Meet longtime Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey -- if you haven’t already. He’s the U.S. Democratic Senate candidate who said during a recent campaign event that the Citizens United case is analogous to the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision. Excuse me?
“I want to go to the United States Senate in order to fight for a constitutional amendment to repeal Citizens United. The whole idea that the Koch brothers and Karl Rove can say we’re coming into Massachusetts, to any state of the union with undisclosed amounts of money is pollution, which must be changed. Constitution must be amended. The Dred Scott decision had to be repealed, we have to repeal Citizens United.”
These comments are so breathtakingly ignorant and offensive one must seriously question whether Mr. Markey is fit to serve in the Senate. The Dred Scott case essentially legalized slavery in all U.S. territories -- stripping every living African-American of the right to ever become a citizen -- and perhaps did more than any other singular event to bring about the Civil War. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the High Court’s controversial ruling is precisely why indifferent or apolitical Northerners took a concerted stand against the South’s increasingly hostile and vociferous defense of chattel slavery in the late 1850s, thus precipitating a conflict that didn’t end until 600,000 Americans were dead. This ruling would change the trajectory of world history, and was ultimately the reason Abraham Lincoln re-entered politics in 1858 (after spending years in private life) to eloquently denounce the flawed proposition of “popular sovereignty” and the spread of American slavery into the western territories.
Who among us can imagine the 19th century without President Abraham Lincoln? I certainly can’t.
In short, there is a no way to plausibly compare, let alone equate, a Supreme Court ruling that de-humanized individuals solely based on the pigmentation of their skin, and a ruling that some Americans believe poisons U.S. elections because there’s too much undisclosed money in politics.
But Markey’s comments are particularly rich -- and hypocritical -- for another reason: he received millions of dollars in PAC money over the course of his political career. The National Republican Congressional Committee pulled the data (via Open Secrets):
The hypocrisy and negative campaign tactics Markey is employing to win votes speaks volumes about the kind of candidate he is. And I can’t wait for Gabriel Gomez -- or another Massachusetts Republican -- to give him a run for his money in June.