Worst SCOTUS Decision of the Decade, Hard to Top


#21

That is activism.

I do not agree with the presumption, common among debaters but completely and totally unexamined, that “activism” carries any special moral weight.


#22

As for the additional comments that have been posted, I simply return to my original observation – the objections being posted are not deploying any legal arguments, but are merely expressing an emotional hatred for corporations.

And I do not think that is a productive or rational response, though it does seem commonly accepted as dispositive among progressive “activists”.


#23

[QUOTE=JPS;217630]As for the additional comments that have been posted, I simply return to my original observation – the objections being posted are not deploying any legal arguments, but are merely expressing an emotional hatred for corporations.

And I do not think that is a productive or rational response, though it does seem commonly accepted as dispositive among progressive “activists”.[/QUOTE]
Jason, please stop this hypocrisy. I addressed everything you posted and identified problems with their logic, I even submitted additional links showcasing the level of influence that results from spending money in lobbying efforts to corroborate my analysis.

You never respond to anything I write; you only make snide little remarks about “activists” and “leftists” and “progressives” and “the ideological hegemony of net-benefits.” So lets be honest, all you really want to do is snipe at liberals, you’re not here for any of the discourse you pretend to stand up for, or if you are, you’re not doing a good job at it.

As for your argument that its an emotional hatred, my argument is against both corporate delimiting and union delimiting, curbing Soros or Murdoch. But you don’t see that, because you’re far too eager to devolve back into your usual sniping.

So how about you actually, I don’t know, respond for once. I gave you the courtesy.

Or are you just going to derail this thread with your usual antics:

[QUOTE=JPS;217612]It has been fascinating to observe the reaction to the decision. Those progressives objecting almost 100% of the time do so using partisan rather than legal arguments (including on this thread). That exposes the hypocrisy of the progressive argument, in my opinion.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=JPS;217614]The problem is that many progressive outlets have been exaggerating/misrepresenting the content of the Court’s decision as an expression of their disappointment.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=JPS;217616]Here is some actual substance about the corporate personhood issue, for those interested in something other that the usual attacks from progressives directed at literally everyone who dares dissent from their hegemony on this forum.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=JPS;217620]If you want to do anything more than just regurgitate the talking points off of the protest signs, AK, please begin.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=JPS;217623]Because none of the progressives on this thread have yet agreed to dispense with personal attacks and actually address substance, it is hard to tell.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=JPS;217630]And I do not think that is a productive or rational response, though it does seem commonly accepted as dispositive among progressive “activists”.[/QUOTE]

I think the summary is that anything that does not agree with your point of view must be based in emotion, hypocritical, ideologically defunct, or just a product of forum hegemony while everything you post is a paragon of discourse and a lesson to all those seeking to learn substantive argumentation.


#24

I sense a pattern:

[QUOTE=JPS;217612]It has been fascinating to observe the reaction to the decision. Those progressives objecting almost 100% of the time do so using partisan rather than legal arguments (including on this thread). That exposes the hypocrisy of the progressive argument, in my opinion.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=JPS;217614]The problem is that many progressive outlets have been exaggerating/misrepresenting the content of the Court’s decision as an expression of their disappointment.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=JPS;217616]Here is some actual substance about the corporate personhood issue, for those interested in something other that the usual attacks from progressives directed at literally everyone who dares dissent from their hegemony on this forum.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=JPS;217620]If you want to do anything more than just regurgitate the talking points off of the protest signs, AK, please begin.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=JPS;217623]Because none of the progressives on this thread have yet agreed to dispense with personal attacks and actually address substance, it is hard to tell.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=JPS;217630]And I do not think that is a productive or rational response, though it does seem commonly accepted as dispositive among progressive “activists”.[/QUOTE]


#25

AK,

It is difficult to perceive your tone towards me on this or most other threads as in any way respectful, so I’m not really inclined to feel all guilty about being an unfair beneficiary of respectable treatment. I’ll stop being (admittedly) snide towards progressive “activism” and ideological hegemony as soon as I see a similar demand for respect and collegiality consistently and explicitly applied towards progressives around here. Until then, forget it.

