Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Weaponizing the First Amendment with the Politics of Resentment!

Democrats would be wise to work "resentment" into their discussions of what should be a winning American agenda. I wrote about it here, based on an incredible tweet storm by Republican Bruce Bartlett. It was a blog post that got almost no views. I guess Democrats already knew this stuff.

I'm not kidding...resentment, resentment, resentment!!! Please, it works. Scott Walker reversed a century and a half of progress with it. From NPR/WPR's Fresh Air, and edited to feature "resentment:"

Republicans are now using RESENTMENT for's the new "uncertainty." 

1. Big Monied Conservatives Higher Calling...and Spending: It's no secret that big monied conservatives are now using the courts to weaponize the First Amendment with the politics of resentment, openly using it to justify "dark money." Would I kid you?
Donor disclosure to the IRS "can easily be abused to suppress First Amendment rights," said David Keating, president of the anti-regulation Institute for Free Speech.

"Citizens shouldn't fear harassment or persecution over their beliefs," said Nathan Nascimento of Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a business association that's a financial hub of the Koch brothers' political network.

Mitch McConnell said the new rules would prevent Americans from being "bullied for exercising their First Amendment rights."
...resulting in this jaw-dropping administrative rule:
Dark Money Rules: The Trump administration has weakened a donor disclosure rule for tax-exempt groups, possibly letting more foreign cash into U.S. politics. Under the new rules 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations and 501(c)(6) business associations will not (have to disclose donors). Critics call these groups, which are sometimes used by secretive political funds, "dark money."
The voting public left and right ended up being road kill over the issue of money in politics, which they are firmly against...
 Limit campaign spending.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans say new laws would be effective in reducing role of money in politics

But it's still okay because these dark money groups - like the NRA now a Russian front group and the US Chamber of Commerce...are all on the right:
The 501(c)(4) social welfare groups have been a rising force in politics, especially on the right. There is also a smattering of heavily financed 501(c)(6) business associations in politics, again on the right.
Heck, it's not written in the IRS code, so why create a supposed "national database." Russian influence over our elections? Who cares. From NPR, the whole story:

The First Amendment and Free Speech: So let's wipe out any and all control we ever had over our government.

2. Allowing foreign nations to attack candidates in U.S. elections because they too have free speech rights?
Politico: Why Banning Russian Facebook Ads Might Be Impossible: Conservative judges are skeptical of regulating foreign interference in our elections, citing free-speech concerns. Will the Supreme Court toss out Senate efforts to crack down? 

A three-judge court construed the statute barring foreign election spending to apply only to express advocacy ... it had to read the statute this way thanks to another Roberts Court opinion, which held that reading the issue advocacy test broadly would violate the First Amendment.
Make no mistake, resentment based on “victimization” is also now registering off the Richter scale since Trump legitimized hate speech. These mouth drooling Trump dependent worshippers really do think racist and bigoted epithets are protected free speech rights, and that every other protected freedom pales in comparison or disappears completely.

You wouldn't be partisan to say these beliefs are only a characteristic of the repressed and fearful conservatives now holding the reigns of government because they've got the supposed higher political calling.

3. The stacked bought-and-paid-for conservative Wisconsin State Supreme Court upheld a professor's free speech rights to publish the personal information and email of an ideological opponent and student teacher so others could harass and threaten her. And he did it twice:
As the University explained: "The professor used his personal blog to mock a student teacher, intentionally exposing her name and contact information to a hostile audience that sent her vile and threatening messages."
The following example is just a courthouse argument away from redefining the First Amendment in our conservative stacked judicial system based on the Federalist Society's concept of "originalism:"
California student claims he’s a victim after losing his athletic scholarship for shouting homophobic slurs at civil rights protesters. Bronson Harmon attended California Polytechnic State University on a wrestling scholarship, which was rescinded after viral videos showed him using anti-LGBT slurs while marching with his father, reported The Tribune“Saying what I said is definitely not the right thing. I still feel like my freedom of speech was taken away, and I don’t think my scholarship should have been revoked over something like that” ... is shown flipping off a demonstrator and screaming, “F*ck you, f*ggot.” Another video shows Harmon shouting “Trump 2020” at protesters. The Harmons and a friend also started a fight with demonstrators, according to police.

Harmon blames the demonstrators for his use of the homophobic slur. “I totally regret it. I got caught up in the heat of the moment. I was there to peacefully protest the things that we believe, and people were harassing us, spitting on us and calling us Nazis.”

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