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George Will and the Left’s Hypocrisy over Citizens United

Posted on January 28 2010 12:00 pm
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With the SOTU already well-covered here at NewsReal, we will take a narrower focus. George Will’s column in today’s Washington Post must have been written before the President’s speech, but it delivers a stinging rebuke to one of Obama’s talking points, as well as the leftist media’s phony outrage over the recent Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision.

From the SOTU, Obama had this to say:

“Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests—including foreign corporations—to spend without limit in our elections. Well, I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.”

In addition to the obvious rejoinder–if Obama was so concerned about foreign influences on the elections, maybe he should have been a little more diligent checking where his own donations came from–the President is incorrect on the substance of the decision. Will sets us straight:

” Bringing law into conformity with this 1976 precedent, the court has struck down only federal and state laws that forbid independent expenditures (those not made directly to, or coordinated with, candidates’ campaigns) by corporations and labor unions. Under the censorship regime the court has overturned, corporations were even forbidden to send political communications to all of their employees.”

This decision still doesn’t allow Wal-Mart or SEIU to write checks directly to candidates, but it does allow them to spend their own money to say what they really feel about who should be elected and the direction in which they want the country taken. We’re hard-pressed to think of something more American than simple honesty.

Will also points out the media’s theatrical hysterics over Citizens United is a fine example of prize-winning hypocrisy:

The New York Times calls the court’s decision, which enables political advocacy by (other) corporations, a “blow to democracy.” The Times, a corporate entity, can engage in political advocacy because Congress has granted “media corporations” an exemption from limits.”

Let’s be clear:the idea that the government itself should be picking and choosing which corporations–or entities in general–are allowed to participate in the political arena, and what they are allowed to say, is folly and censorship at its finest. The very concept seems, to us, anti-American-ideal.

Will’s thoughts are similar to ours–the whole idea of campaign finance reform centers around the idea that Ameicans are too stupid to make their own decisions, and that the government must protect them from their own easily-led nature. We don’t buy that for an instant. People are not wards of the state, and shouldn’t be treated as such. People should be free to make their own decisions based on all available information–they should even be free to make decisions that we think are the wrong ones. That’s what’s great about America: we’re all allowed to raise our voices, and we’re all allowed to make our own decisions. Not on the whim of the government, but as we choose to believe.

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