Friday, January 29, 2010

Will Wilkinson on the Citizens United Reaction

I know, I know .. but you know how there are some issues where you can agree to disagree and other issues where there's just right and wrong? This is one of those issues where I can't escape the conclusion that either 1- many progressives are just willing to censor speech or 2- that many progressives are just working with flawed logic. Expect a few more posts. Meanwhile, Will Wilkinson had a very good comment on the subject in his blog :

The anguished cries of left-leaning folk over the Citizens United ruling seem to me to be emanating from an alternate universe, so bizarre are they. This was a case about whether the state can suppress the distribution of an unflattering documentary about a powerful political candidate produced by a small group of private citizens. The crazy thing to me is that anyone ever thought that such a rule was not in blatant violation of the First Amendment. The extra-crazy thing is that four Supreme Court justices evidently think this kind of state censorship of political speech is hunky dory. I’m going to chalk up some of the freakout to this week’s spectacular pileup of disasters for progressives. Sorry guys. I know it’s been rough. But I have to say I was taken aback by the vehemence with which people I like and admire have insisted that the state must selectively silence political speech. I didn’t realize that this was such a profound point of disagreement. As I see it, these regulations have accomplished very little other than to protect the interests of powerful, entrenched incumbent politicians against public criticism.

Wilkinson's follow up is also worth the read, as are the comments of both posts.


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