Stephen Colbert's SuperPAC hurts the Supreme Court's feelings?

In Slate, Dahlia Lithwick examines the impact that Stephen Colbert's SuperPAC is having on public perception of the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United, which establishes that "corporate personhood" means that corporations can make unlimited contributions to political campaigns. Dahlia implies that the Court, which has always maintained an aloofness from public life (no cameras, no press office) is smarting under Colbert's withering sarcasm, and that people are responding as well. For example, Colbert's SuperPAC backed Herman Cain (not a candidate) in the South Carolina race, and the voters put him ahead of Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, and Michele Bachmann.

Then last June, like a winking, eyebrow-wagging Mr. Smith, Colbert went to Washington and testified before the FEC, which granted him permission to launch his super PAC (over the objections of his parent company Viacom) and accept unlimited contributions from his fans so he might sway elections. (He tweeted before his FEC appearance that PAC stands for "Plastic And/Or Cash.") In recent weeks, Colbert has run several truly insane attack ads (including one accusing Mitt Romney of being a serial killer). Then, with perfect comedic pitch, Colbert handed off control of his super PAC to Jon Stewart (lampooning the FEC rules about coordination between “independent PACS” and candidates with a one-page legal document and a Vulcan mind meld). Colbert then managed to throw his support to non-candidate Herman Cain in the South Carolina primary, placing higher on the ballot than Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, and Michele Bachmann.

The line between entertainment and the court blurred even further late last month when Colbert had former Justice John Paul Stevens on his show to discuss his dissent in Citizens United. When a 91-year-old former justice is patiently explaining to a comedian that corporations are not people, it’s clear that everything about the majority opinion has been reduced to a punch line.

Colbert v. the Court (via 3 Quarks Daily)


  1. “Virtually everything Stephen Colbert is doing was legal before Citizens United.
    Although Colbert has often used the phrase “unlimited corporate money” in reference to his Super PAC, last Tuesday’s disclosures paint a very different picture. Colbert’s PAC, which raised more than $825,000 through the end of the year, has raised almost no corporate money. Indeed, the only two corporate donations he reported to the Federal Election Commission amount to $714, total. In addition to barely raising any corporate money, Colbert’s Super PAC accepted only one contribution from an individual (of $9,600) in excess of the $5,000 limit that applies to regular PACs. 
    In other words, more than 99% of the money Colbert has raised to mock Citizens United and Super PACs is money that has been legal under the campaign finance laws for decades.”
    From here:

      1. But the producers of It’s a Wonderful Life didn’t actually found a bank in order to “prove” that evil Mr. Potter was actually evil.

        Stephen Colbert went to the trouble of starting a Super PAC in order to demonstrate the kind of havoc that can be legally accomplished through them, I thought.

        1. True enough, CharredBarn. My analogy breaks down if taken too literally. It’s best applied externally to snarkless areas of the body.

          But considering Colbert as performance rather than politics for a moment, the difference between creating an institution in fiction and creating an institution in fact is a difference more of degree and not so much a difference of kind.

          1. If the “fact” (if it is one) that virtually all of the money raised by Colbert could have been done under the old, more restrictive, financing laws were irrelevant to Colbert’s satire — if it didn’t rob it of at least *some* of its sting — you wouldn’t see the kind of enraged retorts you see from Cowicide below.

            That’s the kind of unhinged spittle-flecked response you expect from someone who feels that his worldview has been caught with its pants down.

          2. Unhinged and spittle-flecked? I don’t think so. I don’t care for cynical sophistry in the service of power either, and sometimes express myself strongly on the subject. If that makes one unhinged and spittle-flecked, so be it.

        2. So your and Soodonium’s “gotcha moments” here.. are to just point out that under Citizens United it could be even worse?  *whoosh*

          1. And Colbert’s point is: look what bad things can happen to the political system when someone forms a Super PAC… the same bad things that can happen if there were no Super PACS?