As to the substance, I would say that your response is simply non-responsive to the legal issue of free speech and corporate personhood. The fact that corporations have lots of money is not news nor it is legally relevant to the question of whether they should be treated as persons under the law and treated equally as persons under the law.

An emotional reaction to the fact that corporations (gasp!) make profits and spend them in ways intended to help advance their shareholders’ interests is, to my mind, neither legally nor morally objectionable. So, since I don’t share your underlying (and unexamined) moralistic presumptions about the evils of money and profit, I can’t perceive how your pointing out that corporations have lots of money is responsive to the legal issues in this case.


#26

Well, Jason, political analysis is more multi-faceted than just legal argumentation. In fact, the spheres of analysis should usually also extend into areas of morality, economics; you know, those arguments you bring up in your own posts but deride when we make them because they are not “legal.”

I disagree with your politics and I’m not afraid to voice it, but if anyone here is confused of someone’s tone its how everything returns to “liberals this” / “progressives that” with you. Can you hold a discussion person to person without referring to me as an abstract noun?

An emotional reaction to the fact that corporations (gasp!) make profits and spend them in ways intended to help advance their shareholders’ interests is, to my mind, neither legally nor morally objectionable. So, since I don’t share your underlying (and unexamined) moralistic presumptions about the evils of money and profit, I can’t perceive how your pointing out that corporations have lots of money is responsive to the legal issues in this case.

My argument on this thread is about equal access to Democracy, something you only respond to once (with that terrible Ilya Somin article). Even if I wanted to pretend that somehow we should all just accept corporate influence as being benign and proper for any society, my point here is that democracy should be about equal access, something I hope you would agree with.


#27

The majority’s mode of logic (as well as yours), legitimizes voting by corporations.

This is just factually wrong and reflects serious ignorance of what the issues here even are.

Voting rights apply only to citizens.

Free speech rights apply to persons, which is a broader legal category.

Any attempt to discuss the legal issue of corporate personhood intelligently requires an understanding of this basic distinction.


#28

Well, Jason, political analysis is more multi-faceted than just legal argumentation.

True, but we are discussing the finding in a court case, which makes the central subject legal, not populist politics. This is where I depart from the respect that the progressives here hold for Justice Stevens. I perceive Justice Stevens’ decision here (and much of the rest of the time) to be simply ideological and nearly bankrupt of neutral legal analysis.

And yes, I am aware of the legal realist argument that says legal decisions are inherently political. And I am aware that there are political effects that feed into and out of legal decisions. But I believe it is possible to stop short of just reducing legal cases to PURE politics, where the weight of the mob prevails and the rule of law dissolves.

So, I prefer to remain focused on the legal questions of corporate personhood and not just run along with the populist progressive mob mentality of “corps bad! we win!”


#29

If I wanted to discuss solely the legalistic interpretation I would post on a law forum, this discussion is clearly intended to reach more areas. If there is something morally flawed with a law, then that is something that has to be taken into account and, hopefully, one day used to reform that law. The status quo is always shifting. And the ease with which you decree anything liberal as ideologically bankrupt tickles me when I read your last sentence.

[QUOTE=JPS;217636]And yes, I am aware of the legal realist argument that says legal decisions are inherently political. And I am aware that there are political effects that feed into and out of legal decisions. But I believe it is possible to stop short of just reducing legal cases to PURE politics, where the weight of the mob prevails and the rule of law dissolves.

So, I prefer to remain focused on the legal questions of corporate personhood and not just run along with the populist progressive mob mentality of “corps bad! we win!”[/QUOTE]
My argument is, as it has been all thread long, equal access to Democracy good. So I don’t care if its corps, millionaires, or unions, access should be equal for all. Furthermore, corporate personhood doesn’t answer the underlying problem here. I am also a person, I don’t have the right to spend unlimited funds on advertisements leading up to the general election.

