Friday, February 27, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Reaction to Supreme Court decision reveals left’s halo of selfishness

sowell column sig

By
From page A9 | April 13, 2014 |

The recent Supreme Court decision overruling some Federal Election Commission restrictions on political campaign contributions has provoked angry reactions on the left. That is what often happens whenever the High Court rules that the First Amendment means what it says – free speech for everybody.

When the Supreme Court declared in 2010 that both unions and corporations had a right to buy political ads, that was considered outrageous by the left. President Barack Obama called the decision “devastating” and said it “will open the floodgates for special interests.”

Those unfamiliar with political rhetoric may not know that “special interests” mean people who support your opponents. One’s own organized supporters – such as labor unions supporting President Obama – are never called “special interests.”

All politicians are against “special interests,” by definition. They all want their own supporters to have the right to free speech, but not those individuals and groups so benighted as to support their opponents.

Even in an age of polarization and gridlock, the one area in which it is easy to get bipartisan support in Congress is in passing campaign finance laws, restricting how much money can be spent publicizing political candidates. What congressional Democrats and Republicans have in common is that they are all incumbents, and they all want to keep their jobs.

Publicity is necessary to win elections, and incumbents get millions of dollars’ worth of free publicity from the media. Incumbents can all pontificate in Congress and be covered by C-SPAN. They can get interviewed on network television, have their pictures in the newspapers, and send out mail to their constituents back home – and none of this costs them a dime.

Congressional staffs, paid by the taxpayers, are supposed to help members of Congress with the burdens of their office, but a major part of their staff’s work is to help get them re-elected.

That’s not just during campaign years. Everything members of Congress do is done with an eye toward re-election.

Any outsider who wants to challenge an incumbent at the next congressional election has to pay hard cash to buy ads and arrange other forms of publicity, in order just to get some comparable amount of name-recognition, so as to have any serious chance of winning an election against an incumbent.

Few people have the kind of money it takes for such a campaign, so they have to raise money – in the millions of dollars – to pay for what incumbents get free of charge.

Campaign finance laws that restrict who can contribute how much money, who can run political ads, etc., are all restrictions on political challengers who have to buy their own publicity.

If truth-in-packaging laws applied to Congress, a campaign finance law would have to be labeled an “Incumbents Protection Act.”

The very high rate of incumbent re-elections, even while polls show the public disgusted with Congress in general, shows how well incumbents are protected.

The media are accessories to this scam. So long as the information and opinions that reach the public are selected by mainstream media people, whom polls show to be overwhelmingly on the left, the left’s view of the world prevails.

Hence the great alarm in the media, and in equally one-sided academia, over the emergence of conservative talk radio programs and the Fox News Channel on television.

No longer can the three big broadcast television networks determine what the public will and will not see, nor two or three leading newspapers determine what is and is not news. Nobody wants to give up that kind of power.

When businesses that are demonized in the mainstream media, and in academia, can buy ads to present their side of the story, that is regarded in both the media and academia as distortion. At the very least, it can cost the left their self-awarded halo.

It is fascinating to see how some people – in both politics and the media – can depict their own narrow self-interest as a holy crusade for the greater good of society. The ability of the human mind to rationalize is one of the wonders of the world.

Thomas Sowell is an author, economist and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Lawyer: Defendant to testify in police shooting case

    By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1

    Oakland author, vet talks about researching Vietnamese side of war

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Fairfield mayor ready to share a whale of a tale

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

    Nonagenarian recounts life as spy in World War II

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

     
     
    Republican women to hear about immigration reform

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

     
    2-day event will focus on bullying prevention

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

     
    SafeQuest Solano plans garage sale, seeks donations

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Kaiser offers Capoot scholarships

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

     
     
    Wolk to chair committee on state’s wine industry

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

    Suisun City police log: Feb. 25, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Fairfield police log: Feb. 25, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    .

    US / World

    Llamas on the loose trends on Twitter

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Two inured in hazmat explosion

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    No charges yet for train crash truck driver

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    After 67 years of marriage, couple dies holding hands

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Missing 400-year-old Italian books found in California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Sacramento man pressured to remove swastikas

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Not guilty plea for suspect in Hollywood exec murder

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Feds: 3 accused in Islamic State plot vocal about beliefs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Vandalism in Arizona shows the Internet’s vulnerability

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Prosecutor: Mom craved attention, poisoned child with salt

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Saudi man convicted of conspiracy in ’98 US embassy bombings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    If Supreme Court says no, they’d lose health insurance help

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Panel: Use new meningitis vaccines only for outbreaks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    VA chief backs outside medical care as new program falters

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    House GOP weighs new approach on Homeland Security

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Ukraine, rebels start pulling back heavy weapons in the east

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    ‘Jihadi John’ raised in UK, studied computers, reports say

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Opinion

     
    Greece v. Europe: Too soon to say who won

    By Clive Crook | From Page: A11

     
    Who’s in charge?

    By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

    .

    Living

    Today in History: Feb. 27, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Feb. 27, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: Feb. 27, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

     
    I’m worrie about how my wife’s erratic behavior is affecting our kids

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

    .

    Entertainment

    Week in preview Feb. 27-March 5, 2015

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

     
    Conan O’Brien takes his show to Cuba for a special hour

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Review: Smith, Robbie pour on the charm in sharp ‘Focus’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Custom dress Lupita Nyong’o wore at Oscars reported stolen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    ABC’s Sawyer does prime-time prison special

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Q&A: Writer-director-actor Mark Duplass is a busy guy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Actor Will Patton charged with DUI in native South Carolina

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    AP Exclusive: Redmayne lends voice to “Thomas & Friends”

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Entertainment Calendar: Feb. 27, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

     
    Tea Leoni in a happy state as star of ‘Madam Secretary’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Graceland brings Elvis back to his Las Vegas home

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

     
    A’s begin baseball’s mandatory domestic violence training

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Earthquakes set to open new MLS stadium

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    LeBron scores 42, Cavs beat Warriors for 18th win in last 20

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    AP source: 49ers to bid to host college football title game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Bulls say Rose to have surgery on Friday

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    NASCAR back on track for extra day of testing in Atlanta

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    No word on possible MLB discipline for Angels star Hamilton

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Giants closer Casilla hit on shin during batting practice

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    LeBron not happy colleges recruiting 10-year-old son

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    IOC member, once critical of Rio, now sees ‘great progress’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Judge rules for Peterson, opening door for reinstatement

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Herman survives windy day; McIlroy stumbles at Honda Classic

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Roberts, NBA writers open discussion over locker room access

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    IOC relaxes rule on athletes and sponsors during Olympics

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Nevada gambling regulators sign off on Olympic betting

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Video shows Hernandez dancing near gas pump before killing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Kings’ Collison to have surgery, re-evaluated in 3-6 weeks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Business

    5 things to know about ‘net neutrality’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Regulators approve tougher rules for Internet providers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Volkswagen Jetta is a pleasure to live with, not just to gawk at

    By Washington Post | From Page: C1 | Gallery

     
    Strong reliability scores should help Buick brand’s rebirth

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

    Nissan executive known as ‘father of the Z’ dies at 105

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

     
    Medical marijuana passes tough first hurdle in Utah

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

    Applications for US jobless aid rise to 313,000

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

     
    Google looks for more revenue from ads in Android app store

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

    Walmart CEO wading through mounting issues

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

     
    Pew study: Americans still stressed despite improved economy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

    Facebook allows users to ‘fill in’ gender option

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Donald Grimm

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Gabriel T. Traub

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Maria Kraszewski

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9