            Of course not. Everyone knows that Colbert’s point was: the new finance deregulation will have deleterious effects. The purpose of the “stunts” was to demonstrate this.
            If the “stunts” were possible before Citizen’s United, Colbert’s practical critique of the court decision loses a bit of its impact, at the very least.

            Take away the political context, and this would be obvious to anyone with elementary critical thinking skills. Add in the politics, and you’re adding in blinders. (BTW, the right and the left both wear these blinders…. so stop shilling for a team, and start thinking for yourself.)

          2. I’d think somebody with “critical thinking” could view Colbert’s “stunts” and see that he’s both exposing the ridiculousness of existing campaign finance laws, and the floodgates that were opened by Citizen’s United.  You might want to read John A Arkansawyer’s comment where he correctly, gently, and nicely pointed out that you were being insufferably pedantic.

            BTW, the right and the left both wear these blinders…. so stop shilling for a team, and start thinking for yourself.

            Pfff! lmfao.  Yep, I’m sure you’re quite above it all….

            Myself, you better believe I’ve chosen a side, and I feel very comfortable with how my side’s going to be viewed by history.

    1. As any author or photographer knows, sometimes “The Truth”™ is greater than the sum of the facts.

      You *do* know that Colbert is not really a politician, right?

    2. soodonim, are you and (via bullshit “think tank” libertarian Institute for “Justice”) being purposefully obtuse and simply doing your best to miss the point of Colbert’s Super PAC?

      Deflect! Deflect!

      Nice link to corporatist propaganda. Interestingly enough, your link is based upon funding from the:

      Koch brothers.

      Is this what you and the Koch brothers would like us all to ignore? Sorry, not going to happen:

      Since the citizens united ruling:

      • The percentage of spending coming from groups that do not disclose their donors has risen from 1 percent to 47 percent since the 2006 midterm elections

      • 501c non-profit spending increased from zero percent of total spending by outside groups in 2006 to 42 percent in 2010.

      • Outside interest groups spent more on election season political advertising than party committees for the first time in at least two decades, besting party committees by about $105 million.

      • The amount of independent expenditure and electioneering communication spending by outside groups has quadrupled since 2006.

      • Seventy-two percent of political advertising spending by outside groups in 2010 came from sources that were prohibited from spending money in 2006

      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

      soodonim, you and other Koch brother lackeys can attempt to obsfucate the greater point and actual dire effects of the citizen united ruling by focusing on trite details all you want…

      There’ll still be people like me in your face every time with FACTS that matter. I’m not distracted. Nice try. Sorry I’m not more polite about this, but being a party to a threat against our democracy pretty much sucks and I have zero respect for corporatist lackeys who deliver distractions and lies that make average Americans suffer.

      Just call us Homeland Security. Expect us.

        1. Why is it the “conversationalists”– like yourself, and Cowicide — who inevitably turn first to ad hominem attacks and personal insults when someone makes a point that tests your world view? “Obtuse” and “Bomb-thrower” aren’t arguments, much less conversations. They are conversation-enders, not starters.

          And yet, you style yourself a conversationalist?
          (Calling someone “troll” = “Shut up,” he explained.)

          1. I’m not going to list off your fallacies, but you can easily check my comment history to see whether I engage with replies or not.

          2. “ad hominem attacks”?

            You mean like calling a reply to you an “enraged retort” and an “unhinged spittle-flecked response”?

            Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

      1. The anti-CU folks tend to forget the central point of the decision: does the right to political speech disappear once people organize into a corporation (for- or non-profit)? I say no, any more than religious freedom disappears once people organize themselves into a church.

        Citizens United was a non-profit that produced a video about Hillary Clinton that it wanted to promote and show before an election, an action that McCain-Feingold made illegal. In oral arguments the government admitted that M-F also allowed the federal government to prevent the publication of books if they endorsed a candidate. So, anyone arguing against CU is objectively in favor of the government censoring political speech. Sorry, there is no way around that fact.

