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Citizens United was the tipping point. Our democracy is finished. We're all dead. We just don't know it yet.

In 2010, the Supreme Court condemned an entire generation to a lifetime of unelected corporate rule. Money buys power, which creates more money, which purchases more power. There is no public interest, only special interest.

As damaging as they were, the 2010 midterm elections across the House of Representatives and the legislatures were just the tip of the iceberg. The plutocrats were just beginning to take advantage of the unrestrained power to corrupt our government. In 2012, the beast will be unleashed.

Even then, with the new regime not only a year old, look at how dramatically successful the corrupt corporate candidates were across all fifty states. The next steps: evisceration of collective bargaining rights, elimination of public employees, unprecedented obstruction, the debt ceiling hostage crisis, redistricting, gerrymandering, voter suppression, and giveaways to corporate donors to concentrate even more wealth and power. Divide and conquer, as Walker promised. This is only the beginning.

In Wisconsin right now, we're starting to see how a true post-Citizens United election environment operates. Walker, based on his record, should be trailing by around 20 points. But, when you can purchase the media, when you can drown the opposition in a sea of corporate cash, his record disappears. Walker will win by around 10 points. The people will be bewildered, and make excuses. Make no mistake, that 2012 election was decided two years earlier by five men in black robes.

After Wisconsin, Democrats nationwide will regroup and try their best to win seats in the House, to preserve the Senate majority, and to re-elect the President. And we will fail. President Romney will entrench corporate rule for decades. The Republicans will pack the courts, gut financial regulations, dismantle environmental protection, destroy the safety net, funnel wealth to the top, destroy unions. One economic meltdown after another will destroy all middle class wealth. And then, after they have remade the country, they will entrench Republican rule for generations to come. The patrons who invested in buying a Republican lawmaker will receive a return many times the size of their investment. And then they will reinvest that dividend into the next election.

We will never see another Democratic president in our lifetimes after Obama. We will never see another Democratic majority in either house of Congress in any of our lifetimes. We will never see a Democratic majority on the Supreme Court for centuries. The robber barons will decide which puppets to install.

Once you reach the tipping point, the republic is lost. We reached that point in 2010, by a vote of 5 to 4, on a legal question that was not presented in the case at hand.

It's over. We're all dead. We just don't know it yet.

EDIT: Walker wins. As much as I prepared myself for this eventuality, I still had hope in a miracle. I was naive.

Originally posted to Luhks on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 07:15 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  i fear... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tcdup, penguins4peace, gfv6800

    ...that you are right. this can all be traced back to 2000 and the bush v. gore supreme court ruling. the democrats should have looked into that when they had the chance. this is what comes of always wanting to look forward. but we can't throw in the towel just yet. lets get through this election cycle first.

  •  Hmmm... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    penguins4peace, mookins

    It is troubling and I share the fear. However, history is full of examples of the people overturning their ruling classes. Question is how bad will it get before the people here are motivated to do it.

    •  Not When 45+% of the People Will Fight For Lords. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nisi Prius

      Give you something really depressing, 4 centuries after Braveheart came the last Scots Highland rebellion. It was crushed worse than Wisconsin Democrats, and the lords responded by beginning to get rid of almost all their people.

      The ones that ended up over here, many including the famous Flora MacDonald who'd spirited Bonny Prince Charlie away from English capture, fought as loyalists for the Crown.

      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 Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 07:44:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We can change things, but we have to try harder (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    katiec, mookins

    I think the recent egregious events -- financial crisis, Citizens United -- can motivate people to get more involved with government.

    I was motivated to build a website called http://the99percentvotes.com for people to propose, discuss, and vote on public policies. The hope is to establish the most popular policies and get candidates to adopt them, and thereby turn the tide toward having the government work for the people. I think it can make a big difference if it catches on, so sign up and get your friend to sign up too.

  •  I drink New Coke and drive an Edsel (5+ / 0-)

    I use Microsoft Bob to operate my computer and I saw Gigli in a theater when it first came out.

    I always follow blindly what advertising tells me to do and I am never suspicious that someone who is spending a lot of money to sell me something might be spending all that money because what they are selling me is crap.

  •  The country was no less (5+ / 0-)

    corporate-bought in the 1880's and '90's. Giving up (which is the undercurrent of this diary) would be a repudiation of both our ideals and our predecessors.

    The 'we can't win' meme needs to be crushed out. Beginning with this diary.

    Try to shout at the right buildings for a few months.

    by nickrud on Wed May 23, 2012 at 08:00:36 AM PDT

    •  centuries? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nisi Prius

      really now....

      Seniors are largely responsible for keeping Walker. Younger voters can see through the money. There is a problem, but more temporary than your screed indicates...

      "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

      by JackND on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 07:27:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, cheer up. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    durrati, penguins4peace, mookins, PaulVA

    Americans have been watching television, and television commercials, for 60-odd years now, and listening to radio ads for even longer. Few, if any, of us believe whatever we're told in an advertisement, whether political or strictly commercial. The advertisers themselves realize this, and sometimes mock their own industry for effect (see the old Joe Isuzu ads). Citizens United means, among other things, that the plutocrats can run even more of these ads. But that doesn't mean that most of us will believe their content simply because the same 30-second pack of lies ran four times during American Idol or an NFL game instead of twice.

