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Democracy Died First in Wisconsin – Long Live the Oligarchs [View All]

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thomhartmann Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-10-11 08:53 AM
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Democracy Died First in Wisconsin – Long Live the Oligarchs
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Democracy Died First in Wisconsin – Long Live the Oligarchs
by Thom Hartmann

The Wisconsin recall election was the first major test of the new era in American politics.

That new era began in January of 2010 when the US Supreme Court ruled in “Citizens United v. FEC” that the political voice of We The People was no longer as important as the voices of billionaires and transnational corporations.

Now we know the result, and it bodes ill for both 2012 and for the tattered future of small-d democracy in our republic.

A few of America’s most notorious oligarchs – including the Koch and the DeVos (Amway fortune) billionaires – as well as untraceable millions from donors who could as easily be Chinese government-run corporations as giant “American” companies who do most of their business and keep most of their profits outside the US – apparently played big in this election.

I say “apparently” because the Supreme Court has ruled that we no longer have the right to know who is really funding our election commercials, or even our candidates themselves.

Thanks to an irrational and likely illegal Supreme Court ruling, we have moved into an era of oligarch-run politics. As much as $40 million of our oligarch’s money was spent in Wisconsin in a handful of local races – a testing laboratory for strategies that will now be used against Democrats nationwide in 2012.

And so now we enter the battle of the oligarchs over the next fifteen or so months.

As the old saying goes, when the elephants fight, the mice get trampled. In this case, the mice aren’t just the voters. It’s democracy itself.

America is now – demonstrably, as proven by Wisconsin – just a few years away from the possibility of a totally corrupted, totally billionaire- and corporate-controlled political system. Political scientists call it oligarchy.

