Media

Nick Gillespie on Bill Moyers Journal Tonight, 9PM ET, Talking Citizens United & Campaign Finance With Larry Lessig

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Reason's Nick Gillespie will appear on Bill Moyers Journal tonight, discussing the Citizens United Supreme Court Ruling and related issues of campaign finance reform with Harvard law prof and cyberspace guru Larry Lessig. Moyers' show airs on PBS at 9PM ET (check your local listings).

From Moyers' site:

The Supreme Court's January 2010 decision of the Citizen's United v. Federal Election Commission on campaign finance regulations has caused a stir around the political spectrum. A poll from Angus Reid Public Opinion found that 65 percent of people surveyed disagreed with the Supreme Court's decision — 67 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Republicans, and 72 percent of independents.

Libertarian journalist Nick Gillespie says all that worry is misplaced in a much-watched video "Three Reasons Not to Sweat Citizens United." "If you want to get bent out of shape about something, direct your ire at a massive and constantly growing government that has its hands in virtually every aspect of economic and social life in America," Says Gillespie.

Harvard legal scholar Lawrence Lessig disagrees, viewing the ruling as a another step in the takeover of democracy by big money. In an article for THE NATION entitled "How to Get Our Democracy Back: If You Want Change, You Have to Change Congress," Lessig calls for a constitutional convention to make public financing of campaigns the law of the land, "What both sides must come to see is that the reform of neither is possible until we solve our first problem first — the dependency of the Fundraising Congress."

More details here.

Watch Reason.tv's video below.

Matt Welch appeared on Moyers' show with former Rep. Mickey Edwards (R-Okla.) to discuss conservative hypocrisy and GOP collapse. Watch here.

Gillespie appeared on Moyers to talk about libertarianism back in 2007. Watch that here.

NEXT: It's Richard Shelby's Party, and He'll Put a Hold on All Obama Noms Until He Gets His Pork if He Wants To

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  1. “Moyers told me you’re gay.”

  2. Bill Moyers is the Asshole Singularity. He is Peak Asshole. Humanity, if it survives another 1000 years, will never spawn such a smug, self-righteous asshole. If Paul Krugman bred with himself, he could not approach a Moyers level of asshole.

    1. What do you mean?

    2. Meh. He’s a pretty run of the mill smug asshole, I would say. People just keep giving him TV shows, so you get to see more of him than most.

    3. How many assholes are on this ship?

      1. Yo!

      2. Q: How many assholes does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    4. Hah! Are you saying that Moyers is the Motherlode of all that is assholedom?

  3. I can’t stand Moyers, but I watched when Gillespie was on his show before talking about religion in America and Roger Williams…it was awesome.

    Gillespie can even make Moyers’ show interesting.

  4. Seems to me like Nick’s being set up. I hope he reduces them both to sputtering incoherence.

  5. You’d think he’d put on a tie for Bill Moyers.

    I wonder if Buckley would’ve even let him on the set of Firing Line dressed like that.

    1. If Moyers said anything, The Jacket would send a leathery chop across his neck faster than you could say “oh shit you got the devil in you!”

    2. You will pay for your insolence, sir. The Hair Helmet and myself have no use for ties.

  6. Good luck fighting for free speech on public television, Nick.

  7. You know, in that piece from 2007 that was linked (the Roger Williams/religious freedom discussion), Moyers was pretty effusive with accolades for reason and Nick. Maybe it’s because it was a one-on-one interview rather than a debate format.

    1. And yes, it was surprising as hell.

      1. Pre-Obama. Nick probably noted that Bush sucked.

  8. “Lessig calls for a constitutional convention to make public financing of campaigns the law of the land,”

    I’m not so certain than enshrining incumbent protection into the constitution is a real good idea.

    Lessig is an Ivy league educated idiot.

    1. I absolutely shudder to think what a Constitution written by modern politicians would look like.

      1. For a good clue, check out the UN founding documents, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

        http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml

        Or, refer to the EU founding documents, especially its most recent version of the “Charter of Fundamental Rights.”

        http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUr…..016:EN:PDF

        Of course, these documents only roughly correspond to our Bill of Rights. The full constitutions/charters are too long and filled with bureaucratese to suit my tastes.

        Given that modern American politicians, especially the self-described “moderates” don’t have much problem with socialism or individual subordination to the ruling power, it is hard for me to imagine that they would draft a “new constitution” that differed much in philosophy and aim from the two documents cited above.

  9. A poll from Angus Reid Public Opinion found that 65 percent of people surveyed disagreed with the Supreme Court’s decision

    I wonder if they disagreed with it on constitutional grounds, or on “oh noes the eeeevil corporations are taking over” grounds.

    1. Haven’t read through the comments yet, but I watched last night. Seemed to me that Lessig’s position was “the Supreme court ruled incorrectly because ‘90% of the American people believe that the Congress is bought and paid for'”.

      1. The McConnell v. FCC decision that found McCain-Feingold constitutional used exactly the same “reasoning”. They opined that the government had a compelling interest in preventing “the appearance of corruption” and thus restrictions on political speech were justified even in view of the First Amendment — just as laws against speech including threats, libel, and perjury are compatible with the First due to the compelling government interest in preventing them.

