(Chuck Muth) – In a 5-4 decision which was only surprising in that four of its members could be so hostile to political free speech, the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations now will be “allowed” to fully participate in our nation’s elections for federal offices.
Amen and hallelujah.
And while some First Amendment defenders on the left, primarily the ACLU, joined conservatives on the right in applauding the decision, many Democrats and assorted socialists had a veritable conniption. As one despondent Las Vegas resident wrote to the Sun yesterday:
“Democracy breathed its final breath, thanks to the bizarre gift by the court of ‘free speech’ in the ludicrous form of endless campaign contributions and advertising from soulless, heartless and conscienceless corporations.”
Any bets as to whether or not this guy works for either (a) the government, or (b) a “soulless, heartless and conscienceless corporation”?
Leading this guy and the rest of the Chicken Little brigade was President Barack Obama who declared, “We don’t need to give any more voice to the powerful interests that already drown out the voice of everyday Americans.”
Dang straight, Skippy. That’s organized labor’s job!
Seriously, though. As long as government has the power to regulate and tax corporations, why shouldn’t corporations be allowed to defend themselves against the government by participating in the electoral process. I mean, isn’t taxing corporations without them being allowed to participate in elections a classic example of taxation without representation?
To which some critics of the decision respond that corporations aren’t people and, therefore, should not be afforded the rights of American citizens. Only….that’s not what the Constitution says. The Constitution says “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” There is no “except for corporations” loophole in the First Amendment.
But that won’t stop Democrats from trying to shut up America’s incorporated job creators. According to the Associated Press, the White House is working with Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to craft a bill to mitigate the unmitigated gall of the Supreme Court to rule in favor of free speech. Among the options under consideration:
1.) “Requiring the approval of a majority of shareholders before a corporation can run a political ad.” Funny how they didn’t propose also requiring the approval of a majority of union members before a labor union can run a political ad. I’m sure it was just an oversight.
2.) “Requiring the CEO of the company to appear at the end of the ad so that the public knows who is behind it.” This is about as stupid as requiring candidates to say, “My name is John Doe and I approve this ad.” The do-gooders told us that making candidates barf up this pabulum would result in less negative campaigning. See any all-positive campaigns lately?
3.) “Limiting the ad spending of corporations that have received federal bailout money or that get federal contracts.” OK, but then you also have limit how much money government employee unions can spend since all of their money comes from dues which comes from the taxpayers who pay their salaries. Deal?
4.) “Trimming the privileges that come with legal corporate status if companies pump money into political campaigns.” OK, but again, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Let’s also trim the privileges that Big Labor enjoys thanks to its legal non-profit status if it pumps money into political campaigns.
The real problem with the Supreme Court ruling isn’t that it went too far, but that it didn’t go far enough. The Court should next eliminate the prohibition on corporations AND unions from donating directly to federal campaigns, as well as eliminate all contribution caps on such donations, while simultaneously requiring that all donations be reported on a public website within 72 hours of receipt.
Remove the chains and let the sun shine in. So let it be written; so let it be done.