Who doesn’t like being right?

On September 27, I said , speaking of my brother in law:

I often call him in distress over such essential things as the Supreme Court and how it’s about to legitimize corporate control of the political life of this nation.

32 responses to “Who doesn’t like being right?

  1. I’m brushing through an audiobook on “the nine” by jeffrey toobin here (cnn, new yorker) – there’s been a lot of politics in high court through the decades, even open activism.
    f.ex. bush v. gore in 2000 left a lot of wounds in that institution. and the one last week? it’s game over.
    tom friedman writes about davos in the nytimes today – how world leaders and businesspeople are starting to avoid the united states – because it’s “political unstable” and unreliable. economic collapse and disfunctional government. this all happened waaaay to fast..


    • I read that book a while back and enjoyed it a lot. I hear Sandra Day O’Connor is kind of upset about this latest ruling. Kind of shame she voted as she did in Bush v Gore; had she not, this latest wouldn’t ever have even gotten in front of the Court.


      • I think she was on cnn the other day, regretting the ruling. In a very discrete fine-print lawyer manner. And maybe prediciting a backlash very soon.
        One of the few good things here is that corporate ads are very visible, more than lobbies and backdoor deals, so we’ll see the consequences already this summer. And mostly everyone is watching out for this.
        the joke of individual rights for companies.. I want this to go away!


        • When the first ‘transparency’ laws came into being, a bunch of non profit watchdogs popped up to do the good work and track the numbers etc. And they still do, but most people pay no attention. Most people dont think about this stuff till it’s time to vote – and by then they’ve been affected by all the advertising htey’ve been exposed to.

          I’m terrified.


  2. I see you too bought into the lies told by Obama and other enemies of America, Moe.

    Tell me, what do you think Citizens Unitedactually achieved or did?


    • The case released corporations (all kinds) from regulations that up till now confined them to donations to candidates and PAC’s. And lobby shops of course and advocacy groups.

      But there were limits; regulations were in place to say when and where. And that’s what’s gone.

      They may now, say, run their own commercials supporting candidates by name. What makes that very undemocratic is the amounts of money that could be involved. That’s not restricted.
      Companies that make profits in the hundreds of billions can outspend every advocacy and/or non profit corp in the country and they can take down any candidate they want to.

      And that’s a very bad thing.


    • Haven’t seen you in a while jonolan. Welcome back.


      • Moe,

        All the can do is run ads, movies (the core of the case), whatever. They still can’t donate anymore than they already could. Also, the unions and non-profits have the same rights.

        Before the ruling the laws were so broadly worded that companies had to seek permission before airing anything that might be considered violation before doing so. That constitutes Prior Restraint on speech.

        The ruling is a bit scary and I’m not fond of it, but my research shows that it was the constitutionally correct ruling.

        Disallowing incorporated entities constitutional protections opens the door for a lot more problems than allowing them such.


  3. Jonolan: You sell our president short. And he does not hate america. You know, it is amazing to me how Right Wingers always cry, “America Hater!” I am a Socially Moderate, Far, Far Left (far more than Obama) Winger, and if I did not love America as much as I did, I would not be “Far, Far anything”. I do not presume to speak for Moe, but she is a Liberal, and I have no doubt, based on the nature of her posts, that she REALLY loves America. Also, when did Obama blatantly lie? Prove it! Moe: 🙂 I apologize, I just hate it when people spout off, and question people’s patriotism, just for not sharing their worldview. Anyway, when Obama called down The SCOTUS in his SOU, I was searching the face of Sotomayor, who was sitting next to the “not true” idiot, for some sort of expression to indicate how she feels on the matter. I have not been able to find how she voted, would you happen to know?


    • Well, we know she was one of the four in the five/four decision. What I don’t know is what ech of them ‘joined in’ or dissented from. I think Stevens wrote the opinion for the minority. Try SCOTUSBLOG.COM – they no doubt have the details.


    • First, I’ll start with Obama’s lie – direct from his SOTU address:

      With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections. I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.

      As Justice Alito said, that’s “simply not true.” Obama’s statement was nothing but another of his lies, half-truths, and ambiguities aimed at gaining populist support for his agenda and his 2nd term in office (Gods forfend!).

      As for the idea that any Leftist can love America – that’s laughable! All the ideals – at a minimum of insofar as how things should be accomplished – of the Left are contrary to the principles upon which America was founded.

      A person cannot love America if they want to change its fundamental nature.


      • So Pino, if I understand you correctly, you have determined that the political position you occupy and share with conservatives or libertarians or whatever is the true American position? And that others are not American because they don’t agree with you?

        Why do we even have a Supreme Court? If our Constitution didn’t need constant interpretation, we’d have no need of their deliberations or decisions. If we had only one political philosophy we’d have descended into something quite different than representative democracy hundreds of years ago. This country wouldn’t in the least resemble the one we live in today.

        We’d never have had political parties – which would have saved the Federalists and Republicans a lot of trouble in 1800, when Jefferson and Adams were battling it out for what each believed to be ‘the future of the Republic”. They saw America very differently and they were present at the creation.

