Last Friday, we ran a piece on the The Democracy for All Amendment. This wasn’t the first time we’ve touched on Citizens United and its impact on our politics and policies; we ran a piece back in January proposing that our Congressthings wear the logos of their “sponsors” at all public engagements and while conducting the business of politics. But, last Friday’s post was especially timely, considering that a procedural vote was scheduled for Monday.
We pointed out the inherent flaws in the bill that went before the Senate, especially when compared to HJ Res 29, which is a comprehensive resolution introduced at the behest of the grassroots organization Move to Amend. First of all, the bill didn’t address transparency in the campaign contribution process. Secondly, it was designed to be passed with a companion bill, The People’s Rights Amendment, that defined the legal status of a corporation as far as constitutional rights went. We questioned whether the two bills instead of the one all-encompassing bill strategy was a smokescreen – pass one and we’d be so happy that one got through that we won’t notice that the other’s going nowhere, when both are needed the way that they’re written.
Monday’s procedural vote almost gave us reason to be hopeful; the Senate voted 79-18 to let it advance to the floor. However, then the corporate and big money spin machine went to work, and we heard such absurdities as a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United was an attempt to repeal the First Amendment. Our favorite psychopath from Texas, Ted Cruz, went as far as to claim “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels could be thrown in jail if the amendment passed, as according to him, the amendment would outlaw political speech by corporations. Of course, Teddy knows it does nothing like that at all; yet that and other such absurdities were spouted as gospel by those on the right to ramp up the paranoia among their followers. Then came yesterday’s vote.
We hoped that we would be wrong in our prediction of what would happen, but alas, it was not to be. In a completely partisan voice, the Senate voted 54-42 to pass this amendment. However, since this is the modern Senate where everything besides confirmation of nominees to various posts requires 60 votes to pass instead of a simple majority, the bill won’t go forward to the House. Once again, the Republicans in the Senate paid more heed to the corporations putting lobbyist money in their pockets than to listen to the American people.
We could not help but note this vote was taken on 9-11, when most media outlets would be paying very little attention to what the Senate was doing. So, once again, while we were distracted, our elected officials did their utmost to screw we the people out of having any say in our government.
So, what can we do? Is it game over – have they won? Absolutely not!
Be an active participant in the process, and not a passive watcher. Get involved with Move to Amend. Let your Congressthings in both the House and Senate know that you’re watching; remind them that they work for you, and not the other way around. Get out and vote in November. Just do it.
America’s future generations will thank you…