Free Speech

Every Democrat in the Senate Supports a Constitutional Amendment That Would Radically Curtail Freedom of Speech

The Democracy for All Amendment aims to mute some voices so that others can be heard.

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Every Democrat in the Senate is backing a constitutional amendment that aims to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the 2010 decision in which the Supreme Court lifted legal restrictions on what corporations and unions are allowed to say about politics at election time. That would be troubling enough, since Citizens United, which involved a film that was banned from TV because it was too critical of Hillary Clinton, simply recognized that Americans do not lose their First Amendment rights when they organize themselves in a disfavored way. But the so-called Democracy for All Amendment goes much further than nullifying one Supreme Court decision. It would radically rewrite the constitutional treatment of political speech, allowing Congress and state legislatures to impose any restrictions on election-related spending they consider reasonable.

"To advance democratic self-government and political equality, and to protect the integrity of government and the electoral process," Section 1 says, "Congress and the States may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections." By allowing restrictions on money spent by anyone to influence elections, that provision would nullify a principle set forth in the landmark 1976 case Buckley v. Valeo.

In Buckley, the Supreme Court upheld the Federal Election Campaign Act's limits on campaign contributions, which it said were justified by the desire to prevent "corruption and the appearance of corruption." But the Court overturned FECA's limits on spending by candidates and on independent spending by individuals and groups. Those limits, the Court said, "place substantial and direct restrictions on the ability of candidates, citizens, and associations to engage in protected political expression, restrictions that the First Amendment cannot tolerate."

The rationale for that conclusion is not, as critics often claim, that "money is speech." The point, rather, is that people must spend money to communicate with large numbers of their fellow citizens. Limits on spending therefore restrict their ability to exercise their First Amendment rights. If the government banned computers and smartphones, that would clearly violate the First Amendment—not because computers and smartphones are speech but because they are necessary to participate in online debate.

The Democracy for All Amendment would ditch this understanding of the First Amendment and instead rely on legislators' self-restraint in deciding which limits on spending are "reasonable." Courts reviewing the resulting rules would have precious little guidance in deciding when they went too far.

Section 2 of the amendment adds that legislators "may distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities created by law, including by prohibiting such entities from spending money to influence elections." In other words, a complete ban on election-related speech by citizens organized as corporations, including a wide range of nonprofit interest groups across the political spectrum, would be presumptively reasonable, regardless of timing. By contrast, the ban overturned by Citizens United applied only to messages that mentioned a candidate for federal office within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election.

The implication, perhaps, is that a complete ban on election-related spending by individuals or by groups not organized as corporations would not be constitutional. But how close legislators could get to that policy without violating the First Amendment is anybody's guess.

"Every American deserves to have an equal voice at the ballot box, regardless of the size of their bank account," says Sen. Tom Carper (D–Del.), a lead co-sponsor of the amendment. Chris Coons, the other Democratic senator from Delaware, likewise promises that the amendment will "give all Americans an equal voice in our elections."

Carper and Coons are not saying that every American should get an equal vote. They are saying that every American should have an equal influence on the political debate, which is impossible but would seem to require, at the very least, that no one be allowed to spend more on election-related speech than the poorest American can afford. The Supreme Court has explicitly said that such equalization of speech is inconsistent with the First Amendment. As now-Justice Elena Kagan noted in a 1996 law review article, it is well-established that "the government may not restrict the speech of some to enhance the speech of others."

The third section of the amendment contradicts the other two sections by stating that "nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress or the States the power to abridge the freedom of the press." The amendment's backers seem to think they are constitutionalizing the "media exemption" from limits like the ones overturned in Citizens United. Under that exception, news outlets such as The New York Times and CNN were free to talk about political candidates close to an election, even though they are owned by corporations.

As scholars such as UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh have shown, however, the "freedom of the press" protected by the First Amendment does not refer to a particular profession. The clause was meant to protect anyone who uses a technology of mass communication—the printing press at the time and, by extension, TV, radio, and the internet today. On its face, then, Section 3 of the Democracy for All Amendment invalidates the rest of it.

Even if it didn't, what would stop interest groups from using their own media outlets (such as the ill-fated NRA-TV or The Daily Signal, published by the Heritage Foundation) as channels for their political speech, thereby qualifying for constitutional protection even under the Democrats' sharply circumscribed, industry-specific freedom of the press? Presumably, legislators and judges would have to start drawing distinctions between "real" and "fake" media outlets, a judgment for which the Constitution provides no guidance.

Carper describes this license for censorship as "a straightforward constitutional amendment that will restore the health and integrity of our campaign finance system." That's true only if "health and integrity" require muting some voices so that others may be heard. But that goal is plainly at odds with freedom of speech and freedom of the press. While the amendment has zero chance of actually being adopted, the fact that the entire Senate Democratic Caucus thinks it's a fine idea speaks volumes about the party's disregard for those freedoms.

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  1. Radical liberals hate free speech as radical rightists, especially when the truth about them is coming out.

    1. What Truth would that be?

      1. That they are authoritarian pieces of shit.

        1. The guys on the right are authoritarian pieces of shit. The ones on the left are totalitarian pieces of shit. It’s an important difference.

          1. Most right wingers in the west hate the government. Wanting to do away with the BLM, public land, usfs etc certainly screams authoritarian, doesn’t it?

            1. BTW BLM stands for Bureau of Land Management in this instance

            2. There’s plenty of big-government policy on the right these days, if you’re not too partisan to notice.

              1. aajax
                August.13.2019 at 6:27 pm
                “There’s plenty of big-government policy on the right these days, if you’re not too partisan to notice.”

                Why not offer some cites?
                Perhaps you’re just partisan enough to lie about it.

    2. Liberals don’t hate free speech. Overturning CU doesn’t affect free speech for any individual. It would stop corporations from basically buying candidates. An individual person can say anything they want, corporations are not people. This site certainly shouldn’t be called reason, because if its followers had any reason we wouldn’t have trump.

      1. Who make up corporations? People do. If a bunch of people get together and agree to support candidate A, that’s no different from each individual supporting candidate A.

        The only way to keep corporations from “buying” candidates is to reduce the value of elected officials. In other words, reduce their power to the point that it no longer makes sense to buy them.

        1. A corporation is not a bunch of people getting together in this sense. You’re implying everyone in that corporation is of the same mind and acting as one when in reality it is a small core of executives speaking for the company. What you are describing is more like crowd funding, like Bernie Sanders does.

          1. Robert
            August.13.2019 at 2:45 pm
            “A corporation is not a bunch of people getting together in this sense. You’re implying everyone in that corporation is of the same mind and acting as one when in reality it is a small core of executives speaking for the company. What you are describing is more like crowd funding, like Bernie Sanders does.”

            So.
            .
            .
            what?

          2. So, I guess you are against Unions forcing their workers to pay dues & then use that money to support candidates that some of those workers do not support!

            1. Obviously. Unions were banned from political spending by the law that was overturned too.

        2. 100++; Deserves a repeat, “The only way to keep corporations from “buying” candidates is to reduce the value of elected officials. In other words, reduce their power to the point that it no longer makes sense to buy them.”

          The irony of Democratic minds
          – GOV should buy everyone’s healthcare.
          – Healthcare “fat-cats” lobbies GOV for business.

          Who could’ve seen that one coming!

          1. Is that how it worked in all the other countries with state funded health care? Or only in the one with corrupt campaign finance laws?

            1. I haven’t lived anywhere else to know the answer to that question; but there’s a nice video on you-tube about Canada’s healthcare system being so unreliable/terrible that most Canadians are buying private healthcare on-top of being forced to pay for unreliable healthcare they don’t use.

              But if your STATE (<Keyword), city, county or even associates/colleagues wants to give it a try. I don't see anything that is stopping that from happening. I will support any REPEAL to medical laws that keeps that from happening.

              But… It is entirely unjustified and unconstitutional to FORCE every state and person by Federal Government to join your healthcare plan.

              1. It is illegal to buy healthcare for covered services in Canada. The single payer system, (plus private insurance for noncovered services) keeps costs low. I’m not opposed to allowing private insurance.

                Anyway your original point, effectively, is that we should not have a government that regulates big money interests because they will fight it with lobbying. How about we fix the lobbying problem instead so we can have regulations that help people instead of corporations. How you do regulation yields different results.

                1. How about we each “regulate” our money interests instead of handing our checkbooks over to the federal government and politicians?! If you’re not comfortable with managing your own finances perhaps hire an accountant. If you’re not comfortable with healthcare prices “others” are offering. Offer your own! If you find out “regulation” has BLOCKED you from offering “others” your service then isn’t it about time to cut the government regulation (i.e. dictative powers).

                  Lets say you’re a dentist. Law gets passed that says you can only charge customers $10/hr. You have mortgage/tools/etc.. costs. We won’t even go into that $500k student loan. Are you going to “offer” you professional services knowing for a fact you can go flip burgers for $10/hr? No, you have no motivation to do a good job or even do what you went to college for. So, no one wants to be a dentist anymore. Who’s gonna fix teeth?!?!

                  Step 2 – Freedom is gone and law gets past that FORCES unlucky people to be dentists.

                  You see; your plan ultimately dictates people (like a King). My plan ultimately liberates people. Your plan needs to more laws and more dictation needed later. My plan leads to more jobs, more choices, better service (by more choices) and the lowest possible competitive price so long as government is dictating who can / cannot be a dentist.

                  1. *isn’t dictating

                  2. That was just a big useless and irrelevant strawman argument.

                    1. And back to the original point we go —
                      You say, “How about we fix the lobbying problem instead so we can have regulations that help people instead of corporations.”
                      I say, “How about we repeal regulations so people CAN help themselves.”

                      If you want to “help people” go donate to a charity or offer your time/service (even paid service is “helping” people). If you want to be a dictator; lobby to FORCE your neighbor to “donate” and enslave them…

                      Don’t tell me you cannot distinguish the difference there.

                    2. In summary — If you want to “fix” the lobbying problem, don’t lobby for the government to take/spend/have everyone’s resources.

      2. So I can speak all I want to my friends and neighbors, but I’m not allowed to pool my money with others to buy newspaper or tv ads to speak to the nation as a whole? That’s like saying I have complete freedom to go anywhere I want on my vacation but I’m not allowed to spend more than $20 in gas.

        1. How does corporation relate to citezens pooling their money. Different things. You know you are free to donate your money to a campaign right?

      3. BrianB
        August.13.2019 at 12:45 pm
        “Liberals don’t hate free speech. Overturning CU doesn’t affect free speech for any individual. It would stop corporations from basically buying candidates. An individual person can say anything they want, corporations are not people. This site certainly shouldn’t be called reason, because if its followers had any reason we wouldn’t have trump.”

        Brian arrives to prove how stupid lefties can be.
        Thanks, Brian! You’ve done a good job!

      4. So, does this mean that UNIONS CANNOT fund candidates, and get together to elect a candidate? There is NO DIFFERENCE in unions and corporations. As USUAL, however, is the DOUBLE STANDARD the left uses?

        1. Yes it does! Unions were barred from doing that in that very same legislation.

  2. The clause was meant to protect anyone who uses a technology of mass communication—the printing press at the time and, by extension, TV, radio, and the internet today.

    No one seems to get that. Or they don’t want to get that.

    We could take solace in the fantasy that many of these senators are saying they back this amendment because they know it won’t pass.

    1. They dont want to get that. They largely control the narrative through mainstream media.

    2. At least they’re trying to do it the right way. Their amendment stinks to high heaven, but it’s an amendment to the Constitution. This is an improvement over the usual method, which is to claim that the Constitution was written a long time ago by dead white guys (well, not dead at the time. You know what I mean) and is therefore irrelevant in the modern world. What is relevant is what they want, right now.

  3. What happened before Citizen’s United? Did we just read government created reports on each of the candidates? I honestly don’t know, but a lot of libertarians seem to act like free speech didn’t exist before corporations could spend a bunch of money trying to persuade people via advertising or whatever.

    1. “” but a lot of libertarians seem to act like free speech didn’t exist before corporations could spend a bunch of money trying to persuade people via advertising or whatever.””

