Crisis breeds opportunity and opportunity breeds massive legislation filled with liberty destroying details voted for by scores of liberal legislators who’ve sworn to uphold the constitution (with fingers crossed behind their backs). These same hooligans said they’d defend their respective constituencies, except when it interferes with the agenda of the democrat party or their grasp on federal power. And now, left to their own sinister devices, the donkeys have taken to their proverbial word processors again—like an infinite number of monkeys trying to recreate the perfect socialist super-state—to produce another freedom killing piece of legislation, inappropriately named the DISCLOSE act; inappropriate because they will never admit or disclose what it is this thing does to the first amendment in their willy-nilly free for all to get political advertising they object to back under their jack-booted hooves.
Before I further incite a riot of curses and claims of ‘fear-mongering’ from the leftista’s about the nature of their assault on free speech (their standard dodge is fear mongering) let me first clarify my perception of the liberal-democrat conundrum—the true motivation for their objection to the SCOTUS decision in Citizens United v. FEC.
First, money and politics cannot be separated and to suggest otherwise is a populist, pandering lie told by people who already have plenty of it. As long as you need to spend money to get a message out to get elected to office no one will campaign successfully for—particularly in a state wide race—without a few big bags of money, independent support from people who have them, or someone else willing to expose incumbants when the need arises. And you need money.
The same problem applies with issue advocacy. Mailers, radio, television, even internet advertising is expensive—so much so that most of us are limited to the free parts of the internet or to pooling resources in a feeble effort to get any message out or (heavan forbid) to contradict the message of the people in power–a process the government is forever complicating to dissuade us from doing just that. The DISCLOSE act is the next evolution of that oppression.
Second, people are inclined to accept the evil they know instead of the one they do not if no one is able to tell them different, so messaging is extremely important. Politicians—incumbents—have a signifcant built in advantage here. They are already in office. They have exclusive access to deep pocketed corporate lobbyists, their PAC’s, and all the congressional PACs who incestuously share that wealth between them. They have a free bully pulpit in the press, in print, in radio, on TV, on their government web sites, and anywhere else they want to show up, while collecting a generous salary they do not need to give up to go sell themselves and their stupid ideas. And all the while they are benefitting from the fixed nature of their relationship to power, influence, and a home court political speech advantage. With these odds even the worst legislator can secure a long and healthy political career short of a wave or something really bad happening that they can’t hide or hide from with any amount of money.
Finally, allowing anyone whom they do not have a cushy relationship with—or permitting those they may have mislead or rubbed the wrong way (thats’ screwed in the vernacular)—the same unfettered access to the same free speech-well they drink from, (or one in remote proximity) is simply a risk they are not willing to accept. Speech is money and power to the elites so they have applied their natural inclination to control everything including your objections the same way they control and distribute your earnings—from the top down, at their direction, and through cumbersome regulation that only lawyers understand, and always in the manner they deem fair and equal to themselves.
So when the supreme court pulled the little Dutch boys finger out of the dyke known as McCain/Feingold, the left blew a gasket. Seizures were epidemic as the elitists flopped about like fish on dry land at the thought of defending their arrogant, insulated, incumbent stupidity in an environment where they could no longer dominate the narrative, control the debate, or anticipate what attacks would come from where and by whom. It is almost impossible to disguise your malfeasance with other people buying up ad time to point out to the couch potatoes what a piece of crap they think you are and why. Incumbents would constantly be on the defensive, wasting their own valuable horde of insider corporate cash to fend off free “political speech” attacks from all directions, and the Party would be just as helpless to defend them.
Paul Hodes response to this constitutional threat to his DC trench digging was to drop his "insiders-only "gold-plated shovel long enough to suggest we just alter the entire US constitution to protect elitist political power; an arrogant move if genuine, but more likely fashioned so as to make an excellent blurb on his campaign web site—which it does. Hodes even goes so far as to suggest that…
“”The Supreme Court wrongly allowed corporations, including foreign corporations, to infiltrate and pollute one of our most sacred places—the voting booth””
Hodes is full of um…"himself." Rules for foreign corporations were not affected by the ruling at all, so this demonstrates for us that Mr. Hodes is either willing to lie without fear of being caught which is arrogant, or repeats whatever he is told without bothering to determine its veracity, which is what we’ve suspected all along. Arrogant, ignorant, parroting, you decide–it’s more choice than Hodes or the democrats will give you on political speech.
Unlucky us, we don’t need to rely entirley on the bumbling incompetence of the gentleman from New Hampshire to fix the fix, the entire caucus is looking for a way to make sure the system remains gamed in their favor so they came up with the DISCLOSE act.
The DISCLOSE act will not only try to limit political speech the way McCain-Feingold did, it goes even further by altering critical definitions in federal law. “Communication” as it applies to public speech would no longer exclude the internet, and the bill intentionally re-classifies written political speech (like this blog post) as equivalent to a paid campaign contribution if it is written within a certain defined number o
f days before an election and in a way that a “reasonable person” could view it as such. (as equivelant to a contribution)
Do I need to repeat that?
This bill would view any political commentary within a certain time frame before a primary or election as in violation of federal law if a ‘reasonable person’ (that’s the federal government) decides that the speech represents issue or candidate advocacy that could work as the equivalent to a cash donation. That’s regulating political cash—without the need for cash using political speech, by writ at our majesties convenience. Want to scare some people away from the debate? Want to gag your opponent? Want to ensure that only deep pocketed well connected incumbents dominate the messaging and political narrative in the waning weeks of a contested race? Then pass the DISCLOSE act.
Some people will actually think a) this is Ok, and b) they’ll stop regualting speech here. They’d be liberals or idiots or both.
I’m immediately reminded of Chaz Proulx’s response to my post in October 2008 about the impending “thugocracy” of an Obama administration and a liberal majority, and how it will move to silence speech that opposes it’s agenda. I expressed an idle concern for free speech in places like NH Insider, and the lefts obsession with ending the dominance of right wing talk radio. Chaz had this to say.
Good try, but your scare tactics don’t pass the smell test.
The only reason NH INSIDER will suffer under Obama is it’s writers,
As you know I’ll be leaving after the election.
The rest of you can rant on to each other all you want.
Obama and I could care less, frankly.
October 21, 2008 | Chaz Proulx
Funny but I smell something. Smells like democrats trying to censor political speech when it would have the most impact on their ability to remain in power.
Can’t say I didn’t try to warn you. The DISCLOSE act would limit liberal Blue Hampshire as well regardless of who was in power. Suck on that for a while and get back to me.
(DISCLOSE act is HR 5175)