THE BLOG
03/30/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Corporate Aid and Comfort

I keep thinking about that smirk on Senator Max Baucus' face while he was in the Congressional catbird's seat, driving the Senate Finance Committee's "health care reform" agenda, otherwise known as Gifts Unlimited to the "health care" industries. It was he to whom everyone was kowtowing in order to bring the Senate's version of "health care reform" to light.

Could he have been anticipating the outcome of Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission? Myrmidon that he is, did he know that if he performed well enough for his paymasters, he would receive even greater rewards once a slim majority of the US Supreme Court overturned more than 100 years of settled law? After all, the SCOTUS doesn't often ask for a rehearing and, given the nature of the questions asked and the make up of that slim majority, Baucus must have known that the Court was on the verge of handing our political system over his benefactors, the corporatocracy. Anything or anybody, foreign or domestic, can now pay the few bucks to file for incorporation in Delaware and get a free pass to shop for politicians and buy them at will.

Our increasingly abused Constitution defines treason as "giving Aid and Comfort" to our enemies. (Art. III, Sec.3) Imagine this admittedly unlikely scenario, wherein some avowed enemy of the US creates a bogus corporation and incorporates in Delaware (a state where a potted plant can become a corporation). The company then identifies candidates who will do its bidding, pours winning piles of money into those campaigns, and it destroys the country from within. Did the Roberts 5 just commit treason (which, by the way, is an impeachable offense)?

Perhaps I shouldn't be using the word "it" when referring to a corporation. "It" refers to a thing, not a person, and the wildly activist Roberts 5 have made it official: corporations are people. This raises another issue: conservatives often define a human life as beginning at conception. But what is what is the moment of conception for a corporation? One can't be conceived in any uterus I'm familiar with.

And how does a corporation register to vote? What if a corporation dissolves--is that murder? How do you throw a corporation into jail? And what does capital punishment look like for a corporation? I want to see how two corporations have sex. So many interesting things to ponder as I try to imagine the implications of corporate personhood.

Don't they think these things through before sawing off the limb on which they are sitting?