  10. Lessig wants a constitution convention.

    And I thought Pat Robertson for President was a bad idea, good god.

    I’m sure Nick Gillespie will hold his own in this. I’m wondering if Moyers is still the angriest Alzheimers patient in America, though.

  11. The problem with a Constitutional Convention today is that the people who wrote the old one had just fought a successful revolution and were still full of the passionate desire for liberty and independence, not to mention acutely aware of what a similarly-minded populace would do to those who would stand in the way of such goals. In contrast, today’s pols are only a step or two up the pecking order from those they govern — that is to say, very far removed from the founders’ sense of liberty and independence, and all-too-willing to bargain away their liberty and ours in the name of “reasonable compromise.” Or worse, they seem even more ready to steal liberty outright and discourage independence, in the name of national security and “maintaining order.” They are not the crowd to pen a Constitution for the Ages, and I truly fear for this nation if someone actually succeeds in convening a Constitutional Convention here.

    1. Well-put, though of course we should add the caveat that, with the exception of a few paragraphs on the mechanics of elections and branch operations, our beautifully simple Constitution is essentially a dead letter at this point, buried under the weight of millions of pages of court decisions interpreting it out of existence.

    2. I have to also think that the document was a product of the best and brightest of the time with very limited input from the remaining 98%

    3. I swear – libertarian historical narratives are some of the most unintentionally funny comedy in print.

      A document designed to be changed and that was slapped with ten incredibly important changes as soon as it was created is a “beautifully simple” Constitution. LOL!

      Here’s a bit of advice to libertarians: try to avoid the word “simple”. Use the form you really mean: “simplistic”.

      Because it’s that form that is the cornerstone concept of libertarianism – simplistic civics, simplistic governance, simplistic free-market fundamentalism.

      Embrace your ethos.

      1. We can discuss the difference between “simple” and “simplistic” if and when our rulers manage to reduce the size and scope of government even a little bit — that is, make it simpler at all. Of course, I don’t ever expect our rulers to do that; what’s in it for them? Instead, the people will have to assert themselves. I suggest firing all incumbents and replacing them not with their major-party opponents, but with independent or third-party candidates. The quickest way to revive that “dead letter” of a Constitution is to toss out those who think of it as such and put into office those who are happy to blow the dust off of it and start using it again. This kind of thing can happen remarkably quickly and remarkably bloodlessly, if we have the will.

  12. I skimmed through the Citizens United decision, looking for the affirmations of “corporate personhood,” over which progressives are currently foaming at the mouth (which I infer from the words and tone used in various activism-encouraging and fund-raising emails I have received from progressive activist groups in the past several weeks).

    I see a lot of discussion of the notion of “corporate personhood” in the dissenting rhetoric of Justice Stevens, but scant mention of the idea in the majority opinion.

    It seems almost as if progressives WANT to spin this ruling as being about “corporate personhood,” so that they will have a popular (populist?) excuse for opposing it. But from what I have read, the ruling was more about “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…,” and the irrelevance to that prohibition of the speaker’s identity.

    As an aside, it seems to me that, if you can (and should) ban corporate speech, you can (and should) ban anonymous speech, too. Pundits have often noted, over the years, the great power to do good or ill with no consequences to the speaker when utterances are anonymous. This power has been compared to that of large, wealthy corporations.

    Obviously, as many of the founders agitated for independence and liberty anonymously, precisely because freedom of speech was NOT available to them, they were not intending to quash (or support the quashing of) anonymous speech when they wrote the First Amendment. As much as they may have hated the idea of accumulations of wealth and political power, it is very hard for me to believe that they would have approved the quashing of free speech simply because the source was a large and powerful corporation. In any case, perhaps the government’s proper response to the abuse of free speech is to remove government-created obstacles to the acquisition of a sufficient megaphone by those who would speak in opposition. The government, for example, routinely doles out, or renews, broadcast licenses to corporations, but has done little to open the broadcast bands for greater ownership participation by the John Q. Public (except insofar as he might buy stock in the aforementioned corporations, of course). I’d like to see getting a broadcast “license” become as easy as getting a CB license. Or coming at it from the other direction, let’s just eliminate the prohibition on broadcasting and commercial operation from the CB and/or Ham bands. That would be a LOT less objectionable to me than banning corporate speech, putting limits on campaign contributions, or publicly funding political campaigns.

    1. The audience of the broadcast bands is steadily shrinking, and the news audience for these even more so. IMHO the rise of the blogosphere has rendered the need to open up spectrum to the little guy pretty much moot.

  13. Moyers plugs H&R as “one of the most popular blogs on the web”.

    1. Probably less than 0.01% of global web traffic…

  14. Lessig says that if corporations are allowed to spend in elections, people will think Congress is run by moneyed interests.

  15. My job is helping US corporations do business in Asia – a job I’m usually happy to do. But I have to tell you that many if not most US executives are moving US jobs to China and selling or trading away technology for short term gains – mostly personal gain. They do not care about the good of the nation or future generations. These corporations make very bad citizens – in fact they are often doing China’s bidding. These corporations and their Chinese equity partners should have NO voice in the US election system. They aren’t really American.

