Monday, November 16, 2009

Death To You All

The Hebrew Commandments and the punishments for those who transgress them, were as follows:

So if you wanna hang up these rules in schools or on public property, then you oughta be OK with hanging up the penalty for non-compliance, right? And then let me strangle or stone you to death because you've violated more than one of these... on multiple occasions.



Ok, so stone me.

But before you do I have a question.

Is lobbying ok if the subject being lobbied is looked on favorably by the party in power?

Now I am not totally against lobbying(how could I be and be a staunch First Amendment lover), but I just got done hearing the head of the Green Bank, some financier for green industries, imploring the listening public to contact our Congresspeople to get them to fund more green businesses.
This pissed me off more than a little and I was wondering what you guys thought.

csm said...

Lobbying is one of those difficult subjects. If it were just communication, without undue coercion and/or greasing of palms, then the Constitution is quite clear - free speech! Your example, to me, seems completely harmless. If you agree with that lobbyist, then you might do what he asks, otherwise, you won't. But when the lobbying takes the form of donating huge sums to campaigns (usually more than one candidate in the same election) in order to solicit votes, I'm a'gin it. If it takes the form of the lobbyist doing the work of the congressman so s/he doesn't have to (formulating legislation, modifying language in bills, etc.), I'm a'gin it. Of course, this last one is difficult to police and is nuanced. Is there a BIG difference between asking for specific legislation and writing it yourself? Hmmm... Still, the influence of the few (lobbyists) is to great and something needs to be done to increase the influence of the many (all of us) at the expense of the few. At this point, I don't think I have the answer...


Would you feel the same way if this lobbyist was asking the radio listeners to contact their Congresspeople to promote and to fund the movement to make this country a "Christian Nation"?

I didn't think so. And both examples are UnConstitutional in the end anyway.

csm said...

I, of course, would not support the lobbyist's mission, but I wouldn't choose to try to silence him/her. How is it unconstitutional to ask people to contact their congressperson to support a cause you believe in? I'm baffled, Bawdy.


The lobbying isn't unConstitutional, the ends are unConstitutional.

csm said...

Well, that is a different thing altogether.

However, I would not ban being able to talk about, or promote, doing something that is currently unConstitutional. After all, the Constitution can be amended.

Thought you might enjoy this piece from The Onion on the Constitution and what is in it!