Two years ago this week, the SCROTUS decision in the Citizens United case handed the body politic of the USofA over to the tender mercies of the CorpoRats, by granting them 1st Amendment protections, and removing restrictions on CorpoRat spending to influence USer elections. Brave Sir Barry has dithered ever since.
IF he were TRULY desirous of combatting this political malignancy, there's AT LEAST two things Shamwow COULD HAVE DONE, AT ANY TIME in the last two years!!!--Without ANY authorization or approval from ANYBODY, and which COULD have ALREADY vitiated somewhat the poisonous toxicity of the Citizens United opinion:
1) Promulgated an executive order REQUIRING ALL and ANY corporations that do business with the government to disclose their political spending, beginning TOMORROW!We all KNOW the skeevy, jug-eared, grinning huckster WON'T do ANY of that and, since no such orders or advocacy will be forthcoming, we're stuck trying to pass an amendment, even without St. Barry's imprimatur.
And 2) he COULD have been using the presidential bully-pulpit and declared his strong support for a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics permanently and/or eliminate corporate Personhood.
The difficulties of enacting them notwithstanding, there is but one true KEY--the Holy Grail-- for such an amendment: public financing.
WHICH is the key virtue of the proposal Dennis Kucenish advanced last week. Of the several amendments in the hopper, Kucenich's appears to be the simplest: It forbids private contributions of any kind to federal elections.. Cuts right to the chase.
On another site, somebody complained: "Public financing means officially sanctioned candidates, doesn't it?"
Nah, done properly, candidates chosen this way wouldn't be "officially," but "publically!" vetted...Here's how I think it would work: think "run-offs:"
Level One: anybody who wants to run for office starts with x-dollars to spend dispensed by the state. No other funding is allowed. They use that money to get noticed, win support for their ideas. There's a vote. The top 10 advance. There's more money. There's another run-off. The top three advance. There's more money. There's a final ballot. There's a winner. It's public and transparent every step of the way!
We take the money it costs to run one carrier battle group for four years and every four years, that money is dedicated to the "presidential election project."
Every two years, we take the money it costs to support an Army division, or a bomber wing, and that goes to Congressional elections.
Other than providing for the general welfare and defending the borders, what better purpose IS THERE on which to spend our money than the selection and election of representatives who will write our laws and regulate our lives?
We can talk about what we're gonna run for when I see you at the beach...Paz! Back atcha, Winstone!