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“Corporate Money is Speech”–Michael Dukakis

June 1, 2012

While I don’t usually pay much attention to the latest parade Republicans have tossed at we Americans of sensationalist and strangely back-woods individuals trumpeted as politicians, I do have to say that Michael Dukakis had a good take on Republicans lately, namely that those moderate Republicans have become what I term an endangered political species.  Dukakis spoke about the Supreme Court’s equating freedom of speech with corporate money and slammed the divisive elements of the Republican party very effectively in two paragraphs:

“Terrible. It has to be one of the five worst decisions by the Supreme Court. (They) call themselves strict constructionists, right? Tell me where it says in the Constitution that money is speech. Tell me where it says Congress cannot reasonably regulate campaign contributions. It’s been doing so for 120 years. All of a sudden these guys decide, not only is money speech but corporate money is speech. Outrageous, in my opinion. It’s polluting the political process.

“And there is no constitutional issue about this health-care bill. Scalia a few years ago wrote an opinion saying the federal government could regulate somebody’s backyard marijuana patch under the commerce clause, because that patch had an indirect effect on interstate commerce. You’re talking about 20 percent of the GNP with health care, and the federal government can’t regulate it? Don’t employers have to pay a minimum wage under the commerce clause? If they turn this down, those guys ought to be impeached, honest to God. There’s no constitutional issue here.”

I disagree with his comments about the ability of the government to mandate a purchase of a product as a condition of simply being a U.S. citizen, as opposed to growing some backyard pot and its influence on the drug trade,but as far as rhetoric goes, Dukakis has that bit down.


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