Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I'm kinda OK with Citizens United

In the wake of Scott Walker's survival in his recall fight, it's clear that Citizens United has changed the political landscape tremendously.  Walker was helped by a huge spending advantage compared to his Democratic challenger.  But despite the advantage that Republican/conservative candidates gain with unlimited campaign spending, it seems clear to me that political speech is protected by the First Amendment.

What else is the First Amendment for if not to allow one to say that the President/Senator/Dog Catcher is a liar and a scoundrel?

It's true that campaign finance can have a deleterious effect on good governance.  But there are ways for voters to limit money-caused damage without slapping a gag on political speech that isn't carried on CNN, MSNBC or Fox.  I'm all for public disclosure of donations, as well as disclosures of who politicians meet with and who benefits from the laws they support.  But allowing Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow to say anything they want while the rest of us have to zip it isn't democratic or American.

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