The Crownless Shall be King
Date: Friday 20 January 2012
Time: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Location: Federal Courts Nationwide
Call to Action
Inspired by Occupy Wall Street, Move To Amend is planning the kind of trouble that lightens the meekest of revolutionaries. The occasion: the second anniversary of the infamous Citizens United v. FEC decision!
Americans across the country are on the march, so it seems. They carry signs that say, “Corporations are NOT people! Money is NOT Speech!” And they are chanting these truths to be “self evident” across the airwaves, around the water cooler, and now, in front of the hallowed halls of the nation’s federal court houses.
If you’re a little fuzzy on the draconian details of how the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United is changing our individual and collective landscape, look no further than the spectacle of the recent Iowa caucus, the political equivalent of this season’s most unwatched reality show. While the country nestles in to a permanent malaise, a slickly polished team of presidential hopefuls exhorting wild-eyed promises and heartfelt pleas for votes, along with a traveling band of sycophants, consultants and handlers who love them, traipsed far and wide over the tundra of the American Heartland, with talk of a return to the good life in their speech, and a barrage of venomous attack ads, (financed by the super PACs, courtesy of Citizens United), in their armory.
“The real winner of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses may not be any of the Republican candidates,” wrote Steven Rosenfeld on AlterNet, “but a new political animal that is ugly, loud, anti-democratic and coming to your state in the upcoming primaries and caucuses: the super PAC.”
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 264 super PACs have been spawned for the 2012 race with almost half of the $32 million raised already spent. In Iowa, nearly $13 million was drained by super PACs, with $4.6 million funneled to Mitt Romney. And who are these well-heeled contributors to the cause of democracy? We’ll never know due to an elaborate system of reporting loopholes that protect the identities of the privileged from the scrutiny of the just. Based on the dozen outside PACs that flooded Iowa with ads, only two have disclosed their donors, hence, Iowa voters, along with those in New Hampshire and South Carolina, don’t get the pleasure of learning who is responsible for such elevated political discourse.
And the raucousness of elevated political discourse as a result of the unlimited money unleashed on American politics by the Supreme’s Court’s Citizens United decision, is now so deafening and so unabashedly hypocritical, that soon it will have all of us questioning our citizenship.
For those dispirited few who have taken up residence in a cave, the winner of the Iowa caucus was everybody’s favorite prevaricator, Mitt Romney, who never met a position he couldn’t embrace. Not surprising considering the fact that, according to the New York Times, “from December 1 until the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 45 percent of all ads airing in Iowa were directed against Newt Gingrich, who promptly lost his frontrunner status and came in fourth.” Financing for these ads was courtesy of Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Restore Our Future, a Super PAC that backs Mitt Romney.
The renowned Newt, who can cue a misty eye with the best of them, railed against the injustices of unchecked spending, claiming that the $3 million spent attacking him came from Mitt Romney’s “millionaire friends.”
But that was Iowa. Already political history. On to New Hampshire, (on and gone. As I write this in our new insta-time frame, New Hampshire ballots are in and Mitt, once again, is being declared the winner).
But a new political reality is looming. Newt, who appears to have come in at a humbling 4th (tied with Rick Perry) in New Hampshire, has adopted a different tact along the biblical lines of an eye for an eye. Did he have a change of heart? (He is a fickle fellow, after all, his wives will tell you). Or as one observer noted, has he “suddenly developed a more Zen attitude.”
What Mr. Gingrich developed is a tidy endowment of $5 million from the Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a fine upstanding practitioner of predatory capitalism. What is more rapacious than a casino? With the tables turned, pun intended, Gingrich is now attacking Romney in a high-stakes, Vegas style, winner-take-all extravaganza that is sure to warm the cockles of the most calcified hearts and enrich the vaults of broadcasters across America.
The pro-Gingrich Winning Our Future Super PAC is peddling a Hollywood crafted heart-stopping tear-jerker entitled “The King of Bain.” A three star, four-hanky, Lifetime Original, this sentimentally overwrought anti-Mitt melodrama attempts, with nary a hint at subtlety, to draw a distinction between the kind of capitalism that makes America great, and the kind of unconscionable plundering that Mr. Romney practiced in his heyday at Bain Capital—i.e. predatory “corporate raiding” at the expense of vulnerable companies and their workers. It is hilariously shameless, but not so funny at what it portends.
I know only too well how the tedium of the times is leaving us all feeling a bit undone. A little fragile, a lot afraid. After all, how can one marvel at Bach’s Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, or relish the near decadent pleasures of a silky-smooth pistachio cream, when treachery, disparity and wanton money-grubbing abounds. It’s enough to send an aesthete on a murderous rampage. Why not a calm and quietly subdued one day protest at the nearest Federal courthouse instead?
Move to Amend Occupy the Courts will be occupying all the Federal courthouses across the country, including the high priestess herself, the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday, January 20. For the sake of those you love, for a country you hardly recognize, for a future you think lost, be there.
Think of all the positive rhythms you will be sending through the cosmos and to each other. For just this one day, Move to Amend volunteers across the USA will lead the charge on the judiciary which created — and continues to expand — corporate personhood rights. It’s an outrage against every person with a soul, a heart, a birth certificate.
“From the ashes
a fire shall be woken,
a light from the shadows
renewed shall be blade
that was broken,
Scales of Justice (Getty Images)
“Justice,” From ceiling of the Stanza della Segnatura (Getty Images)
Statue of lady liberty holding the scales of justice (Getty Images)
Quote:The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien