Goodbye, Democracy - Hello, American Oligarchs and Oligopoly

According to the Center for Responsive Politics – lobbying money actually went down last year. After a record high of $2.5 billion spent in 2009 to influence Members of Congress – there was a slight drop off in 2010. Does that mean lobbying went down – or was the bar just set too high in the middle of the health reform debate? Or something else that nobody's discussing? The President of the American League of Lobbyists blamed the poor economy for the slight decline in lobbying dollars. But the dirty little secret - the unspoken reality - is that since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision opened the door to unlimited election spending directly on TV by corporations and billionaires – laundering that money through is increasingly obsolete. Instead – transnational corporations, billionaires, and foreign governments just cut out the middleman and buy their own candidates for elected office. Goodbye, Democracy - Hello, American Oligarchs and Oligopoly.


folkdoc 12 years 7 weeks ago

I don't think we will know the full extent of the disaster for a while -- and I do believe it is a disaster for democracy. Our government decisions are sold to the highest bidder.

lhebbard's picture
lhebbard 12 years 7 weeks ago

Thom is right on. We have been under the thumb of an oligarchy since early on the administration of GW Bush. And probably the major mover in that was Mr. Cheney. We no longer have a democracy or even a "republic" as Rush L and the extreme crazies like to say. Sadly, we are leaving a destroyed America for the next generation.

preed407's picture
preed407 12 years 7 weeks ago

Barack Obama will be re-elected in a landslide & campaign finance reform will finally happen. People will love Obamacare, once they get used to it.

Barliman's picture
Barliman 12 years 7 weeks ago

What do I think will happen- increasing injustaice and social disorder.

A tipping point will eventuate at some point ? revolution ? collapse of the USA.

This article argues that the collapse of US society first became apparent in 1974 and the process is now well advanced.

The real isue is what do we do if we plan to be in the group that will survive this outcome?

nordlie1 12 years 7 weeks ago

There's this old tale of a building being torn down for a new one. In the crowd watching the destruction of the building, the older generation of people are weeping (for they have good memories of being inside that building) while the younger generation of people (having no memory of what went on inside that building) shout with glee at its destruction in anticipation of new prospects and new opportunities that the new building will bring.

The "old tale" above also pertains to the destruction of democracy as we once knew it. New laws/legislation, books and freedom are being rewritten at a frenetic pace today.

Constructively, some of the strong actions we the people can take to change things revolve around legal remedies and the decision not to fatten the wallets of the oligarchs via the purchase of their goods & services which funds, in turn, they use against we the people in an election vote.

Namaimo's picture
Namaimo 12 years 7 weeks ago


Don't you think we've reached bottom? My feeling is that we can only go uphill from now on.

If not, woe is us.

Peace, Thom

dnarnadem 12 years 7 weeks ago

"The real isue is what do we do if we plan to be in the group that will survive this outcome?"

Flip a coin! And start hording LOTS of gasoline!

Let's be real here: isn't it better that we all work together and preserve what we already have to some degree, then to just give up and start digging holes in the ground?

If our human ancestors would of done that, the human race would still be in caves with no fire!!

dnarnadem 12 years 7 weeks ago

This was predicted not even a week after this decision (Citzens United). Corporations are People. People move around. They have estates (Corporations) in other countries. Of course this is dangerous! This decision has to be overturned! Lets amend our Constitution to overturn this idiotic decision, the quicker the better! This was a 5-4 decision. Obviously 4 Supremes thought this quite a stupid notion - the 4 bought Supremes were just doing what their Corporate masters were telling them how to vote. As to Justice Kennedy - who knows what he was thinking! But I bet he now feels he made one big mistake on this one!

Steven.PBarrett 12 years 7 weeks ago

Welcome to the U.S. of Aristocracy during the co-reign of the Koch Bros Kingship. That estate tax giveaway for the heirs of superbillionaires created yet another generation of mega-trust fund babies born between third n' home plate with no catcher guarding the plate.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 12 years 7 weeks ago

Thom: Don't you mean "Oil-igarchs?

leighmf's picture
leighmf 12 years 7 weeks ago

Audit the Fed and make the FDIC disclose that certificate numbers are actually mutual fund account numbers covertly managed for the benefit of individuals who should be identified. The top of their pyramid has been reached, but "The Eye" is us.

Neuro1's picture
Neuro1 12 years 4 weeks ago

Workers of the World Unite. Something very profound historically might be happening. Democracy seems to be breaking out all over the world, especially in the Middle East, but not in America unless the populace wakes up. The sleeping giants seem to be wakening in many parts of the world, toppling the rulers the US has backed over the years. They will not recreate America’s form of democracy but a form of Social Capitalism. In addition to that Egypt and other countries are in solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin and other states. It might signal the beginning of the end of America’s form of capitalism which is parasitic and corrupt. In a supposedly democratic country, unregulated capitalism does not work except for a very small percentage of the population as is the case in America. Let us eschew the myth of America, for we have a form of federal government that does not work for the vast majority of Americans it is corrupt and parasitic, its politicians are bought and sold by corporate America. In fact the country has become corrupt on every level, including the Supreme Court. Everything eventually goes to extinction and dies, and historical America is dying (1 in 4 counties are dying in America, AP, Tuesday, February 22, 2011). America needs another revolution and needs to EVOLVE and move on into the modern world.

wmstoll's picture
wmstoll 12 years 4 weeks ago

It should be noted, that democrats get their fair percentage of the lobbying money. It you look at the first ten on the top 50 list you find 7 democrats, and the top lobbyist is over 80% democratic. It is this constant hyperbole that drives me crazy. In the 2010 congressional cycle, with pacs and private donations, the democrats came out ahead.

A recent article in the LA Times identifies labor as spending over $500,000 to beat Parks for City Council, and then they will have a majority.This doesn't include the issue ads from the electricians and police. That makes the $43,000 the Kochs gave to the Gov in Wi look like chump change. The same labor group spent $8,000,000 to defeat Parks for County Supervisor. The Kochs supposedly spent $3,000,000 in support of republican candidates in the whole state of WI.

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