1. a person, esp. an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.
2. to treat or manipulate (a political issue) in the manner of a demagogue; obscure or distort with emotionalism, prejudice, etc.
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When Justice Alito mouthed, "that's not true" when the President attacked the Citizens United decision during the State of the Union Address, it's because the President was stating falsehoods about the decision.
The question is did the President (or his speech writers and teleprompter) simply not understand the decision when he made the bald-faced attack on the SCOTUS from the podium, or did he know full well that he was lying about the decision, just as Biden has done on TV appearances since then?
President Wrong on Citizens United Case
Tonight the president engaged in demogoguery of the worst kind, when he claimed that last week's Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, "open[ed] the floodgates for special interests -- including foreign corporations -- to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities."
The president's statement is false.
The Court held that 2 U.S.C. Section 441a, which prohibits all corporate political spending, is unconstitutional. Foreign nationals, specifically defined to include foreign corporations, are prohibiting from making "a contribution or donation of money or ather thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election" under 2 U.S.C. Section 441e, which was not at issue in the case. Foreign corporations are also prohibited, under 2 U.S.C. 441e, from making any contribution or donation to any committee of any political party, and they prohibited from making any "expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication."
This is either blithering ignorance of the law or demagoguery of the worst kind.
-- Bradley A. Smith is Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law at Capital University Law School
Tags: Citizens United decision, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Obama, State of the Union, Biden, lies, demagogue, populism, foreign corporations, US elections, free speech, First Amendment, McCain Feingold
Marked as: approved
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