Monday, January 25, 2010

Supreme Court decision: Who Benefits?

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to ease the limits that corporations and labor unions can spend on during the campaign season. The decision overturned two lower Courts decision and appears to be a win for the Democrats. That apparent win for Democrats was dashed when President Obama stated on his weekly radio and internet show that "This decision opens the floodgates for an unlimited amount of special interest money into our democracy. It gives the special interest lobbyists new leverage to spend millions on advertising to persuade elected officials to vote their way – or to punish those who don't." I find this state ironic coming from a man that promised to run on public funds then turned around and accepted millions in campaign donations that set records.

If we are a true Democracy then those who wish to spend their money to campaign for or against a particular candidate they should be able to. A few weeks back President Obama held private, closed-door conversations with union groups to discuss the impact health care reform would have on existing benefits. Remind yourself that President Obama said on several occasions that the health care debate would be hosted on C-SPAN as to ensure nothing is done within secret. While I acknowledge that Obama does not have control over the leaders in Congress as it pertains to C-SPAN offer to air the conference committee discussion on health care, I find it bothersome that Obama is not living up to a campaign promise. Amazingly enough, after the meeting with Union leaders President Obama encouraged Congress to look for other avenues of income than taxing "Cadillac" plans.

It is not his broken campaign promise that is in play here; rather it is lack of accountability for the actions he takes. Doesn't Obama find himself a bit of a hypocrite? In reading the Sunday's Star Tribune issue they alluded to Obama becoming a populist. I wonder how progressives see this "Change" and is this the "Change" they "Hoped" to see take place? And now President Obama is tapping David Plouffe to head a team of strategist in order to stem the tide of Democrat mid-term election appeal. The intent of bringing back Plouffe is significant as the Obama brand is losing its luster. While many Democrats up for election will welcome the additional help, it may be a little too late because, if the recent elections are the barometer, Obama does not carry the same weight with Independent's and Progressives he once did.

Maybe President Obama will read my blog and suggest change in the election process that I have previously laid out. Perhaps it is now time for a shorter campaign season that is restricted to public funds and denies any private donations to candidates or national committees. This type of change would not prevent individuals or corporations from buying air time to campaign for or against a candidate. Is it time for American's to demand a different approach to electing candidates? I am not suggesting the elimination of the Electoral College; rather looking to make all campaigns for national offices to the three months preceding November. In the end though, will the Supreme Court ruling benefit either major party or will it give grassroots movements a great advantage?