Is the United States a strong nation? There's a notion that it is, of course -- based mainly on the disruptive philosophical underpinnings upon which this country was established. But these are all really the fumes of nostalgia. What else is there? Well, we have the best fleet of aerial drone death-dealers in the world (for now). Certainly our fast-food accomplishments are second to none. And our Reality Teevee Industry remains one of the more successful and innovative welfare programs in the world, lifting individuals with no evident utility to the human race -- and who would quite likely be pushed into ditches to die in lesser nations -- into the warm embrace of the Fame Economy.
Shaun McCutcheon, the wealthy plaintiff in the case bearing his name, can hardly wait to seize that influence. When asked yesterday if he'll be spending more than he did in previous cycles now that the limits are struck down, McCutcheon couldn't hide his eagerness: "Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I'm well on the way to meeting [the old limits] already, so certainly I will now. Absolutely." McCutcheon's excitement betrays what this case was really about all along: giving the wealthy an even larger megaphone in our democracy. The "free speech" ostensibly being protected in this case wasn't the right of you and I to be heard, but the "right" of the wealthy to drown out everyone else's voices with their multimillion-dollar amplifiers.