    1. These corporations make very bad citizens

      I’m a bad citizen and I vote.

      Well sometimes I don’t but then I’m a principled non-voter.

    2. yea, i read something similar on Moyer’s blog.

  16. Holy jacket, Nick is mopping the floor with Lessig.

    1. If by “mopping the floor” you mean “giving the Fortune 50 boardrooms the best handjob they’ve had in years” and “skipping over the new influence of multinational corps in elections” and “disingenuously conflating speech with money” and “looking like the guitarist in Supergrass”, then you are right on.

      1. Orel Hazard must pay the troll toll to get into that boy’s hole.

  17. All I can see is some boring cartoon with an anthropomorphic rabbit-like creature that wears glasses

  18. Why don’t they discuss the issue of foreign corporations having a say in our elections? Many if not most of our corporations are owned in part or majority for non-US stockholders or equity investors. Many, like Citibank are majority owned by Middle Eastern rich or the Chinese government (CCP). Why should they be able to spend whatever they wish to affect our elections when I, an American, cannot?

    1. I don’t have a problem with you spending as much as you wish either. Perhaps you should join us in opposing individual contribution limits as well.

      1. I will never believe the falsehood that money = speech AND I don’t think foreigners should be participating in OUR elections. Do you?

        1. I don’t think foreign nationals should be voting in our elections. Beyond that, they should be able to do as they please. If a Guatemalan fruitpicker who just crossed the border two months ago wants to contribute to the Obama campaign, it’s none of my business.

    2. Damnit I can’t have any so no one else can.

      /palmforehead

  19. Lessig doesn’t seem to even have an argument. The Jacket would be a formidable force to debate period, but I would expect a Harvard professor of law to be capable of forming a better argument. Poor showing on his part.

    1. I don’t think there’s much of a better argument to be formed. Lessig wants campaigns to be exclusively government-funded for ulterior reasons he can’t voice openly, so he has to fall back on this “maintaining Congressional independence” schtick that I don’t think even he seriously believes.

  20. Wow, Lessig looked really awful there. He basically wound up conceding to Nick that the real problem with the appearance of corruption is the lobbying industry, which has absolutely nothing to do with the Citizens United ruling.

    And how he can speak with a straight face about poor, poor Congress not being able to make itself independent from moneyed interests is beyond me. It’s not hard for a Congressman to maintain his independence without campaign finance reform — when ex-Senator Lobbyman shows up at your office, wish him a good day and slam the door in his face — the same way us ordinary folk maintain our independence from vacuum cleaner salespeople and Jehovah’s witnesses.

    1. Simplistic hilarity. Do “ordinary folk” face a periodic eviction hearing based on the degree one’s floor is vacuumed or on a blessing from Jehovah? No? Then the comparison is nonsense. Funny, funny nonsense.

      1. HURR.

        DURR.

  21. I like your style, but I think you are incorrect in saying that because the constitution gives people the freedom of speech (and freedom to spread his influence), the corporation should have the same rights because it is made up of individuals. Here is my point. When an individual tries to influence the country with his vote – he considers a lot of factors to make his decision – his family, his community – health, education, money, the living environment, and many other factors. A corporation on the other hand considers mostly PROFIT , ignoring other factors which are important to the human society. And the constitution is written, and meant for human beings, who take into considerations all the above factors; and so the corporation should be disqualified from having the same freedom of speech as individuals. I am a highly educated thinking person (2MS); and my friends are similar. They all agree with me. I am sorry to see a person like you who can influence others is leaning on the wrong side. Take care.

    1. Lots of individuals are single-issue voters, who choose to support a politician based on their position on that issue alone. Should these individuals also have no right to political speech?

    2. Thanks for stopping by to brag about how many degrees you have.

      1. Having a masters degree may be something to brag about. Having two usually means you can’t get a real job.

      2. Are you saying bragging is bad ? You sound non-American !!!!!!!!

    3. Also, I don’t think that was the crux of Nick’s argument. Remember his analogy of the FBI not being able to search Exxon’s offices without a warrant due to the 4th amendment? The freedom of speech — like the freedom from unreasonable search and seizure — is not restricted by the text to individuals, as some of the other rights are.

    4. Equating the number of college degrees with “thinking person” is an arrogant and false correlation. So I’m guessing you’re not that highly educated, you just have a few sheepskins.

      1. not fair !

    5. I am a highly educated thinking person (2MS); and my friends are similar. They all agree with me.

      So you’re friends are douche-bags too,so what?

      1. …and you are a corporate dog !

        1. No, scum bag is more appropriate !!

    6. I don’t like “corporate personhood” either, but the First Amendment issue isn’t whether corporations are persons with rights. It is whether the Constitution authorizes Congress to quash speech. Cleary, it does not, regardless of who (or what) is speaking. As far as “money = speech” being false, it has always been true that speech requires a soapbox. If money is the best or only way to acquire that soapbox, then money — spent toward acquiring the soapbox — is effectively speech, as taking it away, withholding the soapbox, denies speech.

  22. not if this single issue drowns out other important issues.

    1. Ah, so you don’t even support free speech for individuals. Thanks for being honest, I guess.

      1. Really smart people argue with strangers on the internet.

        1. Hey, give this guy a break ! Seems like he is new in blogging here. Pretty soon he probably will handle you guys well ! But let’s focus on what he is saying – I think he got a good point !

