January 25, 2010

George Will on This Week thinks we're supposed to believe that corporations have no interest in what goes on in politics and that politicians are not influenced by campaign donations. He also obviously believes that the viewers of This Week are blathering idiots if he thinks anyone is buying this hog wash. And of course he managed to get a shot in on the filthy trial lawyers before he was finished. George loves them about as much as he loves unions.

MORAN: Let's -- let's go across the street from the Congress for a moment. There was a historic decision this week out of the Supreme Court of the United States on the First Amendment, the court holding that the campaign finance reform prohibition on corporations and unions using the money from their general funds to support or oppose candidates, that's a violation of free speech. So is this a vindication of the First Amendment, or is this a surrender to the plutocracy?

WILL: Vindication, because the court recognized the obvious, which is that you cannot disseminate political speech without money. And, therefore, to restrict money is to restrict the dissemination of speech. To that end, they have freed up the amount of money that will be spent.

Now, some people are saying, oh, corporations, that means Microsoft will be buying ads. Microsoft's trying to sell software. They're not interested in getting into political fights.

What this really emancipates are nonprofit advocacy corporations such as the Sierra Club. I pick that not at random because the Sierra Club was fined $28,000 in Florida last year for falling afoul of the incomprehensible, that-thick set of regulations on our political speech.


MORAN: And here's the concern, George. Let me just challenge -- because you're the advocate on this. The concern is not just in elections, but when they take votes.


MORAN: They're going take a vote, and they're going to know that, if they vote the wrong way, Wall Street can spend against them, the insurance industry can spend against them, directly, right up to the day of the election.

WILL: A mountain of social science has failed to demonstrate that campaign contributions as opposed to the convictions of the legislator and of his constituents determine how someone votes.

Cokie says we're awash in money. All federal elections last year, $5 billion, Congress up to the president, exactly -- almost exactly what the country spends on tortilla chips. This is not -- we're not awash in money. This is a rich country.

Second, what Matt said is exactly right. The Democrats are the ones who are profiting right now. The president came out and said, "This is Big Oil and Big Gas." No, it's -- lawyers are the biggest contributors, and 83 percent of their money today is going to Democrats.

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