Clinton has promised in past to overturn the infamous case Citizens United if elected, and she made another promise on Saturday, announcing that she would introduce a constitutional amendment within her first 30 days to overturn the SCOTUS’ 2010 decision.
She’s mentioned it several times now, so while I’m still skeptical, it’s not entirely unrealistic to say I’m “cautiously optimistic.”
The header is the motto for the conservative organization founded in 1988 called Citizens United. Their front page is an advertisement for everything, from “Torchbearer,” a film featuring Phil Robertson with the tagline “When man stops believing in God, he’ll believe in anything,” to News Max and others.
If you’re not white, Christian, and male, you get the distinctive impression that the “citizen’s control” Citizens United supports probably doesn’t include you, and you’re not wrong. The aim of Citizens United, like all right-wing agencies, is to hamstring the federal government so the state governments can regulate everyone who isn’t a member of a privileged class to second-class citizenship.
That’s not my paranoid rambling, either. We’ve seen it in North Carolina with their bathroom laws, which are based more on ignorance, fear, and hatred than any rational decision-making process. We’ve seen this with the anti-gay marriage movement, with the “pro-life” movement, with anyone who claims that police have the right to use lethal force on a black man simply because he has a criminal record.
Citizens United is a conservative group, and they support conservative causes. And in 2010, the 501c organization managed to win a huge victory at the Supreme Court with Citizens United v. FEC, which opened the door to unlimited corporate, union, and individual spending on elections.
Ever since that ruling, it’s been a free-for-all of privatized campaign spending, and the American people have felt like it’s not so much “citizens control” as it is “corporate control.” That’s why this cycle has featured campaign spending so prominently.
Enter Hillary Clinton.
Clinton has been somewhat of a vocal advocate for repealing Citizens United, and she revealed her plan for it in a video at Netroots, an annual progressive gathering that takes place in St. Louis.
And I’m tentatively optimistic about it.
Clinton also pledged to issue an executive order that would require government contractors to disclose campaign contributions, and would push the Securities and Exchange Commission to require all publically traded companies to disclose political contributions to their stockholders.
More power to her. This has been an extremely difficult subject to broach in Washington, as politicians don’t really want to support things that make it harder for them to win elections. Furthermore, as a constitutional amendment, it requires a 2/3rds majority of both the House and Senate, and then it needs to be ratified by three-quarters of the states — 37.5, with the 0.5 probably being Texas, since it moonlights as a territory of Mexico with delusions of independence.
I don’t see that happening. The amendment process and the fetishization of local control are two of the major failings of the constitution, with the biggest being that the document, which isn’t a terribly good document to begin with, repeatedly misspells “privileged class” as “people” throughout its entire length.
But at least Clinton is entertaining the thought. I mean, who knows. It might happen; weirder things have happened. I mean, Donald Trump is running for president. That alone should dispell any notion that usual rules apply anymore.
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