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Stephen Colbert Takes Sunday Morning By Storm And Skewers Citizens United

ProudProgressive 2012/01/16 12:35:13
Stephen Colbert Takes Sunday Morning By Storm And Skewers Citizens United
January 15, 2012
By Jason Easley

Stephen Colbert used his appearance on ABC's This Week to satirize Citizens United and point out the absurdity of corporations being people.

Partial Transcript from This Week:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Also on Facebook…

COLBERT: Really? Do you get your questions from anywhere but Facebook?

STEPHANOPOULOS: No, we got a few of them from Facebook, though. "Do you believe the outcome of the 2012 presidential election is based on how much money each candidate can raise?"

COLBERT: No, it's how much speech they can express, because money equals speech. It doesn't matter if the speech comes from money or comes from your mouth.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you agree with the Supreme Court?

COLBERT: On almost everything. Money equals speech, therefore, the more money you have the more you can speak. That's just — that just stands to reason. If corporations are people, corporations should be able to speak. That's why I believe in super PACs.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you believe in super PACs. You believe they're full expression of the First Amendment?

COLBERT: Without a doubt, do you not, George? Do you not believe that some — are you saying…

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm asking the questions today, Mr. Colbert.

COLBERT: Well, you answer one of my questions, I'll answer one of yours. Do you believe that corporations are people?

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm not going to weigh in on that. We're going to have a long campaign here. But I want to know what you think about that.

COLBERT: Really? Corporations are people. You won't weigh in on whether some people are people. That seems kind of racist, George.


STEPHANOPOULOS: So you are — but are you worried about how much money, what money is doing to this political environment?

COLBERT: No. Why would you worry about what money is doing to the political environment? There are $11.2 million in super PAC ads being run in South Carolina. Super PACs are outspending the candidates two to one in South Carolina right now.

That just means, according to Citizens United, there's just more speech than there was before. And I don't know about you, but I believe in the freedom of speech, especially as a member of the press, you should support that.

Colbert also lampooned Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich's habit of claiming that they have nothing to do with their Super PAC ads, and taught America a lesson about the impact of Citizens United. Colbert has been able to use his Comedy Central character to constantly test the boundaries of the Citizens United decision. Colbert's super PAC has purchased $10,000 worth of airtime in South Carolina to run an attack on Mitt Romney that calls him a serial killer because of his corporate raider past at Bain Capital.

Here is the ad:



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The South Carolina ad highlights the problem with the Citizens United and the Super PACS. These anonymous organizations are free to say any untrue thing that they want. Colbert's serious point is that if corporations are people, then Mitt Romney is a serial killer. Thanks to Citizens United, there is nothing out there stopping former Colbert Super PAC from wreaking havoc on the primary process.

Stephen Colbert is using his comedic celebrity to make a serious point about the damage being done to our democracy by Citizens United. Much like Jon Stewart, Colbert is the perfect person to criticize the media and politics of a country where most citizens have been anesthetized by a constant stream of corporate media infotainment.

Colbert may be a comedian, but he is also educating America about the dangers of Citizens United.

Read More: http://www.politicususa.com/en/stephen-colbert-thi...

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Top Opinion

  • carolynb 2012/01/16 13:41:10
    carolynb
    +10
    The best way to educate people is through comedy. It makes people realize how ridiculous this country has become, and I think and hope this will eventually lead to public financing only. It will make a big difference in our politics. Our representatives would actually work for the 99% rather than the 1%.

