Election 2012

Five Ways Citizens United Is Making Politics Better

The controversial 2010 Supreme Court ruling is already bringing us more competitive campaigns, funnier ads and greater freedom of speech.


After the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 ruling in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission struck down a host of free speech restrictions, the Washington establishment responded with a conniption fit that has been rendered hilarious after only two years of history. 

Incumbent politicians, The New York Times, a crash of tenured law professors, and even President Barack Obama (in a remarkable breach of State of the Union Address decorum) denounced the decision as a "new weapon" for lobbyists, a "major upheaval in First Amendment law," and an undermining of "the influence of average Americans," not to mention "skeptical and even sarcastic."

But as we enter the second year of the 2012 campaign, it's already clear that removing legal restrictions on the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances has done about what you would expect such a deregulation to do: allowed more voices, issues, and ideas into a political marketplace that nobody—except party bosses and newspapers that have lost their monopolies—could legitimately want to restrict. 

Here are just five ways Citizens United has opened up the 2012 campaign: 

5. More Competitive GOP Presidential Race 

Last four men standing.

Not so long ago—as recently as 2008 in fact—the only non-anointed candidate capable of staying in a primary race over the long haul was Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Hillary Clinton did manage to stay in the primary fight against Barack Obama, but by this point in 2008 most of the Republicans—including this year's front-runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney—were long gone. 

That would almost certainly have been the case this year for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, had the Supreme Court voted to uphold campaign speech and finance restrictions in 2010. It's an open question how much the nation's political consciousness is being raised by having Santorum push for pornography bans and Gingrich denounce hedge fund managers for expropriating the surplus labor value of the proletariat. But having both men in the race has forced Romney to defend his positions and explain the many inconsistencies in his record. 

4. Freeing Interest Groups from Party Dependency 

"Workers" in a symbolic rather than actual sense.

Imagine a world where union bosses were no longer controlled by the Democrats.

Where Gingrich supporters could ignore the mandates of the Republican National Committee.

Where even Occupy Wall Street could form its own Super PAC

As either utopian or dystopian visions go, that one may be pretty mild, but it's the world we live in right now, and it's a marginal improvement on the top-down campaigning opponents of Citizens United seem to prefer. 

Citizens United, by underscoring a right to pool resources for political expression, has made it easier for politically engaged Americans to influence the political process. Single-issue activists, mad-as-hell millionaires, business and labor groups, cats and dogs all have more power now to make their voices heard in politics, without having to seek government approval or coordinate with the major parties. 

3. Guaranteed Big Laffs

Believe it or not, Pat Paulsen was actually fun every now and then.

Politics is to comedy as the surface of the moon is to gardening. 

But while the polling place will never be anybody's first choice for d'jever-notice yuks, we can at least expect to enjoy the occasional campaign commercial that is intentionally or unintentionally entertaining. 

In this respect, 2012 has so far not really lived up to its apocalyptic reputation, though it has provided a few memorably weird moments. 

These include Ron Paul's uncharacteristically butch encapsulation of Americans' disenchantment with entrenched politics and craven politicians: 

U.S. congressional candidate Roger Williams' all-ass campaign commercial can't be called "funny" in the classical sense, but it's the most compelling material for political fur fetishists since Carly Fiorina's (probably never-to-be-topped) Demon Sheep spot: 

And Santorum's "Rombo" campaign ad raises a question for historians: If he makes it to the White House, will Santorum have himself arrested for threatening to assassinate the president? 

2. Good Enough for the President!

Obama makes even taking gazillion-dollar campaign donations classy!

"Last week," President Obama told the assembled houses of Congress right after Citizens United came down, "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. They should be decided by the American people."

Yet last month Obama raised $2 million through his own Super PAC. And this week Obama and the congressional Democrats pooled their resources to form a Super-Duper PAC that the Congressional Budget Office estimates will literally have more money than God. 

Obama advisor David Plouffe blames the Republicans and libertarian billionaires for this unfortunate necessity—and The New York Times has been happy to take Plouffe at his word. But folks of a certain age, who remember candidate Obama's similar about-face on matching-funds spending limits in 2008, know that he is just doing what comes naturally. 

And he's right to do so. The president is facing a well-earned loss of confidence, and even though the Republicans have declined to field a strong candidate against him, Obama needs to spend tens of millions of dollars on advertising. Without Citizens United, that would not be the case. Obama would be coasting even more easily toward re-election. 

1. Shaking Up Local Races 

Tammany Hall, where politicians knew how to get results, drawn by Thomas Nast.

In North Carolina's 13th Congressional District a Super PAC is helping challenger George Holding compete with front-runner Paul Coble. In the Virginia Senate race, Democrat Tim Kaine has managed to stay within shouting distance of Republican front-runner George Allen. Even Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama), who has been making law since the time of Moses, is facing an unprecedented challenge. 

In Colorado, liberal groups have helped to transform the state legislature. In Wisconsin,  conservative groups are helping Gov. Scott Walker combat a recall attempt engineered by transnational labor. There's even a Super PAC dedicated to throwing out incumbents

From union thugs to shotgun-toting grannies to eccentric bazillionaires to self-enchanted soccer dads who just want to warn the world about Joseph Kony, all Americans have important new tools to get their respective messages out. That would have happened with or without the Supreme Court's help. But Citizens United applies people power to the calcified sphere of politics. The results so far are as terrifying to incumbents as they are delightful to the rest of us. 

NEXT: Nick Gillespie Discusses New ADA Pool Regulations with Erin Burnett

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  1. “Five Ways Citizens United Is Making Politics Better”
    You’re kidding. It’s still a Democracy with fucking idiots with no integrity, being elected by fucking idiots with no integrity.
    Out of all the assholes running Ron Paul is passable.

    1. Better /=/ perfect.

      1. Similar to making a better shit sandwich!

        1. “I disavow.” ~Newt Paul

        2. I’d say North Korea is more like a shit sandwich. Maybe we’re something more like an undercooked pulled pork sandwich or Chicago pizza.

          1. Wow, a libertarian with perspective. Better find me a lotto ticket.

            1. North Korea doesn’t do shit with my money nor my time, but Washington DC is constantly up in my grill. So, by your ‘perspective’ it makes more sense for me to be pissed off at North Korea, fuck that bullshit, you hobo.

              1. North Korea is a madhouse with a massive army and possibly nukes. And libertarianism is not provincial as you are making it out to be. And I’m not a ‘hobo’, as if that’s an insult.

                1. And I’m not a ‘hobo’, as if that’s an insult.

                  I was quite surprised to learn that unlike a tramp or bum, who avoids work at any chance, a hobo is a man looking for whatever work he can find.

                  1. Hobos are distinguished by their preference of travel by freight train. They don’t necessarily work.Some tramps are diligent craftsman and artists, hence the category of “tramp art”. Bums gravitate towards direct fund-raising

                    1. I watched a documentary or show about a millionaire that lives as a hobo for one month out of the year. I think it was “My Strange Addiction” or something.