  23. to mitch:
    not to brag ; but just to get some serious thinking from arrogants like you

  24. while I get a real job or not should not be your concern; please stick to subject

  25. to Tulpa:
    sorry, I misread your comment about the single issue voters. They of course will have the right to vote, because they are individual human beings, and as such they have not eliminated all other factors in their mind, even if they are voting on one issue. The corporation, on the other hand tend to eliminate all other factors except making profit. Thanks.

    1. I wasn’t talking about voting, I was talking about speech. Your justification for disallowing corporate speech was because they only care about one thing. So, do you favor allowing individuals who care only about abortion to spend money on campaigns, or not?

      1. Voting and “speech”ing are similar acts to spread your influence. People who vote for abortion, have not forgotten other factors – only at that time abortion seems to be a dominant issue – but if we are in the middle of a war, for example, they might find a more pressing issue like support defense spending; if we are in the middle of a recession, they might press for job creation, and so on.

        1. Voting and “speech”ing are similar acts to spread your influence.

          They’re not even remotely similar, but that’s beside the point. You’ve avoided my question once again which says to me that you don’t have an answer, much like Lessig dodged Nick’s questions during this program.

    2. Corporations already are not allowed to vote, so the whole “single-issue voting” thing is beside the point.

      There have been many elections in the past in which the candidate with more campaign money lost.

      1. Of course corporations are allowed to vote: The people who make up corporations can vote, just as they can make commercials about which candidate they support for whatever reason they choose. You are ceding Mr. Ghosh here far too much.

  26. You don’t seem to understand this “profit” you speak of or how it comes to be. You do realize rent seeking and regulator capture don’t occur at the election phase, but later on in the political life cycle.

    1. The corrupt corporate “dogs” will keep on barking. I see a lot of them barking here too. Their brains are full of greed, and not much of else, and bought up by crooked corporations. They are the reason why this country is going downhill, and can’t seem to make a sustained effort to make a comeback.

      The Supreme court’s decision is wrong, and shamefully political, and the average American will suffer for this for many years to come. These kind of actions are nothing but atrocities against the people. But they are lucky to be living in this modern era, because if it happened in the olden times, peoples anger might have sent them to the Guillotine along with their “dogs”. The “Supreme” court is not supreme any more, and we should start a movement to bring a correction, like bring a term limit, or something like that. I saw that a Veteran’s website is demanding immediate arrest of the five justices.

      1. I don’t see an asterisk in the First Amendement, but maybe it’s just not in my copy of the Constitution. Where in “Congress shall make no law…” do you see the power to restrict the political speech of corporations?

      2. I see you got the Spinal Tap option on your hyperbole amps, and you aren’t afraid to go to 11.

      3. I want to marry Exxon and elect Microsoft president.

        1. Sorry, no gay or inter-species marriage and I don’t think MSFT is running. You might be able to start a write in campaign?

      4. What the fuck is it with you paranoid right-wingers always wanting to go straight to political violence as the solution for every problem?

        1. Moses is definitely not a right-winger — reread.

      5. The guillotine was a symbol of the French Revolution, which set speed records for the Roman’s degenerate glide path to from revolt agaist a tyrant to Republic to Dictatorship to Monarchy bent on conquering its all its neighbors. And you’re using as a good example?

  27. Well, I guess we’re getting an insight into the makeup of Moyers’ regular audience. Y’all come back now, hear!

    1. Multiple degree thinking people?

      Moyers milkshakes bring all the crazy people to the yard.

      1. And you too got a few of them ; one is FH !!!

        1. Pronouns are the debil. A few degrees. A few milkshakes? A few crazy people? A few yards?

  28. I almost forgot my fanboi fawning duties. Way to go Jacket. Nicely done. You need more way more air time.

    You should have offered him career advice.

  29. Corporation: An institution or organization that is granted a charter recognizing it as a separate legal entity having its own privileges, and liabilities DISTINCT FROM THOSE OF ITS MEMBERS.
    When we have an organization with rights and obligations which are distinct(different)from those of its members (people), how can one argue that these rights are the same?

    1. When the government starts chartering individuals, then come back and we can discuss why an individual’s inalienable rights can be abrogated solely because of who funds him.

  30. And if they are, how can we argue for separation of church and state, in spite of its inclusion in the Constitution?

    1. A) I’ll assume “separation of church and state” is shorthand for a concept expressed in the first amendment, and that you’re not ignorant enough to actually believe the phrase is in there.

      B) WTF, how are your two points even related?

      C) So… Congress can force corporations to adopt religions in their charters? They aren’t people, therefore they don’t have freedom of religion. It might be a bad idea, but would it be unconstitutional?

  31. Liberals apparently think that you can have a big government spending lots of money and NOT have the greedy among us vying for the biggest piece of the pie they can get.

    I will agree that it’s not exactly ideal that a rich corporation can so heavily influence an election, but far worse would be giving the government the ability to so heavily influence an election (as Lessig is touting).

  32. For those who are in some sense equating the right to free speech and the “right” to vote and saying how can a corporation have the former and not the latter, please examine the fundamentals.

