The Democrat War on the First Amendment
Unhappy with recent Supreme Court decisions supporting the First Amendment, some Democrat senators have arrived at an old solution: if you do not like the Constitution, amend it. Angry with Supreme Court decisions like McCutcheon and Citizens United, which ruled that such efforts were unconstitutional, some Democrats have decided to attempt an end run around the First Amendment. The legislation they are promoting would limit not only partisan spending, but independent spending as well.
Specifically, Democrat senators Charles Schumer from New York and Thomas Udall from New Mexico are proposing a constitutional amendment to restrict the freedom of people to finance elections.
Schumer has maintained that not having limits on the financing of elections results in the “drowning” of opposition views. This position is laughable on its face, since Citizens United and McCutcheon did not stop Obama from being re-elected, and as we have seen, the president seems to have no trouble raising money. The only side that is “drowning” out opposition is the one that attempts to cut off access to the microphone to any political ideas that challenge an overreaching government.
The reason behind this move was clarified simply by former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who testified in support of the measure. He said, “All elected officials would lead happier lives and be better able to perform their public responsibilities if they did not have to spend so much times raising money.” I was not aware that the purpose of the First Amendment was to help politicians lead happier lives. In fact, the purpose of the First Amendment is to allow citizens to shine a light on the activities of their elected officials. It is not surprising that those officials would be much “happier” working in the dark. For the record, former Justice Stevens has said he would also like to amend the Second Amendment. It is curious that a former Supreme Court member would have such antipathy toward the Bill of Rights.
The mainstream media, which excels in providing cover for progressives in growing the government to gargantuan proportions, has echoed the call by bemoaning “too much money in politics.” They are oblivious to the fact that the growth in money being spent on politics has expanded proportionally with the growth of government. The bigger government becomes, the more incentive there is to buy it off.
The mainstream media would quickly change its tune if there were a government proposal to limit the amount of money a network could spend on its news division. Watch how fast money would then equate with free speech for them. Fortunately, the odds of getting 38 states to go along with this are slim and none. The fact that it is even being proposed, however, signals the first shot in the war against free speech.
Victor Keith writes from Burbank, California and can be contacted at victorakeith.com.