Monday, January 25, 2010

More to free speech than flag burning

A few days ago, the Supreme Court struck down some provisions limiting the political speech of corporations. I personally agree with their decision. But I am no lawyer, only a political observer, so it was nice to see the New York Times have a conniption fit over the ruling. Their dismay amuses me only slightly less than their consistent inconsistency and what one might classify as hypocrisy. Some observations:
The founders of this nation warned about the dangers of corporate influence. The Constitution they wrote mentions many things and assigns them rights and protections — the people, militias, the press, religions. But it does not mention corporations.
Yes, it's true. The constitution does not mention many things such as: Social Security, Medicare, Universal Health Care, etc. In fact, there are an infinite variety of things it doesn't mention. The Constitution, if the New York Times actually cared, was intended as a limitation on the power of the Federal Government. What it mentions are only those powers enumerated, i.e. an explicit list of powers the Federal Government actually has. Let's dispense with the pretense that the New York Times gives a damn about the Constitution. To them the Constitution is a living document, meaning arbitrary. The only thing that matters is that the New York Times doesn't see speech from a corporation (corporation being entities comprised of individuals - you and me) as beneficial, and that is the only reason they oppose it.

This issue should never have been before the court. The justices overreached and seized on a case involving a narrower, technical question involving the broadcast of a movie that attacked Hillary Rodham Clinton during the 2008 campaign. The court elevated that case to a forum for striking down the entire ban on corporate spending and then rushed the process of hearing the case at breakneck speed. It gave lawyers a month to prepare briefs on an issue of enormous complexity, and it scheduled arguments during its vacation.
Breakneck speed oh my! Where was the outrage over health care reform? Do 300 page amendments at two in the morning mean anything to these people? Votes on Christmas Eve? I am envious of their shamelessness.

The Citizens United ruling is likely to be viewed as a shameful bookend to Bush v. Gore. With one 5-to-4 decision, the court’s conservative majority stopped valid votes from being counted to ensure the election of a conservative president. Now a similar conservative majority has distorted the political system to ensure that Republican candidates will be at an enormous advantage in future elections.
Yes, it's a conspiracy folks. Conservative judges never actually make decisions based on law. They practice law beneath a thin veneer of partisanship constantly scheming to elect Republicans. Bush is out of office, Obama and the New York Times need to learn to deal with it - btw, take those damn stickers off your cars! Also, let me get this straight, now Republicans will supposedly have an advantage. Doesn't this imply that Democrats currently have an advantage? Nothing to see here folks, move along...

The bottom line is this, more speech is better speech. Talking is only dangerous when you view people as incapable sheep. The New York Times believes that people don't think, they view people as mindless drones obeying whatever some political spin-meister pumps in through the TV. One only has to look at the Democrats disconnect for why health care failed. If only people knew the "truth" and not the lies told by opponents. Well, people figured out the "truth" and Senator Brown is going to Washington. People are not stupid and if they are completely incapable of discerning blatant propaganda hurled at them from corporations, our democracy is on very shaky ground indeed. I for one, believe people should hear all sides of an issue, even from those "greedy" corporations, and the shareholders who happen to own them.


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