Inside the bubble, the Democratic Party’s illiberal mission to undo one of the greatest achievements of the founding generation will cheered on by influential media figures like Chris Cuomo. It is hard to believe that such an ill-considered and myopically partisan effort will be greeted with enthusiasm by the rest of the country.
Fresh off the heels of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s embrace a philosophy that would result in the elimination of federal protections on “hate speech” (he mistakenly believed that those protections had been eliminated over a half-century ago by the Supreme Court), Barack Obama’s likely successor as America’s leading Democrat has embraced the cause of restricting free speech.
In her dogged quest to sate her restless left-flank, Hillary Clinton has endorsed the notion that the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC can only be reversed by passing an amendment to the Constitution. The Court determined in Citizens United that restrictions on campaign financing violated the First Amendment to the Constitution. As such, any amendment aimed at reversing that decision necessarily requires restricting the freedoms protected by the first item in the Bill of Rights.
Democrats contend that their amendment does not do away with the First, although they must concede that it does reform that key article of the Bill of Rights. Committed liberals often note that preventing unaccountable wealthy donors from unduly influencing the political process is generally popular. And it is, but so is the First Amendment. These two opposing conditions are irreconcilable. As a result, Democrats often refuse to attempt to reconcile them.
“Throughout American history, this constitutional guarantee of free speech has been the bulwark of the country’s experiment in self-government,” Donald McGahn wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal opinion. “Yet this consensus disappeared following Citizens United. The Democratic Party’s leadership, fearing the electoral losses that ultimately came to pass, called for a crusade to undo the Supreme Court’s decision. Their holy war found its fullest expression in the demand for a constitutional amendment that would, in essence, repeal the First Amendment.”