    The “right” to vote is a broadly granted entitlement, created and granted by government to service the operation of government. There is no reason whatsoever that one should think that the way this entitlement is created and granted by government to individuals accrues to collections of individuals.

    Free speech, on the other hand, is one of those unalienable rights Jefferson spoke of in the Declaration of Independence. The government can’t legitimately stop anyone from speech — especially political speech. Who is speaking is utterly irrelevant, be he an individual speaking his own mind, an employee speaking a corporation’s mind, or a contractor speaking a client’s mind.

    1. The Declaration of Independence is not a legally binding document.

      1. Fortunately for unalienable individual rights in this case, the First Amendment is.

        1. But, it doesn’t opine as to the pre-existence of that right. In fact, it doesn’t even call it a right.

          1. What the hell?

            The Declaration of Independence opines on that right — an opinion I concur with.

            The First Amendment enshrines that right into the highest law of the land.

            What is the basis again for Congress making a law that abridges the freedom of speech?

    2. Everyone seems to forget that corporations have voting rights in the EXACT same way they have free speech rights. The people that make up corporations have BOTH.

      1. Right! And everybody who works for a corporation can write a multimillion dollar check from its treasury for anything they want!

        Whoops.

        1. …And you can go down to the voting booths and vote for whatever candidate you want!

          MADNESS! STOP CONTROLLING OUR ELECTIONS!

        2. Seriously though, what is your point? The people who control what a corporation says and gives money to are the people that own that corporation. Everyone in the corporation is a voluntary member. If you disagree with a decision you can leave. Are you suggesting that anyone in a corporation SHOULD get a multimillion dollar check from its treasury?

          1. Here’s a recap:

            A guy (you) simplistically claimed that corporations have voting and free speech rights because the people in them do.

            That guy pretended it wasn’t so, or maybe never knew, that a corporation and its employees/managers are totally legally distinct. This distinction is the whole reason incorporation exists – to protect managing individuals in it from liability for what the corp does.

            So another guy (me) came along and pointed out that (figuratively speaking) the first guy’s fly was open.

            Then the guy with the open fly said some more totally wrong stuff about what the owners of a corporation do. As if stockholders in practice actually voted on all, or even most of the decisions of the management. As if corporations were themselves democracies.

            Then the guy who has a clue about how the real world works asked the guy with the open fly in what world does he live and what color the sky is there.

            1. Listen, you can interpret corporations however you want. The bottom line is that the actions you advocate restrict individuals from using their free speech and controlling their own property. Fuck off.

              1. The bottom line is you don’t understand what you’re typing about. I own an LLC. I don’t “interpret” what a corporation is, I have a due diligence obligation to KNOW what a corporation is. I’m going to bet that you do not.

                Many libertarians don’t, I have found. The more a libertarian is called upon for systemic and institutional understanding, the less coherent their arguments become. That’s because their perspective is fundamentally anti-social anti-civic and anti-institutional.

                I’m no fan of institutional life, but I know that failing to understand it for what it is is the best way to give it all the power it wants.

                1. Just because you own an LLC doesn’t mean you know jack shit. What does this have to do with the argument at hand anyway??? You haven’t shown a single relevant point in this entire sub-thread.

                  You can call libertarians anything you want, the fact is that we are defending the free will of all individuals, while you want to take it away.

            2. Not to mention that I never said employees and managers are not legally distinct, that’s just something you misconstrued from your own ideas. I’m saying it doesn’t matter what the distinction is between employees and managers. If the employee doesn’t like what the company managers are doing, the employee can leave. No one is forcing the employee to take part in political speech or campaign finance, the employee decides whether to take part in it or not. It is the right of the individuals who control a company to use it as they wish. If any other members of said company disagree, they can decide to not take part, or they can try to change the management of the company. If your larger point is that a company somehow forces others to take part in its actions, you’re wrong.

              1. Either way, this argument has nothing to do with the issue, since political ads and campaign donations don’t decide the results of elections. The voters do, which was my original point. The members of corporations have the exact same democratic powers as everyone else.

                1. Your fly is still open. The legal distinction is not where you say. It is between the managers/owners/employees and the corporation itself – it is a fictional person chartered by the state and not in possession of free speech rights.

                  The corporation itself was just allowed by SCOTUS to let as much of its (or its overseas owning corporation’s) money as possible into elections. People who are fans of democracy know this is a major problem.

                  Meanwhile, on their planet, Libertarians clap their hands about how great that is on a free speech basis mainly because libertarians – such as yourself – ascribe fake free speech rights to a fake person – a fantasy not even allowed by the original virtual person legal concept.

                  Libertarians are the wet dream of boardrooms.

                  1. God, you’re fucking dense. Where did I SAY the legal distinction is? Can you quote me saying what it is? No, because I never said anything about it, because it has nothing to do with this argument and you’re imagining things.

                    A corporation does NOT have rights because it is a fictional person. Corporations have rights IN SO FAR as their member’s rights. If you ignore the label corporation, you wouldn’t say that the group of people making up a corporation don’t have rights. McCain-Feingold restricted the rights of those individuals, regardless of how you define a corporation. It is not relevant to this discussion.

