With the story out that Democrat presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is actively courting big money for her super PAC, Priorities USA Action is resorting to a familiar boogeyman: the Citizens United decision on campaign finance, which liberals have railed against non-stop as a menace to democracy.
As the New York Times reported:
Hillary Rodham Clinton will begin personally courting donors for a “super PAC” supporting her candidacy, the first time a Democratic presidential candidate has fully embraced these independent groups that can accept unlimited checks from big donors and are already playing a major role in the 2016 race.
Of course, this latest maneuver by Clinton is a complete flip-flop from what she said just three weeks ago, when she criticized “unaccountable money” — a statement made even more laughable by the revelations in Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweitzer’s book Clinton Cash concerning the large sums of unaccountable money she and her husband have raked in.
Clinton’s full-court-press fundraising on behalf of her Super-PAC is also a complete repudiation of Democrat complaints about the flood of dirty money supposedly unleashed by the Citizens United decision. Attacking this case with sky-is-falling alarms about the purchase of democracy by shadowy special interests has been a rallying cry for nearly every Democrat with access to a microphone for years. The attacks are generally as false as they are virulent.
The liberal attacks on Citizens United generally focus on “corporate personhood”— an issue settled long before the CU decision — while failing to mention that if the Supreme Court had decided the other way, it would have led to massive First Amendment and freedom of speech issues.
What kind of speech issues? Well, how about book banning? Not just for big scary corporations (like book publishers) but for labor unions as well.
As Reason explained in 2010:
For example, Stewart was asked by Chief Justice John Roberts what would happen if a corporation were to publish a 500-page book discussing the American political system which concluded with a single sentence endorsing a particular candidate. Kagan’s deputy answered that such an endorsement would constitute “express advocacy” and therefore the corporation could only fund the publication of the book through a political action committee. “And if they didn’t, you could ban it?” asked the chief justice. “If they didn’t, we could prohibit publication of the book,” Stewart replied.
Even the most liberal justices, usually the most willing to curtail political free speech, seemed a little troubled. Justice David Souter asked what would happen if a labor union paid an author to write a book advocating the election of a particular candidate and then submitted the manuscript to Random House, which then agreed to publish it. The deputy solicitor general replied that he was unsure whether there would be a basis for suppressing such a book, but clearly stated that “the labor union’s conduct would be prohibited.”
The Democrats never seem to mention the book banning.
No matter, though. Hillary is now all-in for super PAC fundraising. Here are a few choice quotes from well-known liberal Democrats she’s just turned into (even bigger) hypocrites. Will any of these politicians, aside from perhaps her declared primary opponent Bernie Sanders, apply the same standard to Hillary?
Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT): What the Supreme Court did in Citizens United is to say to these same billionaires: “You own and control the economy, you own Wall Street, you own the coal companies, you own the oil companies. Now, for a very small percentage of your wealth, we’re going to give you the opportunity to own the United States government.” That is the essence of what Citizens United is all about – and that’s why it must be overturned.”
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL): The Supreme Court in essence has ruled that corporations can buy elections. If that happens, democracy in America is over.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL): Today’s decision by Supreme Court is a triumph for special interest and judicial activism at its worst. Overturning the ban on corporate spending on political campaigns opens the floodgates for the corrupting influence and the dominant hand of special interest groups
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA): I think we need a constitutional amendment to make it clear once and for all that corporations do not have the same free speech rights as individuals.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ): If Republicans want to stand with big-monied interests, with-big business interests, versus the average citizen, to try to influence elections, that’s fine with me.
Sen. Charles “Chuck” Schumer (D-NY): Now robber barons can act like parasites striking at our very roots.