Popular political speech needs no protection from the First Amendment -- it never has. It is unpopular political speech -- even downright lies -- which need defending by the courts. As ignoble and as impure as that may sound.
The former mayor of Newark, N.J., and a sitting United States senator, has an academic background and relevant experience for the job. He is a Democrat, but not a fire-breathing partisan.
Government advocates have watched with dismay as the Supreme Court has systematically dismantled campaign finance laws, all while making it harder for individual Americans to secure their right to vote. This pattern isn't just the result of the conservative justices' misreading of the Constitution.
Republicans want to make it harder to vote, Democrats want to make it easier. It's a simple concept, and it's one that strikes at a foundational belief most Americans share: Things always get better throughout American history, never worse.
A 2014 Civil Rights Bill would almost certainly be D.O.A. on arrival in the 2014 House. And if by some miracle it passed, its chance of surviving a court challenge would be anything but certain.
Instead of voters picking politicians, why are politicians deciding on who has the right to vote? Instead of Congress governing, why is Congress obstructing its governance?
Money influences elections, as everybody knows, but the influence of money in things like drafting legislation in committees, state laws and regulations, appointments to government offices or regulatory bodies,is not as broadly understood. It is also probably more nefarious.
The Republican plutocratic agenda couldn't work without millions of dollars in unrestricted conservative funding. Thanks to the Republican majority in the Supreme Court, all the barriers against big money and guarantees of political fairness are being dismantled.
Teaching is a thankless job. And though the voices of the working class are often already ignored by management, astonishingly, it could get worse with the recent ruling that caps on political contributions are unconstitutional.
I know it does not bode well that at 24 I am this jaded about the political process. I have had enough of politicians not listening to me and the rest of us while they continue to act as they please.
In the film 12 Angry Men, a lone man is able to convince his fellow jurors to switch their votes from guilty to not guilty. But in some places, the movie would have been much shorter and the result different -- because in those states, 10 out of 12 jurors voting guilty is enough to send a person away to prison for the rest of his life.
We must rid our government of obstructionists, who are in the pocket of the 1 percent, and we must increase the numbers of true Progressives who will fight to pass an amendment to overturn McCutcheon and Citizens United decision and go to public funding of campaigns at every level of government.
Now legally for sale to the highest bidder, multi-party representative democracy may well be compromised beyond repair. When elected officials increasingly represent their contributors instead of constituents, voting becomes a form of disenfranchisement disguised as consent of the governed. The more things get out of hand, the less radical the alternatives appear. To restore the rule of the many over money, we need to go way beyond the same old campaign financing debate and start thinking about reforming our system of democratic governance itself. It's time to open up the political imagination and think outside the conventional ballot box.
The shard of hope that remains for democracy as most Americans --- and the Founders -- understood it, is that the vote was a divided 5-4, and enjoys not even a smidgeon of public legitimacy.
I have a proposal that supports this commercialism of America and will raise enormous sums of money. Lease the rights to government buildings, much like we do with sport stadiums throughout the country. And how about a few high-profile monuments? The Koch Brothers Washington Monument? That should receive a high rental!
With McCutcheon, the Supreme Court laid the groundwork for eliminating the remaining "remnant" of our campaign finance laws in two specific ways.