At last — after weeks of detailed analyzing, careful deliberation and creative crafting — Democratic leaders in Washington have unveiled their bold legislative response to the Supreme Court's January dictate allowing oceans of corporate campaign cash to flood America's elections.
And — ta-da! — here it is: The DISCLOSE Act (or, more fully, the "Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections" Act).
Gosh, couldn't they come up with a more cumbersome title?
More to the point, couldn't the Democrats have come up with a more proportional response to the Court's enthronement of corporate money over our people's democracy? The Court's decision is the nuclear bomb of politics, for it allows any and every corporate giant — from Wall Street to Wal-Mart — to pour unlimited sums of money directly from their massive treasuries into campaigns to elect or defeat anyone they choose.
And the Democrats' response is a disclosure bill?
Sadly, yes. The bill requires corporations and their front groups to disclose, by name, which outfit is paying for any particular campaign ad. That's good, of course, but — that's it? That's like legalizing bank robbery, as long as the robbers wear name-tags.
We can't let these pusillanimous Democrats get away with this pathetic response. It is, after all, our democracy that the Court is turning into a plutocracy. The proper response is one word: No.
Actually, make that two words: Hell no! And the way to say it so it matters is with a constitutional amendment that overturns this outrageous ruling.
The court can issue rulings, but We the People are the rulers. If sad-sack Democrats won't stand up for us, we must to do it ourselves. Connect with a nationwide coalition pushing an amendment to overrule the Court: freespeechforpeople.org.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.
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