What I find problematic is that the supreme court has stepped away from the idea that corporate spending is “quid pro quo” and merely free speech. I mean, to quote a certain free thinker:

[QUOTE=JPS;217633]The fact that corporations (gasp!) make profits and spend them in ways intended to help advance their shareholders’ interests is, to my mind, neither legally nor morally objectionable. So, since I don’t share your underlying (and unexamined) moralistic presumptions about the evils of money and profit, I can’t perceive how your pointing out that corporations have lots of money is responsive to the legal issues in this case.[/QUOTE]

While you might not care, the Supreme Court did care about the “quid pro quo” of lobbying in accepting limits in corporate spending. And since the new majority ignored the ‘quid pro quo’ in areas of campaign ads, you should prefer my interpretation of law since you have just explicitly stated that ‘quid pro quo’ is (gasp!) 100% normal for corporate behavior.


#30

If I wanted to discuss solely the legalistic interpretation I would post on a law forum, this discussion is clearly intended to reach more areas.

Ok. I was not aware that this forum was intended solely for group ratification of shared political ideologies. Thanks for correcting me.

As for “equal access to democracy”, that’s a slogan, not an argument. Precisely what defined “equal access” is what the argument is about, so that slogan cannot constitute a conclusion.

I contend that the only sustainable definition is procedural – all persons must have the same procedural rights. No class of persons can be singled out for reduced access, even under the presumption that they could get “too much” access.

Your definition appears to be substantive – you want to set up laws that differentiate classes of people who have artificial limits imposed on their access out of the fear that they will get “too much” access or that they will use their access in the service of the “wrong” causes. And I think this definition leads inevitably to authoritarianism, as the people empowered to define what constitutes “too much access” or the “wrong causes” wind up running the table in a self-serving way.

P.S.

…to quote a certain free thinker…

Your constant attempts at mockery belie your claims to “respect”. You have no basis to complain about “snide” comments directed at you I make as long as this continues to be a feature of your posting. The same goes for others who behave in similar ways.


#31

[QUOTE=JPS;217638]Ok. I was not aware that this forum was intended solely for group ratification of shared political ideologies.[/QUOTE]
Your willful misinterprations are getting really tiresome, Jason…

I am perfectly fine with discussing legal interpretations. Thats why I said this has to be a multi-faceted approach, discuss politics, economics, morality, law. Hence “more areas,” not “other areas.” I was upset with how you repeatedly decried any argument that was not legal.

[QUOTE=JPS;217612]It has been fascinating to observe the reaction to the decision. Those progressives objecting almost 100% of the time do so using partisan rather than legal arguments (including on this thread). That exposes the hypocrisy of the progressive argument, in my opinion.[/QUOTE]


#32

Procedural is also just a slogan, just like “judicial activism.” But the bigger problem here is:

  1. No ‘class’ is singled out for reduced access, everyone is given an equal limit. But secondly, access should not be financial, why should monetary wealth be the gateway to political change? How does this still not strike you as problematic? Does one person, one vote mean anything to you?

  2. “Too much access” is a deceptive moniker. The fact is that other voices simply get drowned out. When those with wealth are allowed to help draft legislation, participate in back-door meetings, and decide on the terms of legislation that affects them, at the expense of other stakeholders who are not allowed into these meetings due to their lesser financial contributions, then “more access” is code for “shutting other people out.” And thats where the problem begins, and why the limits were put into place by the Supreme Court in the first place.

Actually, heading the other direction is the exact same thing. Why is Fox News having a giant circle jerk about this? Its not because of principle, its because their supposed move to literal interpretations is a giant move to their own desired outcome. So both sides share this problem.

But furthermore, since you are so keen on the legalistic framework. The Supreme Court put these limits in place to limit the quid pro quo of contributions, you grant repeatedly that these contributions are quid pro quo, with that understanding, you should, legally, be on my side.

