In its decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, five members of the Supreme Court have taken pity on Shaun McCutcheon and the 650 other Americans who can only buy up to $123,200 in politicians. When you truly believe in the principle of "one dollar, one vote," as these five guys in black robes do, you want to make sure to overrule any restrictions made by the Representatives of the People in Congress chosen by that old quaint notion of "one person, one vote." This way the Five can insure that the Koch Brothers are literally millions of times more important than ordinary Americans.
There was a time when Americans revolted against the idea of kings, dukes, and earls using their vast inherited wealth to control our destiny. We actually fought a revolution in the name of all men being created equal. And, in time, that notion came to include all men and women, even descendants of former slaves.
Five men in robes have now, in the biting dissent of Justice Stephen Breyer, made up their own facts, misconstrued the law, undermined "the political integrity of our government institutions" and "create[d] a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars." This not only "eviscerates our Nation's campaign finance laws"; it leaves us "incapable of dealing with grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve."
Once five people in black robes overruled We the People in 2000, throwing away our votes to install their president in place of the one we (and most Floridians) wanted, I suppose it is no great further step to simply end "democratic legitimacy" altogether and allow billionaires to buy the politicians they want.
But the Supreme Court should revise the Preamble of the Constitution to reflect the reality they have declared today. "We the People" should be replaced by "We, Sheldon Adelson, Charles Koch and David Koch, the Billionaire Kings of America."
Sadly while I support a constitutional amendment to overturn both McCutcheon and Citizens' United, I'm under no delusion that we will get two-thirds of both Houses of Congress, including a fair number of Republicans, to prefer "one person, one vote" over "one dollar, one vote." The only possible solution to preserve our Republic is to keep electing Democratic presidents - and to elect them beyond the margin of the Supreme Court's plausible ability to steal an election - until one day the Tyranny of the Five ends.
And on that day, when a Democratic president nominates and the Senate confirms a justice on the Supreme Court who actually respects the Constitution she or he is sworn to uphold, we can once again have Government of the People, by the People, and for the People.
Until then, let us hope the Adelson/Koch/ALEC Regime is not too cruel to those of who still believe that ordinary people should have a voice in who represents us.
Mark Levine, a talk radio host, TV pundit, and former legislative counsel to Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), is now running for Congress himself in Virginia's Eighth Congressional District (Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax).