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View Diary: SCOTUS: Vermont Campaign Finance Law Is Unconstitutional (143 comments)

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  •  Money continues to poison democracy (0+ / 0-)

    Six supreme clowns once again affirm that money talks louder than people in America.  Six clowns say corporations have the same rights as people.  Six clowns ensure that America's worst political problem--money in politics--will continue to eat away at the nation's vitality, eroding further the people's faith in their own government.

    America is slowly spinning down the toilet of political tyranny towards social, economic and environmental catastrophe thanks to irrational definitions of money and corporations.  We used to have a little time to spare for these follies, but not anymore.  If we cannot cast off these evil parasites, we are doomed.

    •  Sigh. (0+ / 0-)

      It's startling how many people construe "legal entity" as "Corporations are people!!1"

      •  'Sigh' yourself (0+ / 0-)

        A corporation is not merely a "legal entity" or we would have no need for terms like "natural citizen."  Can you concede that the truth is somewhere in between the notion that the courts have made corporations "equal to" people and the notion you imply, that they are just another legal entity?

        My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

        by Major Danby on Mon Jun 26, 2006 at 12:05:21 PM PDT

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        •  Well, corporations aren't just another (0+ / 0-)

          legal entity, because not all legal entities have limited liability.

          •  There you go! (0+ / 0-)

            So if someone said

            Six clowns say corporations have the same rights as people.

            then presumably you'd agree that a fair response would be to ask whether the right at issue is one in which corporations it is fair for corporations to have the same rights, given their advantage of limited liability, as opposed to a general slam that

            It's startling how many people construe "legal entity" as "Corporations are people!!1"

            which, while true, may well do injustice to a poster who doesn't actually think that corporations have all of the same rights as people (e.g., they can't vote or marry), but who may raise a fair question as to whether the rights of corporations ought to be equal to those of natural citizens in this domain -- a question that Texas, for one, answered in the negative, to Tom Delay's dismay.

            My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

            by Major Danby on Mon Jun 26, 2006 at 01:05:55 PM PDT

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            •  So, what are you arguing? (0+ / 0-)

              That corporations shouldn't have limited liability?

              •  How could you possibly come to that conclusion (0+ / 0-)

                based on what I've written?  What I'm arguing is that you slammed the previous poster for being an ignrint idjit (!!1!) when he may have merely been a little hyperbolic.

                On your last point, if I wanted to pursue it, the question might be whether the price of limited liability is giving up other rights that are available to people, or to other legal entities, for that matter.

                My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

                by Major Danby on Mon Jun 26, 2006 at 01:28:45 PM PDT

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                •  I can't tell what you're arguing. (0+ / 0-)

                  If you read your own post, it's not very coherent. I think you had some editing problems.

                  The commenter made several statements that were positively idiotic. I responded to only one, but if you really agree with the statement that under current law corporations have the same rights as people, defend that. "Hyperbolic?" He was wrong, and gratuitously so.  

                  What other rights are given up so that investors may have limited liability? I'd like to know.

                  •  My post with the blockquotes is certainly (0+ / 0-)

                    a run-on sentence, I'll grant you that.  But editing problems?  Not that I saw.  Maybe you'll enlighten me.  Hopefully not, frankly.

                    I don't particularly want to argue with you, but if you do, here we go:

                    • You have no basis whatsoever to infer that I think that generally "under current law corporations have the same rights as people."
                    • You had scant basis to infer that the previous poster held that belief.  In the context of the post, it seemed pretty clear that he was talking about the rights of corporations to make campaign contributions, rather than their broader rights, although he was complaining about the tendency of courts all the way back to the end of the 19th century to give corporations substantial legal powers and prerogatives that are not inherently necessary for the business form to exist.  Because he did not qualify his statement, I consider it hyperbolic.  You want to take it at face value, as an unqualified assertion about the state of the world.  I think that's an uncharitable reading.  So there we differ.

                    The way that you couch the final sentence is interesting.  When you ask "what other rights are given up," you don't specify whose rights are at issue.  If you mean investors' rights, they don't give anything up, of course.  They can still donate to campaigns as individuals, no matter how many corporations they invest in.  If you mean what rights do corporations give up, this would suggest that corporations are endowed with certain rights, some of which may be "given up" to gain limited liability (which is the sine qua non of a corporation.)  So I'm afraid I don't understand your question.

                    I don't see this discussion going much of anywhere.  I'm going to go write what I think may be a much more interesting diary now, if you will excuse me.

                    My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

                    by Major Danby on Mon Jun 26, 2006 at 02:24:10 PM PDT

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    •  Money does not poison democracy. (0+ / 0-)

      Any more than voting poisons democracy. Haven't you heard the phrase 'voting with your wallet'?

      Are you trying to tell me that contributing to Lamont so he can overturn the establishment candidate is poisoning democracy?

      Money is how people can give a tangible benefit to their candidates before the election. It's silly to suggest we not be allowed to this. All it will do is muzzle the people. How on earth is that a good thing?

      We have nothing to fear in a no-holds barred exchange of ideas and advertising. Our ideas will win. Sure they can outspend us (but bear in mind the funding gab is closing as more and more progressives get involved) but no amount of window dressing is going to make one of their bad candidates look good when we can punch holes in their arguments with our own well funded adverts.

      Our only problem is if we somehow allow them to restrict what can and cannot be said - restrictions on campaign financing always benefit the rich, the powerful, the already in charge, the establishment. It works against the up and coming, the brash, the 'outside the box' fellows.

      Curtailing the flow of information via campaign financing laws is inherently undemocratic.

      And money in politics is trifling compared to the real problem we face: fraud in politics, specifically, voting fraud. We're putting the cart before the horse here: we're assuming that votes are accurately being counted and everyone who wants to vote is able too, when they aren't.

      "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." -- JFK

      by Tryptophan on Mon Jun 26, 2006 at 12:02:15 PM PDT

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