Ann Coulter

Justice Clarence Thomas argued in his dissent that it was absurd to treat political parties like individual contributors because: That's what parties do -- get candidates elected. A "party's success or failure depends in large part on whether its candidates get elected. Because of this unity of interest, it is natural for a party and its candidate to work together and consult with one another during the course of the election."

Another excellent Souter sentence (it was in the Times) was this: "Spending for political ends and contributing to political candidates both fall within the First Amendment's protection of speech and political association." Apparently the only catch is that "protection" means "total fascistic control."

Total fascistic control of political speech is important because political speech is like dishonestly shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. Liberals think all speech is like shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. They will tell us on a case-by-case basis what speech is not like shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. Screw magazine and Nazis marching in Skokie, Ill., for example. That is not like shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. (And would it really be so bad to shout "fire" in a crowded theater? Seriously. Couldn't you just look around and see there isn't a fire?)

Thus -- according to The New York Times -- Souter raised the horrifying prospect of parties being able to spend lots of money electing candidates: "If a candidate could arrange for a party committee to foot his bills ... the number of donors necessary to raise $1 million could be reduced from 500 ... to 46." (You're welcome for the ellipses.)

That is the evil campaign finance laws seek to prevent. Instead of whoring for money from tens of thousands of people, politicians could be bought by a select few. In fact, as has been conclusively proved by economist John Lott, politicians may be stupid, but they're not bought. Money follows votes; it does not buy votes.

But suppose you haven't read Lott's devastating study, and you haven't read the Constitution, and you don't think a market in politicians would be GREAT. It would be easier for a politician to vote his conscience if he needed only a few rich backers. If they got uppity, he could trade them for 46 new guys.

The way the system works now, politicians are forced into constant fund-raising from thousands of nickel-and-dime contributors. Politics becomes homogenized, gerrymandering essential, and smarmy glad-handing a crucial political attribute. Even under liberals' own preposterous and counterfactual assumptions, someone is already falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater. Not many people have noticed, though, because it's Souter.