We don’t believe in this democracy now. We don’t believe in this Congress. We need to restore the integrity of Congress so that we can believe once again in this democracy. But Congress reforming Congress — through the very process we all know has been hopelessly corrupted — simply won’t be enough to erase the stain that blights our politics now. We need an amendment that speaks to the fundamental commitment of Americans — to this Republic, and its democracy.
I find it impossible to be motivated by this rallying cry without actually seeing what change they intend to make to the Constitution. Perhaps this petition is what petitions really are - more about changing the minds of the people who sign them then about the changing the minds of the people who receive them.
Consider this mind unchanged.
There has been a lot of hand wringing in the past few days from liberal circles about the idea that speech which is published by a corporation shouldn't be subject to the protections of the first amendment. I find all this talk to be deeply wicked. Most places that publish professional thinking are corporations, including every news media outlet, radio station, political organization, book publisher, web site, think tank, or magazine. If Congress can regulate what these things publish there will be almost no speech which cannot be regulated. That's nonsensical.
If there is some sort of articulate principal that can be applied here that isn't tantamount to eliminating the First Amendment entirely I have not yet heard it articulated.
I don't think any of this campaign finance reform has made one lick of difference in our electoral process and I find the idea of amending the Constitution so that we can fine people for unlawful political speech to be among the most dangerous ideas that has ever come out of the left.
The thing that sucks about freedom of speech is that rich people can afford more speech than you can. Thats always been the case. Thats always going to be the case. That was understood to be the case when the Constitution was ratified. Rich people can pretty much afford more of everything than you can. Thats kind of how capitalism works.
You want an equalizer? Look to the Internet. The idea that in the era of the Internet we need more control over political speech than we did in the era of broadcast media is insane. People have other sources than television ads to decide who to vote for. We need only encourage them to use those sources.
Here's another idea. If we're really concerned about "democratic" elections being undemocratic, why don't we go back to having Senators chosen by State Legislatures instead of by popular vote? We obviously didn't really fix the problems we thought we were fixing when we chose the popular election of Senators, so maybe we should go back to THAT drawing board. Maybe they should be elected by the Representatives we send to the House? If you want to prevent a situation were a State fails to send Senators, that can easily be done by denying them all federal funding when the seats are empty.
Its simple, its true to form, and it doesn't undermine important civil liberties.