              2. Perspective, you really need to look at US federal “giving” to North Korea for the past few decades.

    2. Hey now, I am not currently having sex or “fucking” as you put it.

    3. Warning—

      More WI bullshit below,

      1. That’s like saying the sun is going to go down today.

      2. Wisconsin has always been problematic.

        1. They have decent cheddar though

          1. The great state of Vermont will not apologize for it’s cheese.

      3. Get here late enough, and it’s all cleaned up!

  2. “Guaranteed Big Laffs”
    Why is that so important?
    We’ll see how god damn funny it is in November.

    1. Let me be clear.

      I will be laughing last.

      1. Quite possibly. One thing is for sure it will be between two assholes.

      2. I hear you are Kenyan. Haha!

        1. Well, if you watch or listen to right-wing media, I guess I’m not surprised!

          1. and you’re here

            I guess I’m not surprised!

  3. I’m going to beat cracker chief to the punch here:

    fibertards are racists! And it’s indisputable! My Ayn Rand quote is proof and if you challenge it, your wrong! This is all part of a ten thousand year old gamboling lockdown that keeps me from my right to live as a natural human should, because after all, if Man were meant to be civilized, he wouldn’t have started out living like monkeys in tree?

    Get with the times or get left behind

    1. “fibertards ”

      What do you have against fiber?

      1. “fibertards ”

        “What do you have against fiber?”

        Seriously, that’s racist.

        1. Only the retarded fiber.

          ooops…I meant “mentally challenged” fiber

          ooops…I meant “developmentally challenged” fiber

          ooops…I meant “learning impaired” fiber

          ooops…I meant “special needs” fiber

          ooops…I meant “differently abled” fiber. Ahhhh…that’s it.

          1. “Differently abled” overtly implies that people are unique, that there are differences between them. We can’t be having any of that libertard bullshit, Pres.


            1. I read that as public carings for a second.

              1. Don’t be silly. That would imply that we give a fuck about the kids. Don’t tell the right-wing nuts, but we’re actually just after cushy taxpayer-funded non-occupations to earn our living from.

              2. Awwww. That’s so sweet.

              3. I read that as public carings for a second.

                Well, they both result in a sore ass.

              4. I read it as public cannings.

                YOU’RE ALL FIRED DAMMIT!!

          2. Stop othering me!!!

          3. “Retardation” is still a medical term, no matter how not-PC it is right now.

            1. And an ignition term.

      2. “What do you have against fiber?”

        Fiber comes from a crop. Crops = agriculture = PURE EVIL!!!!

        1. herpa derp derp derpa herp


        2. herpa derp derpa derpa herp

          herpa herp derp


        3. but what about fruit fiber? Or nuts? (speaking of nuts)

      3. Fibbertard just isn’t as pretty,

        1. and you’re just RETard

    2. Marginal spoof at best. Sound premise, poor execution!

  4. Be patient, wait until he shows up, you’ll soon get the joke.

    1. Go ahead and post it yourself, then whitewash it for us.

      1. Who the fuck cares what Ayn Rand said?

        You’re (well the the character you’re spoofing) is a nitwit but I wouldn’t automatically assume the rest of the “tribe” are equally nitwits.

        1. and so do you

          if you weren’t a dishonest shit

      2. I’m not here to whitewash anything. I’m hear to make fun of cracker chief, a white kid who hates being a white kid

        1. Well then….carry on!

          (jaunty salute)

  5. Fucking liberals just can’t use the word “racist” properly… among their other faults.

    So-cons suck, too.

    1. A black friend (politically, he’s pretty much John) of mine loves fucking with Democrats by accusing them of racism spuriously and watching them implode. It’s pretty great entertainment.

      1. Fuck I would love to see that.

      2. “A black friend”



          1. You have good taste in friends, Res.

            1. I just wish I had the same sort of shamelessness he does, because the results are gold.

  6. OT: A colleague reports from Texas that in some areas of the state, secessionism is becoming more and more common and entering the culture. We can only hope.

    I bet His Most Exceptional and Glorious Majesty and Supreme Autocrat of All the Peoples of America, Grand Emperor Barack I Obama, and his loyal minions, among them Her Excellency, the Grand Inquisitor Janet Napolitano are writing up a justification for a federal occupation of Texas as we speak.

    1. I would hate for that to happen. President Rick Perry scares the ever loving crap out of me.

      1. Generally, the most unlibertarian you ever get with the secessionists over there (in my experience, at least) is Jim DeMint-ish, and that’s pretty awesome. It’s unusual not to have a significant neo-conservative element in your midst when you’re in a right-of-center movement of any sort.

        Rick Perry’s an asshole. I don’t think these are the sort of people that would allow someone like him that kind of position of power. At least I hope not.

        1. Do I have to learn “angry Spanish” to join?

          1. Just watch “No Country for Old Men”, which you should do anyway.

            1. Is that good? I’ve been meaning to catch it on Netflix

              1. YES YES IT IS. WATCH IT NAO.

    2. the roads to Texas may be glutted with travelers if that came to pass. I would probably go.

      1. I’d fucking volunteer for duty in the Texan military that would inevitably form.

        1. I wouldn’t use my joke handle on the enlistment form though.

          1. Don’t know. Man could go far with name like, “Teacher’s Union Limpdick” in a newly formed Texas army!

    3. As long as they let me through their borders to eat fucking giant steaks, it’s cool.

    4. You got a fight on your hands, Texas. You’ll have to tangle with us, are you sure you are up to it? SPLC has shat out bigger states than you. You should see our colons, Grade A Certified shit clench worthy from the enormous quantities of whole grains we consume.

      Think you can handle that, Texas? After I introduce you to my friends the Union of Concerned Scientist and the Clark County Municipal Worker’s Union, we are going to throw down some whoop on your ass.

    5. Forget Texas. I support DC secession.

      You DCers have been burdened with taxation without representation for too long. Stand up for your rights and declare your independence from the rest of the country!

      1. and then go away

    6. Shit the RoT boys were all over East Texas back in the 90s. They’d have needed a pretty serious purge to qualify for a non-crazy movement. Maybe that’s changed now, but probably not.

  7. Imagine a world where union bosses were no longer controlled by the Democrats.

    I think you wrote that backwards anyway.

  8. Really, TC? Really?

    There’s another explanation for number 5 which is simpler and more proximate in explaining this effect. It’s called “The GOP changed their primary rules away from winner-takes-all in early primary states.”

  9. Everyone who lined up to be White Indian bitch by threading into his comments can suck my limp dick.

    1. This.

      I fucking hate White Indian. And the fuckers who insist on responding can eat shit.

      1. Mea maxima culpa

  10. as long as they are pumping money into swing state economies, I am happy. More money spent, improving economy, improving Obama’s reelection chance.

    1. improving Obama’s reelection chance.

    2. What the everloving fuck?

    3. God save the King!

    4. They’re not creating any money, so all the money that gets pumped in was pumped out of somewhere else. The net effect is to divert resources from productive endeavors to the political professions and media companies which produce nothing.

