Just a quick run down of why the Supreme Court’s decision today will change, oh, everything about American politics.
First, the news:
Read this article from the LA Times.
Now what it means:
Corporations can spend their own money on advertisements of any fashion for political campaigns. An unlimited amount of their money, at that.
Before there was a prohibition on direct advertisement, and a limit on the amount that could be donated to campaigns. Now that’s all gone.
And it’s all gone ten months before the 2010 Congressional midterm elections.
Here’s what will happen:
Corporations will saturate all forms of media with endorsements or indoctrinations of political candidates. The smart money is on most of the corporations lining up behind Republicans, and burying the Democrats under a tsunami of negative advertisements.
Theoretical example (probably not, honestly):
John McCain is the single largest recipient of money from the telecom industry. They broke it up between dozens of companies, and donated to dozens of PACs. But, still, he got more money from them than anyone’s ever gotten from them before, and I think more money from a single interest group than anyone’s every gotten before. But they could have given more, lots, lots more. And he’s up for re-election this year, so they’ll be able to. Expect them to dump millions upon millions into advertising against net neutrality. But it won’t look like advertising against net neutrality. It will look like advertisements talking about how John McCain is defending the stability of the technical and telecom sectors of the American economy, and how everyone else is a dirty digital pirate with no morals.
Corporations will be able to flood the airwaves with so much crap that candidates on the receiving end will spend all of their time trying to answer the attack ads. They’ll never be able to get out from under it to craft their own message, which means their opponent will get to define them, and there won’t be a damn thing they can do about it.
Welcome to Corporate America, where corporation are king makers.
The Bizarre Silver Lining:
Television will probably see a huge boom in advertising because of this, which means that the broadcast stations will actually be able to afford new dramas instead a billion hours of reality TV. Plus, people who work in advertising, like me, will see an increase in business. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that some grumpy old me in bathrooms decided to sell America to the corporation, give you all the finger, and my industry a blank check to slander people for political gain.
And I hate to paraphrase a Republican, but Healthcare died on Tuesday, Campaign Finance Reform died today, and we’ve still got one day left in the week.