Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me

Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor of The Nation, has written an opinion piece in The Washington Post titled Progressives Must Work to Retake the Supreme Court.

After having read the piece, I must say that Katrina shows a clear lack of understanding of the U.S. constitutional system. The U.S. Supreme Court is, by design, a reactionary institution whose function is to limit the power of the most democratic branch of government (Congress). And while, historically, there are instances of socially progressive Court decisions, by and large, the institution's primary function is to protect and promote the interests of corporate America. Just look at the current composition of the court: eight out of nine justices are pro-corporate individuals. These include Obama's appointments.

Also, the right-wing nature of the institution notwithstanding, if Katrina vanden Heuvel wants to be taken seriously she needs to be more candid about who she wants to retake the Court from whom; advocating for Obama's re-elections implies the socially liberal corporatists (Dems) v. socially conservative corporatists (Reps) dichotomy. If, instead, she means that the People need to retake the Supreme Court, then she should advocate electing a president by the people rather than by the corporations such as Obama.

Only when we elect a president who truly represents the people, we can talk about retaking the Supreme Court. Until then, the cries by the likes of Katrina vanden Heuvel are simply scare tactics to make people vote for Obama and the corporate state. This is why in the current presidential election, I will vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party.

(To those who chastise voters who vote their conscience rather than voting  for the lesser-of-two-evils – itself an oxymoron, given Obama's pitiful record – I say this: if you vote Democratic thinking that the Democratic party is going to take your vote as anything other than a full endorsement of their policies, you clearly do not understand electoral politics. Because, make no mistake, after every election parties look at results very carefully, including those of smaller parties. Any spillover in any direction is assessed and, if considered worrisome, addressed by modifying the party's message to include those voters' concerns. If you don't believe me, just look at how much time both major parties spend courting the so-called independents.)