Democrat With Little Chance of Winning Says McCutcheon Is the Worst Decision “Since Dred Scott

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 2 2014 5:14 PM

Democrat With Little Chance of Winning Says McCutcheon Is the Worst Decision “Since Dred Scott

The last time a Democratic candidate compared a campaign finance decision to Dred Scott, he was on his way to winning easily. Then-Rep. Ed Markey told an audience of liberals that just as "the Dred Scott decision had to be repealed, we have to repeal Citizens United." Republicans (and Markey's forgettable Democratic opponent), having little to work with, portrayed this as a gaffe. But it hurt him not a whit. Democrats agreed with him.

They still seem to agree with this. At 3:18, a few hours after McCutcheon came down, the campaign of South Dakota Senate candidate Rick Weiland sent out an email with the subject "Worst Decision Since The Dred Scott Case Reaffirmed Slavery." Half an hour later, the campaign took another bite: "Worst Ruling Since Dred Scott," read the headline. In the email itself, Weiland referred to a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting in Las Vegas, which occurred last weekend, as if it was ongoing.

In Dred Scott, the Court said people with money had the constitutional right to purchase and enslave other human beings. In its line of "money has the right to free speech" decisions, including today's McCutcheon decision, the Court is saying that people with unheard of amounts of money have the constitutional right to enslave our democracy.
As we speak the inevitable result of this Court's willingness to grant great riches unlimited power is playing out in Las Vegas. Leading candidates for the Presidency of the United States have been summoned there by a billionaire who has made his money preying on the gambling addiction of millions of Americans and they are being made to grovel for his ill-gotten billions courtesy of the United States Supreme Court's decision that money has the right to buy anything it wants, including our democracy.
Advertisement

And so on. For a while, pundits attempting to argue that the Democrats' populist wing was overtaking the Clinton wing pointed to Weiland as a breakout candidate. Weiland, wrote Noam Scheiber last year, was "a mere six points behind the state’s former Republican governor for a soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat." Polls taken since then have put Weiland behind the governor by 14 to 20 points.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Natasha Lyonne Is Coming to the Live Culture Gabfest. Are You?

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
Behold
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Honcho Says Celebs Who Keep Nude Photos in the Cloud Are “Stupid”
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 2 2014 9:19 AM Alibaba’s Founder on Why His Company Is Killing It in China
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 2 2014 10:42 AM The Hanging Coffins of Sagada
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 2 2014 10:36 AM How Bad Will Adam Sandler’s Netflix Movies Be?
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 2 2014 9:49 AM In Medicine We Trust Should we worry that so many of the doctors treating Ebola in Africa are missionaries?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?