Keith Olbermann: SCOTUS decision on campaign finance will be worse than slavery. And more.

He sure seems to be making that point, anyway. Chief Justice John Roberts is worse, Olbermann writes, than the Chief Justice who wrote the rampantly racist Dred Scott decision in 1857.

I’m pointing it out, because it seems wrong to ignore it. I’m not going to discuss it further, because…well, I am the father of four children, and I learned long ago not to waste time parsing toddler-age arguments.

But there is a part of Olbermann’s column I do want to discuss, because it makes two important — wrong, but important — points:

In short, the first amendment – free speech for persons – which went into affect in 1791, applies to corporations, which were not recognized as the equivalents of persons until 1886. In short, there are now no checks on the ability of corporations or unions or other giant aggregations of power to decide our elections.

“No checks…” except, of course, all those other corporations, unions, giant aggregations of power.

Olbermann hasn’t noticed, but business and unions are frequently at odds. MoveOn.org — one of the “giant aggregations of power” on the Left, is frequently at odds with the Club for Growth. Right to Life; Planned Parenthood; the AARP; the NRA. These groups have wildly disparate agendas, and all of them spend large amounts of money, time, and effort promoting their agendas, and tearing down others.

More importantly, all those groups — yes, even corporations — are not “the equivalents of persons,” as Olbermann writes. They’re actual persons. Groups of people, who have banded together for one reason or another, frequently for the express purpose of furthering some political or social goal.

To limit their ability to influence their government, or to communicate with their fellow citizens, is different from muzzling an individual only in scope. Not in principle.

Let’s be honest with ourselves: corporations will spend a lot of money on upcoming elections. Unions, other private groups, will spend lots and lots of money. And we’re not going to like that.

A lot of that money will be spent on negative ads; on thinly-sourced attacks; on purposely-misinterpreted quotes from the target at hand.

We’re not going to like that. Just ask Scott Brown.

We’re not going to like the thought that maybe — just maybe — our representatives have been bought and paid for. We’re not going to like the fact that money equals power, and power attracts corruption. We won’t like it.

And guess what: none of that will be any different than before. Campaign finance rules never stopped any of that, ever.

The onus will still be on us — the voters — to either watch or not; listen or ignore; allow ourselves to be swayed by what we see during commercial breaks or do a little research on our own to make a decision.

Again, no different from now except, possibly, in scope.

The alternative is to limit political discourse. And no matter how much we dislike negative, ugly political tactics, clamping down on free political discourse is worse.

(More at The TrogloPundit)

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