I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Comics taught me that those who speak the truth are heroes, all the rest are liars.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Doug Wardlow -GOP 38B - Let's Talk Intolerance!

Dave Mindeman at mnpACT! has posted up on GOP MN House candidate in 38B, Doug Wardlow. He cites Wardlow's anonymous blogging at  The Rostra that was maintained while Doug clerked (or do I mean 'while clerking'?). But  his anonymous posting of partisan viewpoints wasn't as damming as his over excessive characterization and need to vilify anyone with different views than his own. 

Like many of the 'talkingheads from the right, Doug Wardlow like to tell us what the 'the liberals', 'the left', 'the media' thinks thereby defining them. He sustains his point of view by distortion and demonizing, vilifying, marginalizing, and trivializing those with different views. It's the classic 'us' and 'them' mentality that leads to unresolved problems while our elected politicians argue on, block and obstruct.

From his post entitled "Extreme Liberals: Motivated by Hate"
"They hate Republicans, and hate being out of power. And they are so blinded by their hatred and liberal ideology that they place regaining power and destroying the policies and preferences of the Republican majority above even sustaining American democracy -- and hence they feel no qualms about utilizing liberal judges to enact law from the bench where their ideas lose in the court of public opinion."
Wardlow's intolerance of anyone without his views leads us to ask...'How can he possibly be in a position to reach across the isle and move Minnesota forward?' Clearly, Wardlow won't be able to reach out to anyone that doesn't hold his narrow views. Doug even goes so far as to cite the nightly news in his list of intolerable things calling them 'Machiavellian'.
"I have now actually reached a point where I find it very, very difficult to watch the nightly news or read CNN's web page" (feb 2)
Scared yet? Then this should make you stay awake at night worried about the election outcome.... Doug Wardlow states he doesn't have to believe in the provisions of our Constitution or the Supreme Court of America because it (they) don't hold his 'correct' position! (Almost makes you wonder why he's not running Tea Party instead of GOP given how right of the right his issue base is!)
"Because I do not believe that the meaning of the Eighth Amendment, any more than the meaning of other provisions of our Constitution, should be determined by the subjective views of five Members of this Court [Supreme Court] and like-minded foreigners, I dissent." (march 1)
Wardlow's disdain for our system, the America's Supreme Court, our laws and politicians leads us to wonder if he's running to just break it permanently? Moreover, is this the person to represent us in Eagan?

Lastly...Wardlow scrubbed some of his post...including the one I have posted in it's entirety below....In it Doug Wardlow rails against campaign reform offered by the bi-partisan McCain-Feingold bill and instead defends the wealthy's ability to buy free speech unfairly...
"We must reverse course, we must not be fooled into thinking that fairness and equality in political speech can justify putting irons on the eloquent and wealthy"
From Rosta (cached file on google)
Wednesday, August 25, 2004

McCain-Feingold: The End of Political Free Speech and the Erosion of the Rule of Law

Of all of the types of speech implicated by the first amendment, political speech has always been deemed the most important. Our right to criticize the government, to call into question the policies, actions, and even character of our leaders, incumbent candidates, and political challengers ought to be the most cherished part of the freedoms that the first amendment attempts to protect. Even if Madison’s initial opposition to the bill of rights had been successful, freedom of political speech would still be implicit in the structures of our government as laid out in the constitution, structures that, in the absence of free speech, could not properly function.

But now the warning of Justice Scalia in his McConnell dissent has been proven all too true: in our zealousness to achieve equality and fairness on playing field of politics, we have dealt serious blows to that most critical institution, our freedom to criticize our government. We have allowed those in office, those who have the most vested, parochial interest in regulating the course of our political discourse, to shape and limit it. And, as Scalia also points out, now that the Court has announced that preventing circumvention of campaign finance laws is a valid justification for promulgating new, more restrictive campaign finance laws, no logical principle remains to prevent Congress from regulating political free speech into total oblivion.

That government may not mute or muffle the voice of one so as to allow another to be heard has always been a primary principle of the first amendment. Liberty is the end, not equality. Liberty, a substantive value respecting the dignity and autonomy of man, as opposed to equality, a mere measurement or comparison that cannot justify anything without reference to some other value, has always been the core of first amendment jurisprudence. Just as it would be ludicrous to put irons on the athlete born naturally quick in order to foster equality, just as it would be ridiculous to limit the speeches of those born eloquent, it is equally abhorrent when the government attempts to limit the amount of money an individual may spend on communicating his political message such that others with less resources may be heard.

But this is where we are. Money is not speech, said the Supreme Court in McConnell, and therefore it may be regulated. But, as Justice Scalia pointed out, how is saying that money is not speech any different from saying that paper is not speech, and then passing an act that all paper must bear a stamp indicating that tax has been payed? How is saying that money is not speech any different from saying that book binding and publishing is not speech, and then regulating who may and may not bind and publish books? There is no difference.

The idiotic complexity of our campaign finance law, born of the reality that we cannot remove money from politics without stifling political speech entirely but attempting to do just that anyway, is so monstrous that we are at the point where no citizen can truly know if the expenditures he makes to voice his opinion are legal or not. Reference to the law is no help without the aid of a team of expensive attorneys. And so a system of laws so incoherent and dense as to at least temporarily befuddle even the most astute lawyer has become a political tool, a weapon wielded only by those with huge resources, to force the political discourse in the direction the person with the best lawyers and advisers hopes to move it. Aristotle had a name for such a regime: Not democracy, but oligarchy.

An oligarchy of the lawyers and the wealthy, of the Kerrys and the Edwardses, of the sophists. When citizens were free to spend their money on expressing their opinions, to pool it as they see fit in the forms they so desired, we were virtually guaranteed that there would be wealthy contributors on all sides of every issue -- if there were not, perhaps that said something about the argument being made. Thus, a certain natural equality was born of that liberty of political expression. Now, I am hard pressed even to tell my mother whether she may distribute a leaflet to churchgoers mentioning a candidate for federal office with impunity, and to the extent I can, it is only because I am trained in the law already. Now, John Kerry can make wild claims that the President is violating campaign finance laws, and the average citizen has no way of checking the veracity of Kerry’s assertion -- the campaign finance laws might as well be written in ancient Etruscan. And Kerry depends on that forced ignorance of the law to garner support and demonize the President.

The rule of law, that eminent principle which we so cherish because it secures for us our liberty, is undermined when the demos cannot understand the law. Freedom is in name only when the laws that govern us are unknowable to us. When that unknowable law is one governing our political speech, our very system is in jeopardy. We might as well be living under the hand of a dictator that punishes political speech by his will -- the difference between that and being punished for violating a law the average person has no means of understanding is frighteningly small.

We must reverse course, we must not be fooled into thinking that fairness and equality in political speech can justify putting irons on the eloquent and wealthy. If we do not, we may end up fighting for liberty and freedom abroad even as we let it slip away at home.

posted by HoyaLawyer at 7:09 PM

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This author is obviously lacking in terms of credibility and has no real idea of how true prosperity is achieved. Doug Wardlow has the intelligence and gusto to lead us to that very prosperity.