Consensus on the Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance
is that it's a win for Republicans: corporations can now spend as much as they like putting out ads for their candidates of choice. But Walter Shapiro disagrees, thinking the decision could be disastrous for just about everyone:
Its potential implications are so vast that it is misleading to merely view the Citizens United
case through a narrow partisan prism ... To use an example that Republicans might find chilling: Imagine in
the weeks before the 2012 election that the successfully bailed-out
General Motors floods the airwaves in up-for-grabs auto-making states
like Michigan, Ohio and Indiana with 30-second TV spots that begin,
"Thank you President Obama for saving jobs..." and end with the tag
line, "Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, Chevrolet and Obama."
And the broader implications? The Supreme Court may accidentally have institutionalized corruption:
The financial meltdown has given the federal government greater
sway over individual companies than at any time since the Depression --
and this kind of economic clout is likely to continue if the
Republicans regain power ... The Supreme Court has raised the potential of the
ultimate wink-and-nod political quid pro quo -- federal economic
assistance in exchange for overt corporate political support. This is a
new quasi-legal temptation awaiting any president of either party
running for re-election.
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