Free Speech for Those who Can Afford It: An Informed Rebuttal

Republican elephantism stomps Obama
Rick Right Pernick

In March 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the McCain Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Bill, which essentially restricted the free speech rights of groups within 30 days prior to an election cycle.  Later, GWB, the former president not the bridge, would excuse his actions claiming while he was aware of the unconstitutional restriction of free speech, he signed the bill anyway assuming the law would be challenged and overturned by SCOTUS.  Shouldn’t he have championed freedom of speech?  Shouldn’t’ that &^%ing @$$ #$%* (shamelessly censored) defend our 1st Amendment *&^%s (not so shamelessly censored)?!

Now, instead of tax-paying corporations and NON-tax-paying labor unions contributing to political parties and candidates for advertizing within the 30 days of an election cycle (which incidentally was regulated and monitored by the FEC), we now have billions of dollars of practically unregulated funds being contributed through PACs (political action committees) and other 527 organizations.  Isn’t it remarkable that six years after McCain-Feingold we had the two most expensive presidential campaigns ever, in 2004 and 2008?  The 2008 presidential campaign alone cost over $2.4 billion.  WOW!  That’s not only change you can not only believe in, but change you can buy a third world country with.

McCain Feingold was challenged in 2003 and, in December of that year, Sandra Day O’Connor was the swing voter who sided with the liberal wing of the court to uphold the unconstitutional provisions of the law.  Following were another half-dozen or so rulings that tweaked the level for which free speech could be restricted.  I’m talking to you Winslow!

In January 2010, the SCOTUS took up the case of Citizens United v. FEC.   The case was brought by Citizens United, a conservative advocacy group that challenged restrictions on its ability to air a 90-minute (x-rated) film that was highly critical of then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, during her 2008 presidential bid. The case centered on whether the restrictions on political expenditures by corporations and unions stifled protected speech.  On a 5-4 vote, certain provisions of McCain Feingold were overturned and slipped out of a third story window.  Free speech rights for corporations and labor unions were restored.

Steve Simpson, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, called the ruling a “ringing endorsement” of the core principles of First Amendment and a victory for the marketplace of ideas.  The most compelling argument is, of course, (censored).  The Supreme Court recognized today that the purpose of the First Amendment is “to allow individuals and Americans to speak out as loudly and as robustly as they please,” with as many exclamation points, bold type, and bouts of profanity as The Crank deems necessary.  Simpson went on to say, “That applies whether an individual chooses to speak out alone or whether he chooses to associate with others and speak out as a group – whether that group is a corporation, an unincorporated association, or some Crank on a blog ezine thingie.”  The Discord may have tampered with this quote.

Dave, now that you know the fact-based history, it’s now time to put your opinion into proper context (I think I hear a flushing sound).

You opened your opinion with the statement, “If you think the last presidential election was swayed by advertising and the almighty dollar (I donated a five spot), just wait to see what the future holds.” 

Dave, you’ve taken the liberal position, as documented above: the 2008 presidential election cost over $2.4 billion, with all other races costing an additional $3 billion.  By comparison, the 2000 presidential election cost a total of $1.1 billion, and 2004 $1.2 billion, according to the FEC.  Campaign Finance Reform for Dummies?  The money spent has more than doubled since campaign finance reform was signed into law.

You go on to channel Obama’s SCOTUS address and the liberal mainstream idea that the “SCOTUS decision allows corporations limitless advertisements for their handpicked candidates.”  That’s a lie.  Under the ruling, corporations and unions will still be prohibited from giving direct contributions to candidates.  Please, read it for yourself HERE.

What amazes me most about your post is the level of vitriol you have to corporations and their contributions to campaign advertizing, yet you apparently have no problem with Labor Unions mandating the employees they’re supposed to represent, pay for political support of candidates they may oppose.   The SCOTUS decision lifted the free speech restrictions for them as well, yet you don’t seem to have a problem with their money infecting the system.

You believe “People have the right to speech, but corporations don’t.”   Why not?  Corporations pay income tax; in fact, the corporate income tax in the United States is the highest rate of any country in the world!  And if they are required by the government to pay taxes, they have a right to a voice in how their confiscated tax dollars are spent.  You cannot say the same about Labor Unions who also benefit from this decision.

Labor Unions are tax-exempt, and yet they are now able to spend just as much as tax-paying corporations on campaigns prior to elections.  I have no problem with that, except a union worker has no say in how their forced union dues are being spent. 

The 1st Amendment to the constitution clearly states, “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…”  I left out the parts of that quote that I didn’t think you should hear. And McCain Feingold abridged free speech by restricting the means by which speech is communicated.  On a related note, the semaphore version of The Daily Discord has been banned in Malaysia.  Citizens United v. FEC corrected this violation of free speech rights and Malaysia is now dead to me.

You again channel Obama and the MSM suggesting “a Japanese company with some U.S. holdings (or for that matter a Chinese company holding most of the U.S.) have the same interest as you and I.”  That statement from Obama caused a modest reaction from Chief Justice Roberts where he clearly said it’s Not True.  And Justice Roberts was right.  Obama either made an erroneous statement or he outright lied.  Nothing in the decision Citizens United v. FEC overturns FEC laws forbidding foreign contributions, although the laws didn’t stop Obama from accepting millions from illegal overseas contributors (not to mention the Ghetto Shaman’s weekly, er…package).

“Justice John Paul Stevens, appointed by Republican Gerald Ford [and bass player for Led Zeppelin], denounced the ruling as a dangerous rejection of common sense.”  What he sees as common sense is his opinion, which is irrelevant.  He is a Supreme Court Justice and is supposed to determine whether or not a law is Constitutional.  McCain-Feingold violated the constitution, regardless of your opinion or the opinion of left-wing activist Justices.

Oh, and you’re citing an opinion poll from a February Washington Post-ABC News poll, 85% of all Americans are opposed to this ruling; first off,  get your facts straight; it was nearly 80%, not 85%.  Besides, opinion polls are irrelevant.  I believe the Discord proved that with a recent poll. Anyone who takes an opinion poll as fact has hit one of those Ghetto Shaman retreats one too many times.  Consensus among 1000 people polled does not translate to fact.  People for the most part are under-educated and lack the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision.  It doesn’t make their opinion less important, but it doesn’t make them right either.  Dave, like it or not, this includes you.


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