We all know that you can’t shout “fire” in a crowded theater. The Supreme Court has said as much. That hasn’t stopped Hillary Clinton and the liberal media from doing just that in response to the landmark Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC.
The case, which has been settled law for more than five years, continues to inspire visceral reactions from leftists. Just this week Hillary Clinton tried to rally her base by arguing, “We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if that takes a constitutional amendment.” It’s the same tired tactic that Barack Obama used in 2010 to rally liberals and Harry Reid resurrected in 2014 to mobilize voters. And with all the shady foreign money that flowed into the Democrat National Committee and Clinton-Gore re-election campaign in 1996, Hillary Clinton is not exactly a credible voice for good government campaign finance reform measures.
Senator Bernie Sanders alleges that “if we don’t overturn Citizens United, Congress will become paid employees of the billionaire class.” Politicians tend to resort to over-the-top rhetoric when they’re not able to back up their position with facts.
It’s worth noting that while liberal politicians have taken to the media to express their dislike of Citizens United, this war on the First Amendment is not always being waged in the open. Hollywood liberals have joined to fight against free speech and have gone so far as to develop a television series, American Odyssey, that’s meant to serve as an indictment of the ruling, all while disguising it as a slick Hollywood drama. The show’s creator, Nora Kay Foster, has offered some of the most inflammatory rhetoric: “Corporations are more powerful now than a nation-state, and people are really onto the fact that our democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests, and our votes are not really counting anymore.”
As Clinton, Reid, and their friends in the media try to stir the pot of liberal angst, all they’ve done is embolden their supporters to break the law in service to their cause. We’ve seen the Supreme Court interrupted by so-called campaign finance “reformers” who have a bone to pick with the Citizens United decision. They infiltrate the gallery and one by one stand up to protest the right to political speech that Citizens United restored. It’s the height of hypocrisy that those protesters rallying against corporate political speech have chosen to incorporate to protect their own interests.
While demonstrating inside the Supreme Court is undignified, this week we nearly saw the debate turn deadly. A Florida mailman piloted a gyro-copter towards the United States Capitol building in a misguided attempt to deliver 535 letters to Congress calling for campaign finance reform. Had he flown any closer to the Speaker’s Balcony, his attempt to draw attention to his cause may have resulted in his being shot down from the sky. If this individual knew what the Citizens United case was really about — government censoring the advertisements for a documentary film — would he have tried this life-threatening stunt?
To the extent these liberals have a coherent message or well-reasoned points to make regarding campaign finance I encourage them to exercise their First Amendment rights and engage in a robust debate. I truly believe that the ability to engage in a robust debate over policies is one of the core principles that makes the American system of government so great. Whether an issue is being debated on the Senate floor, at a campaign debate, or over the dinner table, we as a nation benefit from the thorough vetting and competition of ideas.
The problem is that Hillary Clinton and her liberal acolytes are no longer content to intelligently and rationally debate campaign finance or the First Amendment. They’ve instead turned to childish tantrums aimed at inciting anger and vitriol among liberals. Rather than setting forth clear policies to put the country back on track Clinton is trying to rally her base in opposition to Citizens United. While shouting “fire” may whip up a frenzy, it’s not a sign of a true leader.