      Really? Sorry dude, that just sounds stupid.

      Are you really complaining about a lawsuit that prevented the censoring of a movie about a candidate around election time?

      How many liberals would like a movie about Trump to come out next year in October? Do you think SCOTUS should have upheld the governments ability to keep that movie from being shown at that time?

      1. Sorry dude, that just sounds stupid.

        I agree.

        Are you really complaining about a lawsuit that prevented the censoring of a movie about a candidate around election time?

        No, I asked a question. It was fairly straightforward actually…

        How many liberals would like a movie about Trump to come out next year in October? Do you think SCOTUS should have upheld the governments ability to keep that movie from being shown at that time?

        I… uh… what? How does this answer my question?

        1. I think you confused things by saying “libertarians” when perhaps you meant “liberals”. To the best of my (admittedly limited) knowledge, very few libertarians opposed the Citizens United decision. Libertarians have tended to agree with the Supreme Court that the attempts to regulate election-related speech are far worse than the “evils” they are allegedly trying to address.

          Liberals on the other hand (and by that, I mean primarily Democrats), have viciously attacked the Citizens United decision even though, as NashTiger points out below, they had no such qualms about the FEC’s Fahrenheit 911 decision.

          1. Huh, I feel like I keep seeing libertarians say that if we don’t have Citizens United stand, than free speech is over/seriously curtailed. I can see the argument I suppose. I was curious what it was like before citizens united to know if these fears were founded, but it appears that citizens united returned the world more towards the status quo..

            1. Prior to citizens United certain entities were allowed to broadcast their message, while less favored groups were not. How you cannot see that as an abridgement of free speech is beyond me.

              1. How you cannot see that as an abridgement of free speech is beyond me.

                How you are leaping to conclusions is beyond me.

            2. “”I was curious what it was like before citizens united to know if these fears were founded, but it appears that citizens united returned the world more towards the status quo..”‘

              Basically the fears in play with Citizens United is that movies about candidates shown close to the election would motivate people according to the bias of the movie. Do you think those fears are reasonable?

              It is an abridgement of free speech in that government is saying when a political movie can or cannot be released. A law allowing the government to do such violates the “Shall make no law” part of the 1A. Movies are definitely covered under the 1A. Thus the court was correct to overturn it.

            3. Huh, I feel like I keep seeing libertarians say that if we don’t have Citizens United stand, than free speech is over/seriously curtailed.

              Freedom of speech must be fought on the nasty grounds like porn and so on, lest that ground be conceded and the attacks move to more meaningful things.

              In this case, money buys ads, which is the modern press — the printing press, the 1st Amendment protected method of mass production and distribution of speech.

              So yes, this is the slipperiest of slopes attacking free speech. Over the next 20 years, we can expect harassment laws to try to escape their business/school containment arenas into the wild using brain scans-as-damage.

              Fight the good fight against politicians restricting speech against themselves. McCaine admitted it, and he wrote the law. He was tired of all the work he needed to do to get continuous streams of donations.

              Well, wth, what do you think you went into politics for? Maybe not you or a handful of other heroes or Jimmy Stewarts (to be overly generous), but 99% of the rest did.

          2. The general libertarian view is indeed you counter speech with more speech. The one exception tends to be fraud, although reason seems to be okay with fraud with terms of service on internet companies.

            1. I dunno. Att or verizon charging you a fee for a connection of certain quality for a price, then secretly breaking your Netflix speed unless Netflix pays them a cut of what you pay Netflix seems like fraud to me.

      2. Its worse than that. Citizens United complained that ‘Fahrenheit 911’ violated campaign law as an in kind contribution, and the FEC said no, so they then made ‘Hillary: The Movie’ and the FEC reversed themselves. And the Obama DOJ got cornered into arguing book banning (burning) was also in their purview.

        People really ought to know about this case, the real facts

        1. To the extent that SCOTUS allowed the Obama Administration to have a do over in oral arguments because of how badly they screwed the pooch arguing for book banning authority the first time around.

        2. The democrats want a dictatorship of them. That’s pretty obvious. They have to go. Elections aren’t getting it done. Look at the coup attempt against Trump.

          1. Google how the GOP has taken steps to hinder or NULLIFY direct voter referendums. Or google how republicans are using BLATANT gerrymandering to maintain their majorities. Or google how republicans use preexemption to overrule states rights – remember that libertarians. Or google how the MAJORITY of voters got screwed in Bush and Trump elections. Maybe some don’t understand enslavement when it’s staring them in the face.

            1. Voter referendums can be very anti liberty, so that’s irrelevant. Both sides are using gerrymandering to entrench majorities. Democrats are using immigration to enhance their vote. Don’t know what preexemption might be. Our system is not based on the national vote, so that’s irrelevant. Pure democracy ≠libertarianism. More often it’s anti liberty.

              1. So in your book its the liberty of the few that is more important then what the majority considers is liberty? That great logic for the minority rule overriding democracy.

                Your right in our system let’s the lower populous states override the will of most voters.. theoretically only 22% can elect the president. What could possibly go wrong LOL!

                1. The liberty of the few shouldn’t be dictated by the majority; bro, do you even liberty?

                2. Tonto; You need to read the Constitution.. And actually understand what “Liberty” is. Democracy is the OPPOSITE of Liberty. Socialism is the OPPOSITE of Liberty.

                  As Dturtleman states so well – Individuals shouldn’t be !!–dictated–!! (keyword) by a majority. Thus is why the Constitution has a bill of rights and enumerated powers.

                  As wise men have summoned. The GOV has no business doing anything “Individuals” can do for themselves.

            2. How did voters get “screwed” in those elections? We live in a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC……NOT a “democracy” , as you seem to be alluding to. The “contest” is between the 50 state’s….NOT the POPULATION in a straight vote as DEMS and the media are trying to get people to believe. Our REPUBLIC was agreed upon by ALL states wanting a voice in who the STATES chose to be their leader. You truly need to study and understand our REPUBLIC.,which was created to PREVENT a monarchy,or dictatorship! If you think you would like like that system…go try one first, then report on it. We MUST keep our freedoms, or it will collapse the rights of the state’s! Would YOU like only 1 party rule if it was Republican? Hmmmm, guess what…Republicans DON’T want just DEM rule either!

              1. Understand Repubics very well. Yes republics LIKE DICTATORSHIPS are great for MINORITY RULE OF MAJORITIES and is why there is SO Much discontent with governing rule of its citizens. Yes states agreed to his 250 years ago like when they agreed to representative government (when it took 2 days by horse to go to Washington) which concentrates power to a few. Stop drinking the koolaid!

                1. What’s funny is you have 0 (absolutely zero) acknowledgement of individuals, individual rights and/or individual liberty. Which is a very very common symptom of the communistic left.

                  A Representative government doesn’t VOID the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights even though the left desperately wants it to.

                  We are NOT the UNITED PERSONS of America. (i.e. Nazis) We are the UNITED (<-Keyword) States. Shouldn't each and every state get a state vote or do you think some states are "better" than others?

                2. I’ve always been confused by minds like yours. Please explain to me exactly why left lobbying like “healthcare for all” cannot be lobbied to your city/county or even your state legislators. WHY must every decision be lobbied and dictated to everyone?

                  Why must everyone/every-state DO and be DICTATED by the lefts big plans? Why cannot they DO these ideas with people of like minds? Why cannot there be a DNC health insurance plan instead of Obamacare? Why cannot there be fat taxes, leaches and authoritarian dictation placed on a paid Nazi-membership card club? Why must the left insist they retain complete power in ALL things over ALL people?

        3. In the bigger picture, this is just demonstrating that speech in favor of a candidate “has value” and therefore speech may be regulated is a load of bs.

          Again,”Congress shall make no law.”

      3. One difference from what I can tell, is that the Parties no longer have as much power anymore since CU. PACs can be formed by a citizen or a group to support one candidate that doesn’t have the establishment backing. Back in the day, the parties controlled the majority of money spent in a campaign and so if you weren’t an establishment backed candidate good luck getting funding. Didn’t vote the way you were suppose too, oh sorry we are going to focus our efforts on other districts. Was a way to keep politicians in line with the party over say the public.

        1. Okay yeah I can see how that would be a result. If we can’t organize to spend money, than we’d be essentially ceding messaging to the political parties, which isn’t good. This could be somewhat diluted due to the internet though.

          1. No, they could fine you for internet content also, if they ruled it was an in kind contribution.

      4. If you are referring to the the film that has Trump Supporters being hunted down by liberals. Then It was not the government who shut it down. But the Creator as well as the director canned it after El Paso.

        1. No, he wasn’t referring to that at all. The Hunt wasn’t scheduled for release anywhere near next October. TrickyVic’s question was about whether liberals would praise (rather than object to) a hypothetical movie attacking Trump but released on the same timing as was Hillary: The Movie.

    2. The Citizens United decision invalidated McCain-Feingold restrictions on third party advocacy that was in part motivated by th he idea that corporation do not have free speech/press rights (or any constitutional rights) rhetoric that have been in vogue among the Left for over two decades at least. Part of it has been that no had tried codify such rhetoric onto law before, so it was not an issue.

      1. Ah, interesting. So, did we just not see political advertisements from private businesses/groups before? Were candidates just elected based on support generated by advertisements/arguments paid for by political parties’ war chests alone?

        I’m not old enough to know anything pre-Citizen’s United, so to me, I’ve always been inundated with ads from various private groups whose motivations are unknown and difficult to ascertain. Its hard to imagine what it was like before. So, as far as I can tell, corporations were not allowed to spend money on advertising, but the country still felt like we had free speech/electoral fairness? Was there any kind of push from the public to make sure corporations had the same civil rights that an individual has?

        1. >>>the country still felt like we had free speech/electoral fairness?

          (grain of salt) to the level I paid attention in the 80s/90s it wasn’t an issue … or at least an issue I felt beat down about by an incessant wave of free speech/electoral fairness whining and crying like now

          also though the means of mass communication was limited so *all* whining and crying seemed limited in comparison

        2. Corporations are organizations of individuals pooling together their resources for a common purpose. It is difficult to comprehend the reasoning of why those individuals would lose their civil liberties with regards to their activities within the corporate organization.

          It is also difficult to understand why some corporate organizations, such as the New York Times, would not lose their civil rights

          1. They would. Progressives, statists in general, have this attitude that just passing a law solves the problem, instantaneously, like Pharaoh snapping his fingers and saying “So let it be written, so let it be done”. They absolutely cannot think ahead to how you could actually differentiate the Washington Post and the Washington Times, or CNN from Fox News, or Soros from the Koch Brothers.

            1. It was a Conservative Citizen that Gave us Citizens United

            2. Your comment is what keeps the Toxicity potent. Liberals/Democrats Are not stupid, nor are we blind. And we are smart enough to be able to differentiate between different Media Orgs.

              1. Citation needed.

              2. “We”?!? You aren’t even clever enough to write a simple intelligible comment. Any “we” which includes you is dumber by definition.

              3. But apparently not smart enough to tell the difference between the media (corporate conglomerates) and the press (literally anyone trying to disseminate information).

            3. Of course they can differentiate–that part is easy. Any voice that affirms their tribe will be exempt.

              The hard part is being logically, morally, and legally consistent–you know, fair.

          2. These individuals did NOT loses their liberties.!

            Corporations can have these liberties when they can die for their country, participate in jury pools, be arrested and incarcerated, etc.

            1. and taxed as if they were a people.

        3. The Ads were there. In a moderate Numbers. And they were not filled with misinformation. And today, unlike in the 1980’s EXTREMELY VICIOUS to each other.

          1. “…unlike in the 1980’s EXTREMELY VICIOUS to each other.”

            Where do you find the vicious exception to the free speech/press clause?

          2. “…And today, unlike in the 1980’s EXTREMELY VICIOUS to each other.”

            Aw, was widdle snowflake triggered?

            1. Isn’t being perpetually triggered kinda your thing, though?

              1. TripK2
                August.13.2019 at 4:56 pm
                “Isn’t being perpetually triggered kinda your thing, though?”

                No, but even if it was, it would be far better than being the prepetual ignoramus you are.
                Ask your mommy for cookies and fuck off.