The Citizens United election experiment is over, and the oligarchs won. Long live the oligarchy.
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  -Democracy Died First in Wisconsin – Long Live the Oligarchs thomhartmann  Aug-10-11 08:53 AM   #0 
  - NEVER SAY DIE!  meegbear   Aug-10-11 08:55 AM   #1 
  - Aye. You're correct.  mmonk   Aug-10-11 08:57 AM   #2 
  - Yes, it is obviously time to roll over and give up. n/t  elocs   Aug-10-11 08:57 AM   #3 
  - Or maybe question if change by the ballot box is viable?  Bragi   Aug-10-11 09:06 AM   #13 
     - thank you-facing and admitting the truth is not giving up...  TheUnspeakable   Aug-10-11 09:15 AM   #17 
        - agree  marions ghost   Aug-11-11 07:55 AM   #58 
  - Democracy is thriving in Wisconsin - better than in most places.  robcon   Aug-10-11 08:57 AM   #4 
  - with a heavy heart, I sadly agree..  TheUnspeakable   Aug-10-11 09:00 AM   #5 
  - Yep..... With the flip of a switch.  midnight   Aug-10-11 09:05 AM   #11 
  - Yep. With the flip of a switch.  midnight   Aug-10-11 09:06 AM   #12 
  - I completely disagree. This was a victory  ChairmanAgnostic   Aug-10-11 09:01 AM   #6 
  - +1,000 n/t  malaise   Aug-10-11 09:03 AM   #9 
  - My Thoughts As Well  Liberal_Dog   Aug-10-11 09:28 AM   #24 
  - I also disagree with Hartmann  Bluenorthwest   Aug-10-11 09:43 AM   #27 
  - +10,000  sybylla   Aug-10-11 10:22 AM   #38 
  - Yea! The Cassandras and, I suppose, the trolls are out in full force  tsuki   Aug-10-11 10:27 AM   #41 
  - Well said!  sybylla   Aug-10-11 10:46 AM   #46 
     - Thank you. I have been to several blogs, and I think the paid trolls  tsuki   Aug-10-11 11:13 AM   #51 
        - I've seen that too.  ChairmanAgnostic   Aug-10-11 01:35 PM   #52 
  - Good post...  SidDithers   Aug-10-11 10:49 AM   #49 
  - Yes! (nt)  ehrnst   Aug-11-11 07:42 AM   #57 
  - It's a dark day, but I can't give up.  myrna minx   Aug-10-11 09:01 AM   #7 
  - I have a feeling we're entering into a phase similar to the end of Reconstruction  deutsey   Aug-10-11 09:01 AM   #8 
  - Different times now dontcha know  marions ghost   Aug-11-11 08:00 AM   #59 
  - It can indeed...but will it?  deutsey   Aug-11-11 01:08 PM   #65 
  - That is a scary thought, but you very well be right on the mark.  truedelphi   Aug-11-11 09:54 PM   #69 
  - They wanted six. They were sure of two. Had hopes for a third. Where is the defeat? As one  mfcorey1   Aug-10-11 09:05 AM   #10 
  - on kathy's computer.  GillesDeleuze   Aug-10-11 09:21 AM   #20 
     - Bullshit.  sybylla   Aug-10-11 10:24 AM   #39 
  - hogwash  PeaceNikki   Aug-10-11 09:07 AM   #14 
  - Agreed,  Puglover   Aug-10-11 09:41 AM   #26 
  - Thom, I do find a touch of irony to this post, as you often urge  bullwinkle428   Aug-10-11 09:11 AM   #15 
  - Look at the positive side  formercia   Aug-10-11 09:13 AM   #16 
  - You are entirely wrong...  Imajika   Aug-10-11 10:48 AM   #47 
  - I love your positive attitude.  formercia   Aug-11-11 05:38 AM   #56 
  - Nope  hifiguy   Aug-10-11 01:52 PM   #54 
  - They have deep pockets  marions ghost   Aug-11-11 08:03 AM   #60 
     - Yes, but do they have the Cash on Hand to continue indefinitely?  formercia   Aug-11-11 10:26 AM   #63 
        - My feeling is that they could go for a long time  marions ghost   Aug-11-11 11:08 AM   #64 
           - What's the point of making it easy for them?  formercia   Aug-11-11 02:13 PM   #66 
              - I'll put it another way  marions ghost   Aug-11-11 03:15 PM   #67 
  - I have always been a pessimist by nature  Liberalynn   Aug-10-11 09:16 AM   #18 
  - We are spending all of our time fighting for things that should be "inalienable rights"  marions ghost   Aug-11-11 08:18 AM   #61 
  - BULLSHIT! We got the recall and we won a third of the races IN SPITE OF...  TreasonousBastard   Aug-10-11 09:19 AM   #19 
  - One vote for each person----  socialindependocrat   Aug-10-11 09:21 AM   #21 
  - I'm amazed at the number of people working so hard to turn a victory into a defeat.  Lone_Star_Dem   Aug-10-11 09:23 AM   #22 
  - It's a Democrat specialty  formercia   Aug-10-11 10:39 AM   #44 
  - Sorry, Thom, calling bs on this one  Lifelong Protester   Aug-10-11 09:23 AM   #23 
  - Yes, Democrats took on 6 GOP incumbents and defeated 2 of them.  elocs   Aug-10-11 09:36 AM   #25 
  - There are two more  Broderick   Aug-10-11 09:51 AM   #30 
     - You're welcome to your opinion, it was still a great victory.  elocs   Aug-10-11 10:02 AM   #33 
     - Not a swing back in the least.  sybylla   Aug-10-11 10:32 AM   #43 
  - Don't forget Hansen - who also kept his seat last month in a recall.  sybylla   Aug-10-11 10:26 AM   #40 
  - Democracy is alive and well in Wisconsin, thank you very much.  undeterred   Aug-10-11 09:47 AM   #28 
  - I think Wisconsin Democrats did damned bloody good  blogslut   Aug-10-11 09:49 AM   #29 
  - No time to throw in the towel  BlueIdaho   Aug-10-11 09:55 AM   #31 
  - the most important man in wisconsin is-----  madrchsod   Aug-10-11 09:56 AM   #32 
  - Oh, geez,  Skidmore   Aug-10-11 10:06 AM   #34 
  - I personally think Wisconsin has been a distraction  Broderick   Aug-10-11 10:11 AM   #35 
     - WTH are you talking about?  sybylla   Aug-10-11 10:43 AM   #45 
     - It's not a zero-sum game.  jeff47   Aug-10-11 02:06 PM   #55 
  - I did not consent to be ruled by the Koch Brothers,  Justpat   Aug-10-11 10:15 AM   #36 
  - David and Goliath politics  marions ghost   Aug-11-11 08:24 AM   #62 
  - I had to look up Oligarch  oldlib   Aug-10-11 10:18 AM   #37 
  - I prefer OILgarch  ChairmanAgnostic   Aug-10-11 01:37 PM   #53 
  - At least it was a fight.  Ganja Ninja   Aug-10-11 10:29 AM   #42 
  - thank for the negative outlook..we took back two, TWO seats  Demonaut   Aug-10-11 10:49 AM   #48 
  - Kick for Thom talking about this now, to open his show.  bullwinkle428   Aug-10-11 11:09 AM   #50 
  - a few years away? Oh puh-leez  tandem5   Aug-11-11 03:41 PM   #68 
 

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