And now McCain-Feingold is thrown into the trashbin.
Most people are dimly aware of McCain-Feingold (or more formally the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002) as some sort of campaign reform attempta way to restrict corporation from dumping money into a political campaign.
Liberals applauded it because it was a way to keep Evil Businesses out of elections; a heroic, working-class saint with all the popularity in the world could be shut out at the polls by a swarthy, stubble-chinned creature intent on Nothing But Harm, because he would be given copious billions by cigar-smoking, top-hat-and-monocle-wearing Wall Street fat cats lighting their cigars with million dollar bills.
Conservatives applauded it because now, at least, we could keep unions from driving voter drives and compelling their members to vote en masse for whatever brownshirt was throwing million dollar bills to the organzied crimeheads that run unions.
Et cetera. Of course, the whole premise was kooky because the law allowed corporations of any stripe to simply set up a political action committeea subsidiary company, with its own name, officers, and such, that filed its status with the IRS as a legal entity. If a company wanted to donate money to support a candidate, it set up a PAC to do so. In an effort to look bipartisan, President Bush signed it into law, allegedly hoping to God the SCOTUS would dump it.
Unsurprisingly, companies on both sides of the aisle appeared right away, often with confusing names. It became easy for unions like the SEIU to create groups with creative but innocent names and hide their involvement. Ditto for conservative groups, although not many come to mind. The point is, per the Law of Unintended Consequences, campaign dollars rolled in at the same rates but now it was harder to figure out who was who.
Until 2008, that is, when a small non-profit group called Citizens United made a film called Hillary: The Movie. The documentary was critical of then-candidate Clinton, and contained information potentially disastrous to her campaign that was not widely known. So various groups on her side banded together and sued the group for violation of McCain-Feingoldthereby keeping the film out of distribution entirely.
Citizens United argued that they had every right under the First Amendment to do so. If you want to tax corporations like individuals, you need to grant them unrestricted First Amendment rights. And that means allowing them to donate dollars or use dollars to produce films in any way they choose politically. After all, did anyone sue the Hollywood moguls who made a series of anti-Bush films in 2006-2008? All of which were made for profit and to bolster resentment for the GOP? Where were their PACs?
As we see, Bush got his wish when this went to the SCOTUS, and they narrowly ruled against it. There is plenty of carping from the supporters of the law, who argue that chaos is sure to follow. The argument is now down to the reductio ad absurdum of Free Speech v Democracy!, but the consequences are not so clear.
The inescapable fact is that, although well-intentioned, McCain-Feingold did not do a blinking bit of good. It created, for a brief second, a speed bump on campaign lunacy. But it acheived nothing of valueand was promptly misused to censor anti-Democratic party materials.
Once again, if Liberals are upset by this decision, they know to thank the mirror.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.