                    “The corporation itself was just allowed by SCOTUS to let as much of its (or its overseas owning corporation’s) money as possible into elections. People who are fans of democracy know this is a major problem.”

                    First of all, corporations have ALWAYS been allowed to do this in at least some states. The SCOTUS decision only allowed corporations in the other states to do the same. If this is such a big problem for democracy, why is there no discernible difference in corruption and democracy in those states that allowed it and in those that didn’t?

                    Second of all, this does not, by definition, change any part of the democratic system itself since it does not change the fact that only individuals are allowed to vote. Corporations making ads on TV and giving money to politicians does not somehow cause officials to be elected in a non-democratic process. In fact, not discriminating on who can talk about elections and who can financially support candidates only STRENGTHENS the democratic process, in which all views are allowed to be heard.

                    Third of all, the problem of corruption you are describing is ultimately the fatal flaw of democracy itself. Democracy is a system that allows the views of some to be forced upon others. If you don’t see the problem in democracy, then there is no way you can stop corruption. The more power our politicians are given, the more corrupt they will become. The only thing the laws the politicians are making right now will do is increase the power of government, not stop corruption. The root of corruption itself is power, giving the corrupt more will only increase it.

                    “Meanwhile, on their planet, Libertarians clap their hands about how great that is on a free speech basis mainly because libertarians – such as yourself – ascribe fake free speech rights to a fake person – a fantasy not even allowed by the original virtual person legal concept.”

                    If only I could ignore everything you’ve argued in this thread and debate against my own little straw man. I have NEVER assigned any rights to any non-individual. The SCOTUS decision ONLY defends the rights of actual individuals, which McCain-Feingold restricted. If you can’t see the plain fact that McCain-Feingold restricted the rights of certain individuals to free speech and control of their property, then you should just FUCK OFF.

                    1. “Where did I SAY the legal distinction is? Can you quote me saying what it is? No, because I never said anything about it, because it has nothing to do with this argument and you’re imagining things.”

                      Oh, so I imagined it when you typed, then repeatedly defended this, then:

                      “Everyone seems to forget that corporations have voting rights in the EXACT same way they have free speech rights. The people that make up corporations have BOTH.”

                      Damn. Looks real, doesn’t it? You sure you didn’t write that minor masterpiece of wrong? You gotta admit, it reads like you.

                      “The SCOTUS decision ONLY defends the rights of actual individuals, which McCain-Feingold restricted. If you can’t see the plain fact that McCain-Feingold restricted the rights of certain individuals to free speech and control of their property, then you should just FUCK OFF.”

                      Again, either a lie or more bad education. The decision grants corporations, not individuals, unlimited spending on election communications. There Is A Fundamental And Ancient Legal Distinction Between The Two That You Do Not Appreciate Possibly Due To Being High Or Never Running A Corporation And Being Forced To Discern Between Corporate Funds And Individual Funds.

                      Concerning the 26 states: this is the fairest argument that exists for supporting Citizens United – except the problem there is each one of those states has campaign finance laws on the books that this decision absolutely stomps all over. I thought you guys cared about state’s rights! Not in this case, I guess.

                      Oh, wait, what am I even talking about? You guys are civics illiterates who don’t even support democracy. If there’s fucking off to be done, I think you should do it.

                    2. “Oh, so I imagined it when you typed, then repeatedly defended this, then:

                      “Everyone seems to forget that corporations have voting rights in the EXACT same way they have free speech rights. The people that make up corporations have BOTH.”

                      Damn. Looks real, doesn’t it? You sure you didn’t write that minor masterpiece of wrong? You gotta admit, it reads like you.”

                      Yes, what does this have to do with the legal distinction between employees and managers, you buffoon?

                      “Again, either a lie or more bad education. The decision grants corporations, not individuals, unlimited spending on election communications.”

                      No, it grant’s the people that make up a corporation that right. You have just taken the decision to mean that a corporation is some kind of entity that acts on its own. This is ridiculous, you’re just misconstruing on semantics.

                      “There Is A Fundamental And Ancient Legal Distinction Between The Two That You Do Not Appreciate Possibly Due To Being High Or Never Running A Corporation And Being Forced To Discern Between Corporate Funds And Individual Funds.”

                      Yes. What does this have to do with the fact that McCain-Feingold restricted the use of corporate funds? Unless you can show that managers of corporations were using corporate funds in a way that the owners of the corporation disagreed with, you have a moot point. I never said there was no distinction, as you have claimed multiple times. The government has no right to restrict the use of corporate or individual funds, since they are both privately owned property. The same goes for a corporations ads as free speech. Individuals are making and approving them, not some non-existent entity.

                      “Concerning the 26 states: this is the fairest argument that exists for supporting Citizens United – except the problem there is each one of those states has campaign finance laws on the books that this decision absolutely stomps all over. I thought you guys cared about state’s rights! Not in this case, I guess.”

                      Why would we care about state laws that trample on rights??? Another false assumption about libertarians that just makes you look dumb, especially on this site.

  33. Dude, this kinda makes sense whe nyou think about it.

    Jhess
    http://www.internet-anonymity.se.tc

  34. Libertarianism: the sullen teen’s bedroom of politics.

    A group that doesn’t believe that society even exists thinks itself qualified to champion free speech — while living in the only society founded on that principle.

