We’re in Hell

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I remember it like it was yesterday.  In the fall of 1994, I was an intern for the North Carolina Democratic Party. The 1994 elections were a watershed of fear, racist projection, and ignorance. The election night parties were full of tears and slack jaws as damn near everyone went down.  I went home with my tail between my legs.

Devastated by the previous evening’s events and looking for solace I stepped into the HBCU counseling center office of my play mom, Ms. Chisholm.  A South Carolina native, she made everyone feel like family but wasn’t a stereotypical, syrupy sweet, southern Mom. She looked up and saw the newspapers I had collected announcing the Republican sweep and said gravely, “we’re in Hell.”

This week has felt like that as a veil of ignorance and fear descended over Washington in the wake of Scott Brown’s election to the United States Senate in Massachusetts.  A wake up call to be sure, it provoked some interesting reactions and farcical moments.   As the president finally located his stones and called for a broad tax on the predatory banks to recoup the trillions in bailout largess they extorted from the U.S. Treasury, the Supreme Court reversed a century of precedent and plunged the United States back into the Gilded Age of Robber Barons and monopolistic trusts.

President Obama only had a year-long window to make any kind of change and he squandered it by trying to compromise with the Republicans, the banks, and the insurance companies.  Everything from here on out will be filibustered unless Harry Reid uses reconciliation.  But even that handy little tool will be useless with the new toy the Supreme Court has given our corporate overlords.

Campaign Finance Reform, an issue I care deeply about but never discuss was front and center yesterday as the Supreme Court struck down any limits on corporate independent expenditure campaigns on free speech grounds.  They now have the power to use their general treasuries and their billions in profits to buy every friendly politician in sight or mount saturation level campaigns targeted at their political enemies.

Scared by the browning of America and the Presidency of Barack Obama, the Supreme Court finally pulled the trigger on fascism, shredded the constitution under the guise of interpreting it, and effectively destroyed our Democracy.  The Republicans will finally be able to rely on an endless tsunami of cash to fund their campaigns and elections will be nothing more than contests to see who can most effectively whore out to the corporations.

I refuse to participate in, to borrow a phrase from Keith Olbermann, a “farcical perversion.” I will finish this election season out and work for the candidates I have committed to but this is Skeptical Brotha’s last campaign.  I’m done.  I am going to do what I should have done years ago and finally learn Spanish and French.  I am going to leave this country and go somewhere that doesn’t elevate the rights of corporations over the rights of people.  I love my Momma.  I love my Daddy.  I love my family, but I refuse to stay here and be a slave on this corporate plantation.

19 thoughts on “We’re in Hell

  1. There’s still hope. Scalia is old. Perhaps Thomas will get caught in a pantry with an intern. Kennedy may retire. Alito and Roberts are young and healthy and evil. There not going anywhere. But we just need one of these fools to leave the court in the next 3-7 years.

  2. We can’t give up. The people will win. We can only be pushed so far before real change happens.

    Just because you can move to a more progressive country says nothing for the millions you will be leaving behind that can’t leave, and must suffer under the brutality of capitalism.

    • Joshua,

      I am pushing forty and I ain’t got but so much patience. Most days I am perfectly fine and full of hope for the future. Today, I feel like giving up and telling somebody how I honestly feel. My presence inside or outside of this country will not affect the “brutality of capitalism,” as you put it.

  3. “Scared by the browning of America and the Presidency of Barack Obama, the Supreme Court finally pulled the trigger on fascism, shredded the constitution under the guise of interpreting it, and effectively destroyed our Democracy.”

    (Bows head and raises right hand)

    At this point it will take a Constitutional Amendment to get out of this mess. I don’t see any other way out. As tempting as an Exodus sounds, we gotta dig in and fight and make sure this right-wing putsch gets put down ASAP.

    http://www.movetoamend.org/

    • Burroughston Broch

      Two questions, please:
      1. If “Scared by the browning of America and the Presidency of Barack Obama”, then why no strong minority opinion from the newest Justice?
      2. Why should labor unions and trial lawyer associations have the ability to fund campaigns and influence policy, but not corporations?

      • 1. Yeah, right she is going to write a scathing dissent and couch it in racial terms. That would go over very well with the Washington punditocracy.

        2. I don’t think play for pay should apply to anybody, but especially not Goldman Sachs who just announced 17 billion dollars in bonus money paid out. They also came up with 500 million for Haiti at the drop of a hat. So you can imagine how much spare change they have lying around to buy politicians.

        Two questions for you:

        1. Why aren’t right-wingers complaining about judicial activism now? What Roberts and Gang did was not only destroy precedent, but address a specific issue that wasn’t even a contested part of the original case!

        2. Why aren’t right-wingers complaining about the loss of “American soveriegnty”? Corporations have zero allegience to this country and many of them will have foreign influence buying into our political process, which is all well and good with the Felonious Five, apparently.

