By Freida Marie Crump
The Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
The average Joe on the street doesn’t know much about the Supreme Court and I have feeling that’s just dandy with the justices who sit there. We know that they line up once a year for a picture where they closely resemble the judges at a dill pickle contest, and they look like none of them have ever worked for Meals on Wheels. So it’s a rare occasion when the nine ladies and gentlemen do something that rings any sort of gong back home.
Two weeks ago, however, they took the remarkable step of doing away with all types of elections. In their landmark decision on McCutcheon v. FEC, they decided that all future elections could be purchased instead of earned, saying that individuals could slush as much money as they wanted into the hungry pockets of any politicians wanting to take a bribe. Strike that. Chief Justice John Roberts specifically said that this was not a bribe and he must be right because they call him Supreme. You thought “free speech” meant your right to stand up and complain? According to the 5-4 vote, it means you can only be heard if you have enough money. In fact, three times in the last five years the same five justices have overruled any attempt at taking money out of politics. Again, they must be right because they’re Supreme. Note: the Supremes don’t have to run for office.
So with anyone now able to buy any election and influence any vote, what’s the place in our democracy for a poor housewife from Coonridge? As with other great crises in America, Wal-Mart is the model. Let’s do away with the voting booth and install a One-Stop-Buy-Your-Candidate-Mart. Forget the trouble of standing in line to vote. The Buy-a-Bubba will be open 24 hours a day.
We can lay out the new Bribery Mall just like a Wal-Mart, with the various candidates relegated to their own aisles. The first-time candidates will be listed as “Fresh Produce,” and from there you’ll move on down the aisle to the politicians who say the same tired thing election after election. We’ll call these the Canned Goods. From there you’ll have a choice of politicos who’ve been in office forever, the “hams.” Some of these hams have aged a good many years and on occasion they’re even pickled. All you do is spend your money on the honest men and women you’d like to bribe. A polite word for this is “influence.” The real word can’t be printed.
If you have any money left . . . and remember, you’ll be bidding against billionaires . . . you can thumb through the racks of the checkout lane featuring road commissioners, mayors, and sewage department heads.
Of course an even quicker alternative to the election process would be to simply call it an auction. I’ve always enjoyed a good auction, and there’s something in the drone of an auctioneer’s cry that’s thrilling. Put each candidate up on a stage and let the bidding begin. There are no doubt those among you who regard this as silly. I would only ask you to think about what’s happening at the moment.
Take Sheldon Adelson, the owner of the Venetian resort in Las Vegas. He’s one of the ten richest people in the world. He almost single-handedly financed New Gingrich’s 2012 campaign and he’s looking for somewhere to put his millions in the next election. The Supreme Court says this is free speech so it must be okay. Two weeks ago a handful of presidential hopefuls high-tailed it to Las Vegas to speak in Adelson’s hotel. Maybe they just enjoyed the showgirls and the scenery, but one thing was for sure: they didn’t come to get votes. It was cash, baby. The Las Vegas crowd happened to all be Republicans, but the Democrats won’t be excluded in my proposed Buy-A-Congressman auction. In the last presidential election, none of the top ten donors were Republicans.
Perhaps the greatest savings will be to the lives of chickens. Not the cowards who hide behind super PAC’s and lobbyists, but actual feathered cluckers. Until the Supreme Court struck its noble blow for free speech you had to pay up to $100,000 a plate to eat chicken cordon bleu with the President. Since Justice Roberts and his noble cronies ruled that it was legal to openly buy an election the chickens will now be allowed to live. On behalf of all the chickens in the world, we thank you.
You ever in Coonridge, stop by. We may not answer the door but you'll enjoy the trip.