          3. Study the Adams Jefferson campaign in 1796 and 1800. Then tell me it wasn’t vicious.

            1. Yeah, I highly doubt there was ever a time when politics was not vicious.

          4. It’s a shame how our discourse went to hell after Daisy, Willie Horton and Teddy Kennedy trying to save Western Civilization by getting the Russians to help keep Reagan from getting re-elected. Growing up in the ’80s, I remember the little old lady who babysat me muttering that she was sure to starve or freeze sooner or later because Tip O’Neill said that Reagan was going to take away her Social Security.

            The internet makes the nastiness available 24/7 and the proliferation of cable channels made narrowcasting to select audiences instead of the broadcasting to the great American middle the way to go before that. But other than that, there’s nothing that new here. It’s just more available and more visible. But it’s always been there.

        4. I was young but around. The only thing that really changed was it’s more open now. The money was still funneled somehow. The creation and explosion of super pacs is basically citizens United. Before it there were groups like 527s, check out the swift boat veterans thing. Really, just look at anything that’s a super pac and it not existing or existing differently. I’m not sure how to explain it. The irony is that Democrats have benefited much more from this than Republicans. Unions were all for CU and have been using it immensely to help Democrat campaigns.

          1. As unions are a shell of what hey were 30 years ago, please explain how unions have benefitted more than corporations?

        5. I would recommend listening to a recent “Words & Numbers” podcast titled “Are Corporations People?”, from July 24, 2019.

          They have on Trevor Burrus to discuss the before and after affects of the Citizens United case. It’s a very thorough explanation, and they point out just about every false meme that is floating around out there because of this case.

        6. Just realize that the left has the mainstream media as their water carriers and anything that restricts spending on a counter message is their goal.
          Every bit of “campaign finance reform” comes from the left because they know that, if enacted, the freedom of the press will always allow them the advantage.
          Answer to the inevitable: Yes McCain was essentially of the left.

          1. McCain was essentially of the left <– So true! I nominate McCain for RINO of the century. Voting against Obamacare repeal, etc.. etc.. etc.. He was nothing but a Democrat running in the wrong party.

    3. The law overturned by Citizens United was passed in 2002, so really it’s the other way around, we apparently only had “democracy for all” for a 6 year period between 2002 and 2008

      1. Oooooh, okay, so citizens united was challenging a law that didnt exist before 2002! … so private groups/corporations WERE spending a bunch on political ads, movies, etc. prior to 2002?

        So basically the supreme court ruling returned us to the status quo.

        1. Corporations weren’t spending a lot on their own, they were donating to Lobbyists who were donating to candidates. McCain Feingold took much of the straightforwardness out of it and made it a much more convoluted mess of PACs, 501cs, etc who had to pretend they were nonpartisan and didn’t coordinate messaging with campaigns

        2. so private groups/corporations WERE spending a bunch on political ads, movies, etc. prior to 2002?

          Yes. Which is why I think a lot of people are puzzled by the formulation “a lot of libertarians seem to act like free speech didn’t exist before corporations could spend a bunch of money.”

          I don’t think I’ve ever heard a libertarian act in this manner, but ever since Citizens United vs. FEC people on the left have acted like free speech died on that day, even though, as you note, the SCOTUS was merely setting things back to the way they’d always been.

          Prior to McCain-Feingold, political ads were just political ads. McCain-Feingold stirred up the “in-kind contribution” pot that made it so that political advocacy in-and-of-itself became a campaign donation subject to FEC regulation.

          The first test-case, so to speak, was Fahrenheit 911 in 2004, which Republicans argued was an in-kind donation to John Kerry. That was deemed not to be a campaign contribution, but Hillary: the Movie was.

          Ultimately, the provisions in McCain-Feingold simply didn’t stand up to legal challenge.

          1. Ah, yeah I can see why my statement would be confusing now. I was looking for info (and admiring my ignorance) and a bunch of people here seem like they’re ready to murder me over it.

            This post makes things a lot more clear, thank you.

            1. Admiting*

              fucking autocorrect

              1. admiring worked too.

          2. Only Democrats could take a law that only existed for about 10 years and act as though the time before that was a hellish wasteland.

            1. Well the internet did die when Trump’s administration killed net neutrality. At least my progressive friends assure me.

        3. What they couldn’t do was run ads saying “Vote for/against Hillary/Trump”

          What they did instead was run issue ads. “We have too many puppy murders in this country, and it’s a bad thing, but Senator X isn’t doing anything to stop it. Call Senator X and tell him that puppy murder is bad.”

          You still see some of these because there is a class (classes?) of corporation that still can’t run political ads

    4. “…but a lot of libertarians seem to act like free speech didn’t exist before corporations could spend a bunch of money trying to persuade people via advertising or whatever.”

      Wanna provide some cites for that?
      I didn’t think so.

      1. Are you asking me to provide citations for my subjective reading of what libertarians want?

        1. No, I’m asking you to provide citations for your claims.
          Hint: Put up or fuck off.

          1. Okay dude, whatever you say.

            1. TripK2
              August.12.2019 at 9:50 pm
              “Okay dude, whatever you say.”

              Okay shitbag, keep proving that logic is a total mystery to you.
              And fuck off.

              1. No, actually, I think I’m going to stick around. I enjoy some of the more thoughtful posters here and I’ve had my mind changed on a few subjects as a result. The fact that my presence makes you upset is amusing but irrelevant.

                1. TripK2
                  August.13.2019 at 4:54 pm
                  “No, actually, I think I’m going to stick around….”
                  I’m sure you are. Providing constant proof of the imbecility of lefties seems to be addictive.
                  Fuck off.

          2. Why even bother commenting if you’re committed to never changing anyone’s mind?

            1. TripK2
              August.12.2019 at 9:50 pm
              “Why even bother commenting if you’re committed to never changing anyone’s mind?”

              My goodness! Look at our newest adolescent idiot try to justify lame arguments!
              Hint: Some people’s minds are changed when it is pointed out that a really stupid post is, well, really stupid.

              1. I suppose stupid people could be convinced by your appeals to emotion.

                1. TripK2
                  August.13.2019 at 4:52 pm
                  “I suppose stupid people could be convinced by your appeals to emotion.”

                  You ‘suppose’; others think.
                  Fuck off.

    5. Another way to look at McCain/Feingold is that politicians want to have monopoly control over messaging.

      Limiting/prohibiting the ability to distribute information when that information is produced and distributed by groups of like minded individuals (ie corporations, political action committees, issue groups) means the political campaigns only need to focus on responding to their opponent’s campaign ads.

      1. After reading a few of the more thoughtful posters here (and ignoring the sad angry posters), I can totally get on board with that reasoning. Thanks for your two cents.

        1. It was also extremely biased in application. Some groups were ruled to be Corporations others were not despite similar structures and issues.

      2. This came up in Alfvén’s fairy tale about computers replacing warmongering politicians. When the 1968 message of The Big Computer was spun to mean we should surrender and join the Soviet Union in the 60s & 70s, it scared no looters. But now that the WWW and cellphones are performing as in the astrophysicist’s fairy tale, and libertarian is the antonym of truculent or pugnacious, the internet is a scary hobgoblin from which we need to be led to safety.

    6. It isn’t as if Citizens United was a multinational of long standing. It was formed to male a film critical of a politician. The Left likes to carry on as if Citizens United suddenly allowed Corporations to campaign. The law prohibiting them from doing so only dated to 2002, and was unconstitutional on its face. CU vs FEC was s8mlky the first case to make it before the SCOTUS.

      The Left likes to whine about it because the Left is sure that, push come to shove, they will be able to weasel around the restrictions of the 2002 law as it applies to, say, labor unions.

      All the hand wringing about campaign finance is unconstitutional bullsh*t anyway. Nobody has yet come up with a reason why donating any amount to any candidate is not protected by Freedom of Speech. At lest not one that doesn’t stink of favoritism.

      1. That makes sense. I didn’t even realize that this whole argument wasn’t even a thing until recent history.

        1. It’s not recent history. People here are biased.

      2. When the government can regulate speech, that means if you say something someone in the government doesn’t like, they can take you to court and lawyer you into bankruptcy if not jail.

        You could be prosecuted for an illegal “campaign contribution” by telling the A candidate about the affair you’ve seen between B candidate and your neighbor. Even if the B candidate’s lawyer. Kind of like Trump, Cohen and Daniels’ situation.

        Hey, at least we can celebrate Trump’s support of freedom of speech so far, unlike the Democrats. Seems to me the critics who claim he’s against freedom of speech, are they ones he’s telling us about.

        1. He calls the sub-high-school-paper reporting that’s been done on him ‘fake news’ and they fall on their fainting couches. Somebody should tell then that if they can’t take being called evil names, they shouldn’t be in the News business. The ghosts of reporters like Mencken are laughing at them.

    7. Why not eliminate the individual income tax and LET the corporations and kleptocracy fight it out? The Nixon Anti-Libertarian defines the LP as a back-of-the-bus party, but pours progressive exactions out of your income onto entrenched kleptocracy parties. The Suprema Corte case mentions “or political party” twice, so that when its effect crushes the LP underfoot the logical disjunction helps make it seem like an accident or afterthought

      1. I am so lost..

        1. Don’t worry, everyone is after reading his (its?) comments. Might be a badly written bot…..

      2. Hank, you’ve outdone yourself for idiocy wrapped in opaque prose.
        Fuck off.

    8. “The case arose after Citizens United, a conservative non-profit organization, sought to air and advertise a film critical of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton shortly before the 2008 Democratic primary elections. This violated the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which prohibited any corporation or labor union from making an “electioneering communication” within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of an election, or making any expenditure advocating the election or defeat of a candidate at any time.”

      You can read the rest at Wikipedia.

    9. The Sierra Club is a 501(c)(4) corporation. Greenpeace is a 501(c)(3) corporation. Everytown for Gun Safety is a 501(c)(3) corporation. Planned Parenthood is a 501(c)(3) corporation. World Wildlife Fund is a 501(c)(3) corporation. The NAACP is a 501(c)(3) corporation. MAAD is a 501(c)(3) corporation. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) corporation. PETA is a 501(c)(3) corporation. March of Dimes Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation. The National Children’s Cancer Society is a 501(c)(3) corporation.

      Thousands of non-profit advocacy groups on all sides of the issues are structured as corporations under 501(c)(3) and/or 501(c)(4) strictures.

      Are we going to strip them of their right to advocate for their desired policies?

      1. I don’t know, it depends on whether or not the constitutional amendment gets passed. I’m guessing that it probably won’t pass though.

      2. The Amendment that SHOULD be on the table — No Government Grants or Money shall be dispersed for politically motivated groups.

        As I see almost 100% of these corporations listed survives solely on GOV grants.

    10. Don’t get your facts from the comments section of a biased media outlet. Do your own research. Start with the Wikipedia page on the case, it offers supporting and retracting views on the ruling. Always challenge your initial views and thoughts with opposing viewpoints. Since people have sufficiently covered the support case, let me answer for the oppose case.

      The vast majority of Republicans (and even more Democrats) opposed the ruling at the time.

      Laws regulating campaign finance spending go back a century. There was more than just one law overturned, and there was more than one case on the subject.

      The result is that corporate spending on campaigns has soared since the ruling. An old but relevant supporting fact, bills that help weathy people and corporations get passed far more frequently than bills that help poor people and small businesses.

      1. The result is that corporate spending on campaigns has soared in response to increasing regulation and taxation.

        No taxation without representation.

        1. I see, if we would just let corporations have what they want, they wouldn’t need to lobby the government.

  4. And they say Trump is a Russia stooge. Just listen to what these foaming at the mouth people are saying.

  5. Dear Dems: I hope you have fun spinning your wheels.

  6. “…rely on legislators’ self-restraint in deciding which limits on spending are “reasonable.” Courts reviewing the resulting rules would have precious little guidance in deciding when they went too far.”

    Whoa, THAT is a BIG problem right there!!! I hate the magical invocation of “reasonable”, and letting the courts hash it out!!! It’s like handing a blank check to the bureaucrats and judges!!! We have WAAAY too many laws like this already! “Reasonable effort” to accommodate the handicapped, my ass!!! That effort ended up in picky-ass trivial micro-regs about all sorts of shit at businesses (hand railing precise height, precise dimensions of curbs, etc.), and FREE MONEY for tons of lawyers.