  •  We overcame the robber barons (0+ / 0-)

    and we will overcome this.  And it will happen in my lifetime (I am closing in on 40).

  •  they're nothing w/out their talk radio monopoly (0+ / 0-)

    all their shit and alternate reality requires coordinated mobilization of made-to-order radio constituencies and the media and politicians those fake constituencies enable. their loudest unchallenged coordinated voice comes out of your local RW radio stations.

    find out at the link below if your university, or the one near you, broadcasts sports on RW radio and get them to stop. the local sponsors will leave in droves and that radio station will either have to switch programming or offer balance. that will negate the biggest advantage the right and it's money have in your community/state to swiftboat progressive candidates and causes and elect sycophant teabaggers.

    crawl out of that hole and do something.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:37:19 AM PDT

  •  It's the end (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Luhks

    of [i]a[/i] world, not the end of [i]the[/i] world.

    What I think I see in all these developments is the disintegration of Industrial Age American society and Industrial Age American government.  The part we haven't seen yet (but soon will, probably) is disintegration of the Industrial Age ruling elite, aka corporate plutocrats.

    Wisconsin demonstrates quite specifically what is true all over the U.S., which is that the working poor, working class, upper working class, and lower middle class have disintegrated as political units, as blocs with coherent and specific interests.  Maybe even the middle middle class.  In these classes it's all about saving yourself individually these days.  The collective that used to offer safety is collapsing or collapsed- in the new economic order the lower classes don't have the social purposes needed to hold together and the economic foundation has become too small to sustain life as it has been for them.

    This has consequences in government.  The Party that represented the working classes in late Agrarian and Industrial Age America was the pre-1968 form of Democratic Party, aka conservative Democrats in recent decades.  This sub-Party dominated from the 1930s until the early 1990s and has been in running decline since the 1960s.  We're down to a handful of conservaDem state governments remaining in the very backwater states (Arkansas, Kentucky, West Virginia, maybe New Mexico) that are not long for this world.  Wisconsin 2010 was a part of the conservaDem casualty list- the conservative Democrats who ran the place became paralyzed after doing minor fixes, unwilling to do either the real modernizations ('too liberal') needed for social and economic competence.  Or to do what Republicans do, which is liquidate the obsolete and weak and enable the suicide of the suicidal.  In Wisconsin and Great Lakes states generally that means attacking what remains of unions and pensions and good local government and such, unfortunately, and making it inmistakeably clear to the more capable young to migrate away to where the wealth producing industries are now.

    On the federal level the Blue Dog U.S. House Reps revived surprisingly in 2006 and 2008, only to be annihilated probably irrecoverably in 2010 and 2012.  2012 and 2014 look to be when the wave of defeat and retirements of this variety of politicians, as they run out of voters, works its way up to the Senate Democrats and the Democratic establishment around the Presidency.  The last conservaDem with great power in high federal office will probably be USSCJ Anthony Kennedy, who holds the controlling fifth vote.  When he's gone (he's 76 or 77) that will be the end of the species, probably.  Along with the social condition of 1930-1980 that formed it.

    I don't see [i]Citizens United[/i] as fatal.  It will probably be crucial in its effects in just one election- this current one.  Romney's crowd represents fully the late Industrial Age plutocrat class, notably its resource extracting form (e.g. the Koch brothers) and the selfdevouring/parasitic aspect aka vulture capitalism (Bain Capital).  The Roberts Court has enable precisely this group's rise to power with CU, licensing its dumping of money into electoral politics.

    But take a look at the results in 2012 so far- in absolute terms the game John Roberts made possible has already failed.  It hasn't been possible to discover or generate a new wave of sympathy or novel rationale or great benefit of the doubt for the plutocrats.  Everyone, and that is [i]everyone[/i], thinks of Romney and the Republican Party in purely practical, functional utility, terms.  There is no revolution in the terms of the political arena, no actually new force at work- just a force we have long noted to be at work now overtly at work and exposed.  If Romney is elected we know what we're getting and will hold him and his class responsible.  A Romney Presidency is a danger and will have costs.  But it is also a way to put the plutocrats to the test of reality, and opportunity ultimately to discredit them and see to the annihilation of their credibility and a lot of their surrogates in high office.

    People notice when some person from previously impossible class of people gets elected to high office.  It's my opinion that these are best understood not as firsts, but as lasts.  Abe Lincoln was the first, and the last, President born in a log cabin.  JFK was the first, and the last, pre-Vatican II Catholic and ethnic Irish President.  Jimmy Carter was the first, and the last, pre-Religious Right takeover Southern Baptist to be President.  The first-with-more-to-come-soon notion ensures better behavior in office, but it's not the reality.  The group is already losing distinction and its young are already blending into the mainstream when their representative gets elected.  It will be thus with Romney too, with his Mormonism and Industrial Age industry plutocrat buddy club.

