Why It Is Particularly Unseemly That Hillary Clinton Keeps Attacking the Citizens United Decision

I think any opposition to free speech, particularly as exercised in an election, is unseemly, but Hillary Clinton's attacks on the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision are particularly so.

Why?  Well to understand, we have to remember what the Citizens United case actually was.  Over time, the decision has been shorthanded as the one that allows free corporate spending in elections, but this was not actually the situation at hand in the case.   I could probably find a better source, but I am lazy and the Wikipedia summary is fine for my purposes:

In the case, the conservative lobbying group Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts in apparent violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act or "BCRA").[2] Section 203 of BCRA defined an "electioneering communication" as a broadcast, cable, or satellite communication that mentioned a candidate within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary, and prohibited such expenditures by corporations and unions.

Yes, the Supreme Court generalized the decision to all corporations and unions (good for them) but the narrow issue in the case was whether an independent non-profit group could air a negative film about Hillary Clinton in the run-up to an election in which she was a candidate.

So when Hillary Clinton derides the Citizens United decision, she is arguing that the government should have used its powers to suppress a film critical of her personally.   She is trying to protect herself from criticism.

  • NL7

    Good point. And, following from statements made at oral argument, opposing the Citizens United decision also implies that the government can ban a book critical of politicians. This was discussed by the justices and by Kagan (as Solicitor General) during the case, and is one reason why most court watchers assumed the government would either lose big (a broad free speech decision) or lose small (a narrowed free speech decision).

    So Hillary explicitly thinks the government can ban the publication of movies that criticize her, and by implication thinks that the government can ban the publication of books that criticize her. Another Clinton bashing book just came out, so this is also relevant. Somebody should frame it to her that way.

    "You oppose the Citizens United decision, which began when a conservative group was prevented from distributing a movie critical of you. The book 'Clinton Cash' was recently released and is highly critical of you and former president Clinton. Do you believe the government should have the power to suppress this book and others like it?"

  • Corky Boyd

    McCain Feingold banned electioneering by corporations in the 60 day window you describe. But it granted an exemption for the "traditional media," a term supposedly meant to cover magazines, newspapers TV and radio. There was great concern from both the left and right that it did not cover bloggers on internet. McCain said he would rectify the legislation to include bloggers, but he didn't. In the meantime the FEC agreed not to enforce the act for bloggers. It would have been a nightmare because mentioning a federal candidate's name during the blackout period would have been considered a contribution in kind. Using the number of page visits and a formula equating their value (determined by the FEC) the blogger would have to periodically report his "contributions" to the FEC. The FEC won't rescind its non-enforcement policy because of the 3 to 3 voting split. Republicans won't allow it.

    Enter the FCC which has a 3-2 voting split. It is no coincidence the orders from the White House to Tom Wheeler on net-neutrality came the day after the disastrous (to Democrats) 2014 congressional elections. The White House was furious. It blamed he internet. And make no mistake, the takeover of the internet is not about favored treatment. It is about control and the use of the FCC to do what the FEC can't.

    Number one target is Drudge. There have been a number of stories in the media about the excessive influence of Drudge and how he has a monopoly on his type of "coverage." The left abhors him for what he does best. And that is providing titillating headlines linking to authoritative sources such as British newspapers. Many of the stories are ones US newspapers have ignored. But the story that frosts Democrats and Hillary the most is the one about a sitting President who gave false testimony in a deposition before a Federal judge. It was about Monica Lewinsky. Newsweek had the story. It had been written and was ready to go to press but was spiked at the last minute. That was to be the end of it. But it wasn't. The MSM media monopoly had been broken by Drudge. The sources gave it him and he ran with it. For all the efforts of Newsweek to make the story unhappen, it did more than any other to give conservative thought a widespread outlet.

    Chuck Schumer has tried for years to undo Citizens United. This is just the latest iteration.

  • http://devilish-details.blogspot.com/ mesaeconoguy

    Of course she is trying to protect herself from criticism, because she is incompetent and dangerous, which she has proven publicly on numerous occasions.

    Leftists love free speech for their side, but oppose it for their opponents.

