update on Citizens United

Glenn Greenwald doesn’t think the ruling will have as catastrophic effect on US political life, as I and many others think it will.

I’m also quite skeptical of the apocalyptic claims about how this decision will radically transform and subvert our democracy by empowering corporate control over the political process. My skepticism is due to one principal fact: I really don’t see how things can get much worse in that regard. The reality is that our political institutions are already completely beholden to and controlled by large corporate interests (Dick Durbin: “banks own” the Congress). Corporations find endless ways to circumvent current restrictions — their armies of PACs, lobbyists, media control, and revolving-door rewards flood Washington and currently ensure their stranglehold — and while this decision will make things marginally worse, I can’t imagine how it could worsen fundamentally. All of the hand-wringing sounds to me like someone expressing serious worry that a new law in North Korea will make the country more tyrannical. There’s not much room for our corporatist political system to get more corporatist. Does anyone believe that the ability of corporations to influence our political process was meaningfully limited before yesterday’s issuance of this ruling?

So while I find myself agreeing with his points on ‘free speech for one must be free speech for all’ (go read the piece to understand), I find it incredibly sad his feeling that the ruling will make little difference in America because “There’s not much room for our corporatist political system to get more corporatist. ”

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