Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Social Mood overcomes Citizens United

When the Citizens United ruling was rendered by the US Supreme Court in January 2010, the ruling was seen as a silver bullet in the heart of the Democratic Party as the ruling allowed corporations to spend as much as they want to influence the outcome of elections. Since then, corporations, along with the US Chamber of Commerce, pulled all the stops out in campaign spending. As the theory went, corporations had the wealth advantage and could theoretically throw in enough money to allow Republicans to win elections in even the most blue of states and districts, and the course of the United States towards fascism would be impossible to stop.

Yet, we were already seeing evidence that Citizens United wasn't a silver bullet after all. The most dramatic example that played out during the 2010 elections was Meg Whitman spending $163 million of her own money in a bid to be the next governor of California. In spite of setting records for spending, she still lost the election to Jerry Brown.

The scenario unfolded again. It all unfolded in NY-26, a district that is very red as far as far as the political arena is concerned. For many decades, the district was won by a Republican even in cases where the Democratic candidate for governor or president carried the state by a large margin. NY-26 isn't just red, its very far into the red.

In a special election that concluded last night, Democratic candidate Kathy Hochul defeated Republican candidate Jane Corwin in what will be considered one of the biggest upsets in national history. In spite of conservative groups such as Karl Rove's American Crossroads spending $2 million in ad buys, plus assistance of John Boehner launching a fundraising event, Jane Corwin still lost.

The reason why the special election went the way it did is due to the social mood of the voters in the district. There was already a lot of anger in play, mainly over Rep Paul Ryan's budget plan that would have ended Medicare for all practical purposes. All of that pent up anger was going to be expressed at the ballot box in spite of conservatives spending massive amounts of money on ad buys. The day that Jane Corwin stated that she would have voted to end Medicare was the day that voters became increasing angry over the prospect of losing Medicare in the future.

There is again a political aspect to the development as well. In spite of the setback in NY-26, the GOP will continue to accelerate farther to the right. The next leg down in the bear market is about to unfold, which means increasing polarization in the political arena.

The larger picture is still the same. Expect the Palin Administration to purge Medicare in 2017 under the pretense of balancing the federal budget. This will certainly build up a massive surge of anger as we go through the worst part of "The Great Deflation" during that time, which will result in the Democratic Party getting a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, a large majority in the House, and a Democrat winning the 2020 presidential election.

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