        Also, note that Cory’s summary is misleading: corporations cannot “make unlimited contributions to political campaigns” in the sense of giving money to candidates. What corporations (and unions and some non-profits) can do is speak out on political issues, including endorsing candidates, which of course the press has always been able to do.

        1. It was essentially an extended campaign ad they wanted to air on national tv, specifically right before the primary election.  Good show, comparing it to “books”.

          1. It was compared to books in the arguments before the Court. There’s no essential difference between a movie and book when it comes to political speech.

        2.  “does the right to political speech disappear once people organize into a corporation (for- or non-profit)? I say no”

          And those individuals remain able to donate to political campaigns. There is no censorship of their speech, at all! It is only the ADDITIONAL, newly-added right of allowing them to also dump their corporation’s money into the campaigns that they also personally support which is at issue.

          1. Corporations like the NY Times already promote candidates. Why should any other corporation be treated any different? And the 1st Amendment says “Congress shall make no law….” There’s nothing that says “except to prohibit speech by certain groups of people organized as a corporation.”

            I continue to be amazed at the support for censorship of political among the left. It’s shameful. The proper corrective to “bad” speech is more speech, not shutting up the people you disagree with.

          2. The proper corrective to “bad” speech is more speech, not shutting up the people you disagree with.

            That’s a really quaint notion, but you can’t always counter ‘bad speech’ when it’s being made by the people who own the media and have enough money to buy politicians to make laws in their favor. Your political model is less sophisticated than one of Aesop’s fables.

        3. note that Cory’s summary is misleading: corporations cannot “make unlimited contributions to political campaigns” in the sense of giving money to candidates. What corporations (and unions and some non-profits) can do is speak out on political issues, including endorsing candidates, which of course the press has always been able to do.

          Trite semantics on your part.  They actually can spend unlimited, anonymous money to contribute to a political campaign.  It’s now just easier to do it behind closed doors and feign ignorance as Stephen Colbert & Jon Stewart are laying bare for all the world to see.

          Why you think that’s a “good thing” that huge corporations can now more easily drown out free speech against average citizens is beyond me.

          But, thank goodness the American public is wiser and is strongly against this bullshit.

          anyone arguing against CU is objectively in favor of the government censoring political speech.

          Only a Sith speaks in absolutes.

          Who is “the government”?  What is this dreadful beast?

          It’s the American public and even with all our major flaws, our government is the closest goddam thing we have towards any hope of a representative democracy.

          What’ve you got?  What representation do you have that works better? Wal-Mart?  Koch industries?

          You can be a corporate communist all you’d like, but the rest of us want more self-determination than that.

          These huge corporations run by corrupt, megalomaniacal corporatists are too powerful at this point to be run down with boycotts.   They have their corrupt, evil tentacles infesting every aspect of this country from our schools to our health care system.

          Our last stronghold is this government.  And, we’re not giving it up, sorry.  The treasonous corporatists have infiltrated our domain and many of our politicians are in their pockets… but we’re naming names and through true grassroots struggles and education, we’re bringing all these fuckers down.

          No wonder they want to throw as much money at fighting the American public as inhumanly possible.

          It’s taking time and persistence.  But the American public has both.  The corporatists’ days are numbered.

          Surrender, tuck your tail and run.  The rest of us are putting up the fight of our lifetimes.

          1. The point of having a constitutional republic and not a pure democracy is so the majority can’t remove the rights of the minority, which is what you are advocating. The “American public” didn’t want to censor Citizens United, the government did.

            In what world are the handful of people in Citizens United a “huge corporation”? And how is the NY Times not a huge corporation?

            I don’t care about your delusions regarding evil corporations that are supposedly ruining your life. The 1st Amendment trumps your hysteria. Deal with it.

          2. And note, Antinous and Cowicide, that by giving the government the power to determine what counts as valid political speech, you would be giving politicians the power to decide who says what about them. Isn’t that an obvious danger, far beyond that posed by any and all corporations? Especially since I’m sure you’d both acknowledge that politicians are self-serving and corruptible.

