Support a doomed cause. Support S.J.Res. 33
, even though it has no practical chance of passage. Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed a Constitutional amendment to end the concept of corporate personhood. If this proposal does not succeed in changing the way this country is run, it will at least initiate a much-needed debate. It's a debate we should welcome, a debate which we may not win in the short win but must
win in the end.
Sanders's amendment, S.J.Res. 33, would state that corporations do not have the same constitutional rights as persons, that corporations are subject to regulation, that corporations may not make campaign contributions and that Congress has the power to regulate campaign finance.
While the Citizens United case affected corporations, unions and other entities, the Sanders amendment focuses only on "for-profit corporations, limited liability companies or other private entities established for business purposes or to promote business interests."
Sanders said he has never proposed an amendment to the Constitution before, but said he sees no other alternative to reversing the Citizens United decision.
"In my view, corporations should not be able to go into their treasuries and spend millions and millions of dollars on a campaign in order to buy elections," he said. "I do not believe that is what American democracy is supposed to be about."
This past summer, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said "corporations are people," when fielding a question about whether taxes should be raised in order to increase federal revenues, which drew sharp reactions from Democrats.
The Sanders amendment is co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), and a similar amendment has been proposed in the House by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).
These proposals have little chance of moving forward in the House and Senate, as they would need the support of two-thirds of both chambers to pass.
What's the point (you may ask) of supporting an amendment that won't pass? It serves as a way of reminding us who the good guys are. It's a flag around which we can rally.
Look at it this way: Fifteen years ago, legalized gay marriage was unthinkable. Now, the idea has (according to some polls
) majority backing.
Getting rid of corporate personhood will be a more difficult battle, because private lives are one thing but money is money
. Still, even at this early stage, we have two senators and one representative on board. This proposal will provide an instant litmus test to indicate which politicians are honest.
OWS protesters: Here is your cause, or at least one of your causes -- and it's a much better goal than is the foolish strategy of shutting down ports. You can feel the country moving in this direction. As a side benefit, the Republicans (and the more easily purchased Democrats) will no doubt say some uninentionally hilarious things as they try to defend the indefensible notion of corporate personhood. Won't that