In today’s WSJ Harry Reid Rewrites the First Amendment by Theodore Olson
The critics also ignore that Citizens United and McCutcheon make it easier for the unions on which the Democrats rely to spend money on elections. Unions outspent businesses by more than 2 to 1 in 2013. If money corrupts, then one would expect Mr. Reid and his colleagues to condemn the “corrupt” influence of unions in politics. And these Democrats presumably would brand liberal billionaire Tom Steyer’s pledge to commit his political-action committee to spend $100 million to defeat Republicans in 2014 as especially corrupting—but Mr. Reid has instead welcomed the support.
Democrats claim that the Supreme Court has made politicians and political parties less accountable by encouraging donations involving outside interest groups. Outside of what? Democrat fundraising circles? Their actual fear is that less traditional candidates—including outsiders—will have the funding necessary to challenge incumbents in primaries without the blessing of party elders.
It hardly enhances democracy to pine for the days when candidates were chosen by party bosses in secret, rather than by voters presented with candidates expressing a range of political viewpoints. If Democrats are concerned about the vitality of political parties when contending with outside groups, then Democrats should embraceMcCutcheon, which enables citizens to increase contributions to parties.
“In the entire history of the Constitution,” the late Ted Kennedy once stated on the Senate floor, “we have never amended the Bill of Rights, and now is not the time to start. It would be wrong to carve an exception in the First Amendment. Campaign finance reform is a serious problem, but it does not require that we twist the meaning of the Constitution.”
Let’s all pay attention to Kennedy’s words and drop this foolishness.