The latest battle in dismantling the 20th century is about to be lost in the Supreme Court. Maybe. We’ll soon find out. The Voting Rights Act–the law that forbids discrimination against voters based on race or color–not just black people, mind you, Asians, Hispanics, native Americans, Alaskans–is in danger of being overturned. There’s very little anyone can do about it. Justice Roberts makes snide and objectively false statements about there being more discrimination in Massachusetts than anywhere else. Nino Scalia calls protecting voting rights, a “racial entitlement.” OMG the E-word! Entitlements are bad–except when they benefit rich old white men. Hey Nino–Italians were a discriminated against minority as recently as the 1930s–and Sicilians were barely considered white men by substantial numbers of people in the US. Perhaps the “original intent” would mean that you only have to ensure the voting rights of 3/5 of the non-white population?
Among the other conservative four, Alito has been wisely keeping his mouth shut, but we know which way his tail blows in the wind. This leaves Clarence Thomas. OK Clarence. Is protecting the voting rights a racial entitlement? Just remember–if it is, you may never have made it to those robes. In fact, you may never have voted Republican. Or Democratic. We really want to see how you’re going to come down on this one.
Still, it could be a 5-4 one way or the other depending on which side of the bed Kennedy, the usual swing voter, got up this morning. But let’s hope that Roberts gets one of his “Do I really want my court to come off as the worst court since the Dred Scott Decision” moments. And maybe one or two others will be so disgusted at Scalia’s blatant bigotry.
And remember–race is the first step. Property ownership is the next.
“Hey, mister, can you stake a right to vote to a fellow American what’s down on his luck?”
Democracy! Good luck with that, Egypt! We’ve had it here for over 200 years and people have gotten sick of it. Too much effort. I mean, there we had the most perfect Articles of Confederation that we made even more perfect in the Constitution and what happened? We had to fight a war 85 years later because some silly liberals thought we couldn’t own slaves! And then they went and said that women could vote just as intelligently as men! And just because the stock market slipped a few points and good business required a few layoffs, that Commie Roosevelt started regulating banks and the stock market and putting in “safety nets” for people who were just too lazy to pull on their bootstraps and get rich parents! Then along come that Kennedy and Johnson and we start talking about civil rights for black people–and brown people–and Spanish speaking people–and women–and now even ho-mo-sex-uals! Goddammit–pretty soon there won’t be anyone left to make fun of!
No, we’re tired of all that equality. Let’s turn the clock back to the original Constitution (minus all amendments but the second–after all, Ann Coulter thinks we need more jailed journalists). Thank God for Ronnie Reagan who boldly said to our oppressors, “Tear down these regulations, Mr. Roosevelt!” It’s taken 30 years, but by gum, Ronnie would be proud on his 100th birthday, if he were alive and not chewing on the bedlinens. We’re almost back to where we should be! With the rich running things and the poor on nice clean heating grates in the sidewalk. And the rest of us with the SuperBowl and Dancing with the Stars on, eating our meat and potatos–or at least fries and Taco Bell–with mom and dad working 3 jobs between them so Grandma doesn’t have to make her “Salmon and Ocean Whitefish Feast–F L A K E D–Casserole.” After all, we have a roof over our heads, at least for the next 90 days. Just don’t get sick, kids, we hear they’re starting Debtor’s Prisons and we can’t afford an emergency room visit.
As Justice John Roberts said, (and Clarence Thomas didn’t), “Plutocracy, here we come!”
Note to ANIME FANS! I will be in Artist’s Alley at KATSUCON this weekend at the Gaylord at Washington Harbor, where I’ll be hawking Part One of my anime/manga parody, BLECCH! (Guess what manga/anime I’m lampooning!) Stop by and say hi, but if you can’t make it, check out its listing at Indy Planet. CU SOON!So the Egyptians managed to throw that poor old man Mubarak out into the cold (figuratively speaking) and get themselves a can of whup-ass democracy? Well, thank God. Now we don’t have to watch all those shots of them shaking their fists in the public square on the teevee and get back to what matters most in America–looking for the jobs that we’ve sent abroad!
We did get one moment of high comedy tho–thanks to Chris Matthews of MSNBC. Forgot he was black for an hour, Chris? Way to GO! Only one month into 2010 and you already have the gaffe of the year! But wait–maybe you can outdo yourself–you have 11 more months to do it in!
President Obama gave himself a number of pats on the back, waved his finger at the right side of the aisle and outlined an ambitious agenda to get us back on track–well, not all that ambitious, there were a lot of half-measures–i.e., we need to increase jobs, but we need to keep the budget under control, so hey, let’s just do a little of both. He pointed the finger at the Bush administration for getting us into this mess more forcefully than he had since…his inauguration. You told Justice Roberts where to get off (and Stephen Colbert brought up a great point about how Roberts is willing to overturn precedent if he has only two dissents to do it on–and just where WERE Scalia and Thomas last night anway?). And he wants to see things on his desk! Well, Barry, let’s hope that you tell people exactly what you want on your desk this time around the calendar and that you knock some heads together to do it.
