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Though I'm not a fan of "pledges" as I feel that politicians need to uphold their pledge to the Constitution rather than to outside interests, in this political climate, we have seen how effective the "Norquist Pledge" has been in shutting down our government and keeping Obama & the Democrats from being able to strengthen the jobs situation & reforming the tax code to something more equitable for the 99%.

For that reason I propose that Occupy have it's own litmus test for candidates that claim to be for the 99%.  Occupy has been very successful in changing the discourse from one of austerity pushed by the so called "Tea Party Caucus" to one of Social, Economic & Political Justice.  Now we need to mature as a movement and turn that into political capital.  Just wanting change won't make change.  And in our society, the only was to effectively garner change is to use the system to our benefit.

Now, I understand fully that there are so many things that are wrong with our society at this juncture in history that we have not been able to come up with a "one demand" as the MSM has demanded of us.  To expect a movement that's based on Social, Economic & Political Justice to have a single demand is downright ludicrous at best.  That being said, it's fairly clear to me, and most that I have talked to over the past 7 months about Occupy that the underlying factor to being able to make lasting and serious change on the many fronts we have protested on is fairly simple.  Get money out of politics.  We cannot enact change without that one principle.  I don't care what your political persuasion is, we all want our politicians to LISTEN to the people, not the corporations.

To do that, we need to overturn Citizens United.  Senator Bernie Sanders has started on that with his proposed Constitutional Amendment stating that corporations are not people.  But that's not enough.  We also need meaningful Campaign Finance Reform that undermines the strength of the K Street Lobbyists & shadow organizations such as ALEC.  While we have been making great strides against ALEC, don't make the mistake of thinking that's enough.  There are several other shadow groups out there ready to step in when ALEC falters.

I think we need to have a pledge that states a prospective candidate will work to overturn Citizens United by working with Senator Sanders on his Constitutional Amendment.  I also feel we need to set up limits, also through a Constitutional Amendment (to bypass the clearly compromised SCOTUS) on donations & "perks" that law makers may receive from Lobbying groups. We also need them to work on forcing the MSM (Mainstream Media) to give equal time to ALL candidates, not just Republicans & Democrats.  Perhaps the only way to change how the MSM reports is to break them up using the Anti-Trust Laws that are in place.  When 6 corporations own 70%+ of all the media outlets it's the American People who suffer.

Again, I understand there's far more that needs to be done, but these steps will go a long way towards allowing us the ability to work on those other things.  Without these steps, other things will continue to be nearly impossible to work on.

Mind you, I'm not an expert on Constitutional Law, but it seems clear to me that these steps are simple common sense.    

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Comment Preferences

  •  Since it's your headline (0+ / 0-)

    the word you're looking for in this case is "its", not "it's" (= it is)

  •  pledge si amendment no (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David54, native

    Think about it, if you have the votes for an amendment, then you can overturn Buckley and progeny on an up or down vote. How do you protect legislation that abolishes private money in politics (not just corporate money)? You strip the Court of appellate jurisdiction with the exceptions clause. Too harsh? Not at all, the Court oversteps the political question doctrine invading art. 1, sec 4 and violently misinterpreting the 1st amendment to change our form of government. The Constitution pays such a court no deference. Anyway are you going to amend the Constitution every time a court lies about it? How do you get a congress that will exercise its powers and stand up to the Court? Exactly as you say, a pledge by voters to vote against any candidate who does not promise to sponsor comprehensive legislation. I invite you to review the proposed legislation at moneyouttapolitics.org.

  •  Repeal Citizens united nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Musial

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:12:03 PM PDT

    •  "Citizens United" is a court case, not a law... (0+ / 0-)

      a court case (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) or a corporate lobbyist front (http://www.citizensunited.org/) and, so, repeal is not a possibility.

      We could hope against hope to have the organization eradicated or the SCOTUS decision legislated into oblivion, or even change-up the SCOTUS and overturn the decision, but there's nothing to repeal.