    If the magical invocation of “reasonable” fixes EVERYTHING in the law, we would need ONE law: All humans must make a “reasonable effort” to love other humans, the planet, bunny waaabbbbits, etc. Now, the majority of human-made problems will just GO AWAY!!!

    1. Wow you busted out Thai stupid sock again even after you we too stupid not to out yourself WHihn.

      1. PLEASE take your mindless clutter elsewhere! The grownups are talking!

        1. Yes I am, you stupid fucking sock.

          Really, youre embarassing yourself a abc abcde sock.

          1. You’re speling and grammer is attrocious.

            1. Ya, you’re fucking trash so editing isnt worth the time SQRLSY.

              What a stupid thing for you to obsess over.

              I mean, a missing apostrophe? How are you so fucking pathetic?

              Lololololl SQRLSY thinks a missing apostrophe is something worth commenting onhahahahahah

              It’s becuz I outed his stupid fukin sock ahahahajaaj

              1. Shitposter doesn’t even care if we can read his-her-its shit, or not, so prepare for more doses of shitty shit! Your shit isn’t even scarcely readable, and it has NEVER been worth reading!

                1. I think it’s awesome that he antagonizes you. For the record, I don’t think you’re Hihn. Just one of the other turds in the toilet bowl.

                  1. Greatness is almost always resented by the mediocre-at-best.

    2. It’s largely a matter of Congress abdicating its responsibilities. It passes any crap that comes to mind and lets the courts sort things out.

  7. DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND? THAT MOVIE IS WHY HILLARY LOST THE ELECTION!!! AAARGH! FREE SPEECH IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS!! WARREN COME AND SAVE US!

    1. It was why she lost to Barack Obama, or later least he would have been the primary beneficiary at the time.

    2. Hillary lost the election for a variety of reasons. But not over a Movie.

      1. Sarcasm-challenged.

        1. Of course he’s sarcasm challenged. He’s on the internet.

    3. Where’s OBL with his retarded fake her turn hashtag?

  8. It potentially puts the Democrats into the position of defining who the press is and who qualifies for those rights. Considering that they have said news organizations temperamentally opposed to progressive politics like Fox News are not real press venues, it does seem like they are potentionally setting up to shut down all voices not actively supporting them.

    1. The ONLY PEOPLE I hear wanting to limit the Press is Trump and his Base. Not the Democrats.

      1. Guess you never heard f the fairness doctrine and were born in the past 5 years…

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_fairness_doctrine

        1. Guess you never heard f the fairness doctrine and were born in the past 5 years…

          Guess he also didn’t read the article to which he is responding.

          1. There are articles? I just read the headlines and go straight to the comments.

      2. Then you have not been paying much attention for the past twenty some years.

      3. Yeah, remember when trump utilized a search warrant against a fox news reporter! Remember the largest use of leak investigations against the press! Shit, that was obama.

        What has trump done to silence the press dummy?

        1. He said mean things and called them the enemy of the people.

      4. Hahahahahahahahaha

        I see shrike has competition for most retarded poster.

      5. “The ONLY PEOPLE I hear wanting to limit the Press is Trump and his Base. Not the Democrats.”

        OK, real test here:
        1) Lefty dimbulb actually so stupid as to believe this.
        2) Ditto hoping *we’re* dumb enough to believe this.
        3) New troll.

      6. Wasn’t it just yesterday that Democrats were running around lobbying for laws against using “trigger” words? Like “he” or “she” and those “sexist” bathroom signs?

    2. Amd this is why the real constitutional amendment needed is one that criminalizes the practice of progressivism/Marxism/evil totalitarian bullshit.

      You can’t sit and p,ay nice with a rabid creature that works tirelessly to chew out your throat. You euthanize it.

      1. They do – Its called Treason.

  9. They might be able to pass it, but it wouldn’t do what they say they want or expect.

    Fox, the New York Times, CNN, all are media companies. I can’t imagine any law which could distinguish among them. If they want to ban certain movies and books, they will ban all. If they want to ban certain companies from political donations, they will end up banning all. They cannot ban the Koch Brothers without also banning Soros and Bloomberg.

    They are idiots. It would be the end of the American experiment, banning free speech like that, but not the way they think.

    1. And here you bust out your sock SQRLSY. Really, no one is fooled.

      1. No one is fooled? But one of us is a fool!

        Here’s looking at YOU, TulPoopy!!!

    2. There will be selective regulatory enforcement, and they will count on Chevron deference by the courts

      1. And the next administration will come up with a new interpretation, FOX new will buy up MSNBC and CNN assets for a song, and the game will continue.

  10. The Democracy for All Amendment aims to mute some voices so that others can be heard.

    FTFY.

  11. If the government banned computers and smartphones, that would clearly violate the First Amendment—not because computers and smartphones are speech but because they are necessary to participate in online debate.

    There you go, trying logic again.

    1. Yeah, cuz, like, peoples can’t live without phones!

  12. Do libertarians think Russian troll farms have freedom of speech in the US? Just curious.

    1. As a matter of fact they do. It is not illegal for foreigners to express opinions about U.S. elections or support candidates. That’s why Mueller’s little show trials were about money laundering and identity theft.

      1. Nailed it.

        There’s nothing illegal or immoral about using a de-facto international public space like the internet to speak about US elections.

    2. Does your fucking cowardly broke ass think they don’t Esmeralda?

    3. Do libertarians think Russian troll farms have freedom of speech in the US?

      Do Democrats think there’s such a thing as inalienable human rights, or are there only privileges granted by government?

      1. The latter. Otherwise you’re telling Jews being marched into the gas chamber that they *technically* have a right to life and property, which I’m sure would have been very comforting.

        1. Tony
          August.13.2019 at 2:58 pm
          “The latter. Otherwise you’re telling Jews being marched into the gas chamber that they *technically* have a right to life and property, which I’m sure would have been very comforting.”

          Oh, look! Our resident low-IQ lefty shitbag figures that government coercion somehow justifies other government coercion.
          Not real bright, is he?

        2. Now let’s think this through.

          On the one hand, the European Jews had inalienable rights to life and property, which were systematically violated by the Nazis and their collaborators. After the war, the victors get together and try the Nazis and their collaborators for crimes against the European Jews and humanity.

          On the other hand, the European Jews had nothing to complain about because the Nazis simply decided they didn’t deserve the privileges of life or property. After the war, the victors can get together and talk about how sad it is that the Nazis and their collaborators decided not to extend the privileges of life and property to the European Jews.

          I’m pretty sure I know which formulation most of the European Jews would prefer (and the one the world chose to recognize). It’s not the one you suggest.

          1. You don’t find this “debate” a matter of tedious semantics?

            They had an inalienable right to life and property? Where did it come from? Not their government, to be sure. So where? Their genes? Please don’t say God. You mean God, but please don’t say it.

            I prefer to actually have rights, not to have them on some theoretical cosmic plane. Just seems more practical.

            1. “You don’t find this “debate” a matter of tedious semantics?”

              No, it goes to the heart of the fundamental relationship between individuals and the government. It’s anything but tedious semantics.

              “They had an inalienable right to life and property? Where did it come from? Not their government, to be sure. So where? Their genes?”

              No, there’s no gene for inalienable rights. Inalienable rights are a necessary byproduct of individual beings with free will.

              “Please don’t say God. You mean God, but please don’t say it.”

              Why would I mean God? I don’t believe in God, or any other god either. Perhaps if you would seek to understand other points of view, rather than telling people what they think, you would be better off.

              “I prefer to actually have rights, not to have them on some theoretical cosmic plane.”

              Most people prefer to live in a society where they are free to enjoy their rights with minimal interference, so you are hardly alone in that. But what rights are those? If rights are just whatever the government decides to give you, the term becomes meaningless. What distinguishes between a free society and a totalitarian dictatorship when rights are just what the government decides to give you? According to your standards, the European Jews had nothing to complain about because rights have no independent value and the government decided they didn’t need a right a life. Which, of course, is nonsense.

              “Just seems more practical.”

              This sad attempt at snark notwithstanding, I think you will find that historically, inalienable rights have been a much more practical source of securing rights than just hoping the government will grant you your wishes. It’s why abolitionists loved the Declaration of Independence and pointing out the blatant hypocrisy of slavery.

              If rights aren’t a real thing, what’s wrong with laws banning gay marriage?

              1. Nearly every human being who ever existed did not have a right to free speech, to bear arms, to own property, and name any other right you take for granted.

                Were the rights just waiting in the cosmic ether impatiently until James Madison took his sweet ass time to be born?

                It’s tedious and it’s semantic. I say you have a right when you actually have a right. You say people should have rights even when they don’t. We aren’t disagreeing about anything.

                You just don’t want to admit that part of a good government’s job is to enforce rights, because you don’t want to admit that there’s any such thing as a good government.

                Silly little cult fixations do terrible things to otherwise perfectly sane minds.

                1. “Nearly every human being who ever existed did not have a right to free speech, to bear arms, to own property, and name any other right you take for granted.”

                  Yes they did. The degree to which their government was willing to allow them to exercise those rights varied widely, but that doesn’t change the existence of the right.

                  “Were the rights just waiting in the cosmic ether impatiently until James Madison took his sweet ass time to be born?”

                  This would be more effective if you would rely on actual arguments rather than sad attempts at snark. And if you are going to go with snark, at least make it intelligent snark. James Madison didn’t write the Declaration of Independence, so you should have at least gone with Thomas Jefferson (not that he came up with the idea of inalienable rights either, but at least it would fit in with the discussion).

                  “It’s tedious and it’s semantic. I say you have a right when you actually have a right.”

                  Which makes it meaningless. You haven’t addressed why it was wrong for the Nazis to not grant European Jews the right to life, or what’s wrong with laws prohibiting gay marriage.

                  “You say people should have rights even when they don’t.”

                  Again, this is not what I say. I say people have rights even when the government punishes them for exercising those rights.

                  “We aren’t disagreeing about anything.”

                  No, we are disagreeing on something very fundamental.

                  “You just don’t want to admit that part of a good government’s job is to enforce rights, because you don’t want to admit that there’s any such thing as a good government.”

                  I’ve been very patient with you, but this is just fucking stupid. So completely fucking stupid that I’m shocked anyone this stupid is still able to turn on a computer. So utterly stupid that Sarcastr0 could have written it. So congratulations, you’re the second stupidest person on the internet.

                  It’s also wrong, completely wrong, but you’ve revealed yourself to be so stupid that any further engagement is worthless.

                  1. We’re not disagreeing about anything fundamental. We’re disagreeing about the difference between is and ought.

                    You are saying, are you not, that rights exist somewhere “out there” (the cosmic ether), and can only be unattainable when evil governments suppress them. So before there were governments, people were most free? Please tell me if there’s the slightest crack in my logic. And then tell me whether you’d like to live now or before there were modern governments.

                    Nor have you rebutted my accusation that you’re holding onto this pointless mysticism solely because you don’t want to undermine the (flawed) axiom that governments are inherently bad things.

                    You’re saying it’s at least a waste of time, and possibly malicious, for governments to codify rights on paper. I’ll take the paper over the empty promises. And the Jews would have too.

                    1. “You are saying, are you not, that rights exist somewhere “out there” (the cosmic ether), and can only be unattainable when evil governments suppress them.”

                      Jesus fucking h christ on a monkey you are dumb. No, that’s not what I’m saying. That’s not what I’m saying at all. The level of philosophical and historical ignorance required to think that’s what I’m saying is astounding.

                      “You’re saying it’s at least a waste of time, and possibly malicious, for governments to codify rights on paper.”

                      You are a complete and utter moron. No, that’s not what I’m saying. That’s not what I’m saying at all.

                      “Nor have you rebutted my accusation that you’re holding onto this pointless mysticism solely because you don’t want to undermine the (flawed) axiom that governments are inherently bad things.”

