Irresistible as a follow-up to Stewart’s takedown, which I took to be a green light from one of the left’s arbiters of cool that it’s officially okay not to like this grandstanding bottom-feeder anymore. Hey, what’s wrong with punching a few holes in the First Amendment to stop Olby’s employers from directly influencing elections instead of funneling money to obnoxious goons like him? Matt Welch explains:
Citizens United, a conservative 501(c)(4) nonprofit that has funded a dozen political documentaries over the years, produced a critical documentary about Hillary Clinton in 2008 entitled “Hillary: The Movie.” By a decision of the federal government, which was enforcing the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (known more broadly as McCain-Feingold), this piece of political speech was banned from television.
Let’s boil it down to the essential words: Political documentary, banned, government.
You don’t have to be a First Amendment purist to intuit that political speech was, if anything, the most urgent subcategory covered by the First Amendment’s “Congress shall pass no law” restrictions. And you don’t have to be a Hillary-hater to imagine the shoe on the other foot. What if MoveOn.org’s 501(c)(4), Campaign to Defend America, had been blocked by George W. Bush’s Federal Elections Commission from broadcasting “McCain: The Movie”? Wouldn’t that stink, too?…
Even if you just can’t bring yourself to believe that people who take civil liberties seriously have long-held serious civil libertarian criticisms of campaign-finance laws, or if you simply think they’re all wrong, I’ll offer this last salve: It has never been easier for groups of citizens to swarm together and flow money through the Internet toward campaigns and candidates who excite them. Ask Ron Paul — or more relevantly, Barack Obama — what’s more powerful: $10 million from Dr. Evil Industries, or $10 each from 1 million people who can actually vote?
Taking the cue from Stewart, lefty Tommy Christopher lays into Olby for this latest bit of demagoguery, which included a charming comparison between First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams (who’s Jewish) to Nazi collaborator Vidkun Quisling. Don’t take it personally, Floyd: All of the modern-day Murrow’s enemies end up getting the Nazi treatment eventually. One question for Christopher, a self-described “longtime fan” of this idiot, though: When exactly was he was one of the “credible liberal voices” that America supposedly so sorely needs? Was it when he was saying crap like “Fox News is worse than Al Qaeda” — more than two years ago? Clue me in.