Sunday, January 24, 2010

SCOTUS Ruling on Campaign Cash - Prometheus Unbound!

Last week's Supreme Court Ruling allowing corporations and Unions to side-step 527 -Groups like the Swift Boaters and others has the Birkenstock-Soul Patch and Academic Think Tankers running in circles like a dog with three legs.

Calm down Cupcakes. It will be Okay. Not that such admonitions ever lessen the pace of the earnest hearts pounding in those Saltine-thin chests.

Campaign Reform is always an after thought, like locking the doors of the house after second-story engineers looted the place while Dexter and Tanya and the kids were on vacation at the Sun dance Film Festival.

In Greek mythology a set of twin Titans Prometheus and Epimetheus represented forethought and afterthought. James Baldwin retells the tale for all of us Helots:

In those old, old times, there lived two brothers who were not like other men, nor yet like those Mighty Ones who lived upon the mountain top. They were the sons of one of those Titans who had fought against Jupiter and been sent in chains to the strong prison-house of the Lower World. name of the elder of these brothers was Prometheus, or Forethought; for he was always thinking of the future and making things ready for what might happen to-morrow, or next week, or next year, or it may be in a hundred years to come. The younger was called Epimetheus, or Afterthought; for he was always so busy thinking of yesterday, or last year, or a hundred years ago, that he had no care at all for what might come to pass after a while For some cause Jupiter had not sent these brothers to prison with the rest of the Titans.

Prometheus did not care to live amid the clouds on the mountain top. He was too busy for that. While the Mighty Folk were spending their time in idleness, drinking nectar and eating ambrosia, he was intent upon plans for making the world wiser and better than it had ever been before.

He went out amongst men to live with them and help them; for his heart was filled with sadness when he found that they were no longer happy as they had been during the golden days when Saturn was king. Ah, how very poor and wretched they were! He found them living in caves and in holes of the earth, shivering with the cold because there was no fire, dying of starvation, hunted by wild beasts and by one another–the most miserable of all living creatures.“If they only had fire,” said Prometheus to himself, “they could at least warm themselves and cook their food; and after a while they could learn to make tools and build themselves houses. Without fire, they are worse off than the beasts.”

Then he went boldly to Jupiter and begged him to give fire to men, that so they might have a little comfort through the long, dreary months of winter.

“Not a spark will I give,” said Jupiter. “No, indeed! Why,if men had fire they might become strong and wise like ourselves, and after a while they would drive us out of our kingdom. Let them shiver with cold, and let them live like the beasts. It is best for them to be poor and ignorant, that so we Mighty Ones may thrive and be happy."
(Emphasis my own.)

The Progressive Olympians need to shout down orders to the Helots - Rubes, Tea Party-go-ers, Regular Democrats, Republicans that can't afford to join the country club, folks who eat lettuce and not Arugula - you know Rubes - clinging religious gun loving Rubes.

Read some more from James Baldwin or in the original works of Hesiod. My students at Bishop Mac in Kankakee and at La Lumiere School ( Alma Mater of Chief Justice John Roberts) in LaPorte, IN were introduced to Prometheus and his daffy Bro.

It always seems to me that Progressives and Goo-goos are the New Olympians - Jupiter's In-Crowd and they take orders for the top.

If you are like Epimetheus and live by "afterthought" and lock step political principles then everything is Jake, Swell, Hunkey-Dorey. Epimetheus did Okay because he pretty much did nothing - that's the idea.

If, like Prometheus, you live by "forethought" common sense and devote yourself to independence and Liberty - then you get your ass chained to the Carpathian Rocks for eternity and have vultures snack on your livers.

The Supreme Court stood up for Forethought, Common Sense, Free Speech and Liberty and it won't be too bad. even the smart guys at say so. Check this out:
But the reality is likely to be something more modest, mainly a shifting of cash that’s already in the system away from so-called 527 groups.

In the past decade, corporations have actually been trying to get out of the business of big political giving. They sided with reform advocates when the McCain-Feingold law was first challenged in 2003 and testified on behalf of its ban on unlimited corporate giving to the political parties, which were dubbed “soft money” donations.

The reasons for this reluctance were complex. Some executives hated the way politicians always had their hands out, making appeals that were difficult to turn down for fear of retribution in the legislative process. Others didn’t like the lack of control they had over how their money was spent.

The court ruling would give corporate officials that control, but many of them may decide — especially those in publicly held companies — to keep the cash for their real business needs.

Running attack ads against political targets would create real risks of alienating customers and shareholders. And, given voters’ sentiments toward corporations today, most politicians would probably not welcome a glowing ad campaign on their behalf that was funded by Big Business.

Most CEOs will avoid the whole question by simply sticking with their traditional — and safe — government relations package of lobbying and limited giving through the in-house political action committee, experts said.
Read more:

Prometheus was the Titan of Forethought and it was tough to be Prometheus. It is tough to be an American citizen - it is supposed to be!

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