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  • BobJessen 2012/01/17 18:11:58
    BobJessen
    Nuff Said... samy
  • dave s 2012/01/17 03:59:15
    dave  s
    corporations are people as much as unions are people and unions give millions to political campaigns.
  • Alvin 2012/01/17 01:22:49
    Alvin
    Colbert for Emperor of the US
  • Raymond Allamby 2012/01/16 20:37:44
    Raymond Allamby
    my hero! my hero
  • Tony 2012/01/16 19:45:01
  • Guru_T_Firefly 2012/01/16 19:42:17
  • oldlady Guru_T_... 2012/01/16 20:14:59
  • chgo 2012/01/16 19:05:05
    chgo
    +2
    Mitt Romney: "There are a lot of reasons not to elect me."
  • Carol 2012/01/16 17:30:22
    Carol
    +4
    Go Stephen!
  • twocrows 2012/01/16 17:19:00
    twocrows
    +4
    omg, I hadn't thought of that. if corporations are people and Mitt Romney has killed numerous corporations he is, ipso facto, a serial killer. and THIS is who is the front runner for the Republican party.

    they claim to support law and order? seriously?
  • Doc. J 2012/01/16 17:07:27
    Doc. J
    +2
    Love that man.....
    Y'know there are republicans who ACTUALY think his schtic is real, and he is one of them.
    That's just scary.
    Or funny.
    I'm not really sure.
  • twocrows Doc. J 2012/01/16 17:24:35
    twocrows
    +2
    yep. that explains why he's besting Jon Huntsman in the SC primary. they actually believe he believes what he says.

    meanwhile, he said in an interview some years ago, that he won't allow his kids to watch his show. he doesn't want to say to them, "Daddy loves you," and have them roll their eyes and say, "Yeah. Right. And you lie for a living - so why should we believe you?"

    he assumes his small children would get the joke while the GOPPERS don't.
  • Z 2012/01/16 16:38:28
    Z
    Absolutely. This is so true about our political process. Both sides are bought out by corporations to maintain the status quo. It should not be about the 1%, or the 99%, but about the 100%.
  • vis_viva 2012/01/16 16:36:27
    vis_viva
    +3
    I am so glad I'm on the same side as Colbert and Stewart on this issue. We can talk and talk about how crazy the current campaign finance system is. It takes someone to SHOW it to really make the point.
  • The Patriot RP 2012 2012/01/16 16:12:11
    The Patriot RP 2012
    This ad can apply both to the left and the right, Corporations and Hollywood work hand in hand.
  • The Patriot RP 2012 2012/01/16 16:09:00
    The Patriot RP 2012
    It is no suprise that libertards and Contards unfamiliar with the legal treatment of corporations.
  • ehrhornp 2012/01/16 15:32:36
    ehrhornp
    +5
    Thank God for Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. Best place to get the news. lol
  • Fallout 2012/01/16 15:18:06
  • WGN 2012/01/16 14:39:37
    WGN
    +6
    Corporations are not people, pure and simple. The use of their money to influence our laws and our voting is criminal. Just think if they spent that money of their workers, with raises and benefits, how much money could actually be going back into the economy where it is needed.
    Then of course there is that group called "Citizen's United". Go to their web site and get treated to Reagan, Huckabee, pro life, and other causes. They claim to be "restoring" government to the control of the citizens, but that is just a "come on" with a huge douse of nationalistic/Patriotic music to read about the lunatic right wing fringe and what they see as "the American way". Yes, they have the right to free speech, but do they have the right to outright lie?
  • Jimbo WGN 2012/01/16 14:58:07
    Jimbo
    +5
    Actually yes. Foxnews won the right to broadcast lies in a FL court.
  • WGN Jimbo 2012/01/16 15:06:17
    WGN
    +2
    I thought that they had the monopoly on telling lies.
  • dave s WGN 2012/01/17 04:01:22
    dave  s
    are unions people?
  • WGN dave s 2012/01/17 14:32:54
    WGN
    Well, it depends on how the money is gathered and then spent.
    My union asks for contributions for political activism. I can choose to donate or not donate, but none of my dues is spent on political endeavors. If I do choose to give to a certain candidate through my union, I get to choose to whom it goes, so in that sense, my union is acting for ME in making my donation. I could also do it the old fashioned way, and send it in myself, but it is easier to do it this way.
    The corporations do not take money from individuals who work there to make the donation.
    My Union- I can choose to give to political causes or not.
    Corporations- No EMPLOYEE gives or has a say in to whom the money is donated.
    A BIG DIFFERENCE.
  • dave s WGN 2012/01/18 03:15:20
    dave  s
    that might be a difference if the union that a person belongs to actually does that. and of course if the union leadership does not make suggestions (wink, wink, nod, nod) as to who would be a good candidate to give the money to. or if there is no peer pressure from other union members to support a particular candidate. of course, those things never happen.

