Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Liberals' Unfree Press

Freedom of the Press … Not for the Press?
©2013  Ross Williams


Every once in a while you’ll run across an idiot liberal still pouting and moping about the Citizens United ruling.  Citizens United was – still is, actually – a conservative lobbying group which sued the Federal Elections Commission over the ramifications of the McCain-Feingold Act, which sought to limit the sources of political campaign spending to individuals and keep political campaigns out of the hands of deep pocket corporations and lobbyists.  Political campaigns work by partisan propaganda – i.e., advertising – i.e., engaging in public discourse – i.e., free speech and press.  The free speech Citizens United was prohibited from speaking was called Hillary: The Movie, a hatchet job on the former First Lady MacBeth.  This was back in ’08 before the ascendency of Barry Hussein, when Hillary Clinton was the shoo-in Democratic candidate to go up against Not-Bush, the Republican.

The US Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United [well after Hillary: The Movie would have helped Hillary not get elected], struck down much of the McCain-Feingold lunacy, and earned the idiot wrath of liberals who, as ever, are just as quick with the torch and pitchfork as the social conservatives they love to claim still live in the days of torches and pitchforks.

The typical idiot liberal response to the USSC upholding the Constitutional rights of corporations is “Corporations don’t have Constitutional rights!

Oh really?

So when … let’s find a Big Business that appeals particularly to the liberal side of the spectrum … when Planned Parenthood is accused by the government of a socially conservative state – for instance, Texas – of breaking state laws on abortions, Planned Parenthood must submit to cops seizing all its computers and other records … without a warrant?  The 4thAM is a Constitutional right, after all; Planned Parenthood doesn’t get to enjoy it?

Does Planned Parenthood not get to have a jury trial, since the 6thAM is also a Constitutional right?  Is the entire spectrum of American jurisprudence and its “fair trial” paradigm tossed because Planned Parenthood is a corporation and corporations don’t have Constitutional rights?  No, of course not.  That’s stupid.

Oh, but that’s not what the issue was with Citizens United, was it?  Citizens United was a First Amendment matter regarding partisan politics, and which could affect an election.  It’s unfair that well-heeled corporations get to monopolize the political speech.  Particularly when much of this speech must be bought.

…which means that the only Constitutional rights not enjoyed by corporations are … religion? petitioning government for a redress of grievances? free speech and press?

That’s just as stupid, compounded by arbitrary hypocrisy.  Why would a business be protected from warrantless government search and seizure by the 4thAM, and be guaranteed a fair and speedy trial by the 6thAM, but not from government interference in saying what it wants by the 1stAM?  Just because there’s an election going on?

Here’s the thing: there’s always an election going on.  Six months into the National Savior’s second coming, both major parties are already grooming wannabes for his successorship – in the event he doesn’t get the USSC to interpret the 22ndAM as broadly as they did Article I Section 8 in the Obamacare case; eighteen months before midterms there’s already major party posturing for that.  There’s Special Elections and primaries, federal, state and local.

The arbitrary time limits imposed by McCain-Feingold on this prior restraint are just that: arbitrary.  They can be changed and they can be fudged.  Sixty days prior to a general election means nothing when there’s YouTube and DVRs.  Thirty days prior to a primary means nothing when there’s cable television pulling in commercial advertising from the entire nation … and YouTube, and DVRs.  It would only be a matter of time before the time limits went away, or bought political speech was totally banned.  If Congress has the authority to impose arbitrary limits on commercially delivered political speech, they have the authority to outlaw it altogether.  Citizens United declared they don’t have the authority at all.

Reversing Citizens United would ultimately effectively silence all political speech that wasn’t inarticulately shouted by individuals on street corners, or hand-slathered on placards.  The moment the crowd joined in the chant, the very second professionally printed picket signs came out…  Those are the markers of organization, and organization implies wealth, and wealth implies paying someone to deliver the political speech; paid electioneering is verboten according to McCain-Feingold.  It’s not “fair” to allow it.

Indeed, anything said for or against any government policy can be construed as electioneering – and it would be in fairly short order, considering how rapidly the government seizes all opportunities to expand its power.  This was the argument made by the Obama Administration in defending McCain-Feingold before the USSC against the loyyers for Citizens United.

Which means Papa John’s Pizza would not be allowed to whine about Obamacare; Hobby Lobby couldn’t sue over it – lawsuits are public record, and the public is where political speech by monied outfits cannot be.  Nor would the ACLU be allowed to sue over detention at Gitmo, even if they knew what they were talking about.

Only individuals in this hallucinatory world idiot liberals inhabit possess the right to say what they want.  Michael Moore can film all the Fahrenheit 9/11’s he wants because he is an individual [I’m assuming he hasn’t incorporated into his own production company – if he has, he’s screwed], but he would not be able to show his film anywhere, because that takes distribution and movie theater conglomerates, and they are prohibited from making Moore’s psychotic conspiracy theory available.

James O’Keefe would be able to stuff hidden cameras in every orifice he’s got in order to catch “community organizers” conspiring to assist in human smuggling, child prostitution and racketeering, along with their standard inner city vote fraud activities.  But getting Fox News to air the videos? impossible.  Even youtube.com is a corporation and could not show them.

Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olberman can both say what they want, but there would be no one allowed to broadcast it.  …okay, so there’s an upside to all this.

But the New York Times – a large corporation – would not have been able to print anything critical of Bush policies, nor would they have been able to deflect some of the [deserved] criticism of partisanship by introducing us to Obama’s IRS witch hunt directed at the Tea Party.  Silent are Fox News, Newscorp, CNN, ABC news, CBS news, and MSNBC.  News magazines are winnowed down to their book review section and are otherwise remade into Soap Opera Digest and People magazine.  Newspapers the nation over are pared down to boxscores, the comics [sans Doonesbury and Dilbert], theater listings [which cannot show Hillary: The Movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, nor The Day After Tomorrow], classifieds, and Sudoku.

And when you think about it, a newspaper that is not allowed to exercise its freedom of the press because doing so might, gorsh, sway an election sorta defies the purpose of having freedom of the press to begin with.  Y’know?  When you think about it?

Liberals?  You’re up.  Can you think?


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