      1. so money has to be created for an economy to improve… you fail to mention the vast amount of resources that go into a campaign. yes media advertising is one aspect, money is spent on much, much more.

        1. Most of it is spent on media time, travel, hotels, and political staff salaries. None of which produce any value for the economy…those are leech industries.

          1. Tulpa, why are debating a retard?

            1. Be nice, now. Just cuz ole Ayn was unpleasant does not mean you have to be.

              1. You should’ve pointed out that I left out “you” after ‘why are’. DERP.

            2. The retards are an indispensible part of any political coalition. We need to bring them into the tent.

        2. Matt says: “…money has to be created for an economy to improve…”

          Wow! That’s one of the dumbest “economic” statements I’ve ever seen. The guy is totally clueless!

  11. bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbboooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooobbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssdfoapjieopwaejfopwaj

  12. bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbboooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooobbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssdfoapjieopwaejfopwaj

  13. bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbboooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooobbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssdfoapjieopwaejfopwaj

  14. bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbboooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooobbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssdfoapjieopwaejfopwaj

  15. bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbboooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooobbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssdfoapjieopwaejfopwaj

  16. bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbboooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooobbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssdfoapjieopwaejfopwaj

  17. http://cnsnews.com/news/articl…..being-jerk

    The audience was comprised of children at the Stuart-Hobson Middle School in Washington, D.C. The students, from the 6th to 8th grade, were given black t-shirts with the “Speak Up” logo to wear at the assembly.

    “What do you think is the best advice for people who are going into watching this film and anyone who is watching?” asked Lemon.

    As part of her answer, Sebelius said: “I think, very important, is for kids to understand how powerful you really are. You might feel like you’re not big enough, not strong enough, not–don’t have enough tools. But just saying, ‘Stop it! You know, you’re being a jerk!’ walk away get away from this person can make a huge amount of difference.

    “And you can really rescue somebody. You can be a real hero.”

    1. Kathleen Sebelius is a jerk.

      1. Exactly, I’ve been calling people jerks for a long time and I’ve yet to see someone go on teevee to complain about the government not passing a bill to give me benefits.

        1. Those days are past! Expected Anti-Jerk legislation to be included in a huge domestic spending/re-election bill signed into law shortly!

  18. Like a tumerous growth on your face, ignoring it will not make it go away

  19. I think one of the best benefits we will see out of allowing tons of money/speech/ideas into political campaigns is that – after the initial thrill of actually participating in participatory democracy wears off – people are going to wake up and realize that after all is said and done it doesn’t make a rats ass bit of difference. Giant douche or turd sandwich is the only choice you’re going to get.

    I sympathize with the OWSers, they’re mad as hell but don’t know what or who to blame. That’s because it’s all the same bunch pretending they are separate factions. Democrat or Republican, Wall Street regulator or Wall Street fat cat or Wall Street lobbyist, big debtor or big creditor, public interest lawyer or crack whore.

    Well, okay, the last comparison is unfair. Crack whores do serve a useful function.

    1. That is bullshit. Pressure politics often do work. The left has been at it for decades it’s our turn.

    2. Actually, liberalizing ballot access laws and implementing alternative voting schemes like instant runoffs, etc, would really shake things up. But the screeching from the establishment if that ever happens would dwarf the post-CU harping.

      1. Tulpa|3.17.12 @ 5:35PM|#
        …”implementing alternative voting schemes like instant runoffs,”

        If this is in reference to ‘ranked voting’, be careful what you wish for.
        It becomes a game in which the successful strategies are carefully worked out by those with an incentive to do so (the politicos), and largely ignored by voters, yielding such results as the ‘accidental mayor’ of Oakland.
        Providing more opportunities for the politicos to game elections doesn’t sound like a good idea.

        1. IRV would make elections less game-able, not more. You can’t get much more thumb-on-the-scales than our current establishment puppet on the left vs. establishment puppet on the right system.

          And Mayor Quan’s election was hardly an example of the establishment gaming the system — the establishment, right and left, despises her. Yes, she was the first choice on less than a quarter of the ballots but that’s Arrow’s impossibility theorem at work. Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good.

    3. I try to sympathize with the OWS’ers, I really do. But I can’t help but remember that, in historical terms, they are 1%ers; wealthier in terms of comfort and options than 99% of all the people who have ever lived. And I can’t help but notice that they have (to paraphrase P.J. O’Rourke about a different protest movement) the usual Lefty take-out order; an anti-Capitalism, an anti-Americanism with cheese, and a small Che on the side.

  20. The thing is, it really doesn’t matter how much money the BO campaign and its minion-PACs have. They would have gotten free air time from the MSM anyway.

  21. Anybody wondering why Paul would stay in the race when it’s clear he can no longer win need look no further than the Missouri caucuses today.

    There are widespread reports of chaos at the county conventions, with institutional Republicans (who in MO apparently favor Santorum) getting outraged that too many Paul and Romney people are showing up. Convention sites are getting shut down, rump conventions are meeting in parks, rules are being ignored, votes on site overturned by declaration by chairmen, etc.

    Apparently there are even incidents requiring the summoning of the police.

    But what the Paul campaign people probably understand is that events like that burn loyalty into the brain. Psychologically, every Paul supporter who showed up to one of those conventions thinks they got fucked, and is seething. Nothing quite builds solidarity like being subjected to a group fucking.

    1. This was the fatal flaw of the so-called “delegate strategy”. Basing your campaign on procedural trickery leaves you very vulnerable to countertrickery by the party apparatchiks whose turf you’re planning to stomp.

      Ron Paul lost the vote in Missouri. By a lot. True, the arcane caucus rules have loopholes, and the GOP should follow their own rules, but ya know what, I’m not shedding no tears for people who try to circumvent the will of voters.

      1. Even the ones who want to take your stuff?

        1. Tulpa doesn’t actually give a shit about “The will of the voters,” he means “WHOO! SANTORUM!!!!!! GOD’S CHOSEN ONE!!!!!”

      2. If the Missouri GOP wanted to have a primary, all they had to do was…have a primary.

        They didn’t have a primary.

        I’m really not that concerned about honoring the outcome of a vote that is announced in advance to be meaningless. As soon as you announce in advance that a vote doesn’t count, that completely delegitimizes its outcome.

        Missouri selects its delegates by state convention. The state convention delegates are chosen at local caucuses. Showing up to the local caucus to vote for the delegates you want is not “trickery”. It’s straightforward participation.

      3. Calling “showing up to vote at the county caucus” and “ignoring the caucus in front of you and declaring your guy the winner and trying to arrest people who contest your action using parliamentary procedure” equal examples of “trickery” is more than a little absurd.

        But it’s OK, because as I said above, at a certain level putting the GOP infrastructure of county and state operatives in a position where they have to do stuff like this is the whole point. So in a way we agree.

        Keep stoking the fires of hostility and animosity for 2016, GOP. I’d be perfectly happy to see all local and state GOP operations turn into the former Yugoslavia circa 1995, where everyone hates everyone else and wants to gouge their eyes out over old battles and perceived slights. That would be just fine.