        To say that the opposition is un-American is simply nonsense.


        • Opposition is not necessarily un-American, Mamacita. 😉 Trying to impose ideologies contrary to what America was founded upon is so though.

          Is a Socialist or Communist an American? Do they love America? No and No. The same holds true for a Nazi or a Theocrat. They’re all believers in things that are antithetical to America and the values it was founded upon.

          Then we get into the groups of people who “interpret” the Constitution, most often to further their own agendas and without concern for the precedents they’re setting or the rights they’re trampling upon.

          If a decision is the constitutionally correct one, then it is good law insofar as any decision by the SCOTUS is concerned.


          • [If a decision is the constitutionally correct one, then it is good law insofar as any decision by the SCOTUS is concerned.]

            I guess you’re saying the law is the law, which I totally respect. We are, after all, a nation of laws, not of men.

            That being said however, we have overturned laws forever, deciding that the earlier decision was wrong. And those changes come because of push back, because dissenters force the issue. That’s the way our system works.

            If we don’t stand for the right for Americans to dissent, we don’t stand for anything. Communists and Theocrats may not love America, but they are Americans. And we have survived very well for a few hundred years in spite of their noise – although communists never gained any kind of power or influence here. Theocrats cerrtainly did and as you know fought fiercely at the beginning to make us a ‘Christian’ nation.

            What we do here is what the country does. And that, my friend, is the best of worlds as long as we protect this right.


            • The law is the law, yes. That’s not quite what I was saying though. What I was saying was that any SCOTUS decision that is grounded in Constitution is the right decision for them to make, even when the consequences of such a decision are inconvenient.

              As an example: I’m not fond of their ruling that non-Citizens are entitled to constitutional rights, but that was the right decision for them to render based upon the ideals of our constitution.

              As for who is and who isn’t American, that comes down to whether you think being American is nothing other than an accident of birth or not. I believe that requires a certain mindset as opposed to mere geography.

              “I need to ask, do you consider loudly decrying the Supreme Court decision to mean ‘trying to impose an ideology’? And if so, what is the ideology?”

              No really, Moe. It’s the problem with threaded comments; some of my response was more to Typical Texan.

              As for who is the final arbiter of what it means to be American? I’d say our forefathers and the founders of this country who, while in disagreement on some things, agreed that Liberty must be maintained at the expense of nearly everything else.


          • Also, when you say

            [Trying to impose ideologies contrary to what America was founded upon is (un-American).]

            I need to ask, do you consider loudly decrying the Supreme Court decision to mean ‘trying to impose an ideology’? And if so, what is the ideology?

            And again, who has the final ultimate definition of what America was founded on?


  4. Pino – I actually don’t disagree with you about the constitutional part – on that basis, even some of the big liberal scholars agree. They say this was correct law, according to our precedent.

    But that doesn’t make it good law. Now that corps can spend independently in their own names, they can squash non profits and other advocacy groups.

    And yeah, we don’t know how this will play out. Talkandpolitics said above that the perhaps the visibility might work against them. Like you said, we’ll see.

    Off shore corps are already creating US subsidiaries if they didn’t already have them . . . and they’ll have their candidates too.

    Given the age of the five justices who voted for this, I don’t think it gets overturned anytime soon. And I dont think congress will fix it – they can’t fix anything.


  5. Jonolan: You are wrong. Since you said that those who seek to change The Constitution hate america, and THEN assert that being born in America does not make one an American, when The Constitution says otherwise, makes you a colossal hypocrite! Your handle should be, “Typical Neocon”! Also, Communists do not love America? Well, I hold to several of Karl Marx’s principles, and I love America. Oh, and America is not a piece of land with imaginary lines, between Mexico and Canada. Neither is it merely a System of Laws. America is…The People! Yes! America is about people! And THAT is what Leftist/Humanist ideology is all about. I could reasonably conclude, that if the Conservative/Right Wingers truly loved America like they claim, then they would love The People, rather than The Rich, Corporations, etc. The Laws are there to serve The People. And as The People live and change, so must The Law, The Constitution, if It is truly our Servant (And not the other way around). Put that in your pipe and smoke it!


    • No. I said that those who seek to change the fundamental values of America must hate America. The Leftists are a perfect example of that sort of treasonous domestic enemy.

      True though, America is the American people. That doesn’t mean though that it is composed of everyone in America.

      You, like all angry Leftists, rant a lot about “the People,” but all you ever really want is money to be taken from some by force of law and given to others who haven’t earned it.

      To get away from that system – albeit reversed in direction of money flow – is largely why this nation was created and that’s why you’re not American in your soul and shouldn’t be considered one by others.

      But go ahead and keep trying to play off your ideas as being high-minded. It doesn’t really matter since nobody who matters lends credence to such jabbering anymore.


      • [No. I said that those who seek to change the fundamental values of America must hate America.]

        jonolan: again, here’s the problem with that statement. We have never, as a people, agreed on what the fundamental American values actually are!

