The thread of Liberal Stupidity


#1804

This is what I am referring to. Perhaps you can clarify.


#1805

I think if you set out to help someone get elected with your money (rather than with your time or your speech) you’re engaging in making financial contributions to a campaign, and that there should be some limit to how much you can spend on that effort, because the absence of such a limit perverts democracy by giving the wealthy a greater voice and influence and impact on elections, and because it surely leads to tit for tat corruption by elected politicians.

A web site that expresses your political views need not run afoul of that restriction, unless it turns out that the web site serves no other purpose than to campaign for a particular candidate.

My view on this is not an unusual or controversial view in the historic scope of the country, because it was the prevailing view under the law for much of the 20th century. It is not the prevailing legal view now because courts have ruled against it. But in fact they ruled in favor of it before, too.

And that is my last word on it.


#1806

But that distinction means nothing.
For instance, saying that Trump sucks balls is totally a political viewpoint. But it could also totally have an impact on an election. You can’t reasonably restrict my ability to express that viewpoint.

And the examples I gave highlight how totally absurd such a rule would be, even apart from how it’s obviously infringing upon my right to express myself. Because it would mean that I as an American citizen couldn’t express that opinion, but someone in another country totally could, which is directly opposing the stated goals of your proposed laws.

You keep saying this. It’s not remotely true.

At no point was it illegal for me to express my political opinions in the public sector. And it was done every day in print and on TV.


#1807

Now if one of the doctors was a PhD from Texas with interesting ideas about race and immigration THEN maybe you’d have something.


#1808

Actually it’s those restrictions on political campaigning that disappear under the slightest scrutiny.

I actually kind of agree with both sides here - I think there should be restrictions on political advertising, and I think that would be a clear breach of the 1st amendment. In places without a 1st amendment broadcast media has generally been more tightly regulated, and this does seem to have helped a lot. However with the rise of the internet that regulation has become less effective at containing demagoguery. Can the government effectively regulate internet speech? Can they do so without chilling effects on free speech generally? I don’t think so.

At the end of the day I’m more worried, globally, about the threats to free speech than the threat from corporate over-representation in political influence. @legowarrior thinks he’s opposing Putin - but on this issue he sounds more like an authoritarian left winger of the type Putin loves to fund.


#1809

In the UK making signs, printing flyers etc. is all regulated as a campaign expense during the campaign period. Volunteer’s time is not accounted for.

This shifts ability to influence elections from well funded parties and corporations to the news media and large grassroots organisations staffed by able bodied people with free time.

Right now, in the UK, I’d say that’s a net win; but it kind of bears out the point you and Nesrie are making.


#1810

Yes, but the reality also is that the UK’s free speech rights are not as robust as ours, and I personally prefer to live under the US constitutional rules rather than the UK’s.

That being said, for sake of interest, I’m curious as to how the following things are regulated in the UK:

  1. Is a campaign sign that I make myself regulated?
  2. What about a sign which doesn’t mention a particular candidate, but merely expresses some view, which may be that of one of the candidates?
  3. What if I make a sign which isn’t supporting a candidate, but instead just says that they suck?
  4. How does this all translate to digital form and social media? For websites and such?

#1811

In the US, making signs and printing flyers is also regulated as a campaign expense, if it is the campaign which is making (buying) the signs and flyers, or if it is a PAC which is doing it. Those millions of professionally printed signs saying ‘Trump/Pence’ were all campaign expenditures, assuming they were printed at the behest of the campaign or a PAC.

If an individual is doing it, however, at no cost to the campaign, it is not regulated as a campaign expense, even if the ‘individual’ is a private company that owns a printshop and decides to print a million of them just because they want Trump to win and they have the financial means to help make that happen.

At least, that’s the way I think it works. Feel free to correct.


#1812

I’m not an expert on the rules, they are here:

My interpretation:

  1. Yes. If you do not include an imprint that is (very technically) a criminal offence.
  2. “Election material is published material that can reasonably be regarded as intended to influence voters
    to vote for or against a political party or a category of candidates”
  3. Pretty clearly this is included.
  4. My understanding is that this counts as expenditure, but none of the other rules (imprints etc.) apply.

I’m sure you find this draconian, and I appreciate the argument that it’s corruptible and any attempt to introduce something similar under the Trump administration could be immediately disastrous.

The result in terms of signs is people tend to display officially party-produced signs rather than making their own.

At the moment the main controversy over these rules is that they appear to be applied selectively in respect of the Brexit referendum - as far as I can tell the Brexit and Remain campaigns breached them in very similar ways - but only the Brexit campaign is being investigated. The system is certainly no panacea. It does keep us from being barraged by a constant stream of political advertising though!


#1813

All I can say about this argument is that I really miss the Fairness Doctrine and equal time rules. Not that they matter much in the online world. But I think they might’ve prevented the scourge that is Fox “News” and Sinclair’s shenaningans.


#1814

Nah, they don’t at all. You just get weak ass foils.

Garbage like Tucker Carlson’s show would pass all those old rules, because he has opposing voices on every show. They’re just generally idiots, designed to make the opposing side look bad.


#1815

I honestly can’t believe people actually watch his garbage. His face…so punchable. His views are so repugnant. It’s hard to imagine people like Carlson and Hannity exist in this world.


#1816

Did the fairness doctrine and equal time rule ever apply to cable? For some reason I thought both were broadcast media rules for television and radio. The fairness doctrine is about providing public interest material, and the equal time rule is about equal access by opposing candidates.

What’s notable is that the Courts upheld these rules repeatedly, largely on the grounds that the medium (a broadcast frequency) was the property of the people to which no individual entity had a right to use; that the people granted use of the frequency to an individual with the requirement that the individual use it in a manner consistent with the public good.

The fairness doctrine is gone because the Reagan administration killed it, though no doubt if they hadn’t it would have been struck down by a conservative Court by now. But the equal time rule is I think still in place and still binds broadcast networks; though there are many exceptions for talk shows, etc, and it has never applied to cable media.

You may be right, but nothing like Fox News ever developed in the broadcast media space. Hard to believe the equal time rule had nothing to do with that.


#1817

Good summary of the rules. I’ve never seen a personally made sign in the UK!

Given we only really know about spending breaches following an investigation, it’s sort of hard to tell. I’ve got a bit more faith in our institutions than you do.


#1818

yeah, probably illegal
carefulnowCapture


#1819

Curse my cavalier use of language!


#1820

This isn’t just liberal stupidity. This might be liberal evilness.

Because, as was very well covered by actual lawyers all over the internet yesterday when it was first suggested that citizens try filing their own charges with the DC circuit…

It’s either crashingly stupid, in which case, do better.

Or…somewhere along the line, someone is making money by being willfully deceptive.

I have no idea if Kavanaugh’s statements approach perjury. I sort of gather that they may not. But if someone’s filing a referral on it, it will be someone associated with the US government.


#1821

We totally have the tapes and keep not releasing them guys!!!

FOR REAL

Shut up you fuckwits.


#1822

Edit: Oh reading her timeline she’s just a shill for Russia and Putin. Everything makes sense. I guess I’ll leave the post.


#1823

Yeah, p