        1. The Ron Paul people were trying to initiate rule changes from the floor so that they could take over the delegate selection process. Which is trickery.

          There were two arrests (out of dozens of Ron Paul supporters) because those people refused orders from the property owner to leave after the meeting was declared over. I thought libertarians were supposed to be against trespassing.

        2. I should clarify that I respect GOP party apparatchiks less than pink slime. However, the RP delegate strategy was subversive of the democratic process and was bound to fail anyway.

          If you want to win elections, convince people to vote for you. Not this underhanded crap.

          1. What is “underhanded” by playing by the rules? This comment reminds me of the oft-repeated error of lauding the American system as a “democracy”. A pure democracy is little different from mob rule. But a Republic, which is rule by law with equal justice for all under law, assures the rights of all. The RP strategy was for playing by the rules, admittedly a flawed set, but not ones of their construct. So recall Franklin’s comment that we have “a republic, if we can keep it”. And if you want to win elections, play by the rules; scarcely “underhanded”.

      4. I’m not shedding no tears for people who try to circumvent the will of voters.

        That’s my boy!

        1. The hag Pelosi also endorses this ad!

          1. you two are more alike than different

        2. Right, anyone who thinks elections should be democratic is Karl Rove.

          You guys are really outdoing yourselves.

      5. That’s exactly what we expect from a Romney dick-sucker.

        1. Oddly enough in view of this comment, Romney would have benefitted from Missouri’s delegates being diverted to Ron Paul, since Santorum won there. So this is in fact exactly the opposite of what you’d expect from someone engaged in that kind of fellatio.

          But your response is exactly what I’d expect from the subset of H&R that attacks anyone who doesn’t conform to the prevailing groupthink here, without thinking about what they’re saying or bothering to come up with an argument.

          And please don’t tell me libertarians don’t have groupthink.

      6. Ron Paul supporters were trying to play by the rules, period! If the rules were screwed up (and I agree they were) fix them for the next time around. Yes, their efforts could have overturned the will of the majority, but this illustrates the difference between a democracy and a republic. The former differs little from mob rule, with no protection for minority rights. The latter porvides a set of rules, “the rule of law”, under which all are equal. Remember Franklin’s admonition that the founding fathers had created “a republic, if we can keep it”.

    2. “rump conventions are meeting in parks” and they’re not just kidding about being serious

  22. Why is Drudge running a picture of Angelica Huston? Did she cure lycanthropy? I can’t imagine mere words coming from her mouth being news worthy. Its been on there for days. Fucking weird.

    1. Let me click the underlying caption/link for you. She said the US is returning to the Dark Ages, on R. O’Donnell’s moribund show. Not weird; Drudge always lets that downlist stuff linger for days.

      1. Thanks, AH has a swarm of cooties stuffed up her yang yang and I didn’t wanna click it myself. If you catch anything from exposure, let me know.

        1. It is obvious that Ms. Huston meant the ‘Dark Ages’ in a positive manner. As a Hollywood actress (i.e. a member of the Screen Actors’ Guild), she would support the revival of a system that prevents the freedom of an entrepreneur to engage in economic activity without the implicit supervision and/or permission of a mercantilist labor cartel that demands it’s ‘economic rent’ from those who attempt to actually create wealth.

          1. HeroicMulatto|3.17.12 @ 9:38PM|#
            “It is obvious that Ms. Huston meant the ‘Dark Ages’ in a positive manner…”

            So she could gambol?

            1. because sevo hates liberty

              sevo loves big government gambol lockdown

              and I’m not a sorry sack of shit like sevo the shithead who has to constantly apologize like some submissive bondage boi

          2. gonna go have a shower, then smoke the big spliff? i just rolled and finish with a couple of bong hits, then lay and watch two hours worth of family guy and american dad whilst eating oreos


  23. This article is… well, just stupid.

    1. nobody comes here for the articles.

  24. This is as good a place as any: I would just like to take the time to apologize to everyone for my feeding of WI last night and earlier this morning. I must have done crack or something to think…well I guess I really wasn’t thinking.

    So yeah, scrolling past from here on out.

    1. Without further comment, I’ll add my apologies for doing the same last night.

      1. And yet, you do it every fucking time.

        Seriously, everyone, STOP FEEDING THE FUCKING TROLLS.

        1. JW|3.17.12 @ 10:15PM|#
          “And yet, you do it every fucking time.”

          No, I don’t. Which is the reason I’m apologizing for doing it last night.

            1. lol

  25. Judah Friedlander is at the boxing match and dressed like his wikipedia picture

  26. Citizens United is just preparation for the coming hyperinflation. After it hits, they’re going to need “unlimited” money to finance the campaigns!

  27. Ever notice that the people who oppose the Citizens United decision never come out and say what they really think?

    Oh, you might hear them say, “The Koch Brothers are taking over Washington!”, but you’ll never hear them say, “People are too stupid to make choices for themselves”.

    …but that is what they really think.

    I’ll come out and say that I think people are too stupid to make choices for me, on my behalf, but that’s something else entirely.

    1. “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech or the press.” Clearly this provides an absolute protection of political speech, something campaign finance laws inherently restrict. Whenever I use this argument liberals get extremely defensive because it’s true. If you stop a person from publicizing a political view by limiting his ability to spend his money, you are abridging his right to free speech.

      1. And some of those we-only-bitch-about-right-of-center-rich-people have no problem at all with George Goddamn Soros using his money and power to influence politics…

        1. Well at least some of the slightly more intellectually honest liberals know that they can’t escape the language of the First Amendment which is why they are desperately trying to get a Constitutional amendment passed that would overturn CU.

          But thankfully that will never happen and hopefully Romney (or Ron Paul) gets to appoint a replacement for Ginsburg that will ensure we don’t have a Supreme Court that will spit on the First Amendment.

          1. Aw c’mon, the South African constitution ain’t that bad

          2. “hopefully Romney (or Ron Paul) gets to appoint a replacement for Ginsburg that will ensure we don’t have a Supreme Court that will spit on the First Amendment.”

            Yeah, hopefully we’ll get another first amendment absolutist like Thomas (Virginia v. Black), Alito (Snyder v. Phelps), Roberts (Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project) or Scalia (Morse v. Frederick).

      2. Clearly this provides an absolute protection of political speech, something campaign finance laws inherently restrict.

        Again, it seems to me that most of the people we’re talking about don’t really care about individual rights, per se. In fact, many of them are downright hostile to individual rights.

        “Where did your rights come from?”, they ask, “Did the Flying Spaghetti Monster give them to you?” Worse yet, many of them believe that our rights originate from the government, so having the government crimp our rights here and there is perfectly justified in their minds, so long as it’s all for the greater good.

        I still say it’s better to expose their basic premise: They think that because you’re too stupid to think for yourself, other people shouldn’t be allowed to try to persuade you.

        1. Somebody should also point out that candidates can spend a tremendous amount of money on a campaign and still lose miserably.

          Linda McMahon and Meg Whitman both spent like crazy during the mid-term elections, when the GOP did well nationally, but both of them lost by more than ten percentage points.