          3. politicians the power to decide who says what about them

            That’s a corporatist lie. Anyone who works for a corporation can say whatever they want* and what most Americans would prefer is if the lowest paid workers at the corporations have just as much say as the highest paid CEOs.

            In reality, Koch industries and other corrupt corporations have already utilized this ruling to help drown out free speech against other Americans including their own workers.

            Your blind faith in corporations is a shame. Once again, the government is all we got. Should we trust our government? Nope. That’s why we have elections on a regular basis. Sorry, and we don’t want our elections completely rigged by corporations.

            I’m sure you’ve got a better, libertarian utopia in mind. While you’re working on that pipe dream-nightmare, the rest of us got a real country to save.

            * that is, they can say whatever they want as long as it’s not against the corporations they work for or they’ll get fired (or worse).

          4. I have no “blind faith” in corporations, just the knowledge that there are many competing ones, all with limited powers, and all avoidable. The government, on the other hand, is an unavoidable monolith with a legal monopoly on force. 

            Your argument fits into a standard pattern: “The threat of [corporations|pornography|drugs|terrorism|blasphemy|whatever] is so great that we must limit free speech.” Censors always believe they are doing the right thing, protecting other people from “dangerous speech” that might cause them to think or act in ways the censor doesn’t like, and they are nearly always wrong. Anti-Citizens United people are all wannabe censors, but rarely have the guts to admit it. 

            One irony is that the typical anti-CU type will argue all day long that “free speech” includes things like flag burning, occupying parks, and blocking streets. But a DVD about Hilary Clinton funded by a tiny non-profit?? OMG if the federal government doesn’t stop things like that we’re all doomed!!1!!

          5. I have no “blind faith” in corporations, just the knowledge that there are many competing ones, all with limited powers, and all avoidable. The government, on the other hand, is an unavoidable monolith with a legal monopoly on force.

            I suppose it wouldn’t help to let you know you just proved your blind faith with that ridiculous statement, would it? Completely ignoring the fact we have regular elections?

            Also, our government you so despise, is no monolith. Only a person saturated in dogma would say such an untrue thing. Our government is an ever-changing, sprawling composition of elected people voted by the people to represent them. You may hate it, but I love it and I’m willing to fight and die for it despite its flaws.

            Your corporations would have us live as fucking slaves if we left them unrestrained. Your blind faith in unrestrained, megalomaniacal corporatists is bordering on insanity.

            Corporations have shown more and more unlimited power and are pervading every aspect of our lives to our detriment. Look around, and you might come to see this reality.

            Oh… nevermind, the dogma has eaten you alive. We’ll just have to agree to disagree (if you’re still capable of such a thing).

            Your argument fits into a standard pattern: “The threat of [corporations|pornography|drugs|terrorism|blasphemy|whatever] is so great that we must limit free speech.”

            Once again, you’re confused.

            I want more speech for average Americans. What you’re getting (whether it’s your intentions or not) is more speech for the very wealthy and to hell with everyone else.

            Your dogma blinds you. We’ll just have to agree to disagree. And, very fortunately… you’re vastly outnumbered.

            So you’re just going to have to deal with it.

          6. I want more speech for average Americans.

            Great, then do that. But you can’t get what you want by reducing someone else’s speech. It doesn’t work that way, and it’s against one of the founding principles of this country. (A principle I note you take advantage of constantly, but want to deny to others.) Speech is not some limited commodity that needs to be rationed. It’s not zero-sum, and it’s impossible to “drown out” other voices in the internet age, so stop using that as an excuse to shut up people you disagree with.

            And, very fortunately… you’re vastly outnumbered.

            Even more fortunately, the 1st Amendment still stands, so that censorious mobs like yours don’t get to trample on the rights of the minority by dictating who can speak.