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that most union leaders do not follow the logic of your union (if that's true) and donate members' money to whomever they think will give them what they want.

    why do I say this?? because if you look at which political party receives the overwhelming majority (something like an average of 89%) of union money, it should tell you all you need to know.
  • WGN dave s 2012/01/18 03:46:42
    WGN
    I do believe that it is illegal to do so if not specifically stated in the union's bylaws. The Democrats get the most Union money as they are the only party that speaks for the workers and the idea of people before profits, something that the conservatives have failed to grasp. The economy is driven from the bottom up and not the top down. The bottom has to have the money to spend to keep the corporations in business, something else that the conservatives have failed to understand.
  • dave s WGN 2012/01/18 04:25:46
    dave  s
    excuse me??????? the dems speak for people before profits???? are you out of your mind? I mean, that is really funny. the dems could give a sh*t less about the "people" just the same as the repubs. are you trying to convince me or yourself that the dems give a rat's behind about people before profits. and if those dems care so much about people before profit, then why are there so many rich dems??

    and just how do the people at the bottom get the money from those at the top in order to spend to keep corporations in business?? i wonder if it's because those corporations provide JOBS for those people??
  • WGN dave s 2012/01/18 16:28:57
    WGN
    The majority of people in this country work in companies of 50 persons or less. It is not big business that runs the economy.
    Just look at the current GOP presidential field and what they are saying. That brain trust has done nothing for the average worker in this country. If the GOP was for the worker would have tried to raise the minimum wage while they were in power- did they? NO
    The GOP under Reagan lost 12 million good paying middle class jobs by changing the rules making it easier to send jobs overseas.
    Henry Ford warned his fellow Capitalists in 1922, that the bottom must be able to purchase what the top provides or there will be no top. He raised the workers pay to 5$ a day, so that every worker could affort to buy a car.
    The GOP of the 1920's had no rules for the workers and in doing so actually caused the Depression by this one fact: The workers did not get paid enough to buy the products that they were producing. There was no OSHA or safety rules. If you were injured you did not get paid as there was no medical and no sick days. if you lost a leg- too bad. That is what the GOP has always stood for- profits at the expense of the worker. If they had treated the workers fairly, there would have been no reason for unions to exist at all.
    Your perspective is skewed by an econ...
    The majority of people in this country work in companies of 50 persons or less. It is not big business that runs the economy.
    Just look at the current GOP presidential field and what they are saying. That brain trust has done nothing for the average worker in this country. If the GOP was for the worker would have tried to raise the minimum wage while they were in power- did they? NO
    The GOP under Reagan lost 12 million good paying middle class jobs by changing the rules making it easier to send jobs overseas.
    Henry Ford warned his fellow Capitalists in 1922, that the bottom must be able to purchase what the top provides or there will be no top. He raised the workers pay to 5$ a day, so that every worker could affort to buy a car.
    The GOP of the 1920's had no rules for the workers and in doing so actually caused the Depression by this one fact: The workers did not get paid enough to buy the products that they were producing. There was no OSHA or safety rules. If you were injured you did not get paid as there was no medical and no sick days. if you lost a leg- too bad. That is what the GOP has always stood for- profits at the expense of the worker. If they had treated the workers fairly, there would have been no reason for unions to exist at all.
    Your perspective is skewed by an economic ideal that has never worked in this country and that is "Trickle Down" economics.
    You do not need one man buying a $90,000 car, you need 6 people buying $15,000 cars. That is what feeds the economy. They buy more gas, more tires, more repairs etc, etc.
    (more)
  • dave s WGN 2012/01/19 04:24:48
    dave  s
    my perspective is not skewed concerning the economy. I will rely on my education and degrees to gauge my views on the economy rather than your superficial analysis.

