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Burrus: Should it be against law to criticize Harry Reid?

 

Burrus: Should it be against law to criticize Harry Reid?

Trevor Burrus, a research fellow at the Cato Institute, writes in the Boston Herald about Harry Reid’s attempt to limit the First Amendment:

The world has never seen, and never will see, a law aimed at eliminating the praise of the lawmakers. Give them a chance to silence critics, however, and there is no end to what they will do.

They will couch their blatant attempts at censorship as vital to the “public interest,” but the light at the end of the tunnel will be to solidify their approval ratings and to make sure that no one can seriously challenge a sitting politician ever again.

Whatever happened to healthy cynicism when it comes to the self-interested motivations of politicians? When a sitting senator complains about people criticizing him the proper response is catcalls of derision, not support.

Reid fully demonstrated the dangers of giving elected representatives power over political spending when he made a spurious distinction between the spending of the Koch brothers, who are “in it to make money,” and the spending of Las Vegas casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, “who is not in this for money.” As a former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, surely Reid’s impartial judgment on the matter can be trusted.

The Koch brothers, liberal billionaire Tom Steyer, Sheldon Adelson, and George Soros may all have self-interested motives when it comes to political spending, but it pales in comparison to the self-interested motives of politicians using power and censorship to keep their jobs.

Silencing political speech solely serves the interests of incumbents. Fortunately, Harry Reid’s proposal is going nowhere.


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