          7. Great, then do that. But you can’t get what you want by reducing someone else’s speech.

            And that’s the crux of your dogma. You don’t seem to understand how reality works. I’ve already shown a list of the negative impacts the citizens united ruling has had on speech for average Americans by drowning it out with corporate money.

            Something you have no problem with, apparently. But, fortunately, most Americans (who live in reality) do have a big problem with it.

            censorious mobs

            Spoken like a true zealot.

          8. I may be a zealot in favor of free speech, but that’s better than being a zealot in favor of censorship.

          9. Free speech for the very wealthy and to hell with everyone else who gets drowned out by them, huh? What could possibly go wrong? Everything (as it already has).

            You’re a zealot because you ignore the facts I presented to you in that list of the negative effects of the citizens united ruling. Plopped your head in the sand.

            You’re a zealot for corporations ruling our lives, not free speech.

            You’re a zealot who can’t even agree to disagree you’re so blinded with dogmatic beliefs. I’m just happy people like you who would have us all live as slaves to corporations are in the minority.

        4.  Ah, religious freedom. Would that be like the kind of loss of freedom that the Catholic Church is complaining about so bitterly now? About not being FREE to limit the freedom of others, not only the poor suckers who are brainwashed into the ancient cult, but also those of us who do not worship the cosmic narcissist and his zombie spawn, hmmm? The FREEDOM to decide who other people marry and the FREEDOM to deny access to birth control and abortion? Are we talking about the FREEDOM of fundamentalists to teach mythology alongside science in public classrooms or even the FREEDOM to flat out censor science.

          Americans love freedom. We love the look of it, sound of it, the look of it, the taste of it, the smell of it. We roll in freedom like a dog in a choice meadow find. We run our fingers through it. We, like Cartman and his money, would wallow in a bathtub of the stuff, soaking it into our pores. All very understandable. What is more beautiful than freedom?

          We love it so much, we get suckered by it. We love it so much, that we fall for freedom decoys that bear no more resemblance to the real thing than those plastic models with motorized wings that they sell at Cabela’s. The very word, FREEDOM, becomes some kind of holy icon that dazzles us so much that we don’t look very closely. It’s like the sun, for many people, they can’t look directly at it. What it represents is too precious. Examination is dangerous.

          It’s dangerous like thinking too hard about love. “Of course I love you”, says the priest as he pulls the altar boy to him. “Of course I love you.”, says the spouse as he makes a fist. “Of course I love you, says the deity with his long white beard, “Now truss up your kid and throw him on the altar.”

          Smell that sweet young fat burning? That’s the smell of your so-called freedom.

    3. The point of the satire isn’t about how much money he DID raise from corporations, it is about how much money he COULD raise, and all of it obscured from the public. Of course no major contributions were made by corporations to his SuperPAC, why would they want to associate themselves with something that exposes the corruption of the campaign finance system they benefit from? What would they stand to gain?

      I highly doubt that Colbert’s SuperPAC is representative of them all, with regards to the level and origin of the individual contributions.


    4.  However not being wrong in your statistics, which I find to be very thorough, this is a satirical position to make two points.  The first being the obvious fact that super PAC’s have unlimited sway and are very loosely governed, and the second being the hold of corporations over politics.  Obviously, being in the entertainment industry, Colbert was able to acquire the amount that he did through individuals and not corporations.  Publicly displaying the maintenance of the PAC, he is illustrating the absurdity of the regulations over them.

      He does also manage to illustrate that the majority of these PAC’s, his being the exception as you pointed out, are set up and overseen by people who have the funds, such as large corporations.  So, though every ‘t’ is not crossed and every “i” is not dotted, I think it is an excellent way to illustrate these points.  Remembering again, that this is satire, and not verbatim the way it is usually done.

      I do appreciate the fact that you did probably enlighten some people as to these numbers, but, I still consider the source and realize his intentions.

