The recent Citizens United decision has spawned a wave of really awful political critique, mostly from progressive writers and activists. A news story from earlier this year highlights one of the wackier critiques, in which a man drove in the carpool lane along with a copy of Articles of Incorporation. When pulled over, he turned it into a media event:
Your honor, according to the vehicle code definition and legal sources, I did have a ‘person’ in my car. But Officer ‘so-and-so’ believes I did NOT have another person in my car. If you rule in his favor, you are saying that corporations are not persons.
The carpool-lane stunt is probably the most over-the-top of responses, but many other critics have weighed in. For instance, the Occupy movement passed a resolution against corporate personhood, while an internet petition to “end corporate personhood” has garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures. Clearly, many people are deeply upset about the idea of corporate personhood.
Wenger goes on to explain why they are mistaken before concluding that:
The real work is in pushing back against specific overly permissive corporate-speech doctrine, not trying to undo the century-old rule of corporate personhood. Corporate personhood is not the enemy.
Well, at least he's half right. I don't think the current state of campaign finance law is overly permissive. It still restricts speech (and, yes, spending money to speak is speech). But he's right to say that corporate personhood is not the issue and, to the contrary, is a good thing.