          Spending more money must help, or every candidate wouldn’t spend so much time raising it. You can make an argument that spending presents a market barrier for certain challengers to get into the race, but it doesn’t seem to me that spending more money necessarily translates into a win.

          People outspend their opponents and lose all the time.

          1. “Somebody should also point out that candidates can spend a tremendous amount of money on a campaign and still lose miserably.”

            Everyone knows that, they just also know this:

            “Spending more money must help, or every candidate wouldn’t spend so much time raising it.”

            No one thinks there is a perfect correlation between money and influence, just a significant, positive one.

            1. I’m not sure it’s all that significant. It’s probably within the margin of error.

              Can two percentage points make a difference? Sure, but if the effect is only good for two percentage points, can the effect really be measured that accurately?

              Look at it from a consumer product marketing perspective. How much marketing does it take to make people go see an awful movie? You might be able to get a certain number of people to go see it on the opening weekend, but there isn’t enough marketing in the world to turn a terrible movie into a blockbuster.

              1. You can’t even get noticed without marketing at all. That was Gary Johnson’s problem–nobody even knew his movie existed, much less what it was about.

                But having the money to make people think you’re still in contention; being able to attack your opponents; and being able to defend yourself from attacks, that isn’t the same as winning.

                Money means you’re still in the game, i.e., but it doesn’t mean a win. Some people stay in contention because of the money, but I don’t think many people win just because of the money.

                1. It doesn’t matter how much you spend putting a pig in a dress, no one will think it’s Miss America for long. I’m usually pretty dismissive of most people’s intelligence, but even I think they’re smarter than that!

                  That’s one of the pithy definitions of a libertarian for me: people who thinks they’re the best at making choices for themselves. Using the government to limit how much persuasion people are exposed to–because they’re assumed to be no good at making choices for themselves–just flies in the face of that.

                2. “Money means you’re still in the game, i.e., but it doesn’t mean a win.”

                  Er, as long as one must be in the game to win then it’s still pretty critical to winning, right? Necessary but not sufficient maybe, for all practical purposes..

                3. You can make a statement without the green but you can’t get a primary vote. GJ was destined to be 3rd party. Kinda sad really. Stop shopping around for someone to pay you to run for a fucking election and do something worth a shit

        2. Might we not clean up the process, which so many find abhorrant by separating individual free speech from that of ANY group, corporation, union, Sierra Club, NRA, NEA, SIEU or hell, even SPEBSQSA? Yes it would need an amendment, and the amendment process requiring approval of both congress and states, would be an excellent venue for vetting any act in this area, so important to our liberty.

          1. No candidate for the Presidency or either house of Congress shall accept contributions in cash or in kind from any organization or group of persons for expenses incurred in a campaign for that office. All such contributions shall be made only by individual citizens who shall attest that the funds or other items of value are from their own resources and that they have not received, nor have they been promised, offsetting items of value from any other party in exchange for their contribution. Organizations of any type, may, without restriction, expend money to advocate a position on any issue before or likely to come before the electorate insofar as no candidate’s name or description is included in their expressions of advocacy.

            1. The intent of the above is to bring “transparency” to campaign financing by removing any group from the process whereby that group may conceal the identity of an individual contributor as well as limiting the influence of such groups or “special interests”. It further prevents an organization from making such contributions when an individual within that organization, such as a union member or corporation stockholder, may oppose the candidate. The money from “special interest” groups will then go to promote that for which they exist, their “special interest”. The media will be directed to expositions on the issues facing the electorate, thus enhancing discussion and hopefully understanding of issues, bereft of personalities.

  28. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m missing Eddie Jordan

  29. Never forget:

    The only reason Citizens United became a Supreme Court case is… a group of people made a movie critical of then-presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.

    Period, end of story.

    1. you two are way more alike than different

      1. Bullshit, Godesky.

        1. It’s not Godesky it’s rather.

          1. Is there a difference?

          2. Why does jackbooted authoritarian asshole ring true with you Cytotoxic?

            1. Well, the asshole part I understand.

  30. “has done about what you would expect such a deregulation to do: allowed more voices, issues, and ideas into a political marketplace”

    Yes, from the results we can finally say that a handful of very wealthy people know have a (very large) place at the table!

    1. No, they have no larger ‘place at the table’ thank before. They are now allowed to speak. Their rights are (partially) restored.

      1. They are allowed to take up a much larger part of the conversation.

        1. They have made the conversation bigger and diverse. You people want to make it smaller and exclusive.

          1. A bigger conversation that they dominate.

            1. CITATION NEEDED

  31. It’s amazing how sides talk past each other on so many issues. Liberals should see that it’s hard to imagine any scheme to thwart what they want without it becoming something very close to a prior restraint. On the other hand people miss liberals concerns almost totally. It’s pretty simple:

    1. Speech means influence which means power.
    2. If money=speech then those with more money will have more speech, influence and power.
    3. It’s not good for a small number of wealthy people to have more influence and power than everyone else.

    If this were a blatant grant of traditional political power to a small handful of people everyone would throw a fit. But as long as the influence and power is technically resistable, no matter how empirically powerful, some want to close their eyes to it as if its nothing.

    1. Somedays MNG, I think your Fred or Wil having fun pissing off David and Charles

    2. 1. Big Government has enormous power to fuck up people’s lives.

      2. It’s natural that people are going to go to great lengths to ensure that Big Government is fucking up somebody else’s life.

      3. The liberals’ solution is to give Big Government more power to fuck up people’s lives.

      (To be fair, most of the time when I suggest that the obvious solution is to give Big Government less power to screw up people’s lives, both Team Red and Team Blue get apoplectic.)

      1. And of course increasing the proportionate influence of wealthy potential rent-seekers is a great way to fight Government’s enormous power…I mean, they would never use their influence to push government to intrude, for their benefit, on everyone else in any way…

        1. the only control to rent seeking is not having much to rent

      2. In my defense, fucking up people’s lives is an unintended side effect of my desire to improve peoples lives.

        But I promise to do better this time.

        1. You always say that, but you never do.

          I wish I knew how to quit you.

    3. So if I make a movie on my own about how much Rick Santorum sucks ass, you don’t have a problem with me distributing it. But if I form a corporation with all my Facebook friends to do the same thing, there is suddenly a problem?

      And they totally shot themselves in the foot when they admitted that the law would keep you from distributing a book.

      1. I think the issue in Citizens was release of a movie…

        But it is interesting that you admit the speaker is only silenced when they choose a certain corporate form (“if I make a movie on my own….But if I form a corporation”).

        But while I think there might be good reasons to restrict corporate speech I’ll concede that many of those upset over Citizens often offer confused ones. Are they upset over wealthy people influencing politics? Well, they don’t have to have a corporation to do that. In fact, corporations could be useful tools for lots of non-wealthy people to pool and organize their resources to counter some rich sugar daddy’s spending. Are they just worrie about the myopic profit-maximizing characteristics of for profit corporations? Well, iirc the corporation targted in Citizens was a non-profit…

        1. To me the only reasonable arguments from the anti-Citizens United crowd are:

          1. For-profit corporations have a built in myopic profit-maximizing orientation that makes their political participation harmful to a polity (individuals have values other than profit-maximizing self interest, corporations can’t [and shouldn’t imo]).

