As you’ve probably heard by now, yesterday in a 5-4 decision the US Supreme Court struck down large portions of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill.
The NYT in an editorial today is not pleased, so much so they bring up the “injustice” of Bush v. Gore They write:
With a single, disastrous 5-to-4 ruling, the Supreme Court has thrust politics back to the robber-baron era of the 19th century. Disingenuously waving the flag of the First Amendment, the court’s conservative majority has paved the way for corporations to use their vast treasuries to overwhelm elections and intimidate elected officials into doing their bidding.
Have they watched the health care reform be made? Corporations and Lobby groups are already intimidating elected officials into doing their bidding. It’s hard to imagine it getting much worse, regardless of which way the Supreme Court had decided.
But they are right in the sense that corporations control politics a too much. Whether or not they have the right to contribute or spend is irrelevant; today politics is less about what is best as about what do the lobbyists approve of.
This is not a problem that financing bans will solve but only a return to virtue in our leaders. This is an important characteristic then to be considering when we cast our votes. Pretending that any ban will solve the problem, as the NYT does, simply ignores the deep-seeded nature of the problem and prevents true reform.