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Thursday, January 21, 2010

He's Not Really Into That "Rule of Law" Stuff

Barack Obama reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down parts of McCain-Feingold campaign contribution restrictions:
With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans. This ruling gives the special interests and their lobbyists even more power in Washington--while undermining the influence of average Americans who make small contributions to support their preferred candidates. That's why I am instructing my Administration to get to work immediately with Congress on this issue. We are going to talk with bipartisan Congressional leaders to develop a forceful response to this decision. The public interest requires nothing less.
That thingy on which the Sups based their decision to give a green light to big money interests (like the ones Obama cut deals with as part of his health care initiative), it's called the U.S. Constitution.

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  1. Well, the pretendent has a lot of nerve complaining about this. Now, doesn't he? After all... he is the one who turned down public financing so that he could go after money from who knows where??

    I think his protest is already falling on deaf ears. Cuz everyone knows it is "just words."

  2. his oath of office must have been "..preserve, protect and amend the Constitution of the United States."

  3. Keep in mind: Obama wants to rewrite the US Constitution. "It only says what we 'can't' do..." was the money-quote, I believe.

    Hard to believe he's a Constitutional scholar. Shameful.

  4. I'm a little confused by this post. I get the ruling that it's unconstitutional to censor political ads near election day. But how does striking down contribution limits by corporations and unions help the electorates exactly?

    ''It's going to be the Wild Wild West,'' said Ben Ginsberg, a Republican attorney who has represented several GOP presidential campaigns. ''If corporations and unions can give unlimited amounts ... it means that the public debate is significantly changed with a lot more voices and it means that the loudest voices are going to be corporations and unions.'' nytimes

    That's not to say that we can't see through BO's bogus display of righteous indignation...when its well known (or is it?) that he is in the pocket of the litigation industry.

  5. Big oil? Wall Street banks? Insurance Companies? All the usual suspects. There's nothing more evil than those big three!

    What a clown!

    Where would this country be without the oil companies??

    Who drives the business practices of the banks and insurance companies? The CONSUMER! Want to change those business practices you have to change the societal issues that cause them. A practical first step would be tort reform, but liberal like the supreme leader in D.C. are too stupid to do anything else but talk about those big nasty oil companies, banks, and insurance companies.

    Americans aren't going to fall for it any longer.

  6. Thank you, David Werling! And I sincerely hope you're right.

    ThomasN, though IANAL and I haven't read the whole opinion, I haven't gathered that "help[ing] the electorate" was the standard applied. From what I've heard and read, the majority opinion strikes down corporate contribution limits on the basis that it's unconstitutional to limit political speech based on the wealth or opinion of the speaker. Whether it's beneficial to the electorate isn't the question. As a side note(?), Kennedy wrote that this decision removes an impediment to information's and opinions' being made available to the electorate.

    As for whether it IS beneficial to the electorate, well, that'll depend a lot on the elected, won't it? If they resist the temptation to treat campaign contributions as a quid pro quo, it could indeed be beneficial.

  7. Wasn't it big oil and big banks that sent, individually, more money than China did to Haiti? I have trouble with this whole "success should be stopped at any cost, including making confetti of our Constitution" mentality.

  8. Wow. The court gave its interpretation of the Constitution. There's always the possibility the court is wrong ya know. The Constitution doesn't say corporations are allowed to buy the government.

  9. Correct me if I'm wrong (I haven't had time to read the opinion yet) but the SCOTUS decision doesn't mean unlimited contributions TO candidates or their campaigns. Direct contributions can be regulated. However, finance law cannot abridge political SPEECH regardless of who is making the speech - from blogger to book to magazine to radio/tv ad.

  10. I know that a corporation is a legal entity with certain rights; BUT --

    The Constitution specifies "... all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights ...". A corporation is not a human being, therefore I would argue that it is NOT "endowed by the Creator" with the same inalienable rights accorded to humans. Of course, I don't have a problem with "free speech" in the sense of explaining which candidates or parties or policies they favor and why. I DO object to pretending that "giving cash" is protected "free speech" when corporations donate money to political parties or candidates. It's a very short step from "making donations" to "We bought you, now as payback we want you to vote our way on pending legislation."

    The argument that "they'll find some way around the law anyway, maybe this will make it more transparent" doesn't persuade me that this was a good decision.

  11. The thing that I see is that these protests against the ruling are indeed false. Look at how the Obot got his campaign funds: through those PACs.... and lots of them. People could donate to any and all of those PACs and on top of that big unions etc had the ability to filter lots of money through them.

    However, that decision was based upon a very different aspect of free speech and I think that the faux outrage is preventing people from recognizing the reasons for the case, and the basis for the decision. I do in fact believe that the dissenting justices in this case are totally wrong.

    The case was brought by an organization that made a film about Hillary Clinton. They were prevented from screening the film because they got corporate sponsorship. This was due to McCain-Feingold and a narrow interpretation of the provisions of the Act.

    What is involved here is indirect spending or sponsorship. It is not direct funding of a campaign, and the impact of the legislation was a breech of the right to free speech.

    The Obot received funds from all of the organizations that he derides. He speaks with a forked tongue, and he lies about too many things.

  12. I want to hear what big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests have to say. I don't want to be a smug, ignorant liberal. I want to know what's going on. That's why we call it "free speech" instead of "government imposed ignorance".

  13. @annonymous could you try sticking to the facts of the case? It might help you to understand the free speech aspects... and why it is that McCain-Feingold was destined to be struck down.

    The bogus complaints that have started at the White House are based upon some rather false assumptions regarding the opinion given by Justice Kennedy.

    When studying any case you need to start with the issues and in this one the issue just happens to be that the FEC prevented the showing of the movie Hillary prior to the primaries to determine who would be chosen to run for President. It was a movie that was not flattering to Hillary. The basis of that refusal happens to be that 0.03% of the funding for the movie came from a corporation.

    Now, without reading the opinion of Justice Kennedy thoroughly, it is always difficult to understand the whole reasoning behind the decision that has been made. This is not about corporations per se, even though Kennedy obviously addressed the issue. The real issue is FREE SPEECH.

    The way in which McCain-Feingold was being applied meant that corporations could not even make a small donation to the making of a movie with some political content that might or might not sway voters in a certain direction. On the other hand the Act allowed newspapers, which are corporations to have op eds which were meant to influence the voters and their intentions. In other words there was hypocrisy because newspapers, and other media were being allowed to print and broadcast their opinions to the detriment of businesses, large and small.

    Corporations are more than just the large businesses. They can be very small entities run by a small group of people who have incorporated for the purpose of tax and other benefits available for business ventures. Here in Australia this can include small clubs such as a doll club or a model railway club.

    What McCain-Feingold was doing was to stifle the free speech of individuals within a corporation through the funding provisions of the Act by not allowing even small donations towards anything that is political.

    On the other hand McCain-Feingold became the cover for the PACs that allowed the Obot to raise millions of dollars from a variety of sources without having to disclose his contributors. This would have made it easy for say George Soros to donate to a variety of PACs who would then use that money to promote the Obot on TV, in the newspapers etc.

    In striking down McCain-Feingold it means that Baucus for example cannot put pressure on a health fund that wants to inform its members about the impact of Abominablecare. It means that these businesses can campaign prior to the 2010 elections in order to inform members about what is involved if Abominablecare was to become law.

    It does not necessarily mean that this type of corporation will fund either party, but they are now free to run their own advertising freed from the party machines.

    One of the big losers is Chuck Schumer because he can no longer act like a stand over man trying to get funding for his Senate campaign.

    The winners of the Citizens United case are the citizens of the USA because the attempt to stifle free speech has been overturned.