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Free Speech For Me, Not Thee

By The Reverend Published: June 4, 2011

Remember how those opposed to the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling were accused of trying to stifle the free speech rights of powerful corporations? And, remember in that case how we were told that the wheelbarrows of money that powerful corporations pay in political advertising to control who holds public office were not really wheelbarrows of money at all...but instead, wheelbarrows of free speech?

Conservatives and Republicans, generally, were in favor of the wheelbarrows of cash=free speech ruling, and were critical of those who complained about the undue influence that a handful of very powerful and rich citizens would now exercise in our electoral process. Progressives who disagreed with the Supremes ruling knocking 100 years of precedence on it's ass were, and still are, accused of being fascist deniers of free speech and haters of the 1st amendment.

But then Paul Ryan's "abolish Medicare" budget was voted on in the GOP-controlled House.....and now everything pertaining to free speech is up for grabs. At least, that's what Republicans are saying today.

Have you noticed how every demographic group doesn't like Paul Ryan and the GOP's plan to scrap Medicare? I mean, like....nobody likes it. And yet, 40 GOP Senators and 235 GOP House members voted to scrap the popular health care program for seniors and replace it with a privatized insurance plan costing seniors significantly more.

Democrats have jumped on that GOP vote with both feet and are planning to ride the Republicans' gargantuan error into next fall's election. Congressional Republicans, stun-gunned to their senses by lopsided polling against abolishing Medicare, or even cutting Medicare.....are now franticly looking for a way out of being held accountable for their vote to do just that.

That brings us to the latest teevee ad being run in New Hampshire by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. The ad is being run against Republican House member, Charlie Bass, who voted to adopt the Ryan Roadmap to Ruin.

In the ad a woman states.....

"As a social worker here in the north country, I've spent my life helping people with disabilities. Now, I have a disability. If I didn't have Medicare, doctors' bills could wipe me out -- and put a burden on my five kids. When Congressman Charlie Bass voted to end Medicare, that was an attack on New Hampshire families just like mine."

The National Republican Congressional Committee doesn't like that ad. Not one bit. So, they sent a letter to WMUR in New Hampshire, and to Comcast, demanding that they stop broadcasting the ad claiming....

The Budget Resolution as approved by the U.S. House of Representatives does NOT end Medicare. In fact, the Budget Resolution makes no changes at all to Medicare for current or near retirees, as none of the Medicare-related provisions in the Budget Resolution would even take effect until 2022.2 This fact makes the Advertisement especially misleading, as the woman featured in the Advertisement is a current Medicare beneficiary, and would not have her Medicare benefits ended, or even changed in any way, under the Budget Resolution.

Seems like Republicans are not so keen on free speech rights after all. The letter is akin to Newt Gingrich threatening Democrats about using his own words criticizing Ryan's plan against him. Silly Newton.

And silly Republicans. Neither Comcast nor WMUR is paying any mind to the NRCC's complaint against freedom of speech in the political process. Which is exactly what Republicans are attempting to do.....stifle free speech...if that free speech tells the truth about what Republicans have done.

No weasel words from Republicans are going to change the fact that most congressional GOP'ers voted recently to abolish Medicare and replace it with a for-profit private insurance program....a program which will cost future seniors thousands more each year for health coverage.

What will be next for the Citizens United-loving but free speech denying GOP? Perhaps Republicans can successfully scrub congresssional voting records on, you know, national security grounds.



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