    A group so illiterate in civics, it forgets that democracy gave it the government it hates.

    A group so illiterate in business as to champion simplistic free-market fundamentalism yet never admit the explosion in the marketplace for political results is the direct responsibility of their own philosophy.

    A group so self-absorbed and myopic as to deny that someone has to call the shots would leave the rest of us to having those shots be called by the unelected.

    1. “A group that doesn’t believe that society even exists thinks itself qualified to champion free speech — while living in the only society founded on that principle.”

      Yeah, that’s why we are trying to defend free speech – while you want to destroy it. Free speech for some does not equal free speech at all…

      “A group so illiterate in civics, it forgets that democracy gave it the government it hates.”

      No, I don’t think anyone here forgets that. None of us are in favor of the democratic majority controlling the lives of the democratic minority…

      “A group so illiterate in business as to champion simplistic free-market fundamentalism yet never admit the explosion in the marketplace for political results is the direct responsibility of their own philosophy.”

      No, political corruption has no correlation to free market economics. Political corruption has always been around, despite the ebb and flow of free market capitalism in this country…

      “A group so self-absorbed and myopic as to deny that someone has to call the shots would leave the rest of us to having those shots be called by the unelected.”

      Of course we agree that someone has to call the shots. We just reason that that person should be the individual itself, not some corrupt politician who CAN’T have only our interests in mind. Individual sovereignty, ever heard of it? I thought not…

      Come on, the only one who has proven himself illiterate in ideas is you. You fail on all counts sir.

      1. “Yeah, that’s why we are trying to defend free speech – while you want to destroy it. Free speech for some does not equal free speech at all…”

        Money is not speech. Society exists. The society in which you live is based upon free speech. First accept that society exists and why – then ask what the role of money was intended to be in its elections. Libertarians stumble at step one.

        “No, I don’t think anyone here forgets that. None of us are in favor of the democratic majority controlling the lives of the democratic minority…”

        Your life is not “under control”. You’re not grounded by your parents for your bag of pot. What’s more, your self-absorption is a major insult to people around the world and history who really are and were under authoritarian control and paid for their ideas with their lives.

        “No, political corruption has no correlation to free market economics.”

        Aahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Oh man. AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA. Oh, wow. Okay, thanks, that was worth it.

        “Of course we agree that someone has to call the shots. We just reason that that person should be the individual itself, not some corrupt politician who CAN’T have only our interests in mind. Individual sovereignty, ever heard of it? I thought not…”

        Society exists. Your perspective seems to end at your own shoelaces, so let’s put it in terms you’ll understand: Democracy is supposed to be for YOU to participate in it. A corporation is not one of YOU.

        1. Aahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Oh man. AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA. Oh, wow. Okay, thanks, that was worth it.

          We laugh because it’s funny — or do we laugh because it’s true?

  35. “Money is not speech. Society exists. The society in which you live is based upon free speech. First accept that society exists and why – then ask what the role of money was intended to be in its elections. Libertarians stumble at step one.”

    True money is not speech, but I distinctly remember that there was some other rule or something that said people control what they own, and are allowed to do with it what they want. There is no crime in simply giving money to a politician, but it is a crime for a politician to act for some special interest and not in the interests of every individual that he represents. The restriction must fall on the Whores of Congress, not on those whose actions fall within their inalienable rights.

    “Your life is not “under control”. You’re not grounded by your parents for your bag of pot. What’s more, your self-absorption is a major insult to people around the world and history who really are and were under authoritarian control and paid for their ideas with their lives.”

    Of course our lives are under control. What do you call laws and the government you dimwit? The question is what controls are necessary to protect the sovereign individual and which controls are for the benefit of one group or individual over another. Any law that restricts the free speech of a certain group of individuals is unconscionable.

    “Aahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Oh man. AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA. Oh, wow. Okay, thanks, that was worth it.”

    Wow you sure convinced me with that great argument. If you do believe that corruption is related to free markets, then you must believe that communist countries like Soviet Russia had little or no political corruption…

    Aahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Oh man. AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA. Oh, wow.

    The truth is that the most corrupt countries are those with the least freedoms. Why is this? Without the power to infringe on our freedoms, what benefit would Congress receive from being corrupt. Corruption is proportional to the power of government, not freedom.

    “Society exists. Your perspective seems to end at your own shoelaces, so let’s put it in terms you’ll understand: Democracy is supposed to be for YOU to participate in it. A corporation is not one of YOU.”

    Society is simply a group of individuals acting under the same authority, nothing less and nothing more. You don’t know what you are talking about when you say that libertarians don’t believe society exists. The point is both wrong and meaningless.

    Democracy is a system in which the view of the majority of individuals is made law or is acted upon. A corporation only participates in democracy in so far that it’s members vote. A corporations’s members have the exact same voting power as you or anyone else.

    I am against democracy, as are most libertarians, you dithering idiot. I am for “individu-ocracy,” in which each individual has maximum and equal freedom to act upon their free will.

  36. The more power the government gets to restrict free speech, the more corrupt it will get.

  37. And there it is: Most Libertarians Are Against Democracy.

    That just about says everything, doesn’t it? Thanks for that.