    you are obviously biased in all things political due to the fact that you are incapable of believing, much less stating, that the economic and social problems of this country have been caused greatly by politicians. Notice that I did not differentiate between dems and repubs. you allow your integrity to come into question by solely pointing your finger at the repubs for all of our ills. I am too intelligent to believe that history and facts are liars. you, unfortunately, cannot seem to get past the point of thinking that it is strictly the repubs who are to blame. your argument falls on deaf ears because your premise is faulty.
  • WGN dave s 2012/01/19 12:51:18
    WGN
    Sorry, but history bears out the facts that conservative economic principles have not worked in this country for the majority of the population. And the GOP is the only group using conservative economics.
    Trickle down does not work and combined with greed at the top is responsible for the current economic situation.
    Just look around you.
  • dave s WGN 2012/01/21 04:48:26
    dave  s
    really? this is the best argument you have? you are bashing conservative economics based on the fact that its principles have not worked for this country? from what I have seen, this country was built into the greatest economic power in the history of mankind through conservative economics. the problem is that our society has instilled into the minds or our youth that everyone is entitled to everything, that one should not have to work hard and be productive in order to have what they want.

    I am looking around me. what I see are parents who worked their asses off and never took a handout so that their kids could have a better life and be able to understand better what it means to be self-sufficient. I see myself having learned well the lessons of my parents and I see that I have achieved what they worked so hard to ensure that I would achieve: economic independence, all of it due to practicing conservative economics. I see that I pay people a fair wage in exchange for some of their talent and time. I see that those people are vested in my company and understand that they are helping to ensure that it will continue to provide them with employment. I see that they understand the benefits of conservative economics. I also see many people, young and old, who feel as if this world owes them something. As if they have a right to take for themselves what other people have worked so hard to achieve. That is what I see
  • WGN dave s 2012/01/21 22:59:53
    WGN
    Capitalism has made this country great, but capitalism is NOT a conservative economic policy.
    Your history falls short when it comes to the actual facts.
    How many recessions and depressions have we had in the last 100 years? (I count 7, not including the great one)
    All of them have occurred with a GOP conservative in the oval office, and it has been the conservative economic policies that make the rich richer and the poor poorer that have caused each and every one of them.
    Trickle down does not work and never has, and the economy is driven from the bottom up (people buying things) and not from the top down.
    Our greatest gains in GNP have all occurred with a progressive Republican or Democrat.
    The definition of conservative means "not to change". In a business environment, change is the most necessary thing. If you don't change, you don't survive.

    The Consequences of Conservatism
    Loss of Wealth Stunning During Great Recession
    By Christian E. Weller | March 25, 2011

    The 2012 presidential primary season is already upon us and the Grand Old Party is, not surprisingly, engaged in a grand old opportunity to rewrite history about the causes and consequences of the Great Recession. So it’s time, once again, to set the record straight.
    The Great Recession was so great not just because of very sh...













    Capitalism has made this country great, but capitalism is NOT a conservative economic policy.
    Your history falls short when it comes to the actual facts.
    How many recessions and depressions have we had in the last 100 years? (I count 7, not including the great one)
    All of them have occurred with a GOP conservative in the oval office, and it has been the conservative economic policies that make the rich richer and the poor poorer that have caused each and every one of them.
    Trickle down does not work and never has, and the economy is driven from the bottom up (people buying things) and not from the top down.
    Our greatest gains in GNP have all occurred with a progressive Republican or Democrat.
    The definition of conservative means "not to change". In a business environment, change is the most necessary thing. If you don't change, you don't survive.

