“Democracy is dead!” let us cry, let us shout,
Democracy ist tott, let us whale, let it out.
Our North, our South, our East and West,
Our working week and Sunday rest,
It’s dead, “its deeeaaaaad!!!” in theory and in deed,
Our noon, our midnight, our talk, and our lead.
So let airplanes and fighter jets, and even a drone
Go moaning way up high, yes, and make known,
By scrawling on the sky, “You suckers ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”
Not exactly Auden.
But consider the latest Supreme Court ruling, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, as the last nail in the coffin. As pointed out by The Center for Public Integrity, the still-existing ban on foreign involvement in political advertising and elections does not refer to corporations operating within the US but are controlled by those who are overseas. “With the corporate campaign expenditure ban now being declared unconstitutional,” says J. Gerald Hebert, executive director and director of litigation at the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center, “domestic corporations controlled by foreign governments or other foreign entities are free to spend money to elect or defeat federal candidates.” As Greg Palast writes, “there is nothing that stops, say, a Delaware-incorporated handmaiden of the Burmese junta from picking a Congressman or two with a cache of loot masked by a corporate alias.” The implications of what Palast refers to as the “hidden money funding, whether foreign or domestic” unleashed by the Court’s 5-4 decision means that foreign investors, like the Chinese, who hold mortgages on our Treasury will raise alarm about the costs of government spending, and have a direct inroad into buying the White House and Congress for opponents to government spending.