Why SCOTUS Got McCutcheon Right(ish)

The Supreme Court under Justice Roberts has been a mixed bag of nuts, with some good decisions (Citizens United and Heller, for example) as well as bad (Kelo and the Obamacare justification stand out off the top of my head). Thankfully, they got the decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission right, even if they talked a lot of shit in arguing it. You can read their partially-to-mostly blithering opinions here, but I’ll shorten it down to simple points, because simplicity is what the law should be.

  • This is a free speech case, first and foremost. In fact, the court mostly nails this in the first line: “The right to participate in democracy through political contributions is protected by the First Amendment….” Except for that bullshit about democracy (AKA the popular killing of free speech), this is the essentials of the case. They then immediately go into why the government should control speech (so the government can prevent government corruption (like putting a nymphomaniac in charge of an orgy with instructions to make sure no one gets fucked)), thus invalidating their first statement. And don’t even get me started on Justice Breyer’s “public interest” bullshit excuses why the government should control political speech. This brings us to point two….
  • Money IS free speech, after a fashion. By this, I mean that the application of money is a key way to get your message out. In fact, it’s probably the best way to solve the incumbent problem, by making the bastards justify their legislative lunacy. My only exception is actually buying politicians, but that can be expected, because, really…
  • Money is a measure of value only. People who fling the “money is the root of all evil” line should really be punched in the dick. This is because money is essentially a tool used to expedite exchange, to measure the value of an item or a service or (indirectly, because slavery is bad) a person. It is neither good nor evil. It simply is, because….
  • The problem is not money; the problem is power. It is the intent of those who trade money for the power to use force that is the issue. This is why it is important to distinguish capitalism (the economic system of free exchange) with the crony capitalist (or more succinctly, corportatist) system that we have. In our current system, one does not have to produce a better product to drive competition out of business. Then need only find the right person to pass the right law to outlaw the competition (I’d list examples, but I want to finish this post today, not 2015). This power of the gun to force other people to your will is the true problem, which means….
  • Government, by nature, leans toward corruption. It really doesn’t matter which part of government, which idiotic party (fuck Team Red AND Team Blue), or what talking point is used: as a government collects power, it collects corruption. By human nature, those who seek power tend to use it, then abuse it, to their own end. If you’re lucky, you’ll get someone who generally won’t dick with you while he rolls in the port. On the other hand you might get a nanny-state moralist who knows much better than you how you should live your life. This brings me to my conclusion which is….
  • Campaign finance reform is bullshit, and should be thrown out. Like every other thing, people will find every loophole in the law and exploit it. Plus, the assholes that pass the crap are the ones affected by it, so they will design it so that it benefits them (the incumbent problem again). So any campaign finance law, with maybe the exception of a transparency law, doesn’t really do dick. The only way to combat corruption is to limit what any government can do. Because if you can’t buy a politician to pass a law, the “money in politics” problem is not much of a problem after all.
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About patrickmspeaks

Father, tech-head, political sage, and the Illustrious One of (little) 3x2 fame, I have been blogging for a few years now, and want to stretch in new directions, discover new things, and redefine redefining just for the fun of it. Nonetheless, having produced a pointless paragraph about me, I'll stop before something bursts.
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2 Responses to Why SCOTUS Got McCutcheon Right(ish)

  1. jerrycritter says:

    How do you limit what government can do without first removing the money?

  2. Well, first of all, you can never forcefully remove the money. Banning certain contributions, etc, is essentially a form of prohibition. Prohibition of any voluntary activity means that either you find loopholes or you you do it under the table. So that leaves us with only a couple options (both of which can be found in the Declaration of Independence:

    1. revolution – this is the unlikely step since it means upheaval and blood and death and all the shit that occurred back the last time we threw off an oppressive government. And then there are no guarantees what will happen on the other end.

    2. Constitutional convention, with the sole purpose of placing limits on the government. Things that need to be limited are: the governments power to tax, the president’s power to start wars and commit troops, the size, scope, and number of federal agencies (a lot get disbanded under these steps), and term limits (because this is the only practical way to limit the political class). This is also difficult, especially because there are too many people that don’t see the problem.

    In light of this, I don’t have a practical answer as to how to limit what government can do, other than voting out each and every incumbent, with maybe a few exceptions, voting for people that the establishment parties don’t like, raising hell any time the government tries to grow itself, and withdrawing consent from the government where possible.

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