Friendly reminder from Phil Kerpen: The Citizens United case was about whether a corporation had a First Amendment right to spend money from its general treasury to promote criticism of … Hillary Clinton. People on both sides forget that, I think. It’s natural in hindsight to assume that a conservative group being scrutinized by the feds for a political attack in 2007 was training its fire on Obama. Nope. The question was, does Citizens United’s right to free speech include the right to spend big bucks publicizing “Hillary: The Movie” when Hillary was a candidate for president?
That’s the case that would-be President Hillary Clinton now desperately wants overturned.
Clinton’s emphatic opposition to the ruling, which allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited sums on independent political activity, garnered the strongest applause of the afternoon from the more than 200 party financiers gathered in Brooklyn for a closed-door briefing from the Democratic candidate and her senior aides, according to some of those present.
“She got major applause when she said would not name anybody to the Supreme Court unless she has assurances that they would overturn” the decision, said one attendee, who, like others, requested anonymity to describe the private session…
Clinton’s pledge to use opposition to Citizens United as a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees echoes the stance taken by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is challenging her for the Democratic nomination…
On Thursday, Clinton also reiterated her support for a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United, a long-shot effort that is nonetheless popular among Democratic activists.
At first blush that seems like a boutique issue to use as a litmus test for something as momentous as a SCOTUS appointment. A more obvious one, at least if the game here is mega-pandering to the left, would be to overturn the ruling in the Heller case a few years ago finding an individual right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. Hillary won’t touch that one, though, because she needs states like Pennsylvania and Ohio in the general election and messing with guns is apt to spook centrist Dems. Another obvious litmus test is protecting Roe v. Wade no matter how many bills those radical Republicans pass attempting to criminalize killing a 36-week-old baby in the womb, but that’s risky too given popular support for late-term abortion bans. And besides, it goes without saying that any Democratic appointee will be a pro-abortion and anti-gun fanatic; it’s Republican appointees like Roberts and Kennedy and Souter and Stevens and Brennan much more so than Democratic ones who tend to “evolve” towards the other side once on the Court. Hillary’s not saying Citizens United will be her only litmus test in choosing nominee, merely an additional one. And given how rigid left-wing jurists tend to be in their orthodoxies, she’ll have no trouble getting contenders to pass it.
But we don’t need to overthink this. Yammering about Citizens United has nothing to do with Hillary’s discomfort with big money in politics. Just the opposite: It’s a way for someone who’s distrusted for her friendships on Wall Street to buy cheap grace from the left as the stench from the Clinton Foundation keeps wafting and reports swirl that she’s aiming to raise north of $2 billion for the election. No president in American history will owe as much to wealthy special interests as she will, and she’s got the “charity” slush fund to prove it. And you know what? This little litmus-test pander will probably work. Because in the end, as Jonathan Last says, you’re simply not going to beat Hillary Clinton by reminding voters how obnoxious Hillary Clinton is.
Think about that for a minute. By a margin of -25 points, people say they don’t trust Hillary Clinton, but by a margin of +4 points they say she has “high moral standards.”
There are only two possible conclusions from this: Either (1) Voters are idiots. Or (2) As a political commodity, Hillary Clinton’s appeal is based on something other than trustworthiness.
Whichever the case, the big lesson from the last few months is that it will be very difficult for a Republican to beat Hillary Clinton by getting voters to turn against her. The Clinton cake is so thoroughly baked that there’s no new evidence that’s going to make people decide that suddenly, after 20 years, the scales have fallen from their eyes and they realize she’s something other than what they think she is.
Hillary wants to rewrite the First Amendment to defang conservative groups who might make her life difficult? Well, that’s Hillary for you. Anything else you want to say before I pull the lever for her, wingnut?