    The Consequences of Conservatism
    Loss of Wealth Stunning During Great Recession
    By Christian E. Weller | March 25, 2011

    The 2012 presidential primary season is already upon us and the Grand Old Party is, not surprisingly, engaged in a grand old opportunity to rewrite history about the causes and consequences of the Great Recession. So it’s time, once again, to set the record straight.
    The Great Recession was so great not just because of very sharp unemployment increases but also due to an unprecedented decline in wealth—as the Federal Reserve detailed in a report released this week. That wealth destruction is key to understanding the Great Recession since massive house price drops led to a foreclosure crisis that then fueled massive layoffs. Much of the unprecedented wealth destruction in 2007 and 2008 can be traced back to failed CONSERVATIVE economic policies under President George W. Bush, when opportunities to put the economy and the labor market on the right track were ignored.
    Incoming President Barack Obama’s hand was thus forced to first pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to save the economy from sliding deeper into an economic hole amid rising job losses, and to then tackle the problems that had been ailing the economy and American families—low incomes and rapidly rising prices for health care and energy—for the previous eight years.
    Wealth destruction probably doesn’t adequately capture what happened in the early stages of the crisis. Wealth was vaporized at a breathtaking, eye-popping speed. American families lost a total of $19.4 trillion (in 2010 dollars) in household wealth from June 2007 to March 2009, (while the Bush tax cuts re-distributed 11.4 trillion) when the stimulus started to take hold. First it was the housing market, and then it was the housing and the stock market together that tanked. American families lost $6.4 trillion in home value during this period.
    Trillions of dollars are sometimes hard to grasp, so think of it this way: One complete house (at 2008 prices) was lost every 1.7 seconds during the Great Wealth Destruction. And this doesn’t even count what happened to American families’ rainy day funds and retirement savings.
    The story of the Great Recession unfolded very quickly after that. The drop in home values meant that fewer people wanted to build and buy new homes, putting a lot of construction workers out of work. And the drop in home values put many borrowers underwater, meaning they owed more on their mortgage than their house was worth, precipitating a massive wave in foreclosures. This ultimately threatened to bring down the entire U.S. financial system but it also tightened credit such that businesses couldn’t expand, even if they wanted to. Jobs disappeared across all industries, not just in construction, leading to the highest unemployment rate in almost 30 years.
    This crisis did not fall from the sky. We saw it coming. My colleague Scott Lilly and I pointed out in 2004 that the economic trends that ailed the economy and led to the sharp rise in household debt were unsustainable. American workers lived through the weakest labor market since the Great Depression after the previous recession ended in November 2001. Yet prices for key household items such as health care, energy, transportation, food, and housing rose, often at runaway speed. American families only managed to pay their bills by borrowing on their credit cards, for large consumer items and on their homes. The massive debt boom was a reflection of the economic squeeze American families were in during the 2000s.
    The sad part is that the Great Recession could have been prevented. The George W. Bush administration had several opportunities to seriously address the unfolding crisis.
    There were several chances to promote faster growth. The first opportunity came early in 2001 when Congress negotiated a tax bill pushed for by the newly inaugurated president. Rather than shovel enormous amounts of money to the top income earners with a tax bill that cost well more than $1 trillion in the first 10 years, the money could have been used to stimulate economic growth by giving middle-class families a boost and by investing in needed infrastructure such as new energy sources.
    OK, so policymakers missed the boat on this one. But Congress had another chance to address the looming crisis when President Bush pushed for another tax bill in 2003. This one was intended to stimulate growth through cuts in taxes for dividends and capital gains, among other things. The bill was derided by many economists as a woefully ineffective way to turn the economy around and to bring stronger job growth to American families. And true to this prediction, the years after the bill’s passage were marked with job growth that was about one-third below its long-term average.
    And there were opportunities to start to tackle high costs, particularly in health care and energy. The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, a key piece of the Bush policy agenda, which added prescription drug benefits to Medicare, explicitly excluded two mechanisms that could have helped lower costs—allowing drug reimportation from other, cheaper countries such as Canada, and permitting Medicare to use its market power to negotiate lower drug prices.
    In addition, several versions of an energy bill that would have brought more alternative fuels and promoted greater energy efficiency were negotiated but never passed—in large measure because President Bush either did not make energy reform his priority or because he directly opposed the upfront costs necessary to invest in the country’s energy future.
    We are now climbing out of the hole that the failed economic policies of the Bush administration created. That’s why the more proper name for the Great Recession should be the Bush Recession.
    Indeed, President Obama took office and led the economy out of recession in June 2009, though much more remains to be done. Household wealth has been growing, at least outside of housing wealth, because the stock market has been doing OK. American families are now down only $12.8 trillion from where they were in June 2007. Job growth has come back for more than a year but we still have more than 7 million fewer jobs than at the start of the recession in December 2007. And the unemployment rate has been gradually declining from a high of 10 percent at the end of 2009.
    Wealth would be much lower and unemployment much higher without the constant policy attention of the Obama administration. The administration took massive quick steps necessary to prevent another Great Depression with the passage of the stimulus packet in early 2009. It also paid constant attention to economic growth and the labor market with support for small businesses that couldn’t get credit; with a health insurance bill that promises to lower health care inflation; with a financial regulatory reform bill that will shine some lights on the shadier players in the financial market; with a push for an energy bill that would have promoted alternative fuels and increased energy savings; and with extended unemployment benefits for those caught in the mess due to no fault of their own.
    As bad as the Great Recession was, it could have been much worse, even though that seems hard to believe. Remember that when conservatives try to run from the record of the Bush administration’s failed economic policies while also trying to reintroduce the VERY SAME FAILED policies. The consequences of conservatism were dire then and would be again.
    (more)
  • dave s WGN 2012/01/22 04:55:42
    dave  s
    yes you are right. ALL of our problems are caused by the repubs.