                      Why would I bother rebutting your accusations when they’re nothing more than the accusations of a moron who has repeatedly demonstrated that he has no idea what he’s talking about. Seriously, I might have to apologize to Sarcastr0. He might not be the stupidest person on the website.

                    2. “So before there were governments, people were most free? Please tell me if there’s the slightest crack in my logic.”

                      I continue to be astounded by the stupidity of your reply. Your “logic” is nothing but cracks. I mean, I mock you for using James Madison instead of Thomas Jefferson and this is what you come back with? I even told you what document Thomas Jefferson wrote, one that has some rather famous lines that might have just a bit of relevance to this discussion. But apparently you are content to wallow in your ignorance.

                    3. You didn’t say anything of substance in these posts. You turned into Sevo.

                      Just explain, if rights precede government, what they are and where they come from. It shouldn’t be hard since it’s so important to you.

                    4. “You didn’t say anything of substance in these posts.”

                      Just because you aren’t smart enough to understand what I’ve said, and had to make up some caricature of an anarchist to as a target of your inept snark, doesn’t mean I haven’t said anything of substance.

                      “Just explain, if rights precede government, what they are and where they come from.”

                      I already explained where they come from. You just aren’t paying attention.

                      You’ve completely failed to explain why, if rights just come from the government, there’s something wrong with laws against gay marriage, or suppressing speech, or sending Jews to the gas chamber.

                    5. Those things are wrong because they are wrong.

                      You must understand that talking about moral philosophy with libertarians is like trying to explain not kicking a puppy to a psychopath.

                      You haven’t explained where rights come from. You haven’t explained how it’s not “God” or some other mystical origin. I am not into mysticism, so you need to do better than that.

                      Rights are rules written down on paper and enforced by governments. If you weren’t in an anti-government cult stance, this should be perfectly satisfactory to you.

            2. Tony
              August.13.2019 at 5:37 pm
              “You don’t find this “debate” a matter of tedious semantics?”

              Poor shitbag here has to figger-ought what werdds mean, and that’s HAARD!

    4. Even if they do not, I am not sure how you limit the speech of any foreign nationals without trampling over the speech rights of citizens.

    5. So build a wall?

      1. Just a speech wall.

    6. Tony
      August.12.2019 at 6:12 pm
      “Do libertarians think Russian troll farms have freedom of speech in the US? Just curious.”

      What part of “Congress shall make no law..” is a mystery to fucking lefty ignoramuses, fucking lefty ignoramus? Just curious.

      1. Tony, “Rights are rules written down on paper and enforced by governments.”

        What part of “Congress shall make no law..” is a mystery to fucking lefty ignoramuses..

        Very well said Sevo! The Constitution is “The Peoples” supreme law to keep the government inline – not the other way around; Tony.

    7. Please define “troll farm.” The right belongs to “the people.” Whether or not the particular Russian in question is a member of that group might determine that status:

      “‘the people” [494 U.S. 259, 260] refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community.”’ Pp. 264-266. (UNITED STATES v. VERDUGO-URQUIDEZ

      And, even if the Russian in question is not a member of “that community,” it is certainly perfectly legal for someone who is a member, to pass the message along.

  13. Corporations ARE NOT PEOPLE. Citizens United Should never have happened. HOWEVER, the decision has been made. So We Democrats will have to live with it.

    1. Um corporations are groups of humans. Most people agree that humans are still people when they organize into groups.

      1. They want to cut off corporate money but not union money.

        1. Pretty sure most unions are incorporated.

          1. Which doesn’t contradict what he wrote.

      2. Corporations are different from groups of people. Part of the reason for forming corporation is to specifically separate the company from the person. To allow the individual the benefits of the corporation, namely money, while shielding the person from some liability. So it can be debated if corporations have the same rights as the individual or group of individuals.

        1. You may want to reread the 1st amendment again dipshit. It doesnt put conditional statements on speech.

          1. The first amendment applies to individuals. The question here is do those same rights apply to an entity created within a government framework. The individuals retain their rights as individuals, but can those rights then be exercised through an independent entity? I would say yes, but within limits. So again full rights to the individual and limited rights to the entity created by the government for those individuals.

            1. Moderation4ever
              August.12.2019 at 10:25 pm
              “The first amendment applies to individuals…”

              The opinions of lefty imbeciles constitute neither fact nor argument.
              Your bullshit is properly ignored.

            2. The first amendment applies to congress you fucking retarded piece of shit. There are no conditions for the basis of free speech. And it even enshrines the right to assembly you dumb piece of shit.

            3. The First Amendment has consistently been held to apply both individually and collectively. For example, Congress cannot regulate the religious practices of individuals, nor can it regulate the practices of entire congregations. It is the leftists on the Court that defied decades of precedent on the matter in their dissent.

            4. Interesting argument:

              Leftists: “The First Amendment is an INDIVIDUAL right! It says ‘the people!’ Corporations aren’t protected by the First Amendment!”

              Same Leftists: “The Second Amendment is a COLLECTIVE right! It says ‘the people,’ but it’s referring back to the militia! Individuals aren’t protected by the Second Amendment!”

              So which is it? Can the militia not have a 2A right because it is literally (though not in a strictly modern legal sense) a corporation? (Thereby proving the RTKBA is an individual right). Or do corporations have 1A rights because the 2A PROVES corporations can have rights?

        2. Moderation4ever
          August.12.2019 at 8:36 pm
          “Corporations are different from groups of people….”
          Retarded opinions from lefty imbeciles =/= facts or argument.

      3. Just to add – “Um corporations are groups of humans.”
        Lets not forget the Right to Peaceful Assemble.

    2. So how many people have to group together before they lose their peoplehood? And thus their freedom of speech?

      Well?

    3. Corporations ARE NOT PEOPLE.

      So if Trump proposes a law saying no media corporation is allowed to publish criticism of him, you’re okay with that, right, on account of corporations not having rights?

      1. No, I’m not okay with that. – A huge Trump supporter.

        1. But – Exactly HOW in the world do you take the “rumor” that Trump was proposing an EO to STOP BLOCKING comment speech (biased moderating) and flipping it on its head to be … “media corporation isn’t allowed to criticize Trump.”

          How in the world is that NOT an utter contradiction?
          STOP BLOCKING = BLOCKING?!?!

          I don’t support any gov intervention in any press be it comments or main stream. It is a violation of the 1st Amendment and granting the power (be it in good faith) will only result in communists using the power in fascist ways. If one doesn’t like being BLOCKED by X,Y or Z moderated/filtered outlets; they are free to self-publishing.

    4. Citizens United didn’t say that corporations are people though.

    5. Mark W. Noonan
      August.12.2019 at 6:12 pm
      “Corporations ARE NOT PEOPLE….”

      Hey, fucking imbecile Mark! Read A-1 and explain how “Congress shall make no law…” only applies to your definition of “PEOPLE”.
      Put up or fuck off.

    6. Noonan, your party is an infestation with totalitarian aspirations.

      Get out of my country.

    7. Haha. Well, the recent examples of democrats resigned to “live with it” are not encouraging. Temper tantrums seem to = “live with it”.

    8. “Corporations ARE NOT PEOPLE. Citizens United Should never have happened.”

      What about New York Times v. Sullivan? It’s not like Citizens United was the first time that corporations were recognized as having First Amendment rights.

      1. Noonan is not real bright; he’s a lefty.

    9. Corporations ARE NOT PEOPLE.

      Yet they are taxed and regulated. It is only the PEOPLE in the corporation who actually pay and comply. Do the people in that corporation (Mutual fund holders?) not have a right to representation in the quantity of interference from the majority?

  14. Could SCOTUS find that a constitutional amendment is… unconstitutional? But seriously this just pandering to their base who’ve been instructed by Top Men that CU is bad. Even though they have no idea what it is

    1. I’m just surprised they haven’t come out explicitly in support of repealing both the First and Second Amendments altogether. Go all in.

      1. Baby steps…

      2. The whole Bill of Rights has turned out to be a mistake. Hell, climbing out of the trees was a mistake. Say, is that a digital watch? Neat!

    2. They probably would not pit it that way, but court precedents have effectively wrote out certain parts of the Constitution. That is, it is recognized the precedent is incorrect, but so much case law has built up around it that they are loathe to change it. It would seem that can happen to amendments as well.

    3. Probably if they found that it was passed/ratified improperly per Constitutional standards.

  15. If it wasn’t for that damn Bill of Rights and Supreme Court we finally have our totalitarian utopia!

    1. And those private businesses that fuck up the workers’ paradise.

      1. And limit their freedom of speech and coerce them into voting D!

    2. “We’d have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for those pesky kids and their first amendment!”

  16. the so-called Democracy for All Amendment [says]
    “To advance democratic self-government and political equality, and to protect the integrity of government and the electoral process, …

    *** facepalm ***

    1. They will impose equity if you like it or not.

  17. We all know that money buys elections. That’s why, thank goodness, that President Pantsuit is our Commander-In-Chief because she outspent Trump more than 2-1.

    1. We all know the 1 million the Russians spent had more influence than the billion Hillary spent. Get put of here.

      1. It was those GIFS from that kid in Smolensk! I know several hag-supporters who decided to vote for Trump after seeing that lame Jesus figure claim that the hag was satan!

  18. “Every American deserves to have an equal voice at the ballot box, regardless of the size of their bank account,” says Sen. Tom Carper (D–Del.), a lead co-sponsor of the amendment. Chris Coons, the other Democratic senator from Delaware, likewise promises that the amendment will “give all Americans an equal voice in our elections.”

    What do these retards think happens when citizens step into the voting booth? Do they think that the tabulation of results is significantly falsified? Or do they fear some hypnotic effect from subliminal messaging makes people vote against their own preference?

    Or do they think that voters are also morons, and are easily swayed by the loudest, meanest ads? (Trick question, since voters have proved themselves morons by showing preferences for candidate qualities like height and hairstyle.). But if voters are morons that must be shielded from bad information, then why MOAR DEMOCRACY?

    1. The only to give everyone equality of result is to limit everyone to the lowest common denominator. Enforced equality means limiting everyone’s speech to the bare minimum.

      1. Enforced equality always leaves the enforcers more equal than everybody else. So there’s actually no way at all to give everyone equality of results.

    2. “Or do they think that voters are also morons,”

      If I had to pick one, I’d go with a similar assumption that they hope dimwatt voters hope that the lefties are ‘looking out for’ the dimwatt voters.

  19. The “Democracy For All” amendment is nothing more than political pandering. The Democrats support it precisely because it will never be law. Supporting it is all about feelz for their constituents. I can just about guarantee that should Democrats ever be in a place where they could get it through both Houses and signed by a Democratic President, it would never be brought up for a vote (and I know it would still need to be ratified by the states).

    1. Well, no. They are aware it could never be ratified, but it does represent how the 1st amendment would be ‘interpreted’ if they get a working majority on the Supreme court.

      So they really intend to ‘ratify’ it with only 5 votes, as it were.

    2. It is in no way scary that all the Democrats votes for it.

  20. It’s not that complicated. The left are, fundamentally, opposed to all civil liberties, because any civil liberty at all implies that somebody, somewhere, might have an enforceable right to not do what the left wants them to do.

    They pretended otherwise when they thought somebody else might get to decide what orders were issued. That’s all. As soon as they were convinced the whip would be in their hand, the pretense started dropping.

  21. Eternal vigilance….

    It’s real.

  22. Why not bring back the Equal Rights Amendment? It passed the Senate when the debt was way smaller, but was maneuvered to miss a time-fuse deadline. With an IRA blocking the nazifascistas and Dixiecrats from again banning birth control, the 14th Amendment could be repealed, and with it the papal infallibility shall-not-be-questioned protection it gives to tax-entrenching deficit spending.

    1. ” but was maneuvered to miss a time-fuse deadline. ”

      That’s a strange way to say, “Part way to ratification, people decided that it was a bad idea after all, and states stopped ratifying it.” Some even repealed their ratification, after all, once there were hints that the deadline might not be respected.

      How many states ratified after Congress purported to extend the deadline? (With a simple statute, not the supermajority needed for amendments.)

      Why, none. So the problem wasn’t the deadline.

