Brace yourself, Supreme Court Justices, for another State of the Union scolding from Barack Obama. Yesterday the nation’s highest court ruled that another part of McCain-Feingold is unconstitutional. (McCain, I’m sure, is still busy trying to figure out what part of restricting political speech was deemed “unconstitutional”.) The court ruled that citizens should be allowed to donate to an unlimited number of candidates or causes – provided that they still abide by the individual campaign limits.
In short: Anyone can now give the maximum amount permitted by law, to however many candidates they wish… Yeah… I know! It’s almost like “freedom” or something.
Which probably explains the immediate outrage among America’s most notorious liberals. Of course, Harry Reid immediately took the opportunity to monger fear (I know that’s not how you say it… I just liked how it sounded) over the prospect of the Koch Brothers “buying” the government. He even managed to claim that people’s rights are being restricted by allowing them more freedom to engage in the political process.
And as atrocious as Reid’s obsession with a couple of libertarian industrialists might seem (seriously: he even accused them of tax avoidance), Chuck Schumer (D-People’s Republic of New York) easily outdid the outlandish Senator from Nevada. According to the Washington Examiner, Chuck had this to say to journalists after learning that political speech is actually covered under the 1st Amendment:
“Let’s say you’re a person who doesn’t want to go to a 501(c)(4) because you’re worried maybe there’ll be an IRS investigation sometime down the road,” Schumer told reporters. “You can write one check to a joint committee of 232 House members and give them each the maximum.”
Um, Ok. So, Chuck’s big problem with allowing people the right to donate to as many campaigns as they wish, is that they might not be harassed by the IRS? (Oh, the horror!) Of course, the intellectually deficient Senator from de Blasio’s home state, continued to speak-before-thinking:
“A small number of people who really want to paralyze the government are just being given such huge disproportionate weight, but the average citizen who doesn’t follow it in detail says ‘government just doesn’t work’ and that is terrible for our democracy.”
WE DON’T LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY! Ahem… Sorry. (It’s actually a republic… According to the Constitution. Which explains Chuck’s ignorance.) Besides, the fact that some people have more “say” in our government, is mostly a function of how large and overreaching the Federal government has become. Heck, I don’t really see Chuck upset about the Union exemption from Obamacare requirements. Where is his “outrage” over the disproportionate influence Hollywood has on his party’s platform? What about Planned Parenthood? George Soros? The Udall family? Community Organizers?
Which, of course, brings us to the next point: Where’s the Reid/ Schumer led outrage over Union spending in election years? Given that nine of the top 15 biggest political spenders in America are Unions (the Kochs were number 59 on the same list), it seems that the SEIU is a much bigger issue than a couple of oil guys from the Midwest.
Legitimate concerns have been raised over unlimited political spending (especially in today’s world of cronyism and nepotism). But, let’s face it: If you don’t like the Constitution, we have a nifty amendment process. And, apparently, the 1st Amendment to our Constitution protects political spending as a form of political speech.
Which is why it is even more intriguing that Chuck’s big outrage was over the possible impotence of the IRS to scare away certain activists from engaging in elections. (Because, obviously, stifling free speech is the primary purpose of Treasury’s tax enforcement branch.)
Harry and Chuck’s indignation is a pretty good reverse-barometer for judging how well this ruling will pan out for American freedom. I mean, c’mon: When Senators start bemoaning the fact that government can’t interfere with freedom of speech, that probably bodes well for the average American citizen.
And, if Chuck doesn’t like it, he’s welcome to start turning down New York City millionaires who want to donate to his next reelection.