        The GI bill created the American middle class. It was a government give-away. They took the tax money and passed it on to veterans (whether they served in combat or not). It was a good thing because it created a more prosperous country.

        My favorite example is always the Internet. My government, via the military, created that with our tax dollars – it didn’t come free. And then they gave it back to us. And I loves me some internet.


  6. This nation was founded so that people could have religious liberty, and representatives. If anything, Conservatives are more like The Empire; as Monarchists are notorious for being blind defenders of The Status Quo! And again, you DID say, that being born in America does not make one a True American. Yeah, and I bet that was your rallying cry during that whole “Birther” conspiracy. NOT! Again, TYPICAL NEOCON! As far as wanting to take away The Wealth and spread it? Guilty as charged. As far as that “money” being “earned”? Wrong! There was never a level playing field for everyone else-Minorities, Women, Poor-when that money was earned, so your argument is rendered moot. If you really love America, as you claim, then you would love Common Americans. Why don’t you love Americans? Do you not have a heart?


  7. Hey Moe, it looks like perhaps Jonolan had enough of getting hammered by the two of us! It is amazing to me how some people can confuse their interpretation of something, or opinion, with the way things are, and the way they should be. I totally agree with your above posts, I certainly could not have put it so well. If every “American” interpreted The Law the way it ought to be…well, everyone does, according to the individual. And that is precisely why we need The Supreme Court, etc. I agree and disagree with several aspects of our current system. But I respect The People’s right to change things as they see fit. That is exactly what it means to be a democracy. And that is exactly the thing people like Jonolan need to get through their head. Opinions, it has been said, are a lot like buttholes. Everyone has one, and most of them stink. 🙂


  8. No, I had just wandered away for a bit since the “discussion” was turning into little more than a rant.

    I like Moe well enough, so I had little desire to get involved in a flame war on her blog.

    But, since I’m here, change is not necessarily good or bad; it depends on what you’re changing.

    Trying to impose laws that restrict personal Liberty and the rights of individuals in order to benefit the collective whole are likely to be bad and contrary to America’s principles.

    For examples just look to many of the provisions in ObamaCare.

    We may not disagree on what the goals are, but only certain paths to those goals fall within the scope of what America stands for.

    In other words – and simpler ones I hope – it’s OK to want to change aspects of the system but not OK to try to change the underpinnings of it.

    BTW: I’m not a “birther” though I respect their grievance and question why Obama hasn’t just turned in his long-form BC to Congress (they’re friendly to him) and put the matter to rest once and for all.

    The only reason I can come up with is to keep the question alive so that people like you can try to paint all conservatives with that brush.


    • jonolan: I’m a broken record. I know. You say:
      [it’s OK to want to change aspects of the system but not OK to try to change the underpinnings of it.]

      The system, the underpinnings and aspects of both – none can be exactly defined. They simply can’t. Even among centuries of supremes, they’ve disagreed profoundly from generation to generation exactly what the damn Constitution means.

      When you said above the communists aren’t real Americans because they don’t believe in America and what she stands for – don’t you see? That’s exactly what we stand for. It’s okay for that commie to believe whatever he wants and maybe to march in the streets and wave his signs – and we’ll move on, we always do. This country is where people do that stuff and don’t land in jail for it. You can rail against this government and the next one .. . but every four years on the 20th of January, power will transfer peacefully.

      When they try to ‘change the system’, they are engaging in the MOST American of acts. They are showing that they are free to do that.

      Changes do happen – sometimes they take generations, sometimes they come peacefully, sometimes, once anyway, we had to fight a war. Change is not our enemy.


  9. I gave up on ObamaCare, seeing how all chances of a decent Public Option has been squandered by people like you. And as far as there being another path to the same goal…I hope you don’t mean the silly proposals by The GOP. I watched Obama’s luncheon the other day with those nuts, and all it seemed they wanted to do was have words with The President, rather than work toward a common goal. As a matter of fact, every time The Dems have reached out to them, their answer has been “NO!”. I feel so sorry for our President. He knows he has no chance to achieve anything without a bi-partisan effort. And those racist bastards, they are DETERMINED that this President fail. That upsets me. And you talk about “underpinnings”? What interpretation of what those “underpinnings” mean do we accept? You talk about Liberty. Liberty for who? What good is Liberty without Equality? Preach Liberty to the hungry children in Detroit, or the father who can’t make enough to support his family, because of his skin color. I know better.


    • You know Texan, whatever version of Obamacare passes, I will consider it a first step. A foot in the door. And that’s not insignificant no matter how piss poor this thing ends up being. We got it through the door anyway. Now we can spend the next few years fixing it and making it better.

      You know what I wish? I wish Harry Reid would insist on the next vote that the Republicans actually take to the floor and have their hissy fit of a filibuster. Stand there. Talk. No bathroom breaks. Keep it going until they drop. The real thing.


  10. Moe // February 1, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Reply

    So Pino,

    I checked. Then I checked again.

    I haven’t commented on this post, yet you have addressed me twice already.

    Perhaps I have a brother in spirit in jonolan? I’ll have to check out his site to see….


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