  2. Satire is the only thing keeping me sane through this dark period in the history of the republic.  It looks like it is up to Colbert & Stewart to prevent the grim cyberpunk future.  & I’m only even a little bit joking.

  3. Modern day Mark Twain does it again!  Yeah, that’s my opinion of Colbert and Stewart, up there with the satire greats.

  4. And, speaking of Colbert’s irony, isn’t this ironic?:

    By educating the U.S. public about the Citizen’s United decision, so that we better understand the origin of the political ads we see on television, Colbert strengthens our ability to distinguish sense from nonsense in what we see on television about the Presidential campaign.

    Colbert’s criticism of Citizen’s United is like a vaccine that makes the decision a bit less virulent.

    It makes me wonder, is it better to try to overturn Citizens United or is better for us citizens to learn to live with it?  Kind of like, are we better protected by the laws against email scams from supposed cousins of dictators, or better protected by our own ability to recognize the scams?

    1. Problem is, not everybody has the same power of recognition. People get duped by those email scams. Especially elderly people. I think it’s better to not have the chance to be manipulated in the first place. We shouldn’t have to learn to live with it.  :(  sad face

      1. Yes, that’s true too.

        Plus, one of the best passages of the Lithwick piece was about dashed hopes that at least the funding sources would be transparent.

  5. I’ve just started my own Super PAC, and its guaranteed to be able to deliver for 100% certain what no other PAC in the corporate marketplace can offer, and that is of course my vote. I’ll be accepting your millions in donations now, quickly, before you are not a person anymore.

    1.  I hadn’t even thought about that, but you are of course right – the next natural step is that ONLY corporations are people, and only people get to vote.

      1. It’s more like:  people and corporations are people, but some people are more people-y than other people.

    2. Actually, this would be selling your vote, which would be illegal. You would have to structure your Super PAC so that it advertises to you which way to vote, but keeps the you that votes and the you that is advocating a vote separate.

      You probably need two people. Your Super PAC advocates to your partner, and your partner’s Super PAC tries to sway the “you” constituent. That would, in effect, be vote buying (and thus highly attractive to donors) but would maintain the legal fiction of not being so.

  6. If you’d like to help raise more awareness on Colberts ridicule of Super PAC laws and you have a WordPress blog you can install this plugin: and add a link back to his Super PAC website. More links = higher Google ranking. Get enough links and all searches for Super PAC = Colbert Super PAC. Sounded fun to me which I why I wrote the plugin ;)

  7. I had hoped with the easy availability of primary sources on the Web people would be better informed however it seems that is not happening.  The court did not rule on the personhood or corporations nor did it legalize all corporate campaign contributions.  It let stand most laws on corporate political activity including those which prohibit corporations from donating to Federal candidates and any donations from foreign corporations.  But please don’t believe me or the article above blindly when you can read the decision for yourself at

    1. And those regulations are so /easy/ to enforce now, since there are now no limits to how many fronts can be set up to launder corporate and foreign money through.

  8. @CLamb
    When whilst reading the ruling I see this:

    “…this Court now concludes that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruptionor the appearance of corruption.  That speakers may have influence over or access to elected officials  does not mean that those officials are corrupt.  And the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to  lose faith in this democracy.”(5-6)

    I become concerned about the overall mentality of the ruling.

    Now here is my question: how is being able to form a super PAC through which to use amassed resources to promote or attack candidates that much different than contributing to them directly? I see this is perhaps where the “regulations” regarding super PACS comes in, but as Colbert and Stewart has shown those are a complete mockery of logic.

    Edit: Actually you know what bothers me more? There is no limit on individual contributions at all for Super PACs, as first laid out in Citizens United. That’s just.. wrong. When a small fraction of the country has an income equal to the entire rest of the country, you don’t even need corporations to speak for interests to be skewed.

    1. “…this Court now concludes that cats do not give rise to kittens or the appearance of kittens. ”

      That’s what we’ve come to, folks. Lap it up.

