Saturday, March 24, 2012

Citizens Untied

One of the concerns about the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" ruling is that big money will monopolize the public dialog. After all, if money is speech, then those who have more money have more speech. Which in turn means that speech isn't really free, after all.

That aside, the presumed outcome would be that establishment candidates will steamroll over anyone independent enough to not have unlimited resources behind them. Which conventionally gives the advantage to Republicans, since they're the party of the rich.

But it turns out that you don't have to be part of the Establishment to be rich. This year's Republican primary isn't really Mitt Romney against Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul - it's really Mitt Romney against Foster Freiss and Sheldon Adelman, in which a couple of rich, independent fanatics can bankroll the process of pulling the Republican Party to pieces along its fault lines of libertarian freedoms, religious moralism, nationalist xenophobia, and commercial pragmatism. Instead of locking in a sustainable Republican advantage, "Citizens United" may end up being its Achilles Heel.

Stand Your Ground

If Florida's "stand your ground" law had worked as intended, Trayvon Martin would have shot George Zimmerman.