Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) drew audible gasps Thursday when he told gathering of Christian conservatives that Democrats intended to amend the Constitution to limit free speech. “When you think it can’t get any worse, it does,” Cruz warned at the Watchmen…
Ted Cruz is at it again. It appears there is no lie too large or exaggeration too outlandish for Teddy to milk for political capital and gin up the Tea Party base. The above “bombshell” is nothing of the sort as the text accompanying the video shows. This isn’t about repealing individual citizen’s First Amendment rights, but an attempt by Democrats to showcase the Republican Party’s craven support of big corporations and their campaign donations. Let’s face it: The Republicans are big money addicts aided and abetted by the un-American Citizens United decision. Teka-Lark Fleming posted a comprehensive article about the effect Citizens United has had on the electoral process on the political website Counter Punch. Here are the opening lines which place Cruz’s statements today in proper prospective.
“The American election has been destroyed by the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
The aforementioned United States constitutional law case held that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting political Independent Expenditures (IE) by corporations, associations or labor unions.
In a nutshell, the decision was described as Corporations are people. If an entity is a person, giving money to whomever one desires is protected by the First Amendment.” Counter Punch
The amendment that Cruz spoke of in the video was actually proposed by Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, not Sen. Chuck Schumer. Schumer’s name, however, is red meat for religious conservatives, Tea Party members and other right wing interest groups. From the text above:
“The amendment proposed by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) would allow the federal government and states to once again regulate the raising and spending of money in elections, as they did before the Citizens United decision.”
Cruz’s allegations in the article states:
“It explicitly says nothing in this new amendment shall abridge the freedom of the press.
So the New York Times is protected, but it doesn’t say the same thing about the freedom of speech,” Cruz said. “It doesn’t say the same thing about religious liberty, what is says it that politicians in Washington have unlimited constitutional authority to muzzle each and every one of you if you’re saying things the government finds inconvenient.”
Obviously, this is a classic Red Herring that seeks to cherry pick facts to allow Cruz to scare the hell out of the base despite the lack of credibility of his statements. The Udall amendment isn’t about allowing the New York Times an unfettered license to keep publishing at the expense of individual freedom of expression. It isn’t about suppressing religious liberties (which is an egregious attempt to play on the paranoid beliefs of conservative Christians – a common ploy of Cruz and his father). It isn’t about taking away the individual’s freedom of speech. It’s about actual living and breathing citizen’s retaking control over the influence corporations wield in all of our lives, especially in regard to political financing of elections.
There is no doubt that Cruz is a crafty political operative. He knows how to play on the fears of his base and to lace his comments with hot button issues (often irrelevant) and absurd statements that take the facts and twist them around to fit his own reality. Frankly, if his base didn’t severely hurt the democratic process by believing his load of malarkey, one could almost feel sorry for them – almost. After all, they eat this crap up with a spoon. Consequently, the Tea Party’s penchant for willful ignorance and dependency on conniving politicians and bogus news outlets makes it hard to feel sorry for them.
How is this a democracy in action? LOL