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  •  Speech is money only to the extent we seek a (0+ / 0-)

    level playing field.  For that purpose, money is speech (of the contributor) and according to the R&B* Majority cannot be limited.  (*Reagan and Bush)

    To the extent that electoral competitors have such disparate financial resources (increasingly from outside their electoral region) that money is the dominant factor in allowing or preventing a candidate's "speech" , then according to that same R&B Majority, money is suddenly stuck speechless and is irrelevant in a 1st Amendment analysis.

    Under their analysis, the answer may be right, but they are answering the wrong question.

    The "money is speech" canard just hides an assumption that the primary measure of political campaign should be how much money can it raise.

    The "competition" in the "marketplace" is increasingly not with ideas, it is competition for money.  

    If we are competing for money, then anything that prevents people from giving us money is a fundamental distortion of the contest.  As inkled in the Citizens United decision, the R&B Majority leans towards an almost libertarian approach to campaign fundraising and given its rationale, it is difficult to envision any restraint on the raising and spending of private money, no matter how extreme the source or impact.  (Again, public sourcing is met with an entirely different standard given how these 5 individuals define the nature of the competition.)

    If, on the other hand, we are competing for votes based on the content of our message and the character of our candidates (as implied by the term "marketplace of ideas"), then having each candidate have an equal amount of money poses no barrier to achieving that goal.

    The corrupted, winner take all, celebrity-worshiping, wealth-is-everthing strain of the American value system that assumes that the richer you are the better person you are, the more deserving, more righteous, more entitled, has overtaken our campaigns for elected office like a creeping weed.  

    The examples in business and sport where money or mechanisms are limited not to distort competition but to preserve the competition based on values on which we wish competition to be conducted are everywhere in our society.  

    The fact that 5 rich white guys appointed by Reagan and Bush are unwilling or unable to see that reveals that their understanding of the nature of these "contests" has become warped and shallow.  

    We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

    by Into The Woods on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:51:34 PM PDT

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