporate money in campaigns.


    I don’t have the space to cite all the precedents the court would have to set aside, going back to the Buckley campaign finance ruling of 1976, if it threw out the prohibition on corporate money. Suffice it to say that there is one member of the court who has spoken eloquently about the dangers of ignoring precedents.


    “I do think that it is a jolt to the legal system when you overrule a precedent,” he said. “Precedent plays an important role in promoting stability and evenhandedness. It is not enough—and the court has emphasized this on several occasions—it is not enough that you may think the prior decision was wrongly decided. That really doesn’t answer the question, it just poses the question.”


    This careful jurist continued: “And you do look at these other factors, like settled expectations, like the legitimacy of the court, like whether a particular precedent is workable or not, whether a precedent has been eroded by subsequent developments.”


    He learnedly cited Alexander Hamilton, who wrote in Federalist 78: “To avoid an arbitrary discretion in the judges, they need to be bound down by rules and precedents.”
    Chief Justice John Roberts, the likely swing vote in this case, was exactly right when he said these things during his 2005 confirmation hearings. If he uses his own standards, it is impossible to see how he can justify the use of “arbitrary discretion” to discard a well-established system whose construction began with the Tillman Act of 1907.



    Were the courts that set the earlier precedents “legitimate”? This ban was upheld over many years by justices of a variety of philosophical leanings. We are not talking about overturning a single decision by a bunch of activists in robes seizing a temporary court majority.
    Are the precedents “workable”? The answer is clearly yes, which is why there is absolutely no popular demand to let corporate cash loose into our politics. Our system would be less “workable” if the court abruptly changed the law.


    Has the precedent been “eroded”? Absolutely not. In case after case, no matter where particular court majorities stood on particular campaign finance provisions, the ban on corporate contributions was taken for granted. As the court stated just six years ago, Congress’ power to prohibit direct corporate and union contributions “has been firmly embedded in our law.” That’s what you call “settled expectations.”


    This case is the clearest test Justice Roberts has faced so far as to whether he meant what he said to Congress in 2005. I truly hope he passes it. If he doesn’t, he will unleash havoc in our political system and greatly undermine the legitimacy of the court he leads.

    E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is ejdionne(at)washpost.com.

    © 2009, Washington Post Writers Group

    Illustration courtesy of Adbusters
    What is a can of food versus a can of worms? A can of worms lasts beyond its due date effectiveness to the extent that its contents no longer is valuable in regards to social health but instead rots to the extent that it becomes a threat to it.

  23. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by FrankRep View Post
    The United States was established as a Republic, however.

    YouTube - The American Form of Government
    our republic has become democratized, the people have more power and influence than ever, but in my opinion this is bad and is leading us to despotism, thats why the founders set up a republic in which the people had less power (electoral college chooses president which is made up of state legislatures, no direct election of senators, governors chosen by state legislatures)

  24. #21
    This country began as a Representitive Republic but has become a social democracy. Very sad really.

  25. #22

  26. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by tkubic46 View Post
    our republic has become democratized, the people have more power and influence than ever, but in my opinion this is bad and is leading us to despotism, thats why the founders set up a republic in which the people had less power (electoral college chooses president which is made up of state legislatures, no direct election of senators, governors chosen by state legislatures)

    How the hell can the republic become "democratized" when the vote is broken?

    Totally and completely impossible.

  27. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by virgil47 View Post
    This country began as a Representitive Republic but has become a social democracy. Very sad really.
    See above. No vote=no democracy.

    You're buying a false argument.



  28. Remove this section of ads by registering.
  29. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulaGem View Post
    See above. No vote=no democracy.

    You're buying a false argument.
    Perhaps you should research the meaning of Representative Republic and then do the same for Social Democracy. I'll give you a hint or two.
    In a Representative Republic everyone does not get to vote. Those who would vote must meet certain requirements in order to be allowed to vote. There were and still are very good reasons for this.
    In a Social Democracy everyone gets to vote and the majority rules, however the government has control of many of societies functions.
    The latter form of government tends to move society towards mediocrity and punishes high achievers for being successful. The former form of government drives society to achieve higher goals and rewards those that are high achievers. It also produces a government that is much smaller and less intrusive in the affairs of the citizenry.

  30. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    Who the hell said the Bill of Rights applies to things? I didn't. The Founders didn't. God didn't. Reason doesn't. What the @#$% God-given rights does a corporation have?!
    I didn't even mention the Bill of Rights. Look at Article 1, Section 8. The Congress has no say in how campaigns should be organized or funded. Campaign finance laws are under the purview of the states. Like I said though, it would be much more complicated putting restrictions on contributions to Presidential campaigns.
    "My pride in my country is inversely proportional to Michelle Obama's pride in her country."
    - Me

  31. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by virgil47 View Post
    Perhaps you should research the meaning of Representative Republic and then do the same for Social Democracy. I'll give you a hint or two.
    In a Representative Republic everyone does not get to vote. Those who would vote must meet certain requirements in order to be allowed to vote. There were and still are very good reasons for this.
    In a Social Democracy everyone gets to vote and the majority rules, however the government has control of many of societies functions.
    The latter form of government tends to move society towards mediocrity and punishes high achievers for being successful. The former form of government drives society to achieve higher goals and rewards those that are high achievers. It also produces a government that is much smaller and less intrusive in the affairs of the citizenry.
    But what we have is NO VOTE!

    How would you decide who gets to vote?

    Or are you one of those who believes that America went down hill when women got the vote?

    Who represents the people who aren't allowed to vote?

    I am not going to limit my understanding to your preconceptions either. Both phrases "Representative Republic" and "Social Democracy" are highly subjective.
    Last edited by PaulaGem; 09-10-2009 at 02:49 PM.



Similar Threads

  1. Democracy Spring: Sit in with thousands. Save democracy for millions.
    By Son_of_Liberty90 in forum Grassroots Central
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-14-2016, 09:29 PM
  2. Sharia Law = Bye Bye Democracy / Freedom Of Religion = The Destruction Of Democracy!
    By David Jeffrey Spetch in forum Peace Through Religion
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: 09-25-2015, 09:34 AM
  3. Democracy 3
    By AuH20 in forum U.S. Political News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-15-2013, 11:02 PM
  4. Democracy Now
    By Cinderskenney in forum Bad Media Reporting on Ron Paul
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-16-2008, 10:45 AM
  5. The War on Democracy
    By IrrigatedPancake in forum U.S. Political News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-24-2007, 11:37 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •