US Senate to Protect the Media Monopoly’s Exclusive License to Corrupt Presidential Elections
Amateurs Not Allowed to Speak
An apocryphal story from the good old 1960s tells of $3 million found under the bed of a deceased congressman, with the question automatically asked, at that time, “how does an honest, $50,000 per year congressman accumulate that kind of money?” These days, newspapers don’t blink at the President’s $10 million net worth—chump change compared with the $100s millions accumulated by the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, remuneration for—speaker’s fees.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, slumming at only $3 million to $10 million, made hay clamoring for public release of the tax returns of 2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney—one of those baldfaced patricians like Presidents “Dubuya” Bush 43 and George Herbert Walker 41 who got their money “the old fashioned way”—they inherited it.
A political operator who raked his in by more direct means, is former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who plead guilty in 2006 to mail fraud, conspiracy to bribe public officials, and tax evasion. A devout Jew, Abramoff underwent a spiritual conversion while in prison. When he got out, he blew the whistle on the best little civic bordello, in Washington DC—the richest counties in the nation are not in New York, Texas or California, they’re suburbs of Washington DC.
Now we hear the vestal virgins in the Senate Democrat Majority bemoaning the Supreme Court’s dereliction of duty in the Citizens United ruling, so egregious because it supposedly gives the green light to the evile Koch Brothers to corrupt the common weal—Senator Reid makes not a peep at rainbow-progressive billionaires Tim Gill and Jon Stryker spreading corruption in the body politic.
The Senate’s siren song against dirty money is titled “Senate Joint Resolution 19” (103rd Congress) with only sporadic opposition from Evangelical and anti-abortion foundations. Senator Reid recently said of the resolution, “We’re going to push a constitutional amendment so we can limit spending because what is going on today is awful.” The proposed amendment would “protect freedom of the press”—the freedom of the Media Monopoly (NYTimes, WaPo, Gannett and Big 3 TV) to continue corrupting presidential elections, meanwhile little John Q. Public better keep his mouth shut!
Legal scholar Professor Ronald Rotunda notes “Section 3 of S.J. Res. 19 makes clear that its intention is to limit free speech. It says, ‘Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press.’ The First Amendment prohibits Congress from ‘abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.’ Tellingly, the Senators cosponsoring the ‘improved First Amendment’ left out the phrase ‘freedom of speech.’ ”
The teapot tempest that started all this was something called Hillary: the Movie, a 2008 political documentary coincidentally about frontrunning presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Produced by Citizens United, the film was scheduled to be offered as video-on-demand on cable TV right before the Democratic primaries in January 2008, but the federal government blocked it. Senators Reid and Udall conspicuously fail to wonder how a simple, country woman lawyer accumulates $100 millions, or just exactly what the people who gave it to her expect in return.
This good-natured gamesmanship is all thoroughly in the grand tradition of politics running back hundreds of years in the US and Britain. You can read all about it in a series of stories a century old by GK Chesterton, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and a non-fiction book by his brother Cecil with Hilaire Belloc, The Party System, both free on Kindle, the app itself free on most platforms.