Oh, the DISCLOSE Act, they make it sound so noble. In President Obama’s remarks calling for passing of the DISCLOSE Act, he said, “At a time of such challenge for America, we can’t afford these political games. Millions of Americans are struggling to get by, and their voices shouldn’t be drowned out by millions of dollars in secret, special interest advertising. The American people’s voices should be heard.” He paints it as the little people fighting against large, corporate interests. But actually, the bill is structured to favor larger corporate interests over small corporate interests. The favoritism is so blatant, that even the ACLU couldn’t bring itself to support the bill. The ACLU statement said:
“The Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) bill (H.R. 5628) includes a provision obligating many advocacy organizations that wish to speak out on candidates and, in certain situations, political issues, to release the identities of many of their donors, while allowing a few large organizations to preserve the privacy of their donors. The amendment exempts organizations that have over 500,000 members, are over 10 years old, have a presence in all 50 states and whose revenue from corporations and unions is less than 15 percent. By exempting larger organizations that might tend to be more mainstream from certain disclosure requirements, the bill inequitably suppresses only the speech of smaller organizations that might be more controversial, and compromises the anonymity of small donors.” (Click here for the full text of the ACLU statement urging a no vote on the DISCLOSE Act.)
Mark Levin is right – we’re being led toward a soft tyranny. Obama and the Democrats in Congress write these laws and then lie about what they’re going to do. Since the press is complicit in their objectives, they regurgitate the lie rather than expose it. Thus, the Democrats feel emboldened, that they can get away with these deceptions. And to a large measure, they do. Because of the speed and mass of the train as it moves forward, even some of the more fair-minded people in the media are intimidated from really exposing what is going on.
The Wall Street Journal has a very helpful editorial explaining the deceptions of the Disclose act. The article is co-authored by former Federal Election Commissioners Joan Aikens, Lee Ann Elliott, Thomas Josefiak, David Mason, Bradley Smith, Hans A. von Spakovsky, Michael Toner and Darryl R. Wold. Because it treats unions and businesses differently, and because it exempts large special interest groups, and because the disclosure burdens are so onerous, it is very clear that the motive is to silence groups like the Tea Parties from putting out ads that could hurt incumbent Democrats. They said:
“Those regulatory burdens often fall hardest not on large-scale players in the political world but on spontaneous grass-roots movements, upstart, low-budget campaigns, and unwitting volunteers.”
Even though this issue is much more scary than it ever could be funny, I was somewhat amused by Pres. Obama’s comments after the bipartisan leadership meeting today. He was being stymied in Congress, and was frustrated about the effect that the impending election is having on his agenda. He said:
“It’s during this time that the noise and the chatter about who’s up in the polls and which party is ahead threatens to drown out just about everything else.”
Yes, Mr. President, this is so inconvenient to your agenda, to actually have to deal with upcoming elections. I’m sure you could find a better system for getting things done and serving the interests of the people. Actually listening to the people is so troublesome, when you know so much better what they need.
Conservatives, we need to be more bold and savvy in exposing the intolerance of the left. They promote themselves as the defenders of civil liberties while they trample them. Their instincts are to squelch dissent. We need to point that out, loudly, every time they do it.