The problem is that we’ve heard all this before and we haven’t seen enough action on it. As my hookers say in the cartoon, you’re good at oral, now let’s see a little bump and thrust. You told us bank presidents weren’t going to get away with things and then you turn around and let them get away without showing up for their meeting with you. LEAD! Stop taking things off the table before you start negotiating. Get rid of your bad advisers. Rely more on Joe Biden than on Rahm Emanuel–Emanuel’s been advising you to give away the farm for nominal victories but Biden knows where the bodies are buried. Get rid of the financial cronies and slap around those bank presidents like you did the auto manufacturers. And for god’s sake, stop going on expensive dates with Michele while your middle class is going down with the ship–at least look like you have a bit of empathy. You said you’d rather be a good one-term president than a poor two-term one. Well, we don’t want you to be a good one-term president–we thought we were voting for a GREAT president. So stop futzing around and be what you promised. I mean seriously, what WOULD it take for the President to start out, “The State of the Union isn’t very strong”? Massive depression? Naw, even Herbert Hoover said the SOTU was strong. Open rebellion? I bet even Abe Lincoln said the state of the union was strong. And it was, if you didn’t count the 11 states that up and left when he was elected. Perhaps alien invasion? “Let me remind you, you still have two out of three branches of the federal government and that ain’t bad,” as the President said in MARS ATTACKS. Actual unemployment and underemployment is around 20%, we’re in debt up to our yinyangs to China because of a double recession during the Bush presidency, two wars that we shouldn’t have been in in the first place, tax cuts for the people who didn’t need them and a massive bailout of banks that had been holding a craps game with our money, credit card companies charging 30% interest, 30 million people without health insurance, BUT–The State of the Union is strong.
Now, NONE of this happened because the colonists disputed the RIGHT of the East India Company to spend money to influence Parliament for legislation on its behalf. Oh, NO, the colonists APPROVED of corporate influence on the government. In fact, they wished that there was some way to increase the influence of corporations–like expensive election campaigns that the corporations could freely underwrite and make sure their chosen candidates had all the money they needed to defeat their opponents. No, the only issue was the Tea Tax–no taxation without representation, as our grade school history books repeated ad nauseam in lieu of trying to get brainless little monsters to understand an issue with subtleties and complexities. As a matter of fact, most of the colonists didn’t understand it either–but the “Framers” all did, especially since many of them were tea merchants. So when they compained about the reasons for declaring independence in that little document of 1776, they put the blame SQUARELY on King George, who probably wasn’t aware of the entire imbroglio, NOT on the East India Company. So when Messrs Madison and Jefferson tried to float an additional amendment to the new Constitution in 1789 against the formation of monopolies–having fought a WAR in the meantime that was provoked in part by corporate interference in governing the colonies–it was rejected–NOT because the various states had laws against monopolies already, but because, by gum, these would be AMER’CUN monopolies and thus, because of the principle of CORPORATE PERSONHOOD, have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which in the case of corporations, is defined as ungodly profits.
I want to applaud the five justices for the chutzpah of having the honesty to pound the last nail in the coffin of Democracy. This outdated concept was certainly not in the Framers’ minds at the outset…after all, these five justices are strict constructionists and that means they See Dead People and talk to them all the time. And what did they see in the Framers’ minds? Why Corporatism, of course. After all, corporations are much more reliable than ordinary citizens–they always have but one goal. And, unlike citizens, they don’t have to die, so the most successful corporations can literally live forever, giving the government the benefit of its influence. And now, through the power of globalization, these corporations are in a large part owned by foreign powers, giving the US the benefit of what other nations think we should do to help them help themselves. And I do mean, “Help Yourself!”
Imagine, some people have IRONY ALERT. Well, Kiddies, here’s a story from history, the way Justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy, remember it. Back in 1773, the British East India company was near collapse and decided that building up their market in the American colonies would be a good idea. Now since 1767, the Colonies were subject to a tax on tea, so the CORPORATION went to Cong… Parliament and asked for an exemption from the tax, since this would give them an advantage in the market. Parliament, many of whom had interests in the corporation, decided that this was a good idea and passed the Tea Act, setting up a somewhat complicated way of keeping the tax off the company. Now the American colonials never liked the Tea Tax to start out with and when Parliament granted the company its exemption, things exploded. They refused to allow tea to be landed at every port up and down the seaboard. The captains of most of the ships obliged and left without delivery–except in Boston, where the colonial Governor decided to take a hard line and would not sign departure papers for the vessel. So the colonists in Boston upped and chucked all the tea into Boston Harbor and the first Tea Party was held.the strange idea that this development should be opposed. Get with the program, guys, stocks and bonds, not ballots!