    As for the electoral math, there's not much that can be done in the Great Lakes- I hate to say it, but the region is trending Republican as it gets older populationwise, slips behind socially and economically, and depopulates.  A few victories holding off trend for a couple more years would be great.  Nationally Democrats are gaining compensatory strength in the West- Arizona, Colorado,  Utah and Texas eventually.  And long the Southeastern Coast, from Virginia to Florida.  

    The math this election is, I believe, that Obama and the Democratic Party have the solid 44% who are cultural liberals of all stripes behind him nationally.  There's another 4% bloc of black voters who are definitely more conservative, but no doubt going to show up for Obama and Democrats too, bringing Obama and national Democrats up to 48%.  Romney has the 43-44% conservatives.  That leaves swing vote an ~8% bloc of voters.  Doing the math of voter turnover, these turn out to be the mostly white centrists- economic conservatives who previously always voted Democratic- who showed up an voted for Obama and Democrats in 2008, and who in part voted in all those Blue Dogs and such.  

    These centrists decided the shape of the AFA (health care reform) to the exclusion of liberals, i.e. no single payer.  And after it passed they liked it even less.  They then didn't vote for their often/mostly Blue Doggish Democratic representatives in November 2010.  I'm not sure whether they voted Republican or just stayed home or what, but the net result was that 'their' politicians got roundly annihilated.  Perhaps deservingly, but nonetheless.  

    The good news is that without these folks the Party is going to lurch more economically liberal (after the usual stupid agonizing, infighting, and footstomping and threats by remaining conservatives) and make up their numbers in 2-4 years of new voters coming in and new elections.  The bad news is that this current election is going to be decided by them.  And to them looks like a choice between the economic frying pan (more Obama) and the economic fire (Romney).  Just as it looks to us.  But they're not bound by other considerations in the ways we are.  

  •  People really shouldn't... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    white these things in the first emotional moments after a disappointment.

    Obama has been (and will be) savaged by money far more than Barrett, and the exit polls show Wisconsin will still be for him handily. Barrett simply wasn't as strong with WI Independents as Obama, and Barrett was already doomed to lose seniors by double digits. Still others simply didn't approve of the recall notion at all.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 07:33:22 PM PDT

  •  I used to smirk... (5+ / 0-)

    ...when celebs whined about leaving America because their person didn't win. I didn't think I'd find myself in their same position, but I'm seriously considering packing it in and moving to Europe. Things aren't exactly rosy there, but we're looking at becoming a third world country soon.

  •  the fact that we are disillusioned . . . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max

    means we were 'illusioned' in the first place.

  •  Yes. This is correct. Democracy is effectively (3+ / 0-)

    dead in the United States of America.

    One in four people in the United States suffers from chronic anxiety, a mood disorder, or depression—which seems to me to be a normal reaction to our march toward collective suicide. Welcome to the asylum. ~ Chris Hedges

    by Saint Jimmy on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 07:49:43 PM PDT

  •  There are ways to put the genie back in the bottle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Saint Jimmy, DRo

    Think French revolution that is one way and there are others One way is to make the life of the rich very uncomfortable. Picture this every time they leave the castle people confront them throw things at them and just plain make their lives miserables. If this goes on day after day just how long do you think it will take before they get the hint that the 99% have had there fill of there BS? Lets face it sometimes you have to play nasty to win and the stakes are very high it is our and our children and grand children future that is at risks from their greed so lets show them some tough love!!!!!!

  •  It can be restored. (0+ / 0-)

    The first thing we need to do is accept the new reality. Elections are bought and paid for before a vote is cast; they are no more real than a WWE cage fight.

    The next step, I'm not so sure about. Obviously it will involve civil disobedience and street occupation on a massive scale. I hesitate to go further, because I tend to get crazy on this subject -- think more early Malcolm X than Dr. King, if you'll allow the comparison between ordinary me and those two titans.

  •  It occured to me that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Luhks, IreGyre

    the state of the Union leaning towards an utter Coporatocracy does indeed harken back to the excesses of the 1880's and 90s. But those times did indeed pass. And the union movement took hold in America. But it was a generation's long, brutal struggle and people DIED to try to get a fairer nation and a share of the fruits of their labors.

    That's how far back the Rad Right is reaching. And it's possible that the pendulum may swing back the other way, but how heavy does the pressure have to be before the people feel compelled to rise up? But current generations hardly remember the 60s, much less the errors of the 30's, and may have only the dimmest awareness of the era of the Robber Barons. And if the Right gains firm grasp of public education, that era may be enshrined as the apex of "right and proper business practice and governance.

    The decades to come may be very uncomfortable.

    What th' heck do I know, I work for a living...

    by SamuraiArtGuy on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 08:38:28 PM PDT

    •  Keep em hypnotized on Facebook and American Idol (0+ / 0-)

      And begging for the crumbs from their overlords table, making sure they are kissing ass to get the right to beg.

      WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

      by IARXPHD on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 08:48:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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