    2. “… and the appearance of influence … will not cause citizens to lose faith in this democracy.”

      Technically correct, as there is no faith left to be lost

      I refer the Justices to the reasoning behind the longstanding Common Law concept of uberrima fides, the Over-Riding Good Faith, the higher standard of ethical behaviour that officers of the Court and government officials are held, which excludes even the appearance of impropriety. The main reasoning for that requirement is that it prevents citizens from losing faith in their government. That’s Law 101.

      It breaks my blackened, cynical heart to see the majority opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States so transparently transgress basic principles of the practice of government.

  9. Just thought this from my little twised mind lol but after reading about corporate personhood from its wiki page that a corporation can be considered as a person and have the same rights as ever other person…

    ….does this mean some of rights it can apply for is the right to represent people? i.e. as in stand for election for vaious offical positions? maybe even president?

    Think about it, there considered a person of the us the same as a citicen.  If there over 35 years old and been in the us for 14 of thouse years it can run for president.

    Does it say anywhere in any law that a presidential candiate have to be a flesh and blood person or just a US person, btw i think there is a law about them been real after votes for micky mouse where wrote in and been discared as he was not real but a corporation is real and can be sued and other stuff you can only do to real things.

    So….what boingboing for preisdent?

  10. I get a kick out of Colbert, but I feel like some of his stunts are wasted opportunities.  By spending so much time on his side of the conversation, he fails to present more valuable (i.m.o.) instruction from guests like Justice Stevens.    I get that it’s satire, but 30 seconds in I just wanted Colbert to shut up and let Stevens further educate me. 

  11. The best methods of satire involve those who are being satirised, being unable to see themselves in the satire … until much later.

    It’s not good satire until and unless you field large amounts of sincere trolls who ‘miss the point’ or miss the point.

    Colbert is the 21st century’s finest satirist yet. From biting his thumb at W at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, to his persona, to the SuperPAC, his sense of toeing the line while leaning almost entirely over it is superb.

  12. Slavery was the unnatural legal presumption that a person is property.
    Corporations are the unnatural legal presumption that property is a person.

  13. If Colbert really wants to get under the Supreme Court’s skin, the next step is to launch a series of the most malicious and vindictive ads on how terrible the Supreme Court is (under the guise of telling voters that the next president will have the power to change them for the good).

  14. I’ve been enjoying the hell out of Colbert’s savaging of Super Pacs, corporate influence, and lobbying. What makes it especially brilliant is that he understands that it’s so absurd that all he has to do is present it as it is, straight-faced, without adornment or exaggeration, to accurately depict how misguided, malevolent, and corrupt this system is.

  15. Sometimes I think the anti-corportate personhood people won’t be happy until corporations only can exist if they get a charter from the government first, and have to jump through the kind of hoops that an ice-cream store in San Francisco has to do so first

    1. As an anti-corporate personhood type, I have to say that I don’t care that much about the rules for corporations’ existence. I care about when their “rights” equal mine, given that their privilege already exceeds mine.


    2. The fact that you equate an ice cream store with the corporations that control our government and our laws speaks volumes.

    3. Wow, you’re really not that bright.
      The big corporations LOVE that this person trying to open a store in SF is having so much trouble.  If there’s anything they don’t want, it’s a thriving selection of local businesses. 

  16. On a COMPLETELY separate note, I want to help Stephen (and Herman) win the White House, so I thought I would get the Colbert SuperPAC t-shirt. The only problem is that I have a nasty cold, and while I like turtles, I don’t feel like peanut butter! Any thoughts?

  17. The supreme court is suffering from the light of day.  Obvious political motivation and shilling for the largest corporate interests do not endear them to us. Hard to imagine this is even dimly related to the supreme court that gave us affirmative action and civil rights.
    These crusaders clearly are protecting the interests of the most powerful people in the US, just like our politicians.

  18. Why stop with First Amendment rights? Corporations should have the right to bear arms and form their own militias, without the interference of the government.

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