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January 23, 2010

Faux-Populist President Still Slamming Supreme Court

Not content to let Chuck Schumer steal the scene by calling the Supreme Court "un-American", the President devoted his weekly address to the corrupting influence of corporations on elections.

Using terms like "the people's house", Mr. Populism goes on to decry "special interests" and claim that Citizens United will devastate "the public interest." As usual, Democrats are quick to shut down speech.

A hundred years ago, one of the great Republican Presidents, Teddy Roosevelt, fought to limit special interest spending and influence over American political campaigns and warned of the impact of unbridled, corporate spending. His message rings as true as ever today, in this age of mass communications, when the decks are too often stacked against ordinary Americans. And as long as Iím your President, Iíll never stop fighting to make sure that the most powerful voice in Washington belongs to you.

Assuming he is right that the "decks are stacked" against ordinary Americans, the President should be praising Citizens United. Now, instead of lone voices, Americans can band together to advocate for and against policies and politicians. The President is telling his skeery story about "unbridled" corporate spending while ignoring the fact that Citizens United was a group formed specifically to oppose Hillary Clinton in the election. Those people could never have made and distributed their movie unless they could do it together.

As I wrote yesterday, 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.

And yet the President protests that Citizens United will make his life more difficult:

That means that any public servant who has the courage to stand up to the special interests and stand up for the American people can find himself or herself under assault come election time.

Did you catch that? "Any public servant", meaning Obama, will have to face opposition come election time. I can understand why that would upset him.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:03 PM

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