    Then, when a court calls them on this, they use their career leftist bureaucrat allies in the IRS to enforce the double standard. It’s predictable, standard leftist operating procedure, and extremely dangerous.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    "because she is incompetent and dangerous"

    And that makes her different than any other candidate from the R or D tribes how?

  • http://devilish-details.blogspot.com/ mesaeconoguy

    She has an established history of targeting political opponents well beyond political and legal boundaries.

    While you are correct in your belief that all politicians are corrupt, corruptible, and of questionable moral and ethical character, Hitlary is in an entirely different league of viciousness. She is an extremely vile and despicable person.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    "She has an established history of targeting political opponents well beyond political and legal boundaries."

    And yet she managed to lose her parties presidential primary to a freshman Senator.

  • http://devilish-details.blogspot.com/ mesaeconoguy

    That's why she's even more vicious and dangerous now, with a $100 billion slush fund to back her.

  • http://devilish-details.blogspot.com/ mesaeconoguy

    Also, the reason why she lost to Oblunder is The Leftist Grievance Hierarchy ™

    See here.

  • brotio

    I agree with you, however,I would ask your question this way:

    "You oppose the Citizens United decision, which began when a
    conservative group was prevented from distributing a movie critical of
    you. The book 'Clinton Cash' was recently released and is highly
    critical of you and former president Clinton. Do you also believe the
    government should have the power to suppress books that are critical of any politician, or just books that are critical of you?"

  • jdgalt

    I would like to see this film that criticizes Hillary. Is it online?

  • HenryBowman419
  • marque2

    Can't see there. Did you mean to provide a link?

  • HenryBowman419

    There is a link, but Coyote's style makes such difficult to see easily.

  • jdgalt

    Thanks, that works for me!

  • http://devilish-details.blogspot.com/ mesaeconoguy

    Likely user error, though the latest Windows update is causing havoc – Microsoft really fucked this one up good.

    Here’s the link

    http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2015/05/obama-suddenly-on-receiving-end-of-his-own-bogus-style-of-discourse.html

  • marque2

    See it now, Thx.

  • skhpcola

    The most vehement detractors and denigrators of Drudge have no idea who or what he is. He writes very few pieces and breaks almost no stories these days. He aggregates links to other stories. I've told raving leftists that before and they didn't believe me. They think that he is a Limbaugh or an O'Riley. But they listened to the MSM and got their talking points...and wound up being ignorant, as usual for leftists.

  • J_W_W

    I don't think Drudge is the number one target, I thin Rush is. If the FCC gets to determine who the "press" is, they'll decide that radio talk shows are not the "press" and therefore political opinions will be forbidden in front of the elections.

    Next step, arrest all right wing talk show hosts.

  • joe

    McCain Feingold banned electioneering by corporations in the 60 day window you describe. But it granted an exemption for the "traditional media," a term supposedly meant to cover magazines, newspapers TV and radio.

    Creating a separate class for an exemption to the law is the second item which made McCain Feingold unconstitutional, 14th, equal protection violation.

  • Nehemiah

    We know that under her leadership at the state dept it was dangerous to be an Ambassador or part of this protective detail. If she were president a whole range of officials would be brought under her control and protection.

  • Bram

    Aren't Labor Unions and Political Parties also corporations?

  • TruthisaPeskyThing

    "But it granted an exemption for the 'traditional media.'" This point gets far too little attention. I understand that the exemption also applies to corporations that the government recognizes in the movie / entertainment industry; therefore, Michael Moore's movies are exempted from McCain-Feingold. We live in an information society, and if political activity is limited to corporations that the GOVERNMENT defines as being in a certain industry . . . it is a mystery why freedom-loving individuals are not apoplectic about McCain-Feingold.
    (Actually upon further reflection, I think I do understand the mystery: many self-described freedom-loving individuals do not actually love freedom for others; they prefer power over others.)

  • FelineCannonball

    Maybe it would be better to look at the wikipedia or scotusblog summary. The court could have easily made a narrow decision on that question. They chose to address broader questions not in front of them -- to the extent they had to ask for new briefs from lawyers involved. Not to mention that Bush's FCC and solicitor general were the ones that originally challenged the speech.

    That's a rather unusual summary you have there.

  • CC

    I've seen the movie and shared the link of my facebook page. It's honest and factual, I know because I paid have attention over the past 30 years.