      1. Super Majority? Though I do not agree with ERA it takes 37 states to ratify it.

      2. Hank says everything in a strange way. Ask him if he would like some pie. Odds are you will get some screed about the 1932 election, stolen party planks, and looters.

        1. “Hank says everything in a strange way.”
          You’re being very kind. Like a broken clock, Hank hits the time every so often, but the marbles have long ago started leaking out.

  23. First thing is that as much as we say the first amendment protects political speech we also accept limits. The first and easiest to identify is the limits in the polling area. You can not take a bull horn into a polling place and shout out to vote for a candidate. So you can limit political speech and the question is what are the limits we will accept. The problem I see with money and in particular with independent expenditures is that it has not improved the quality of our election process. Primarily because it has not focused on promoting a candidate or an issue, but rather doing just the opposite. And in many cases the goal of the money is to promote disillusionment and drive down voting participation. So I will accept a CA to overturn Citizens United.

    1. “First thing is that as much as we say the first amendment protects political speech we also accept limits.”

      Only under very specific circumstances and making a mistake once in no say suggests you should do it again.
      ———————————————-
      ” The problem I see with money and in particular with independent expenditures is that it has not improved the quality of our election process.”

      Fuck off, slaver.

      1. “Shall make no law” is a pretty broad prohibition. I’d say they’ve gone way, way past what is allowed already.

        “as we say the first amendment protects political speech we also accept limits.”

        You see, that’s exactly where we’ve gone wrong. The constitution doesn’t really allow for limits. And I don’t accept them.

        I do accept that there is a reason to be afraid of hugely wealthy individuals and companies skewing and co-opting our political system.

        But as a counter to that argument I’ll offer up one Donald Trump. Elected President even as his opponent outspent him nearly 2:1 and even as the vast array of the US press corps covered him negatively over 9:1. So within a very broad range, this danger can definitely be overcome. Particularly if we’d just go with some libertarian ideas of limited government in the first place.

        1. “I do accept that there is a reason to be afraid of hugely wealthy individuals and companies skewing and co-opting our political system. ”

          In which case, change the system; do not limit freedoms.

          1. How do you change the system without limiting the freedom? How do you stop the very wealthy or powerful companies from affecting elections and no create limits.

            1. Moderation4ever
              August.12.2019 at 10:32 pm
              “How do you change the system without limiting the freedom? How do you stop the very wealthy or powerful companies from affecting elections and no create limits.”

              Gee, I’m not sure, but your hypothetical ‘problem’ in no way affects A1.
              You have to realize that the question alone suggests you really haven’t given it a lot of thought, to be generous…

            2. “How do you stop the very wealthy or powerful companies from affecting elections and no create limits.”

              With a government that has powers that are few and defined? Then, there’s nothing for the very wealthy to buy.

              ‘When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.’ – P.J. O’Rourke

            3. This is the victim mentality.

              “Stupid people are duped. We must stop this!”

              No, we must not.

              1. “This is the victim mentality.”
                M4e is a pretty reliable source for that sort of bullshit. Whether M4e is just a run-of-the-mill loser or some SJW is open to question, but self-reliance and taking responsibility for your actions are not high on her/his lists.
                Whining is.

            4. How do you stop the very poor from voting to take my income, wealth, and property for themselves or on behalf of others “worse off”?

    2. CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW is pretty fucking explicit.

      1. Except to those who claim ‘moderation’…

      2. SIMPLER IS TRUER.

    3. “Is to promote disillusionment and drive down voting participation, so I will accept”……..

      I’ve never understood this line of thinking. I mean, if people really need their hands held to keep from getting “disillusioned”, do we really even want them voting? Why is more idiots voting better?

      Don’t answer that. Haha

  24. Anyone who supports that amendment does not understand the key elements of the American system.

    First among these is personal freedom – freedom of expression, freedom to share your ideas, freedom to believe and even worship as you please, and freedom to gather together with people you chose to gather together with.

    One of the main reasons people came here in the first place was to escape governments that wouldn’t allow that basic freedom, and the movement to independence from Britain was predicated on this set of beliefs. For any American legislator of any political strip to champion stripping these rights from the American people is anathema to everything we stand for. Any such person should not receive another vote as long as they live, and their constituents should be gathering together to recall their representatives.

    Even their primary target – making sure that corporations cannot influence elections – is contrary to the founding principle of this nation. Because Exxon-Mobile is not really any different than if the crowd from HnR were to get together and fund an election campaign. The only difference is our source of income.

    Besides the violation of our core principle, the other huge problem with this approach is that it is inevitable that it would be abused. In fact, the Democrats have been very clear that they are upset that a corporation could make a movie about a candidate. They are not upset if Michael Moore makes a political film (even though it is corporations that are doing it). And they are not upset if public sector unions fund campaigns or make propaganda films.

    No, it is only when the activity helps the other team that they are keen to put a lid on it.

    So what would happen if the state were granted these powers? How long before they move to ensure that Fox can’t advocate for Republicans, but that CNN and MSNBC can advocate for Democrats? How long before they decide that the NYT is perfectly fine producing slanted pieces that help democrats, but Viacom is committing a crime by advocating for Republican candidates.

    This entire thing is not just a bad idea, it is as anti-American as it gets.

    1. That being said, I give them full credit for attempting to screw this up the right way. If you are going to do it, go and get a constitutional amendment. So full marks for following the correct procedure.

      1. Except, they don’t really intend to screw it up the right way. They intend to pull an ERA on us: Announce a drive for an amendment, and then expect the courts to ignore that it wasn’t adopted.

        It’s worked for the ERA, after all. For all practical purposes, the fact that the states refused to ratify it has ceased to matter, the judiciary gave the states a big upraised finger, and just attributed its meaning to the 14th amendment.

        They’ll do the same with this amendment, if given half a chance.

    2. “This entire thing is not just a bad idea, it is as anti-American as it gets.”

      But is it good for the Republicans? It could be if they embrace their inner populism, rake in cash from the rubes in the heartlands, and leave the Democrats to claw for corporate cash, sadly diminished by the new amendment.

      1. “But is it good for the Republicans? It could be if they embrace their inner populism, rake in cash from the rubes in the heartlands, and leave the Democrats to claw for corporate cash, sadly diminished by the new amendment.”

        mtrueman|8.30.17 @ 1:42PM|#
        “Spouting nonsense is an end in itself.”
        You never disappoint as a bullshiter or a sophist.

  25. Corporations shouldn’t influence democracy.

    People, not corporations, have the right to free speech.

    When a corporation chooses political sides, what will stop it from violating the right to free speech of or coercing its employees exercising their liberty to democracy?

    Do you want to be fired if you aren’t a Democrat?

    1. Our resident anti-semite checks in with a typical load of bullshit:

      Rob Misek
      August.12.2019 at 9:58 pm
      “Corporations shouldn’t influence democracy.”
      Opinions from low-watt-bulbs are to be ingored.

      “People, not corporations, have the right to free speech.”
      Free speech is not granted; it is an unalienable right, and the constitution simply says congress may not infringe it.
      Fucking ignoramus….

      “When a corporation chooses political sides, what will stop it from violating the right to free speech of or coercing its employees exercising their liberty to democracy?”
      A business cannot ‘violate the right to free speech’, no ‘coerce’ its employees, you fucking ignoramus.

      “Do you want to be fired if you aren’t a Democrat?
      Fuck off, imbecile.

      1. Am I anti Semitic? I value truth and since Judaism is the religion of lies, I do oppose it.

        Their holiest prayer on their holiest day is clearly a plan to lie. The faithful can lie for another year with the comfort and blessing of their religion. If Satan is the father of lies, members of the Jewish religion are his faithful children.

        The line is drawn. I value truth, reality while advocates of Judaism value lies, conflict and hatred. Jews call me anti Semitic.

        I take vows, oaths and pledges very seriously. Everyone in civilization must. Faithful Jews don’t. It is probably the reason they have been persecuted for thousands of years. They haven’t learned.

        Your day of reckoning may be today. Do you support truth or lies. Are you anti Semitic?

        Here is the Kol Nidre text. The holiest Jewish prayer on the holiest Jewish day.

        “All vows, obligations, oaths, and anathemas [curses]which we may vow, or swear, or pledge, or whereby we may be bound, from this Day of Atonement until the next we do repent. May they be deemed absolved, forgiven, annulled, and void, and made of no effect: they shall not bind us nor have any power over us. The vows shall not be reckoned vows; the obligations shall not be obligations; nor the oaths be oaths.”

        1. Yeah, you’re a cunt. Thanks for demonstrating that you should be ignored.

          1. Personally, I think liars and their advocates, like you, should be exposed, punished and then ignored.

            1. Rob Misek
              August.13.2019 at 12:55 pm
              “Personally, I think liars and their advocates, like you, should be exposed, punished and then ignored.”

              Scumbag, every post you make here shows you, and not others, to be a liar.
              Fuck off, you piece of shit.

        2. Rob Misek
          August.13.2019 at 9:02 am
          “Am I anti Semitic? I value truth and since Judaism is the religion of lies, I do oppose it.”

          So you lie and make up stories to justify your anti-semitism? How (not) suprising. Like most anti-semites, it’s a good guess that you are a pathetic loser with nothing other than a hope of finding someone to blame for your constant failure.
          You are what’s left when the liquid is pumped from a septic tank; go far away and take your stench with you, scumbag.

          1. The text of the Jewish prayer Kol Nidre is proof of the truth of what I say.

            You are both slave and slaver to your own false narrative. Go fuck yourself.

            1. Rob Misek
              August.13.2019 at 3:58 pm
              “The text of the Jewish prayer Kol Nidre is proof of the truth of what I say.”
              Bull
              .
              .
              .
              shit.
              Fuck off, you slimy piece of shit.

            2. Not being Jewish, but suspecting (being the fucking scumbag you are) your claims to be total bullshit, I ‘looked it up’ (yes, your claims are bullshit, you piece of shit):
              “…Rabid anti-Semites in the European Middle Ages, brushing aside the repeated Jewish assertion that the absolution referred only to matters between God and man, used the prayer as a pretext to question the trustworthiness of all oaths taken by Jews in Christian courts…”
              So you are cherry-picking religious chants to prove that, uh, you’re a fucking pathetic piece of what’s left in the septic tank after they pump the liquid out…
              Why is this not a surprise?

              1. Except the text doesn’t say that.

                After reading the text, who, besides you, would be stupid enough to believe their explanation.

                Who the fuck plans to lie to God anyways? He knows everything anyways.

                That explanation is even more stupid than the ridiculous shower water cyanide mechanism that has never been seen.

                Just another lie.

                Go fuck yourself.

  26. “The point, rather, is that people must spend money to communicate with large numbers of their fellow citizens. Limits on spending therefore restrict their ability to exercise their First Amendment rights. ”

    No doubt true in the 1970s. Things have changed since then and people have discovered new ways of getting a message across to large numbers with little money. With a little imagination and gumption, expressing yourself to the multitudes is possible.

  27. I can’t understand how an amendment on speech also protects buying and selling speech. It seems to me they are two different things. There’s an amendment on firearms. Does it also protect the right of all to buy and sell guns? ie the right to have a gun is not necessarily the right to be a gun dealer, or is it?

    1. “I can’t understand how an amendment on speech also protects buying and selling speech.”
      That is not surprising.

    2. Exactly. A women has a right to an abortion. But, no one said we can’t outlaw BUYING an abortion.

      Boom! That’s how rights are supposed to work.

      1. Like the right to have children means you have the right to buy and sell children.

        1. Indeed. That’s why we didn’t need the 13th amendment. It was totally redundant.

      2. You don’t even have to outlaw BUYING the abortion! You can just place the exact SAME health and safety requirements on abortion clinics that states have ALREADY placed on other medical facilities to make it impossible for one to exist!

  28. Easiest solution in the world to get rid of the excess influence of election money is to increase the size of Congress.

    Districts of 700,000 people can only be reached via mass media. Which means lots of money which is precisely why incumbents wanted to make sure that they could control how donors spend their money and what mass media companies would say re the narrative.