    1. I get the sense that you might be really funny, but as you seem new to this forum, you should be aware that there is a drinking game for cliche anti-libertarian (or anti-Reason) comments around here. And the problem with your postings for me is that, to read them, I would have to get so totally plastered that I could then be convinced that Obamacare is a good idea. That’s never going to happen; what ends up getting rationed are your comments. Sorry.

    2. Yes, it says that we do not accept the tyranny of the majority. Anyone who does is just one step away from any other tyranny.

    3. You troll like old people fuck. Slow sloppy and a little to the left or right.

    4. If you actually took a step further then believing that democracy is axiomatic to all that is good, you would realize that democracy has failed to protect the higher ideal this country was founded upon. How can democracy protect freedom when those we democratically elect restrict it? The only solution is to throw away democracy along with all political coercive power. Democracy was designed to protect us from tyranny, whether by individual or by group. It has only replaced those tyrants with the tyrant called majority. In order to destroy tyranny we must have a totally voluntary, free society. Anything less (including democracy) is against the higher ideal of freedom.

      1. If you’re addressing me I was addressing the troll Orel and you have fallen prey to the silent majorities threaded comments.

        1. @hmm

          No, you can clearly see that my comments were a reply to Orel. It’s only indented once.

          1. I figured, just wanted to make sure since I had a snarky comment. Didn’t want to piss anyone off that wasn’t deserving.

      2. Just because you recently learned what the word “axiomatic” means doesn’t mean it applies to my support of democracy.

        My support of representative democracy is in unabashed and unapologetic recognition that it is the least fucked up of every mass socio-political framework ever conceived. Fewer are killed, jailed and ruined within it than without it.

        “Tyranny”? What a sick fantasy. You have never, and I mean NEVER faced a tyrant in your life. Do you know how I can tell? Because you fetsihize the individual. Real victims never do this – because every real victim of a tyrant in a cell or a grave knows well the name of the fetishized autocrat who put him there. Real victims of real tyranny know what not to do. Self-absorbed twerps with a persecution complex definitely have no idea what not to do.

        That you would even burp up such a staggeringly retarded concept of “individu-ocracy” as a LESS fucked-up mass alternative necessarily means you are a howling social illiterate with gross delusions of self-sufficiency. That you type this crap on an internet whose software was invented with public (military no less!) money is only the poetic beginning of your staggering cognitive problems.

        1. So this-

          “And there it is: Most Libertarians Are Against Democracy.

          That just about says everything, doesn’t it?”

          -doesn’t represent some kind of assumption on your part that anti-democracy is shocking or obviously evil? Because you just stated it as if it was bad without saying why.

          “My support of representative democracy is in unabashed and unapologetic recognition that it is the least fucked up of every mass socio-political framework ever conceived. Fewer are killed, jailed and ruined within it than without it.”

          So you support it not because of any principles but because it works out to something relatively good compared to other systems you’ve heard about? What a great way to choose philosophical political sides…

          Just because you have never seen a truly free society in which there are no politicians that dictate to us how we should live (and long ago there were), doesn’t mean that your form of political coercion is at all good.

          “”Tyranny”? What a sick fantasy. You have never, and I mean NEVER faced a tyrant in your life.”

          Obviously Americans have never faced a tyrant as harsh as Hitler, Mao, or any of the other great mass murderers, but this doesn’t mean that we have not been subjected to tyranny in some degree. Tyranny is simply when an authority places the interests of some over the interests of others. Although you would connote it with histories greatest tyrants, it is perfectly legitimate to apply the use of the term in its literal sense.

          “Do you know how I can tell? Because you fetsihize the individual. Real victims never do this – because every real victim of a tyrant in a cell or a grave knows well the name of the fetishized autocrat who put him there. Real victims of real tyranny know what not to do. Self-absorbed twerps with a persecution complex definitely have no idea what not to do.”

          Now THIS is some real ranting and raving. I do not “fetsihize” the individual. I respect the equal sovereignty of all individuals over their own lives, something which all tyrants consistently violate. It is incredibly ironic that you would connect the defense of the individual (which is really the defense of ALL individuals) with the tyrannic rule of one individual over all others. It really brings to light your own ignorance of libertarian philosophy.

          “That you would even burp up such a staggeringly retarded concept of “individu-ocracy” as a LESS fucked-up mass alternative necessarily means you are a howling social illiterate with gross delusions of self-sufficiency. That you type this crap on an internet whose software was invented with public (military no less!) money is only the poetic beginning of your staggering cognitive problems.”

          That “staggeringly retarded concept” is the concept that this country was founded for, to which democracy is only a means. A means that has failed miserably. Your pitiful ad-hominem attack doesn’t change that fact. I have tried to show you that freedom is that great ideal, but you continue to avoid confronting your false assumptions about politics and society with laughably weak arguments. Does my use of the internet somehow invalidate the high ideal of true freedom for all individuals? Obviously not.

  38. Media Matters is going to latch on to this like a bull dog on a steak.

  39. @bestpriceforsales equus 3100 The company was correct. Amazon was wrong. Next time I may go straight to the company and skip Amazon. I don’t like getting there run around.

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