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Brent Budowsky

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Dictatorship of Dollars

Posted: 06/21/2012 2:55 pm

President Obama and Democratic leaders, voters, workers and donors must understand with brutal clarity that:

Republicans, right-wing billionaires whose extremism is alien to traditional American values, special interests with Gilded Age-magnitude greed and five Supreme Court justices who proved their contempt for 200 years of American jurisprudence in the Citizens United case, are within reach of turning a corrupted system into a near-permanent dictatorship of dollars that could destroy the dream of July 4, 1776.

I have been so vigorous in advocating that President Obama run with Hillary Clinton as vice president, as part of a grand Obama-Clinton alliance, because this great transforming chessboard move would powerfully mobilize the people and money of progressives, and profoundly appeal to the good sense of moderates and independents.

The armies of the dictatorship of dollars have mobilized for the grand battle of the gathering storm. Kennedy was only elected in 1960 because he ran with Johnson. Democrats have no margin for error in 2012.

In the dictatorship of dollars government is bought, sold and corrupted by money. Now those who corrupt it would destroy any remaining checks and balances that protect workers, consumers, the jobless, the middle class and the poor against the abuses created by their extreme ideology and unlimited greed.

First they create the storm. Now they would destroy the shelter.

The deck is stacked. The bid is rigged. The fix is in. Americans know it. Voters hate it. A frontal attack by Democrats against Citizens United and the dictatorship of dollars would be supported by large majorities of every state.

Led by the Koch family, a group of right-wing billionaires and magnates who are far outside the mainstream of American political tradition and conservative political thought are going to meet within days to advance their project to destroy their opponents and buy the 2012 election. If they prevail they would, at best, provoke a nonviolent civil war throughout our nation, in which one-half of the nation is permanently and aggressively at war with the other half, in a political death struggle that would not end until half the nation finds its views totally demeaned and its place in our democracy totally destroyed. Their project must be defeated.

I warn you, dear reader, that the Supreme Court majority in the Citizens United case has taken our country into un-American territory. They declared war against the core American idea of one person, one vote that is the guarantor of our freedom. They opened floodgates of corrupting money that promotes a dictatorship of dollars that has been unprecedented and unwelcome in America since Jefferson put pen to paper in 1776. They will be harshly condemned by the high court of history.

Citizens United should be challenged on public ballots in every state and if it is, voters will reject it, possibly in all 50 states, amending the Constitution if necessary, making the dictatorship of dollars illegal in the land that is "we the people," not "those with the money."

In the dictatorship of dollars, the attacks against American democracy from those who want power to be monopolized by money have escalated into attacks against the one recourse that is the birthright of all Americans, the right to vote. Republicans have begun aggressive and illegal campaigns to destroy voting rights of Hispanics, blacks, young people and seniors while they exploit the legalization of Watergate-style fundraising abuses by a Supreme Court majority run amok.

This is why I plead with the president to run with Hillary Clinton. He must be reelected. There is no margin for error to save the nation from the dictatorship of dollars.

This is why I plead with Democratic donors, Democratic voters and Democratic workers to stand and fight. There is no margin for error to save the nation from the destruction to justice that would bring dark days for a generation, if the five conservative men of the Supreme Court become six.

This column was originally published at The Hill.

 
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