Sunday, September 14, 2014

Last Call For Freedom Of Screech

Conservatives should be smarter than this, but then again they're being paid good money by the corporate interests that own them to howl about Democrats wanting campaign finance reform and calling it "repealing the First Amendment".

Free speech just won an important victory in a federal courtroom, though it is shameful that the case ever even had to go to court. Ohio had enacted a plainly unconstitutional law that empowered a government panel to determine whether criticisms offered in political advertisements were sufficiently true to be permitted in the public discourse. Those who have followed the IRS scandal, the Travis County, Texas, prosecutorial scandals, or Harry Reid’s recent effort to repeal the First Amendment will not be surprised that this measure was used as a political weapon against a conservative group, in this case the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List. SBA List criticized a Democratic House member for having voted for the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA), noting that the law will implicate American taxpayers in the funding of abortions, an entanglement previously minimized through measures such as the Hyde Amendment. Despite the fact that the ACA regime would, among other things, permit federal subsidies for abortion-funding insurance plans, the Ohio Inquisition ruled the ad impermissible, and banned it.So much for free speech.

Fortunately, an Obama appointee whose ability to read the letter of the law had not been utterly drummed out of him ruled that the Ohio Inquisition obviously violated longstanding free-speech protections, the First Amendment notable among them. Last week, a similar case in Minnesota came to a similar conclusion.

Which is why Harry Reid wants to repeal the First Amendment.

Democrats pushing the measure to repeal free speech pretend that it is a campaign-finance measure, but the only criteria it establishes for Congress to ban an advertisement — or a book, or a film, or a television show, or a magazine — is that money is expended in an attempt to influence a political outcome. Under those rules, the Ohio Inquisition’s successful move to ban billboards critical of an embattled Democratic congressman would have been totally acceptable under the provisions of a gutted First Amendment.

To recap here, an amendment to the Constitution that would enshrine limits on endless corporate cash used to buy our elections and our politicians is somehow an assault on free speech, because conservatives realize that without hundreds of billions used to buy voters, they'd lose every single election, state, local, and national.

These guys are all in on the Constitution somehow giving you the right to spend as much money buying an election's outcome as you have, as if that somehow was what the drafters meant 235 plus years ago.

So we get long, sputtering diatribes like this from Kevin Williamson and his buddy Assrocket who with a straight face says this:

Why have the Democrats pushed the Udall amendment, knowing that it can’t possibly pass? They are playing a long game, I think. Historically, the idea of repealing the First Amendment would have been unthinkable. The purpose of the Udall amendment, I believe, is to mainstream what has always, until now, been inconceivable. The public is being accustomed to the idea that the First Amendment might be repealed–not flag burning and nude dancing, but the innermost core of the amendment, supporting and opposing candidates in elections–and if the Democrats ever have the votes, it will be.

It's funny that the first thing these clown come up with is using legislation to destroy the opposing political party.  If you want to know what Republicans are planning the next time they get into power, look what they are accusing the Democrats of doing next.

By the way, this is what an assault on free speech and silencing of dissent actually looks like, just in case you're confused.

1 comment:

RepubAnon said...

One wonders how much longer it will be before bribing a Senator is deemed protected speech under the First Amendment. I mean, after all, handing someone money in return for a service is like saying "please", amirite?

Of course, it will still remain a crime if the money comes from, say, an environmental group...

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