McGovern and Free Speech

posted Oct 15, 2010, 5:50 AM by Graydon Smith
Jim McGovern had a bad night at the Debate in Shrewsbury.

With a Freudian slip in which he calls the constitution "Wrong", he has manage to draw more attention to this race than his opponents could have ever hoped for.

Mr McGovern has tried to explain away his gaffe:

Last night, I had a slip of the tongue.   While answering a question about the awful Supreme Court campaign finance decision, I used the word “Constitution” rather than “Court Decision.”  Everyone in the room recognized it as a slip of the tongue, but it’s silly season, and my opponent is now cheaply capitalizing on the error in a bid to try to change the subject from his blatant flip-flopping on major issues.

But lets take a deeper look at what Mr McGovern was really trying to say.  He says meant to criticize the citizen's united decision by the supreme court.  In that case the Supreme Court held that people do not lose their free speech rights just because they have organized into a group.

Jim McGovern also said in that Debate:
I don’t think that money is the same thing as human beings. I don’t think money equals free speech. I don’t think corporations should have the same equality as a regular voter in this district. 

Primary Purpose Right to Free Speech According to Mr McGovern? 
 Individual Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of HappinessYes 
 Group of VotersPolitical Yes
Unions Worker Advocacy Yes 
 CorporationEarn a Profit No

The rational behind the supreme court decision was simple.  The constitution ensures our individual right to free speech, and in joining a group of people, regardless of the primary purpose of that group, does not require us to relinquish our right to free speech.  The court has also held that money does equal speech.  Again the rational is simple.  People and groups use money to buy communication mediums (TV, Direct Mail, Newspaper Adds, Websites, etc.) to express themselves.  To restrict a person or organization from using their money to exercise their free speech would be to abridge the first amendment.

I am willing to give Mr McGovern that he meant Court Decision and not Constitution in that particular sentence in the debate.  I still think Mr McGovern's actual position does not respect the constitution and the oath he has take to uphold and defend the constitution.

Let's support someone who will uphold the constitution.  Support Marty Lamb in his bid to retire Mr McGovern.