First we have Hillary (OK, only a New Yorker in a carpetbagging sort of way, but still . . .) wanting to “rein in” our notions that we have real Second Amendment rights. But that’s the Second Amendment. That’s not as important as the First, right? So for that one, we need Chuck Schumer, Hillary’s senior as a senator before and after her tenure, to launch the attack.
And he is:
The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowing unions and corporations to donate to independent political groups has driven liberals to such fits that they now want to amend the First Amendment. At a Senate Rules Committee meeting last week, New York Democrat Chuck Schumer announced a proposal to amend the Constitution to empower government to regulate political speech.
“The Supreme Court is trying to take this country back to the days of the robber barons, allowing dark money to flood our elections,” Mr. Schumer said. The Senate will vote this year on the amendment to “once and for all allow Congress to make laws to regulate our system, without the risk of them being eviscerated by a conservative Supreme Court.” He even rolled out retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to pronounce his unhappiness with freedom’s bedrock document.
According to the text of the proposed revision to James Madison’s 1791 handiwork, sponsored by New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, the states and federal government would have the power to regulate the “raising and spending of money” through a wide range of means “to advance the fundamental principle of political equality for all.”
A Chuck Schumer attack on free speech is hardly a big surprise. He’s one of the senators who goaded the IRS into going after Tea Party groups based on the rationale that they were undermining confidence in government. Oh no, not that!
To amend the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote of each house of Congress and the ratification of 38 states. That is not going to happen. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be concerned about here. When a U.S. senator is willing to be so brazen as to propose we amend the Constitution to weaken the First Amendment – and specifically to empower Congress to restrict free speech – what that really tells us is where the political landscape stands. Not long ago it would have been inconceivable that mainstream politician hoping to remain in office would propose to take away basic First Amendment rights for the purpose of empowering politicians to impose new restrictions on same. At least in the reading of Sen. Schumer and others who back this proposed amendment, the political landscape has changed and it is now possible to propose such a thing without being flogged by the voters as a result.
This is all cloaked, of course, in language about “dark money” and so forth. You know what that’s about, right? What has been the leading Democrat theme this year? It’s sure as hell not how wonderful ObamaCare is. It’s attacking the diabolical Koch Brothers. Democrats have decided to turn major donors to conservative causes and candidates into objects of public disdain, and they don’t like it when they can’t do so. They also don’t like it when they can’t put any restrictions on such individuals, groups or corporations.
But the Constitution was not written for the political protection of incumbent politicians. It was written to protect the rights of the people who have to live under the governance of such people. If that’s creating problems for Chuck Schumer, then I’d say it’s doing exactly what it was supposed to do. I hope enough of the citizenry still understands that sufficient to recognize what an obscene power grab Schumer and his allies are attempting.
By: Dan Calabrese