    Districts of 100,000 can be won multiple ways. But more of them depend on some sort of retail politics – meetngreets, neighborhood/precinct stuff. And with retail politics there’s no way to control a narrative and it doesn’t matter as much so you don’t focus on that. It’s about organization and personal involvement.

    Course I’m not surprised one fucking bit that this idea won’t fly. After all God hisself decreed the size of Congress just after Valley Forge.

    1. JFree
      August.12.2019 at 10:54 pm
      “Easiest solution in the world to get rid of the excess influence of election money is to increase the size of Congress….”

      There is actually some validity here, except that the new, more numerous congress-vermin will simply suck up to those who have ‘generous’ re-election funds to get their take from it.
      You don’t think Pelosi keeps all that for herself, do you? Well, yeah, you probably do.
      I’d prefer an “No representation without taxation” amendment, which would also repeal withholding and thereby make it very easy to see who’s sucking at the public teat.

  29. This is quite a well written article with real questions and concerns. First I have some questions for the author.

    If you don’t believe that some voices should be made quieter so that others can be heard how do you feel about the electoral college and the fact that California gets 55 electoral votes but Wyoming gets 3, which gives Wyoming 1 electoral vote representing 182,546 people and in California 1 electoral vote represents 677,345 people? Which is a significantly altered amount to increase the voice of a small state like Wyoming.

    Now about differing between real and fake news why would they even bother? If you want to call yourself a news source and tell lies then that’s your business. News reporters can lie all they like and want as well as twist their facts around. No law limiting campaign finance could effect the freedom of the press to talk and say what they want.

    What’s wrong with wanting to keep corruption out of politics? Money makes people corrupt, good people even. The Bible says this, history says this, hell even the Quran says this. Limiting political spending means that pointless tedious smear campaigns won’t be the norm anymore. It also makes it more possible for my buddy Joe to run for office and get in instead of some fat cat who went to Harvard on mommy and daddy’s money.

    1. Citizens United is the only thing stopping your buddy Joe from being President!

    2. Spending more money was super effective for Hillary Clinton. And Joseph Crowley. And Meg Whitman. And…you get the pint.

    3. Oh, boy! This a a target-rich field for bullshit-shooting:

      Dubya
      August.12.2019 at 11:22 pm
      “If you don’t believe that some voices should be made quieter so that others can be heard how do you feel about the electoral college and the fact that California gets 55 electoral votes but Wyoming gets 3, which gives Wyoming 1 electoral vote representing 182,546 people and in California 1 electoral vote represents 677,345 people? Which is a significantly altered amount to increase the voice of a small state like Wyoming.”
      Suggestion: Try logic and don’t prove to the readership you’re too fucking stupid to understand the concept of “false equivalence”.

      “Now about differing between real and fake news why would they even bother? If you want to call yourself a news source and tell lies then that’s your business. News reporters can lie all they like and want as well as twist their facts around. No law limiting campaign finance could effect the freedom of the press to talk and say what they want.”
      Correct; Freedom of speech includes the freedom to state “You can keep your doctor…” That’s what A1 does.

      “What’s wrong with wanting to keep corruption out of politics? Money makes people corrupt, good people even.”
      You’re a real laugh riot!
      Fuck off.

    4. “If you don’t believe that some voices should be made quieter so that others can be heard how do you feel about the electoral college and the fact that California gets 55 electoral votes but Wyoming gets 3, which gives Wyoming 1 electoral vote representing 182,546 people and in California 1 electoral vote represents 677,345 people? Which is a significantly altered amount to increase the voice of a small state like Wyoming.”

      You want a louder voice? Move from California to Wyoming. Problem solved.

      1. +1,000…but don’t really, folks from Wyoming don’t want you there…

  30. I have to admit that the article was very effective in bringing out the left’s low-hanging-fruit in argument to limit speech.
    We had the nearly constant strawman regarding “corporations are not people”. Repeated by that fucking bigot Misek.
    We got (just above), the bone-headed claim that money causes corruption.
    M4e continues to show s/he is confused regarding what the Constitution means; s/he is stupid enough to assume that if the court got away with stupidity once, why not support his/her lame opinions?
    Truman showed up to prove once again that stupidity couched in a word salad is still stupidity. JFree did the same.

    1. Misek is probably for it because he thinks corporations are all run by Jooooossss.

  31. Will the spending limits apply to the professional propagandist corporations like CNN, MSNBC, ABC, etc.?

    1. they’re special because they all have a printing press somewhere on the premises.

      1. At least until the NRA buys a printing press. Then they’ll have to be special for some other reason.

        1. +1000

  32. “The point, rather, is that people must spend money to communicate with large numbers of their fellow citizens.”

    Not anymore. Twitter is free.

    1. Well, Twitter doesn’t charge, anyway. They’re not remotely free.

      1. And Twitter regularly deplatforms people.

        1. Which they are welcome to do.
          Don’t like it? Go somewhere else, and quit whining.

  33. Possibly the scariest thing about this, is that there weren’t any holdouts. Either this is what passes for common wisdom everywhere Democrats are the majority, or the Democratic leadership has put it on their list of “Go along with it, or your children will meet a tragic end.” issues.

    1. This is another example of the Democrats being super desperate.

      There weren’t any holdouts but they dont have the 2/3 of the Senate to advance a constitutional Amendment and certainly not the 3/4 of state support to ratify this.

      1. 1789….Nor do they (Democrats) have the 2/3rds vote in the House to start the amendment process. This idea is just going nowhere. And yes, the Democrats and their journalistic enablers have more than a ‘whiff’ of desperation.

        1. But they do eventually anticipate having a 5/9ths majority in the Supreme court. (Or maybe 6/11ths, or 7/13ths… Whatever it takes.)

          And that’s how they’ll repeal the 1st amendment. And the 2nd. And any others that they find inconvenient.

          1. Brett…I am somewhat more optimistic? Why? Put simply, the wholesale re-stocking of the Judiciary. Say what you will about the Senate Majority Leader, but he is getting judicial picks through at a very brisk pace. That will have a long-term impact….perhaps generational.

            1. Yes, that’s true. I could wish that McConnell were as active on other nominations, but he is, finally, pushing those judges through, after letting the Democrats stall for a couple of years, and making the Senate a killing ground for conservative legislation while Republicans still had the House.

              It’s also exactly why the Democrats are virtually certain to pack the Court as soon as they have the Presidency and both chambers of Congress. Because they’re not going to LET Republicans have that impact, if they have any way to undo it. And they were starting to talk about packing the Court even before Trump took office.

              Packing the Court could make everything he’s doing now futile.

              I urged, when Trump first took office, that Republicans propose an amendment to lock the Court in at 9 members, and threaten to pack it themselves if the Democrats didn’t go along. That would have made all these new judges matter.

              But it’s too late for that now. Enjoy that conservative judiciary, is ain’t gonna last.

              1. Only another 130+ vacancies to go….I wonder if Senator McConnell can make it happen and fill every vacancy by November.

  34. We need a new citizens united that eliminates capitalism, so government can be by and for the people, not wholly corrupted by the whims of absurd billionaires and massive corporations!

  35. Let’s just cut to the chase. The Democrats are for this amendment because they believe it will eventually hamper fundraising efforts by the Republicans. No more. No less.

  36. CNN’s Chris Cuomo threatens to throw guy down stairs for calling him “Fredo”

    A man in NY yesterday approached CNN’s Chris Cuomo and called him “Fredo”

    Cuomo: “You’re going to have a problem”
    Man: “What are you going to do about it?”
    Cuomo: “I’ll fuckin ruin your shit. I’ll fucking throw you down these stairs”

    Google’s YouTube has already pulled the video “for violating ToS” Let the Lefty circling of the wagons continue.

    1. Of course they did. Just like they banned the video of protester on McConnell’s lawn threatening to kill him.

      Can’t maintain the illusion that the right is the violent side, if you let people see the left uncensored.

  37. My mind has always been open to voting for a moderate dem, but for this reason among many, I doubt it’ll ever happen. Looks like I’m stuck between some Libertarian candidate who will be lucky to garner 5% or some trash republican.

    1. Don’t forget you could always vote for an openly avowed socialist!

  38. #MAGA

    Trump wins re-election 2020!

  39. Of course they all agree on this. There’s no doubt in my mind, if CU had been instigated by a movie that was critical of a Republican candidate instead of Hilary, we’d have the reverse. Dems would be defending it and every Republican would be wanting to overturn it.

  40. Ignored But Lethal

    Among the thousands of printed articles and digital postings daily, how many address education? Ignored but lethal. Education is the future.

    Today, primary and secondary education is as much indoctrination in the ideology of The Left as education. Little wonder freedom of speech is under attack with little resistance.

    There is a better way. Ignore it at your peril and that of this fragmenting, declining nation on fire.

    https://www.nationonfire.com/education/ .

    1. Today, primary and secondary education is as much indoctrination in the ideology of The Left as education.

      You’re being generous.

  41. I find this to be a real conundrum. Reason is correct to point out the obvious flaws of trying to control money. Trump has shown that once you get FOX on your side you can win a presidency. None of these amendments would even touch that. The problem is with large concentrations of wealth. It always will be.

    I know that readers of Reason will scoff at that. No doubt the editors of Reason too as it is largely supported by wealthy patrons. But wealthy people will always use their wealth to control the framing of political arguments in order to protect and enhance their power. People are frustrated by this. It’s why politicians are coming up with this legislation. Instead of mocking it and decrying liberals why don’t y’all propose a solution? Our system is broken and money is behind it. And it’s not just a right vs left thing. CNN is biased because of its corporate sponsers and its sponsers use CNN to push a centrist agenda that pits left vs right. They want Trump to be popular so that we are all distracted. Left and Right will never come together to fight the Medical Industrial Complex because we are too focused on “cultural” issues. That’s the effectof big money influencing speech.

    1. “Trump has shown that once you get FOX on your side you can win a presidency.”

      The actual studies of media bias in 2016 show that FOX wasn’t actually on Trump’s side; They were just the least hostile outlet.

    2. “Instead of mocking it and decrying liberals why don’t y’all propose a solution?”

      The solution is to stop expanding and start restricting the government’s power to micromanage every little thing on God’s green earth.

      Everything else is just rearranging the deck chairs.

    3. “Heraclitus
      August.13.2019 at 10:25 am
      “I find this to be a real conundrum.”
      That’s because you’re a fucking lefty ignoramus.
      ——————————-
      “Trump has shown that once you get FOX on your side you can win a presidency.”
      Oh, so *THAT* was the cause! Amazing the power of FOX, especially in the fantasies of lefty ignoramuses.
      —————————-
      “…The problem is with large concentrations of wealth. It always will be.”
      No, the “problem” is fucking lefty ignoramuses.
      ——————————
      “…Instead of mocking it and decrying liberals why don’t y’all propose a solution?”
      We’ve got one: fuck off, y’all lefty ignoramus.
      ———————————
      “…That’s the effectof big money influencing speech.”
      Yeah, since the hag outspent Trump by quite a bit.
      How many years of practice did it take to become this fucking stupid?

    4. “People are stupid. We must silence wealthy people.”

      Sure, clit. Haha

    5. Our system is broken and money is behind it.

      Our system is broken and power is behind it. Take away the power some people have over others and there is nothing to buy or sell.

      It became broken when we slipped the chains of the Constitution and decided the Federal Government, not the individual, was the place to find our answers.

  42. Everything you need to know about The Democracy for All Amendment is summed up in its name. What’s not to like about democracy for all? Once again Reason demonstrates that “libertarianism” is just a dog whistle in the service of racist plutocracy. Everybody knows that the First Amendment was written to protect pornographers and had nothing to do with political speech sixty days before an election.

  43. I would support an amendment that removes all “artificial” people, ie, corporations, unions, churches, PACs; everything that is not an individual human being, from any and all “rights” conferred by the constitution.
    These “artificial people” all operate like the United Nations, bringing autocracy to the table, given a say, and call it democracy.
    All should be defined as “not a human being” and without “rights”.

    1. So how does that play out in practice? You have an individual right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure but you lose that right when you walk into work? You have an individual right to free speech but you can’t work together with anyone else to speak as a group? You have a right to freedom of religion but your church doesn’t?