          2. Corporate advantages like limited liability are a problem. If Gingrich’s sugar daddy spent his money directly then he would be responsible and potentially fully liable for his message, if he gives to a corporate SuperPac which then spends his liability is limited. You’re promised free speech but not promised a megaphone with which to do it, and these legal protections amount to that.

        2. I think the issue in Citizens was release of a movie

          Yes, but the government included books in its argument.

          Wikipedia: During the original oral argument, then-Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm L. Stewart (representing the FEC) argued that under Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the government would have the power to ban books if those books contained even one sentence expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate and were published or distributed by a corporation or union.

          It did not go over well.

    4. There is no relation between money spent in a campaign and its chances of winning, so your concerns can be put to rest MNG. Unless you’re really just a jackbooted authoritarian asshole. But that would be cynical.

      1. “There is no relation between money spent in a campaign and its chances of winning”

        Which is why they spend so much time and effort raising and spending money, for the sheer futility of it all…

        1. They like to feel like they are doing something. The only difference campaign finance laws make is to make it more difficult for people to challenge incumbents.

          1. That would have to do with how a campaign finance law were written. It’s easy to imagine different ones having all kinds of effects.

    5. “Congress shall make NO LAWABRIDGINGthe right to free speech or the press.”

      Dou you need a dictionary? Your three points about the potential corrupting factors of free speech are irrelevent because the First Amendment, the supreme law of the land, prohibits the government from doing anything about that. I don’t see an asterik next to the “no law” part that says we can ban it for wealthy people the Democratic party doesn’t like.

      1. It says make no law “abridging the freedom of speech.” Notice it doesn’t say “abridging each individual’s freedom of speech” and that the word “abridging” need not bar any and all possible restrictions. Abridge can mean to undermine, and one can reasonably think that there could be certain limits on political spending without undermining “the freedom of speech.” After all, everyone would be free to speak, the limits would only kick in for people who could afford to “speak” a whole lot more than most others, and only after they had that say.

        1. And there are ways that don’t really involve any limits to address those concerns. For example, you could say for-profits can’t spend money politically without full disclosure, or without a shareholders vote. Would that “abridge the freedom of speech?” Everyone who’s owners gave permission would be able to speak to their hearts content, so I don’t see how.

          Additionally, you could just revive ultra vires doctrine the way it existed for a long time and say that kind of business is beyond the scope of a corporations powers when they are chartered. You have the right to free speech, but that doesn’t ensure you a governmentally created megaphone with which to do so.

        2. It says “freedom of speech” not “freedom of people to speak a certain amount”.

          Telling someone they can’t speak anymore is abridging the freedom of speech. Regardless of how much they’ve spoken already.

          That said, there are obviously exceptions for preserving basic functions of govt and deterring threats to public safety, hence laws against perjury and death threats are constitutional.

          1. No, it says “the freedom of speech.”

            “Telling someone they can’t speak anymore is abridging the freedom of speech.”

            It might be abridging their freedom of speech, but is it abridging “the freedom of speech?” Everyone still gets to participate in the national conversation, some just can’t dominate it.

            1. Consider if people had a “right to recreation” and that applied to their local public community rec center.

              Some people have all day to run on the treadmill, some people have less time. Would a rule saying “everyone has access to the treadmill and can run for up to, but no more, than 30 minutes”, does that rule obviously “abridge” the right to recreation?

              1. That’s a horrid attempt at an analogy, as would be expected from you these days.

                If a government-funded broadcast medium (say PBS, NPR, or a local access channel) instituted a rule saying they would limit the amount of ad time and campaign coverage that any candidate could buy on their station, I would have no problem with that. (indeed, I don’t think they allow any political ads in practice) That’s the analogue of the treadmill at your rec center.

                Campaign finance restrictions in practice are like saying you can only spend a certain amount of time on even privately-owned treadmills.

                1. I think you’re missing that the analogy was supposed to show that you can have a restriction without something reaching an “abridgement.”

                  1. If it makes it easier for you, imagine a private health club which stipulates that the members will have the “right to use all club equipment” but which hangs a sign above the treadmills saying “no more than 30 minutes of use a day.” Have they “abridged” the promised right?

                    1. Wow your analogy sucks. “Speech” isn’t a good or service. It’s a right.

                    2. Conservatives really struggle with analogies, eh.

                    3. See, the analogy is not about the meaning of “a right against the government”, it’s about the meaning of “abridged.” So to get past the first discussion I set it outside in the analogy.

                      “Rights” in contracts are often argued to have been “abridged.”

                    4. You really struggle with rights. If a right is restricted, it’s been abridged. Full stop.

                    5. I don’t think so, as my example argues. I’m not sure “abridgement” means “without any and all restrictions.” I don’t think that’s how the concept is normally understood, but I’m sure people into drawing extreme, distinct, deontological lines might see it that way. The kind of person that equates minimum wage laws with SLAVERY! is probably going to see even the slightest restriction of any kind to be a full abridgement.

                    6. Since I am many other libertarians believe words like ‘free speech’ have actual defined objective meaning, yes restriction = abridgement.

                    7. Maybe too late for anybody to see this, but to abridge means to reduce in scope. So, MNG, you are completely wrong on this one.

    6. Speech means influence which means power.

      Bullshit. Ross Perot outspent both his opponents in 1992 and didn’t win a single state. Ron Paul spent more than McCain in 2008 and more than Santorum and Gingrich combined so far in 2012 and hasn’t won a single state.

      Speech only means awareness. You have to have other things going for you to convert that to influence and power.

      1. MNG|3.18.12 @ 11:35AM|#
        “Somebody should also point out that candidates can spend a tremendous amount of money on a campaign and still lose miserably.”

        Everyone knows that, they just also know this:

        “Spending more money must help, or every candidate wouldn’t spend so much time raising it.”

        No one thinks there is a perfect correlation between money and influence, just a significant, positive one.

        1. That requires evidence. I’d buy the positive part as being plausible, not so sure about the significance when isolated from other factors.

          “Spending more money must help, or every candidate wouldn’t spend so much time raising it.”

          Not a valid argument; this assumes candidates are omniscient and have no ulterior motives besides being elected. Family members are frequently on the campaign payroll, remember.

          1. Yes Tulpa, campaigns spend the extraordinary amounts of time and effort they do to raise and spend money just to give their cousins jobs….

            1. That’s one example of an ulterior motive, not the only one. There are plenty of campaigns that continue working to raise money after there’s little hope of winning an election.

              And in any case, your argument boils down to “if everyone does X then X must be a good idea” which is the vox populi fallacy.

              1. Not at all, the argument is kind of a market argument. Self interested actors are not going to keep doing X when X has no relation to what they want.

                1. And that argument is still invalid. The market isn’t perfect, it’s simply less imperfect than other resource allocation schemes.

