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January 22, 2010

The Democratic Perversion of Democracy

It's clear what the Democratic line of attack is going to be this year: all populism all the time. Wall Street, banks, corporations, and disfavored industries like health insurers, petroleum are going to get a hell of a battering while Democrats founder trying to buy votes by pretending to be the best palls of Middle America.

Yesterday's decision in Citizens United, though it was sorely needed, has been seized like a lifebuoy. The President— who must have been the worst constitutional law professor ever—has ordered his lawyers to find a way to legislate away the Supreme Court's constitutional determination that people in groups have just as much a right to political participation as individuals alone.

That's the core of Citizens United: you have a right to speech, you have a right to associate with others, and you don't give up your right to speech when you choose to associate. The Constitution does not give to Congress the power to pick favored speakers and disfavored speakers. In fact, the First Amendment specifically prohibits such anti-democratic laws.

Democrats, however, place more importance on speech bans than countering speech they don't like. The democratic (small 'd') response to speech you disagree with is more speech. For Democrats, more political speech is to be avoided. For Democrats, too much political participation is bad for democracy. For Democrats, a lone man or woman speaking up for themselves is fine, but a group speaking up for itself is "corruption."

The Democratic Congress will hold hearings on this "dangerous" ruling that restores to Americans the speech rights that they hold by virtue of birth. If you happen to be discussing Citizens United with your coworkers, do me a favor and point out to them that the purpose of these hearings will be how to shut Americans up in the name of "the public interest."


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:36 AM

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