On Wednesday, the Supreme Court released a monumental decision involving campaign finance laws: namely, it removed the overall limit of how much one donor can give to campaigns. Money doesn't corrupt politics, the Supreme Court's argument seems to be. Well last night, Stewart didn't mince words: that's "bullshit."
After spending several minutes breaking down just how asinine the Supreme Court's equating of money and speech truly is, Stewart decided to give an example of the uber-rich having an undue influence on U.S. politics.
How about a historical example? Except you don't have to go far to find a prime example: "What if we reached back in history to, like, this weekend?" Stewart asked. He referred to, of course, the potential GOP presidential candidates that spent this past weekend trying to woo "Super Donor" Sheldon Adelson and get him to open his wallet.
"I would respectfully like to approach the bench and remind the Court that when the media refers to Sheldon Adelson as a 'super donor' they're not talking sperm ... I hope," Stewart said. He continued: "So a pack of Republican presidential hopefuls just flew all the way to Las Vegas just to kiss the scooter-riding ass of one 80-year old billionaire. Doesn't prove anything, though, right?"
Here's why money makes a difference, according to Stewart: "My family is full of 80-year old Jews who would very much like to tell politicians what words they can and cannot use to describe Israel, but as of this taping, no presidential hopefuls have flown to their house to solicit that opinion."
The problem is that giving the rich free rein in campaign donations creates unequal influence (duh): "In whose delusional mind is democracy made better by letting wealthier people control more of it?" Stewart asked.
"How the fuck does this decision enable more citizens to contribute? According to the AP, in 2012, 646 individuals bumped up against the campaign contribution limit that this case just struck down. McCutcheon doesn't get more people involved, it lets those 646 individuals get themselves more involved," he explained.
So this decision is yet another step back for democracy. And then when you take into consideration what the Supreme Court did to voting rights last year – well, maybe it's best not to think about it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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