Thursday, February 04, 2010

Freedom of Speech Goes Only to Those Who Can Buy the Volume

Reading these opinions on what The Ruling means, and I'm intrigued with the ACLU lawyer Joel Gora's argument that this is a first amendment victory. Since money does pay for louder speech, I foresee even more deaf ears as a result of the cacophony of screaming that will result from this ruling.

Oh, wait, I just thought of the Republican staffers that were flown down to Miami to do some "impromptu" hallway screaming during the Florida recount, but that gets way too complicated to think about. And it was so long ago...

No, in this case, reading Gora, I see he goes out of his way to point out that unions can get in on the money = speech thing. But let's think about the economic logic here: large and very rich (stupendously rich as compared to unions) companies like Wal Mart will be able to bombard the airways with advertising for anti-union candidates, spending a small fraction of their profit on 10 times the ads any union could buy with a large fraction of their budget (unions are non-profit).

Is that fair? I suppose if you advocate other forms of campaign finance that would somehow make up for that difference in spending ability, then yeah. But I can't think of one offhand, at least not one that we can get passed in the Senate now that we only have an 18 vote lead.

Maybe Republicans, noting that many corporations actually prefer Democrats these days (it's all about Branding), will get on board (I'm looking at you, McCain) and pass something decent to make free speech equal.

Oh, and by the way, freedom of the press, on the other hand, goes only to those who own one. I can set up a blog for you. It's what I do.

No comments: