Dissent will not be allowed

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on May 18, 2015

There's a lot of Hillary Clinton corruption stories out today. Perhaps the biggest one is today's revelation that longtime Clinton confidante and hatchet man Sidney Blumenthal, banned from serving in government by President Obama, instead advised then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on foreign policy while on the payroll of the Clinton Family Foundation Slush Fund. That advice had the added benefit of potentially benefiting "Sid Vicious" financially.

The New York Times headlines this blockbuster story: "Clinton Friend's Memos on Libya Draw Scrutiny to Politics and Business." It takes a very talented copy editor to make a story this salacious sound so boring.

Instead, I wanted to draw attention to this vow by Clinton on her litmus test for potential Supreme Court nominees.

Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that if elected president, she would make opposition to a Supreme Court ruling that cleared the way for unlimited political donations a litmus test for nominees to the high court.

"I will do everything I can do to appoint Supreme Court justices who will protect the right to vote and not the right of billionaires to buy elections," Clinton told about 50 supporters at a house party in Iowa.

I'd encourage you to read the entire report, but it's rather curious that the Associated Press' White House correspondent, Julie Pace, neglects to tell readers that the Supreme Court ruling referenced by Mrs. Clinton, Citizens United v. FEC, involved the federal government trying to ban the airing of a scathing documentary about her entitled "Hillary: The Movie."

I'd also encourage you to read this Reason Magazine article from 2010 on the arguments made at the two sets of Supreme Court oral arguments on the Citizens United case.

For example, [Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm L.] Stewart was asked by Chief Justice John Roberts what would happen if a corporation were to publish a 500-page book discussing the American political system which concluded with a single sentence endorsing a particular candidate. Kagan’s deputy answered that such an endorsement would constitute “express advocacy” and therefore the corporation could only fund the publication of the book through a political action committee. “And if they didn’t, you could ban it?” asked the chief justice. “If they didn’t, we could prohibit publication of the book,” Stewart replied.

Even the most liberal justices, usually the most willing to curtail political free speech, seemed a little troubled. Justice David Souter asked what would happen if a labor union paid an author to write a book advocating the election of a particular candidate and then submitted the manuscript to Random House, which then agreed to publish it. The deputy solicitor general replied that he was unsure whether there would be a basis for suppressing such a book, but clearly stated that “the labor union’s conduct would be prohibited.”

You can have your First Amendment as long as it's pornography, pole dancing and flag burning, but if you'd like to make some political speech, well then the politicians would like to make some rules regarding who can say it, when they can say it, how they can say it and how much they can say.

It's like having death row convicts make mandatory sentencing rules.

There's an old joke about freedom of speech in the Soviet Union.

Q: Is it true that there is freedom of speech in the Soviet Union, just like in the USA?

A: In principle, yes. In the USA, you can stand in front of the White House in Washington, DC, and yell, "Down with Reagan!", and you will not be punished. Equally, you can also stand in Red Square in Moscow and yell, "Down with Reagan!", and you will not be punished.

The resemblance to the Soviet joke is eerie. Make no mistake, what Clinton is advocating here isn't really keeping big money out of politics, after all, her campaign has put her fundraising goal at $2.5 billion. What Clinton wants is to give the Federal Election Commission the same power to abuse that the IRS has claimed for itself. You can have your freedom of speech, as long as you don't offend Washington bureaucrats whose job isn't the public trust, but to their own pay and budgets.

The party of more government can rest easy as they jockey for power, those who agitate for smaller, limited government will be targeted.


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May 2015



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