  4. Dannie22

    Man, that was deep. I often think the same thing myself. I should just pack up and leave. But our ancestors fought the good fight. We have to as well.

  5. Burroughston Broch

    Ernesto, thanks for your reply. As for the newest Justice, she has couched her responses in openly racial terms before, so why not now from the top? Maybe she doesn’t see this in racial terms, hard as it may be to believe. As for Goldman Sachs, do I sense a little wealth envy? I confess that I’m one for applauding performance, not trying to take its benefits away. As for buying politicians, what Goldman could spend is a drop in the bucket compared to what the unions and trial lawyers have been spending, mostly on the Dems.
    In reply to your questions,
    1. I don’t know what right-wingers think about judicial activism now, but I suspect that they are like everyone else. They applaud when they like the ruling and groan when they don’t like it.
    2. I haven’t heard about the loss of American sovereignty. With today’s economy, very few large organizations are solely based and focused in the US, so this could be a concern with trade unions and lawyers as well as corporations. For example, one large law firm where I live has eight US offices and six foreign offices. Likewise, the UAW and the SEIU have locals and members in Canada. If a politician takes a contribution from them, is this a loss of American sovereignty?

    • Once again, I am opposed to ANY group donating money to politicians to curry favors. I am not here to defend unions for doing so. In fact, I belong to a union and have been contacted several times to contribute to a PAC, and refuse to do so. I want the PAC money out of the political process, period.

      That you compare corporations and unions as being on a level playing field when it comes to fundraising makes me wonder what planet you hail from. Name one union that has even a fraction of the spare change of a Goldman Sachs. The proof of this is obvious: you don’t see any liberal agenda being enacted in the last year even with the supposedly liberal Democrats in control. You see no change at all between Obama and Bush when it comes to financial regulations for the banks that were too big to fail. You see Bernanke, Geithner and Summers, good ole Wall Street insiders still calling the shots and the system of socialized risk and privatized profit still in full effect.

      • Burroughston Broch

        Ernesto, we don’t know how much corporations will spend in political contributions, so let’s defer this until after this year’s elections. What we do know is how much the unions and the trial lawyers have contributed in time and talent, year after year. In so doing they have purchased influence in the Dem party far out of proportion to their numbers.

        I suspect that you and I are of a similar mind on this issue, just coming from different directions. I think that only individuals should be able to contribute, not corporations or unions or PACs or law firms.

        You’ll have to talk to Obama and his cadre about why his presidential actions don’t align with his campaign agenda. My guess is that he now realizes that a majority of the public does not want to see this country as a European-style social democracy. Like every politician, his top priority in his first term is re-election.

  6. Aud

    Age is not a predictor of good health or who kicks the bucket first. Keep your chin up people, one of satan’s helpers might just go quicker than we think.

  7. “In so doing they have purchased influence in the Dem party far out of proportion to their numbers.”

    Oh really… So what happened to card check? Compare what the unions got versus what the insurance companies got in the HCR bill, especially from the Senate, where most of the money goes. Again I ask, do you honestly think the unions can match ExxonMobil and Citibank dollar for dollar now?

    • Burroughston Broch

      What happened to card check? In my view, the same thing that has happened to many of the Dems legislative initiatives – the voters saw what was proposed, didn’t like it, and told their Dem elected representatives that they would be out of a job come this November if they voted for the initiatives. That’s when the Blue Dog Dems became reluctant and began digging their heels in. The trend has been accelerated since it is obvious that the President has little ability to influence an election toward an embattled Dem. Just like Massachusetts – Obama wins by 26 points in the 2008 Presidential election and Coakley loses by 5 points 14 months later. The Dems first priority is political survival.

      If what you say about ExxonMobil and Citi is true and they control things already, then why should they have to invest one additional dime? And why do you concentrate on the unions and fail to mention the trial lawyers?

      • “the voters saw what was proposed, didn’t like it, and told their Dem elected representatives that they would be out of a job come this November if they voted for the initiatives. The Dems first priority is political survival.”

        Democratic voters supported heath care and card check. Thanks to our pay-for-play legislative process money is just as important, and many times more so, than what voters want. That is why card check failed; Democrats are battling Republicans for big donations and didn’t want to offend too many big donors. That’s why meaningful health care reformed failed, too, even though the majority of Americans polled on the subject repeatedly preferred a national single payer “Medicare for All” type system enacted.

        “If what you say about ExxonMobil and Citi is true and they control things already, then why should they have to invest one additional dime?”

        They have bought off roughly 80 percent of the legislative and executive branch. Like all good monopolists, they won’t be happy until they have 100 percent control.

        “And why do you concentrate on the unions and fail to mention the trial lawyers?”

        I don’t think they should be buying influence, either. I don’t think anyone should be. Apparently you disagree, and have no problem with bribery being a part of the legislative process?

  8. ph2072

    I’m leaving in a couple months and you summed up a few of the reasons why. If you need help if you decide to leave, feel free to contact me.

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