Freedom of Speech

February 9, 2010

With the recent Supreme Court decision to allow corporations to donate unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns as an expression of "Freedom of Speech," there emerges a concept long overlooked by the average legal scholar. The concept involves the difference between free expression of ones views in the form of cash payments to a candidate and the candidate "listening" to those views in the form of accepting cash payments.  A little hard of hearing are we?  Unlike Judge Alito, Professors Jonathan Turley, Floyd Abrams and many other respected Constitutional experts, I am only a rural physician and a bumbling, homespun philosopher, but, as they say: "My hearing is pretty good!"  Furthermore, I can "read pretty good too!"  I must have read the Constitution ten times last night, "cover to cover," and I can't seem to find that "dad blamed" part about "accepting cash payments" as "listening to freely expressed speech."

It's not that I disagree with the august body of legal experts, who are obviously able to remember the first and fourteenth amendment without rereading them, you understand.  I too,  respecting their opinions, believe that corporations, foreign entities and even terrorists ought to be afforded the same exact rights that everyone, not just U.S. citizens, are promised under the Constitution.  In fact, I do not find any Constitutional exceptions mentioned in either the Articles or Amendments that prohibit bumbling homespun philosophers, Supreme Court Justices, policemen or even convicted terrorists from accepting "Freedom of Speech" tokens of agreement from their ardent admirers.

If we take the Supreme Court's ruling at face value, of course, it means that donations of money to organizations approving of terrorist activities, or even to terrorist organizations, can be defended as "Freedom of Speech."  It means that the bank accounts of donors to terrorist organizations cannot be lawfully raided as the previous administration was wont to do.  The money can be confiscated, legally, from the terrorist organization, for some reason or other, I suppose.  Maybe its not legal to take the money if it's to be used for illegal purposes?

Hmmm... does that mean that Tom Delay and Billy Tauzin have to give their generous donations back to Pharma?  You know, the "Freedom of Speech" tokens that they received in exchange for excluding the right of Medicare to negotiate fair drug prices, the Medicare Part D scam.  Does it mean that Billy Tauzin has to give back the two million dollars in "Freedom of Speech" salary that he now earns as whore, excuse me, president of that lobby?  Is the thirty or forty billion dollars a year in overpayments by Medicare for the overpriced drugs to be considered "Freedom of Speech?"  It is a donation, of sorts, however unwilling, of the Seniors money to the drug companies as a "freely expressed" token of thanks from the Republican Party.  The fact that they don't use their own party money is just a "picky little" detail.  Besides, Democrats will not complain, as long as they are permitted to play the same "Freedom of Speech" game with, you guessed it: durable goods, oxygen and laboratory lobby donations.

Excuse me for a minute, please, I have a long distance phone call from Afghanistan, it's from my Uncle Cyrus, the Black Sheep of the family. He's a little strange and I'm the only one in the family who talks to him.  I just explained the new law to him.  He's working for Blackwater International, the mercenary company, and I arranged a wonderful contract for him.  He's a little hard of hearing and the connection's not too good, but I'll put him on speaker phone:

"What's that, you say? Speak up! You say that the government has a no-bid contract for us? As a token of their 'freedom of speech' appreciation, we can collect one billion dollars? My men and I can sodomize or kill all the defenseless Afghan political prisoners we want, without any penalty?  All this because they love fanatical Christian mercenaries? we don't have to run this by the Supreme Court, the Constitutional experts or anyone? You say its guaranteed by the Constitution?  Wow!  Is this a great country or what?"

Allen Finkelstein, D.O.