Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wait, I've seen that movie before!

Brilliant take from James Taranto on the suggestion that Scott Brown is presidential material:

C'mon, Scott Brown? His victory last week was undoubtedly impressive, but let's put things in perspective. Brown is merely a state senator, and by the time of the next presidential election, he will have served less than a full term in the U.S. Senate. What could possibly give anyone the idea that he's experienced enough to go to the White House?

Honest partisans on either side should be willing to admit that the experience and fitness for office of Obama and Palin in 2008, and Brown in 2012, are the same. The dishonesty comes from the Democrat who claimed last fall that Obama was qualified for office but Palin a joke, or the Republican who claims now that Palin would have done a better job than has the comically overmatched Obama.


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Sunday, January 24, 2010

The rationale for censorship

We're too dumb to hear all opinions and still make an informed choice, according to anti-free speech activists. Bert Gall refutes such idiocy:

Democracy 21, which lobbies for strict restrictions on free speech, warns ominously that the [Citizens United] decision “is a disaster for the American people.” Common Cause asserts that the decision has created a “political crisis.” On its Web page, Public Citizen proclaims, in huge red lettering, that “SUPREME COURT UNDOES DEMOCRACY.”

This hyperbole betrays a belief—common among proponents of restrictions on political speech—that Americans, like lemmings, are merely dull creatures who can be easily led off a cliff. Thus, unless the government “protects” us from hearing corporations’ speech about politics, we’ll always vote in ways that benefit corporations because they will spend lots of money to convince us to do so.

This conclusion is as ridiculous as it is patronizing. If corporations are capable of making the public do their bidding, then why isn’t everyone driving their Edsels to Circuit City to purchase Betamax video recorders?

The answer, of course, is that Americans are not imbeciles who mindlessly succumb to corporate advertising campaigns. We are fully capable of evaluating corporate speech on its merits; thus, we do not need “protection” from it.

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