    dems have never done anything to injure this nation or her people

    it's obvious to me, and anyone else who reads your dribble, that you are quite narrow-minded and bigoted, for the simple fact that you lay all of the blame for the ills of this country at the feet of the repubs without even considering that the dems are just as much to blame.
  • WGN dave s 2012/01/23 01:25:18
    WGN
    I did not say that. What I said was that conservative economic policy does not work for the majority of the people in the country.
    Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican and a progressive and was probably the greatest President we have ever had. He just did not push inane conservative economic policies that benefit only the top, on the people. He used common sense and had a sense of fairness for all people.
  • oldlady 2012/01/16 14:33:04
    oldlady
    +2
    It is no surprise that contards are unfamiliar with the legal treatment of corporations.
  • Wahvlvke 2012/01/16 14:17:11
    Wahvlvke
    It is no suprise that libertards are unfamiliar with the legal treatment of corporations.
  • wildcat 2012/01/16 14:08:38
    wildcat
    +3
    good post, thank you
  • CAROLYN NTARWNJBS 2012/01/16 13:57:41
    CAROLYN NTARWNJBS
    +6
    That ad was sooooo good,I doubt it will be understood by RWNJ,S.
  • flrdsgns CAROLYN... 2012/01/16 14:33:20
    flrdsgns
    +4
    Of course they won't, most conservatives I know seem to be very left brain people. Not a lot of creativity or sense of humor in the RWNJ camp.
  • CAROLYN... flrdsgns 2012/01/16 14:50:33
    CAROLYN NTARWNJBS
    +4
    Ain't that the truth!
  • Jimbo 2012/01/16 13:46:54
    Jimbo
    +4
    Jon Stewart as his superPAC president saying la, la, la, I can't hear you, put an exclamation point on Citizen's United.

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