                  If market actors were always doing the best things for their money-making purposes, there would never be any opportunity for competitors to enter the market.

                  1. Well, look, we are then down to you arguing that all of these campaigns spending all of this time fundraising are doing so for shits and giggles or to employ their wives.

                    If campaign spending were unimportant I think campaigns would not work so hard at it, but maybe that is just me.

                    1. If you have lots of money, you won’t necessarily win. If you don’t have lots of money, you will lose.

                    2. Thanks for proving my point above.

                      MNG|3.18.12 @ 2:41PM|#
                      “Money means you’re still in the game, i.e., but it doesn’t mean a win.”

                      Er, as long as one must be in the game to win then it’s still pretty critical to winning, right? Necessary but not sufficient maybe, for all practical purposes..

                    3. Yes MNG. So far so good. This does not mean pumping money into politics = power. It means at most a tiny bit of power, which can’t hope to match enthusiasm from average people. So that argument for forced disclosure of financing is down and out.

                    4. So basically MNG is arguing two contradictory points and doing a victory dance when people inadvertently lend support to one of them while arguing against the other.

                    5. I’m the one that’s arguing two contradictory principles? I’m not the one saying that campaign money is a necessary cause of electoral success and then later that it’s unimportant.

                    6. This is all silly internet semantics anyway. Everyone here admits that campaign spending does something, even Tulpa says it produces “awareness” (and of course awareness can be a major step to influence). It confers an advantage in influencing, and disproprionate influence is something people can reasonably be concerned about.

                      This provides the “compelling interest.” Can that justify an outright restriction? Under our First Amendment jurisprudence it doesn’t seem to, but if you start talking about measures that are not outright restrictions but have some attenuated, “might cause social pressure and therefore chill some speech” effects then I think the balance leans the other way…

                    7. No it doesn’t. And Tulpa has you nailed. We agree money has a role to play in politics and it lends small influence. You have failed to demonstrate that this allows players to control politics even to a significant degree.

                    8. Hotel rooms, staff, benefits for the staff, food, transportation, marketing, materials, consultants, etc. etc.

                      Unless all that stuff is being donated, it cost a lot of money. Of all of those things, air time on tv is most likely their #1 expense (although with the price of fuel going up, travel expenses might beat that out). THAT is why they do fundraising.

    7. 1. Traveling creates choices which means freedom.

      2. It takes money to travel. People with more money are able to travel more than others. Therefore, these people have more choices, and more freedom.

      3. It’s not good for a small number of wealthy people to be freer than everybody else.

      I’ve just justified the TSA!

  32. Who the f*ck organized these Missouri caucuses? I think each candidate should pledge that whoever it is will never organize anything in a future administration of theirs.

    Or maybe they should pledge the opposite.

    What a carnival.

  33. Is it just me, or if they make a movie out of that guy in Afghanistan who wasted all those villagers, should they REALLY try to get Jackie Earle Haley to play him?

    1. I wondered the other day when it was revealed that he was a sniper if this would lower sales of American Sniper.

      Wouldn’t be fair to that author of course, but it sounds like something that would happen.

  34. Rick Santorum’s promise to go after pornography if he is elected President. Specifically, Santorum says he will “vigorously” enforce federal laws that “prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier.”


    1. Good luck with that one Rick.

    2. That right there basically guarantees he will never win, no matter what else he says. He’d get like 1% of the male under-45 vote.

      1. I’m coming out against steak, beer, and blowjobs next.

    3. Welcome to last week, MNG.

  35. I was looking at the guy’s picture and it was bugging me because I kept thinking, “He looks like somebody.”

    It’s a little fucked up that he looks like Rorschach.

  36. “Manning Update: Broncos, Titans and 49ers Are Left”


    This is messed up. I’m not the biggest fan of Tebow, but it’s messed up for the Broncos to ignore him turning last season around for them and court another quarterback like this. Shameful, really. Ditto for the 49er’s and Smith. If I’m Smith or Tebow, and Manning isn’t eventually signed, I would not exactly bust my tail for those organizations after this.

    1. I frankly don’t even understand the Titans. Hasselback has been better than average for them. why is it so critical for the Titans to replace one aged, good quarterback with an aged, admittedly great but possibily never back to 100% QB.

      One would think teams with really sub-par QB’s like the Seahawks would be the ones really going after Manning. WTF?

      1. Ticket sales, ad revenue, stuff like that, would be my guess.

      2. A lot of teams delude themselves that they’re one player away.

        Manning sounds like that player to them.

        Notice that the teams that made big pushes were either playoff teams, or teams like Miami that had great 2nd halfs and have a few of the pieces they need already.

        1. To be fair, when that one player is a quarterback it can actually be true.

        2. The 2011 Colts are evidence that you don’t have to be very good to be one player away when that one player is Peyton Manning.

          1. Seriously. I thought it was quite illuminating to see the difference between the Patriots without Brady and the Colts without Manning. Brady was a decent quarterback surrounded by a great team.

            1. It’s hard to know how the Colts would have done this year with Manning, perhaps they would still have stunk. They defintely cleaned some house more than just regarding Manning.

              1. That’s dubious. They won the division the previous year with the same team plus Manning.

                1. And no team has won a division and then a year later stunk it up.

                  1. Look at the Bucs. They went 10-6 in the 2010 season, 4-12 the very next, keeping the same QB throughout.

                    1. With a very different schedule in 2011.

                    2. The Colts had a different schedule too, every team does the next year.

                    3. The Bucs had a .480 strength of schedule in 2010, while the Colts had .516. Huge difference.

      3. Or the Cowboys. It would be nice to have a great quarterback again, even if he was only at 50%. Romo has choked for the last time IMO.

        1. Jon Kitna is clutch, no?

    2. The powers that be in Denver seem to be really uncomfortable with the style of offense they have to run with Tebow. I think they are trying to find a way to dump him without angering their fanbase too much. Bringing in a hugr name like Manning would give them that opportunity.

    3. He didn’t turn them around, the defense and the weak-ass schedule did. And yes, that includes the Steelers who really could have used Ryan Clark at safety on that final play (and could also have used a brain in Dick LaBeau’s head).

      1. If Tebow only put them in a position to beat them on that one play then he was a big plus for that team.

        1. As soft as the Steelers were playing deep, John Elway could have suited up and beaten them.

          289 of Tebow’s 316 passing yards came on six plays. He had a horrible game aside from those plays. If Clark weren’t sidelined due to the altitude or LaBeau wasn’t too stoned on beta blockers to change his game plan at halftime, Tebow would have been laughed out of there.

          1. Like I said, the Steelers, even sans Clark, were a better team; for any quarterback to lead the Bronocs into overtime against them where one pass could beat them is a testament to that quarterback.

            1. Hogwash. Rex Grossman made it to the Super Bowl.

              1. But the Broncs had that same team, just with another QB, when they were losing, losing, and losing.

                1. And much tougher opponents.

                  The only winning team that Tebow beat was the Steelers. He lost BIG to the Pats and Lions.

