Home > Uncategorized > We Don’t Need No TV Here in West “By God” Virginia!

We Don’t Need No TV Here in West “By God” Virginia!

Well, it’s official. Or at least it has become blatantly public. The U.S. Congress is open, notorious, and hostile in their opposition to the first amendment to the US Constitution. We all remember the abhorrent McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act and how it treated the first amendment. We are all aware, or should be, of the dangers of the DISCLOSE Act. Not just because congress tries to stifle political discourse, but because of their abysmal abuse of the English language and American history. Any congressman who is in favor of DISCLOSE should be forced to sit in a classroom and listen to Sr. Marie Antoinette teach them both.

But the most damning evidence of the political classes contempt for for free speech was presented today by democrat Jay Rockefeller.

“I’m tired of the right and the left,” West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller said Wednesday during a Senate hearing on retransmission consent. “There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC, ‘Out. Off. End. Goodbye.’ ”

Yet, ignorant of the irony, he went on to say:

“It would be a big favor to political discourse[.]” Yes, senator, I was thinking just that, that in order to do good things for political discourse, let’s turn off the news. Perhaps the senator from the great state of West Virginia would then send out letters informing us of what we should know. It would certainly improve his re-election efforts.

But those three are just molehills compared to the mountainous affront proposed by a democratic congresswoman from Maryland. Rep. Donna Edwards has introduced an amendment to the constitution, ostensibly in response to the “Citizens United” decision by the Supreme Court. Instead of paraphrasing, I’ll just reproduce it here, minus the boilerplate introductory language.

‘‘ARTICLE—

‘‘SECTION 1. The sovereign right of the people to govern being essential to a free democracy, Congress and the States may regulate the expenditure of funds for political speech by any corporation, limited liability company, or other corporate entity.
‘‘SECTION 2. Nothing contained in this Article shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.’’

The number of problems in this amendment are staggering, as well as frightening. Thankfully, the chances of it ever being ratified are astronomical. But let’s take a look at some of the problems. I wont even mention the congresswoman’s erroneous use of “democracy” to describe our government. History and I have been very clear on that issue.

The amendment would give congress the power to prevent any corporation from using money for political speech, while at the same time allowing other corporations free rein. A predominantly democratic congress could, for example, prevent GM from donating to republican candidates while at the same time allowing IBM to donate without limit to democrat candidates. And before you get all giddy at that thought, the converse applies equally.

The amendment mentions corporations, LLCs, and other “corporate entities.” Exactly what does that mean? Would it cover partnerships? Or what are know in the legal world as “closely held corporations?” Those are corporations that are family owned, with no outside stockholders? Would it cover not-for-profit corporations? What about unincorporated associations, which have some of the attributes of corporations, but are not? The language is sloppy and indefinite, which, when you think of it, is the problem with the way most politicians think.

It also says the States may regulate such spending. Here are two problems. The amendment says “Congress and the States,” not “or.” So, does the amendment require that any regulation be attempted by both at the same time? If not, the connector should have been “or.” The second problem being the use of the plural. Can a single State regulate corporate spending, or does the amendment require a minimum of two states to regulate? One addition word could eliminate that problem. Without it, the amendment seems to be a boon to lawyers.

Section two says the amendment isn’t meant to abridge the freedom of the press. Which leads us to a number of additional questions. What about the press that exist as a corporation, like the N.Y. Times? Why would some corporations get preferential treatment? What about me? I publish a blog. Am I part of the “press” contemplated by the constitution?

Technical defects aside, the contempt the political class shows to our freedom is, or should be, frightening. It seems that at every turn, someone is nibbling away another of our freedoms. And the freedoms that disappear don’t come back spontaneously. They are only protected, and only restored, by people who are willing to risk everything for them.

 

“For it’s Tommy this, and Tommy that,

And throw him out, the brute.

But he’s the savior of his country

When the guns begin to shoot.”

 

Let’s hope we don’t need Tommy anytime soon.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 22, 2010 at 12:06 am

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