When the Citizens United decision came down last year, I concurred with Glenn Greenwald who opined that, odious as the decision was, based on the law as it was written, the decision was correct.
I haven’t had a chance to really dig into the decision, but my initial reaction was along the lines of: “Well, they’ve just pulled back the curtain. It’s not like corporations weren’t running the show anyway.” Between the lobbyists and the money that has been funneled, bundled, PAC’d or 527ed, big money already plays a big role in U.S. politics.
I don’t know what hounds of hell this ruling may release, and I am a firm proponent of publicly finance elections, but I can admit I see the Constitutional merits. As offensive as I found Citizens United’s attempt to pillory Hillary Clinton through Hillary Clinton, The Movie, I understand that free speech for Citizens United* applies just as much to them as it does the likes of Michael Moore, who released Fahrenheit 911, a movie highly critical of George W. Bush, in the fall of 2008 to critical acclaim (and an Oscar nomination).
Constitutional purists from across the political spectrum, are saying that SCOTUS made the right decision, odious as it is to most of them the influence money has in politics. From what I can glean, their reactions have been “sauce for the goose” types of reactions. That is, the government cannot say one kind of political speech is permitted while another is not. I remember the famous ACLU case in which they defended the rights of Nazis to march in Skokie. I got it way back then that no matter what the government feels about what a group or person advocates, government does not have the Constitutional right to silence them. I understood that if the government could silence THEM, the government could also silence ME.
That being said . . . Continue reading