                  1. And without him they won no games against winning teams.

                    But they also lost to losing teams, several of which they beat when he was starting.

                    1. Several? Oakland was the only team that played Denver with and without Tebow.

                    2. Nope. Lost to Chargers week 5 w/out Tebow, won against Chargers week 12 with Tebow.

                    3. This is Tebow starts, he was put in with the Broncos down 16 in the second half against the Chargers in the loss (they eventually only lost by 5). But with Tebow as the starter the Broncos beat two teams to which they lost with him not starting.

                      As to your point about winning against winning teams, one way to present the data is that with Tebow the Broncos were 1-3 or .250 against winning teams while without him they were 0-3 or .000.

    4. Is that team in the Czech Republic still in the hunt for Manning? I haven’t gotten an e-mail update.

  37. Fine. Have all the PACs you want.

    Just make it mandatory that ALL of them release ALL names of ALL contributors — not wait until some faked-up, too late reporting date well after most of the primaries.

    1. What, don’t you believe in the right to privacy?

      1. The right to privacy of those working to effect public policy?

        1. Yes, that UNIVERSAL right to privacy.

          1. A “universal” right to privacy? Like the right to privacy while you’re riding down the road with a sound truck broadasting your “let’s bomb Iran” stuff? You should at least look up what a word means if you are going to use it in all caps like that…

            1. “sound truck broadcasting” – that doesn’t sound very private, MNG.

              1. Neither does a public advocacy campaign…

                1. And you can’t reply “well, I’m talking about quietly cutting a check to a SuperPac, because as you guys have stipulated, cutting that check is “speech” meant to reach people. It’s like saying you have a right to privately parade down the street with a campaign sign.

                  “Private speech?”

                  1. So you don’t think you have a right to comment anonymously on this blog (with the permission of the blog owner, of course).

                    If the govt said that blogs must identify all commenters and authors by their real names, you’d be OK with that?

                    1. ah, but that’s hardly the analogy. If the government said that all blog sites had to identify their owners, then you’ve got an analogy.

                    2. Actually, the more apt analogy would be: blogs with budgets suprassing X would have to identify their owners.

                    3. If the government said that all blog sites had to identify their owners, then you’ve got an analogy.

                      Nope. You’re claiming that there is no right to anonymous speech of any kind.

                    4. Maybe others are, but I’m talking about disclosure for big donations.

                    5. Maybe others are, but I’m talking about disclosure for big donations.

                      Fatty Bolger|3.18.12 @ 11:17AM|#

                      What, don’t you believe in the right to privacy?

                      MNG|3.18.12 @ 11:29AM|#

                      The right to privacy of those working to effect public policy?

                    6. When you talk about the right to privacy during a discussion of campaign disclosure laws I assumet youi’re talking about it in that context, silly me.

                    7. But Tulpa, what are our rights and freedom’s next to MNG’s totally grounded fears of THE KORPORASHUNS and RICH PEOPLE KOCS!!11 controlling all through their pocketbook? Your powerless to resist advertising!

                    8. Dude, you just admitted it played a necessary role, and now mock the idea that it’s plays any role.

                      I’m guessing it’s this kind of internal logic that supports your bombing Iran stuff too, eh?

                    9. You gotta love it when MNG brings up completely unrelated issues to try to get readers pissed at the person he’s arguing with.

                      I strongly disagree with Cyto on the Iran topic, but I also recognize this tactic as one you use against me constantly. You have failed again.

                    10. Good observation. Hadn’t quite noticed that pattern until you pointed it out Tulpa.

                    11. Yeah, no one else does this.

                      Concern troll much? And selectively too, nice.

                    12. You gotta love it when MNG brings up completely unrelated issues to try to get readers pissed at the person he’s arguing with.

                      That’s known as a “red herring”.

        2. Ever heard of Publius, MNG?

          And it’s “affect”.

          1. Apparently not. MNG’s political science studies had a bit of a gap.

            1. And the gap was the good part.

        3. And before you bring up the stuff from the other day, yes, I don’t believe the constitution includes a general right to privacy. However, allowing speech to be anonymous is another matter as retaliation is a chilling factor otherwise.

          1. Suddenly libertarians think mere social pressure is “retaliation?”

            I’ll remember that on many a thread 🙂

            1. You have the freedom of speech, and that includes the right not to feel uncomfortable in speaking 😉

            2. Social pressure? Not what I’m talking about.

              HHS Explicitly Threatens the Insurance Lobby

              1. But that’s what a lot of people are talking about; when California had its Prop 8 voting then many people organized social boycotts and protests to those who were disclosed as supporting it. People were like “waaah, those poor people shouldn’t have had their support disclosed, now they are getting social pressure.”


                1. And I just looked at this, how are disclosure laws at play here?

                2. I’m not a lot of people.

                  If you make broad statements you have to defend them on broad grounds. You can’t prove a statement with a universal quantifier with one example.

                  1. I’m still waiting to hear how the story you linked to pertains to campaign disclosure laws.

                    1. Sebelius was threatening insurers with government action in retaliation for their speech. Not a hard pair of dots to connect.

                    2. There was no disclosure issue as any part of it.

  38. Ya see, I wanna know who supports who — it gives me an idea of what their REAL agenda might be – and, it might not be what they say it is…

    1. I’d like to know if you had an abortion, too. Also, whatever icky things you do in bed. It gives me an idea of what your REAL agenda might be.

      1. Pretty crude straw man. Fits your username.

    2. Corporations are not people, and money is not speech.


        PS DERP

  39. With private enterprise thoroughly demonized, the sheep turn to the jack boot every time:


    There was a big Saint Patrick’s Day parade in town (Delray Beach, FL) yesterday that, like almost all cultural events in the U.S. these days, was completely taken over by government bureaucrats and turned into an exercise in state worship and propagandizing . . .

    The one entertaining event was a live band composed of some young guys who were really talented musicians. They played in a park where there were many families and children dancing around. Everyone was really enjoying their music. The boorish firemen kept approaching the stage, however, to ask when they were taking a break. I heard the lead singer say they weren’t taking a break, but were paid to play straight through. . .”

    1. Our non-embarrassing vice president came to Pgh’s SPD parade yesterday. There were people on the local news claiming to be big fans of Joe Biden but they must have been paid, or at least offered pro bono dental work which they appeared to be in dire need of.

  40. Then you have to admit that there are those on the left who have done a better job of telling a more full story than you’ll find in National Review, the Weekly Standard or talk radio, in general:


    1. Speaking of left-wing stoopid:


  41. Dude is like totally rocking it man. I mean like seriously.


    1. I got your number, Jenny.

  42. Cracked, you’re not.

  43. MNG

    I hope you get time to read and comment upon my proposal for an amendment posted 10:18 – 10:32 this AM. Like you, I have studied these issues since Citizen’s United. Serious comment always very much appreciated. As to Mr Manning, do not overlook the psycological factor of his years of adulation received as a Vol. I bet on the Titans getting his services.

    1. I stand corrected by events. Manning to Denver, not the most hospitable place for a Christian.. Tebow to Nashville???

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