And I don’t cherrypick causes, I repeatedly said everyone should have equal access. Giving everyone the ability to participate equally is always preferable to having some have far greater access than others.

And this idea that money equals speech really needs to be examined. Its funny that what every sane person around this globe recognizes as bribery is just blindly accepted to be a normal occurrence around here.


#33

Your willful misinterprations

Calling my a liar (by inserting the word “willful”) is a very poor basis upon which to show your claimed “respect” and to foster open debate.

Is your purpose to foster open debate?


#34

I can’t read your mind and guess what the origins of your misinterpretations are, only that most of the time, regardless of what I say, my words are generally interpreted as “liberal hegemony” / etc. If that really was unintentional, perhaps next time, when you feel the urge to post the same thing you normally do, how about you reread the sentence and see if it really applies. It will improve the signal-to-noise ratio.

And yes, I try to have an open debate, and hopefully your definition of open debate is to debate with people, not to debate with abstract nouns.


#35

perhaps next time, when you feel the urge to post the same thing you normally do, how about you reread the sentence and see if it really applies

Once again, until principles of charitable interpretation, good faith, respect, and good will are demanded from and honored by progressives around here, I decline to accept requests that I go out of my way to apply them for progressives. Hey, goose, enjoy that sauce you made for the gander.

Until there exists among progressives here some modicum of respect for honest dissent, I will continue to feel free to indulge in the same kind of “snide” remarks and self-serving “spin” that y’all have championed for so long. If you (and others) feel I treat you as an avatar of an abstraction of progressive intolerance, perhaps it is because you (and others) have for so long been consistently intolerant of ANY and ALL dissent from progressive orthodoxy. Given your records, I don’t see how it is unreasonable to recognize the ideological context of your remarks and the near-total absence of dissenters on this forum. If you don’t like the consequences, perhaps taking action to change the pattern would be a better response than trying to constantly demand that no one is allowed to notice or critique the pattern.

As for the substance of the discussion, I note that your belief that corporate spending will result in a skewing of the electoral and policy process relies on an unexamined underlying assumption that more spending automatically translates into persuasion of voters to change their votes. This column does a pretty good job of showing the unwarranted cynicism of that assumption: http://dailycaller.com/2010/01/21/to-campaign-finance-reformers-we-are-a-nation-of-lemmings/


#36

[QUOTE=JPS;217644]Once again, until principles of charitable interpretation, good faith, respect, and good will are demanded from and honored by progressives around here,[/QUOTE]

What will that take, Jason. Because when you complained I was dismissive, I went back and expanded my answer, when you claimed I didn’t respond, I went back and responded, when you complained my words were unfair, I went back and clarified.

Or is this all just posturing by you so you can continue to act condescending to every liberal and pretend you’re free from criticism because you always have a persecution complex?


#37

well that turned into a shit show.


#38

Thats because Jason always has a bone to pick with liberals. Any thread where you post and your opinions are to the left of his, he will blame you for anything and everything any liberal has ever done to him in any debate no matter how many years ago. For fun, I looked up my posts from 2004, when I first joined Net-Benefits, knew absolutely no one from the national circuit or the forum, and Jason already accused me of being part of Net-Benefits sheep mentality and the liberal dogma of the forum. Its been 5 years and he’s still the same.

Jason, you always have a bone to pick with liberals. Thats why I keep asking you to stop referring to me as an abstract noun. I am Hajeer. I am not net-benefits liberals. I don’t accuse you of things because I saw Ken / Jed / Matt / Pat say them, but you are incapable of distinguishing from what I write from whatever else you’ve ever seen from any other liberal.

Once again, until principles of charitable interpretation, good faith, respect, and good will are demanded from and honored by progressives around here, I decline to accept requests that I go out of my way to apply them for progressives. Hey, goose, enjoy that sauce you made for the gander.

This is just obnoxious. Because I’m progressive you don’t have to make the slightest effort to even understand what I’m writing? This is not you versus the progressives of the world, most of whom stopped posting here years ago, and are now replaced by a wholly different breed of posters, this if you and me, if you can’t understand that, then you have a serious problem.

