Hot Air

Why Vote?

So, what’s the diff. between the Dems and the Republicans again?

You’ve heard this Q. many times. I’ve even wrassled with it myself a time or two. A quick glance at the last three presidencies — Bill Clinton’s, George W. Bush’s, and Barack Obama’s — might lead a common citizen to think they’d all three come from the same college fraternity, the one that also funneled dozens and dozens of future capos into the Goldman Sachs mob.

There’s a lot of truth in that assessment. But there exists a greater truth, and here’s proof:

Clinton & Obama: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor

Bush II: John Roberts, Samuel Alito

Yep, those are the US Supreme Court nominees of the last thee presidents. Justices selected by Clinton and Obama voted in the minority against yesterday’s Court’s decision (Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action) to uphold Michigan’s voter ban on racial quotas in college admissions. (Breyer, it should be noted, uncharacteristically joined the majority in Schuette.)

The Clinton/Obama gang also voted in the minority against

McCutcheon v. the Federal Election Commission: Removed limits on how much money individuals can contribute to candidates or political action committees in in campaign cycle.

Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission: Corporations and other special interest organizations may contribute as much as they like to coandidates and political action committees in any given campaign cycle. This decision produced, as a byproduct, the concept of “corporate personhood.” It also led to the idea that a corporation’s money is the moral and legal equivalent to an individual’s free speech.

Shelby County v. Holder: The section of the Voting Rights Act allowing the federal government to monitor the voting rules of states that had previously allowed slavery and, later, had instituted Jim Crow laws was dismantled. This decision was immediately followed by several states enacting stringent voting restrictions.

The current majority in the Supreme Court also includes Saint Ronald Reagan’s boys, Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia, as well as Pappy Bush’s nominee, Clarence Thomas.

Buttons

So, what can we glean? This: The conservative-dominated Supreme Court believes that the wealthy should have greater sway in the electoral process and that blacks are on their own, even in the face of long-standing, institutionalized prejudices and legal impediments.

Sorry if I sound didactic here today but the pressure’s on. It’s an election year — an off-year election, to be sure, but all 435 seats in the US House of Representatives are up for grabs. I don’t know what’s so off about that other than voters in this holy land usually don’t give a damn about non-presidential elections.

Conceivably, putative next prez, Hillary Clinton, could be forced to work with both a Senate and and a House dominated by Me Party-ists, Right Wingnuts, regressivists, Birchers, crytpto-racists, and the odd moderate Republican who somehow manages to slip through.

Good luck, Hillary, on getting a Supreme Court nominee through that thicket.

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