      Should organizations also not be allowed to sign contracts? What happens when a contract signer leaves the company? The contract becomes void? That way lies chaos and inefficiency.

      Corporations, unions and the rest are aggregations of human beings. Those humans should not lose their rights merely because they choose to organize together. Corporate “personhood” is a legal shorthand for explaining how the rights that we enjoy individually apply in a collective environment.

      1. No they aren’t. Corporations are aggregations of PROPERTY. With legal protections granted explicitly by the state – including eternal life and limited liability for the HUMANS who set that property aside into the corporate form.

        1. Our fucking lefty ignoramus is here once more to prove how stupid someone can be.
          JFree
          August.13.2019 at 2:55 pm
          “No they aren’t. Corporations are aggregations of PROPERTY.”
          Property owned by humans, you fucking idiot.
          ————————————
          “With legal protections granted explicitly by the state – including eternal life and limited liability for the HUMANS who set that property aside into the corporate form.”
          So corporations have no extra protections; glad you figured that out.
          Now go fuck off.

    2. So, all the bioroids and replicants are going to be slaves?

      Meanwhile, all those corporations are just collections of real, biological people, thank goodness.

    3. Gregory Nunn
      August.13.2019 at 11:36 am
      “I would support an amendment that removes all “artificial” people, ie, corporations, unions, churches, PACs; everything that is not an individual human being, from any and all “rights” conferred by the constitution.”

      Goody for you.
      Now fuck off, slaver.

    4. So if the Army decides they want to turn Amazon’s new HQ2 into a barracks they can just walk in and take it over, since Amazon wouldn’t have Third Amendment protections?

      The government could control what the New York Times prints since freedom of the press doesn’t apply for corporations?

      Trump could send a goon squad into the United Auto Workers union headquarters and take all their computers to look through their records whenever he decided he wanted to, since they wouldn’t have Fourth Amendment protections?

      You really think that’s a good idea?

      1. I mean, I’m not going to be too upset to watch the NYT or UAW get torn to shreds, but on priniciple…I guess it’s not a great idea…

  44. More misleading far-right propaganda.

    1. Mopre bullshit claims from the left.
      Cite missing, twit. Put up or fuck off.

  45. “Every American deserves to have an equal voice at the ballot box, regardless of the size of their bank account,” says Sen. Tom Carper (D–Del.), a lead co-sponsor of the amendment. Chris Coons, the other Democratic senator from Delaware, likewise promises that the amendment will “give all Americans an equal voice in our elections.”

    Upon further consideration, there are aspects of this proposal that I just might be able to get behind. Sure there the reduction in the freedom of speech, and that’s a bad thing, but it’s not all bad. Let’s think about the upsides–no more hearing celebrities opining on politics and current events. After all, if the media covers their statements, but not mine, they clearly have a louder voice than mine that must be silenced because we all deserve an equal voice.

    1. “…Sure there the reduction in the freedom of speech, and that’s a bad thing, but it’s not all bad….”

      Yes, it is.

  46. I despise the Left with a great deal of passion, but I also think Citizen’s United was a lousy decision–it basically gave big organisations the power to use enormous bullhorns with which to drown out individuals, and that’s not how it’s supposed to work. People vote, not organisations.

    Further, Citizens United gave the management of companies the power to use wealth derived from the efforts of their employees to loudly express political opinions those employees might not share. That’s not right.

    1. HenryMillerII
      August.13.2019 at 4:26 pm
      I despise the Left with a great deal of passion, but I also think Citizen’s United was a lousy decision–…”

      So you don’t despise the left; you ARE the left.
      Fuck off.

    2. Actually, Citizens United allows like-minded individuals to pool their resources so that they too can afford an enormous bullhorn with which to spread their message.

  47. “aims to mute some voices so that others can be heard.”

    Make that all opposing voices so the only voice heard is theirs.

  48. The entire premise of this proposed Amendment is both silly and appallingly false:

    “”Every American deserves to have an equal voice at the ballot box, regardless of the size of their bank account,” says Sen. Tom Carper (D–Del.), a lead co-sponsor of the amendment. Chris Coons, the other Democratic senator from Delaware, likewise promises that the amendment will “give all Americans an equal voice in our elections.””

    It is trivial to show how nonsensical this is. Will we be required to give equal air time on every radio and television station to every crack addict? Will we be forced to listen to the mentally retarded (screw you, language police)? The only way to give “everyone an equal voice” is to insure you silence those most listened to.

    As in all things, a free market of ideas and speech is best. Beggers can’t be the keynote speakers at important events, because they literally have nothing worth listening to.

    1. So more money equals more virtue, and elections should tilt to those with more virtue (money)? It’s been tried. Turned out it was about race the whole time, if you can believe it.

      1. Turns out shitbag here has no idea what he’s posting about.
        Again.

        1. It is clear that the aim of democracy (or, if you prefer, the democratic elements of a republican system), is equal representation for all citizens in the questions they are charged to answer. Whatever interferes with that undermines the virtue and utility of that system.

          Also, wealthy people having all the power has been tried. It’s what we were trying to get away from, so long ago.

          1. “It is clear that the aim of democracy (or, if you prefer, the democratic elements of a republican system),”

            One of those is not like the other; the founders rejected mob rule for a good reason. There were stupid fucks like you then, also.

            1. What’s sad is not how stupid you are, it’s that I knew exactly which bait you’d take. That’s why I attempted to fucking clarify it. Jesus Christ, how do you even feed yourself?

              1. “What’s sad is not how stupid you are, it’s that I knew exactly which bait you’d take. That’s why I attempted to fucking clarify it. Jesus Christ, how do you even feed yourself?”

                No, it’s not even sad how stupid you are in lying about it; it’s pathetic.
                Fuck off, you parasitic shitbag.

            2. In like a very deliberate, specifically worded way.

              God fucking dammit you people.

              1. “In like a very deliberate, specifically worded way.”

                Oh, so carefully worded in the hopes that fucktards like you might not see it as the lie it is.
                Fuck off, you parasitic piece of shit.

                1. In the hope that even you might be able to ascend from your usual latitude of near-illiteracy and respond to a point with another actual point for once in your retarded life.

                  1. Tony
                    August.13.2019 at 11:43 pm
                    “In the hope that even you might be able to ascend from your usual latitude of near-illiteracy and respond to a point with another actual point for once in your retarded life.”

                    Bullshit.
                    In the hopes that your sophistry is such that the rest of us won’t recognize the lies which you offer, in your oh, so carefully crafted the language, you continue to post here.
                    Forget it, shitbag. No, you are not such a clever wordsmith that you can slide a pile of bullshit through in the hopes no one will notice. In fact, you are really not anywhere close to ‘clever’ in that regard; your mommy lied.
                    There are plenty of us here who deal with and reject lies on a daily basis crafted by those far more skillful than you; you’re an amateur bullshitter at best
                    You’ve been called on your bullshit; now go whine somewhere else. And fuck off.

                    1. *Sevo goes back to watching Glenn Beck and playing with his dick*

                    2. Tony posts more bullshit, since he has no hope of doing otherwise.
                      Fuck off, you pathetic excuse for a human.

      2. Yawn. Everything is about race the whole time, every time. What else is new? God, you’re boring.

        1. If you were to say that all of American history was about race, you’d be less wrong than if you were to say it was all about the scope of federal power.

          1. Hence, why America only wages bloody wars against “other races” and not:
            -2x wars AGAINST England
            -Against OTHER WHITE AMERICANS in Shay’s Rebellion
            -Against OTHER WHITE AMERICANS in The Whiskey Rebellion
            -Against OTHER WHITE AMERICANS inThe Utah War
            -Against OTHER WHITE AMERICANS in The AMERICAN CIVIL WAR FOUGHT TO FREE THE SLAVES
            -The Spanish-American War
            -WWI
            -The Russian Civil War/Revolution
            -WWII
            -The Korean War (on BEHALF of Koreans)
            -The Vietnam War (on BEHALF of Vietnamese)
            -The First Gulf War (on BEHALF of Kuwait)
            -The Bosnian War (on BEHALF of the Bosniaks, primarily)
            -Numerous “wars” against radical Islamists on behalf of majority Muslim populations.

            Yup, America sure is defined by its love of white people and hate of everyone else. And remember, ALL the other wars waged in South/Central America were always about race and NOT political interventionism…it’s why we’ve colonized and genocided all of those other populations…

            “But the Native Americans!” …who were considered an INTERNAL threat on what the Federal Gov’t deemed American land…notice we didn’t spend a lot of time chasing Sioux, Nez Perce, Shoshone, and Paiute into Canada (another country where America stops but racism doesn’t) to whipe them out?*

            *I in no way endorse any of the above listed actions, however, characterizing them all as racist rather than simply tyrannical is ahistorical and ludicrous.

            1. My comment was limited in its scope.

              But you did just try to get away with saying the Civil War wasn’t about race.

              And I suppose Dresden absolves us of our otherwise curious fixation on bombing nonwhite people around the globe rather than white people. Good for us.

              But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m saying slavery (hence, race) informed the founding, the founding documents, and a hearty bulk of the domestic political disputes of our history. We’re still living with the remnants of the Southern Strategy. Black and brown people still do not have social parity. And there are still many people who think that’s because their genes are inferior. One lives in the White House.

  49. I wonder what exceptions would be carved out for Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon.

  50. I guess that the folks on this board are enraged because they may not be able to donate thousands of dollars to a political interest group. It’s time to get behind Soros, the Koch bros, and the freedom fighters on K street.
    First they blocked the super-rich, but I didn’t care because I wasn’t super-rich.
    Then they blocked the rich, but I didn’t care because I wasn’t rich.
    Finally there I was, but they didn’t care because I was just an ordinary voter. So the Illuminati guys just wrapped toilet paper around my house.

    1. English is the common language here; please translate for us.

    2. EVERYTHING IS SO TERRIBLE AND UNFAIR!!!!

      Haha

  51. If you blame Lefty’s or rightwingnuts, you’re just another tool of the system. If any of you would actually exercise logic and reason, you’d quickly realize that both boots March in unison spreading fear in both directions to control the masses. Citizens United has nothing to do with stupid conspiracy theories involving the Clinton’s! To use those sad people as a scapegoat for everything gives those pathetic people way too much credit. Russian propaganda works well on the right, and it’s proven that Russians have been buying our politicians with dark money covered by citizens United. The left is just as messed up and owned by corporate powers. We’ll never have power as a people as long as we remain divided believing the bovine excrement spewing from both sides. As the founding fathers warned us a two party system will destroy us from within. Screw the system by thinking for yourselves instead of allowing any media outlet to do it for you. Actually read the damned law and you’ll clearly see fact vs opinion.

    1. … he said on a website full of people who despise the political duopoly…

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  53. This is one area where Libertarians seem to have a serious blind spot.

    Corporations literally cannot exist without an act of government. They are formed by an act of state, acquire a raft of special privileges by an act of state, and are able to accumulate wealth because of the services the state provides them with. A corporation is de facto a distortion of the free-market and “private” enterprise. The founding fathers recognized, which is why corporations were very heavily regulated in the early years of our nation.

    The idea that corporations should enjoy the same protections as individuals without any compensation for the immense power their wield seems to me anti-liberty and pro-tyranny.

    Yes, corporations are also comprised of individuals, but those individuals are already protected as individuals. Do managers and board members get to double-dip?

    1. Yes, corporations are also comprised of individuals, but those individuals are already protected as individuals. Do managers and board members get to double-dip?

      It’s debatable whether the personal liability limits resulting from incorporating are a good idea or not. But if such limits exist for other forms of liability, they should certainly exist for liability for speech.

      It is absurd to allow a chemical manufacturer to limit their liability from hurting people by incorporating, but to prevent me from doing the same by limiting my liability for criticizing them.

  54. To see how far they *could* go, just read the article on the banning of the two “adverts” in the UK here on Reason (https://reason.com/2019/08/15/the-u-k-banned-a-cream-cheese-commercial-and-car-commercial-due-to-gender-stereotypes/). A bureaucrat who thinks that gender stereotyping “might” cause harm and decides therefore than it *does* do harm and bans it because 3 people complained in one case and 128 did in the other.

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