[QUOTE=JPS;217644]If you (and others) feel I treat you as an avatar of an abstraction of progressive intolerance, perhaps it is because you (and others) have for so long been consistently intolerant of ANY and ALL dissent from progressive orthodoxy. Given your records, I don’t see how it is unreasonable to recognize the ideological context of your remarks and the near-total absence of dissenters on this forum.[/QUOTE]

Your pattern was already well in place in 2004 when I first joined this forum, Jason. You have a persecution complex you need to justify, whether or not reality calls for it.

I have no problem with beliefs I disagree with, I simply argue with them. You make arguments, I address them.

I make arguments, you attack me for being liberal, then claim I don’t deserve to be treated with respect because I’m liberal.

You are the most intolerant person here, Jason. I have a running tally of you just hating on liberals and it comes from every single post you made on this thread.

Physician, heal thyself.

[QUOTE=JPS;217644]If you don’t like the consequences, perhaps taking action to change the pattern would be a better response than trying to constantly demand that no one is allowed to notice or critique the pattern.[/QUOTE]

Like I said, I answered everything you stated, went back and clarified when you wanted me to, expanded arguments when you said I was being dismissive. I’ve done plenty enough. You’ve done absolutely nothing. Maybe you’re part of the problem.

Substance:

And as for that little link you posted: even if I am to grant that money doesn’t influence campaign outcomes, something which I think is laughable to claim but I’ll address later, 1) you already said on multiple occasions that campaign contributions are quid pro quo and that you have no moral problem with that, 2) I already posted several links showing the incredibly high correlation between campaign contributions and legislative favors, and 3) I showed a poll of judges where 30% of judges admitted campaign contributions in judicial elections affected their leanings in trials. Those are our judges.


#39

Since you are incapable of responding to any criticism or disagreement without making it personal BY NAME at AT LENGTH, I conclude that your requests for a change in tone are simply self-serving and false.

Also, your last paragraph is based on such a completely ridiculous misquoting of what I have said as to allow no possibility of a further substantive response. The substance of the issue is corporate personhood. The claim that recognizing it will destroy democracy is, at best, a radical over-impacting on questionable theoretical and empirical grounds that ignores the underlying legal and practical issues as well.

I had thought that debaters were supposed to be concerned about such defects, but I guess that doesn’t apply to “Required Thoughts”. :rolleyes

For the record, I am an eager and frequent participant in debates with (and even on the same side of) progressives much of the time. Those progressives are inquisitive, intellectually serious, and principled, in spite of the disagreements I have with them. If you want to convince me that you’re of those, you’ve repeatedly, at length, and over a very long period chosen a VERY poor method for trying to demonstrate it.


#40

[QUOTE=JPS;217648]Since you are incapable of responding to any criticism or disagreement without making it personal BY NAME at AT LENGTH, I conclude that your requests for a change in tone are simply self-serving and false.

Also, your last paragraph is based on such a completely ridiculous misquoting of what I have said as to allow no possibility of a further substantive response. You can go back to the group-think club now.[/QUOTE]
My best friend Nik? Republican. My boss? Republican. Five of my High-school buddies who I saw over break and had beers with? Well, two are now Special Forces, one is an Army Ranger, one is a Marine, and one is in marine officer academy. (We were all on the Wrestling team together, most of the Wrestlers joined the military straight out of high school, in the middle of the Iraq war, and requested combat duty, which they all got.)

Surprisingly, most of the people I know are conservatives. But you’re so eager to pretend to yourself that you’re the only exposure anyone on earth has to conservatives that its easy to pretend you have some sacred duty here from group think. As if I go to Net-Benefits for my political education. (Thats simultaneously an offensive thought and hilarious all at once.)

Like I said, when I joined this forum on 2004 you had already leveled all the same attacks against me. You’re a hypocrite. Pure and simple.