      It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

      by Murphoney on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 03:50:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem with the pledge idea is that it is (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Musial, hooper, cassandracarolina, FG, native

    a formulaic solution to a complicated problem. Maybe a constitutional amendment is necessary. If so, we should hammer our pols until they comply. However, "litmus testing" and other simply and formulaic standards for our public servants are inadequate. We have a complex society with (in some cases) complex problems. We need a government that is responsive and on the ball. Capable of critical thinking. Not pols that are content just to "pass the test".
    Also, I don't think the Norquist pledge (aka Grover Grovel) has been a winner for the Republican party. I think it's about to, once and for all, take them over the cliff. I don't think we should be looking for ways to mimic the gop or the tea party.

    I'd rather have a buntle afrota-me than a frottle a bunta-me.

    by David54 on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:31:07 PM PDT

    •  if I had a hammer, (0+ / 0-)

      or a vote that counted, but a movement is a collective action that forces leadership to choose its future, either accountability or find another line of work. This is essentially an enfranchisement issue and single issue voting as with suffrage and abolition is appropriate. Either voters organize to restore their franchise or your Congress will say sorry we're too powerless, go get an amendment from the states. The amendment is already a badly compromised position.

    •  The point is this... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Musial

      The Norquist pledge did work well enough to give the Tea Party an inordinate amount of power.

      The difference between an Occupy Pledge & the Norquist Pledge is simple however, in that it would clearly be in the best interests of the 99% while the Norquist pledge gave rise to the single most wealthy caucus in the history of this nation.  

      I don't see this as mimicking as much as I see it as using an effective tool to create change.  

  •  Occupy Has No Norquist and No Billionaires (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Musial, native

    he's backing.

    The nonrightwing sometimes has less than no idea of what's going on. We look an an activist or a protest and we think to ourselves how incredibly stupid these people are, but we project them into our world where their kind of stupidity or formulaic responses would invariably crash on launch.

    Nobody cares about the activists or the protesters. There is no movement.

    There are billionaires.

    You will sign the no-tax pledge or the next nomination race a billionaire will make a million dollar ad buy and investigate the b'jesus out of your personal and recreational life.

    Occupy can't do that, even the unions can't do that on a national scale.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:41:57 PM PDT

    •  this tests whether Dems can have core values, (0+ / 0-)

      not simply on wedge issues but on issues of national interest. Jefferson's Democrats were organized against "lending institutions and moneyed corporations" that threatened "the end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution." Then Jacksonian Democrats opposed concentration of power in a national bank. Then there was Bryan and FDR, the latter closed the banks. If Dems dont get money out of politics then they have migrated to some different place, like when the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore, and were no longer the Browns.

    •  Agreed.....and that's a good thing! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Musial

      Here's the key.  Voting.  The reason that the far right, bought & paid for by the 1% wins elections is the "my vote doesn't count" meme.  This meme has been perpetuated for decades, as the 1% prefers as small of a turnout as possible, because that ensures a more malleable voting base.  

      We MUST educate ourselves and create such a massive turnout this election that the politicians & the 1% open their eyes to the fact that we, the 99% have had enough!

      You want change? GREAT!  Do the work needed to help be that change.  Voting is our responsibility.  All too many of us have been negligent in that responsibility, allowing the 1% to do whatever they wish.  

      This pledge, coupled with a record setting turnout on election day can & will create that change.  But only if we have the intestinal fortitude to make it happen.  The GOP & their masters fear an informed populace willing to exercise their Constitutional right to vote.

  •  For a pledge to have teeth, the group pushing it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Musial

    should have money it could threaten to dump into the primary. Let's start with that.

    •  Actually, at this point in time...... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG, native, Musial

      I feel that the American Public is incensed enough about the actions of the 1% that money won't play as much of a factor as one would think.

      The key however is education.  Take the time to educate as many individuals as you can, and encourage them to do the same. IF we have a turnout of say 75% (unheard of in the states, I know) then we will win.  Most Americans want equality for all, it's the fringe groups that win when there is a low turnout.  Thus it is OUR responsibility to educate & encourage as many as possible to vote, perhaps even for the first time.

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