Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Futility theater

This is what Republicans and Democrats do in Congress when they come back from summer vacation in the run-up to midterm elections: They indulge in political theater.

Last week, the Senate took up a Democratic-supported constitutional amendment that aims to nullify the Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United case, which made a mess of federal campaign funding restrictions. The vote was 54-42 to continue the debate, but it failed for the lack of 60 votes.

Conservative opponents argued that the proposed amendment would be an offense against free speech. Nonsense. It is about limiting the corrupting influence of mega-money. The amendment has a section that explicitly says: “Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress or the states the power to abridge the freedom of the press.”

The amendment deserved to be taken seriously. But this didn’t happen in the best Congress money can buy — which, of course, is the problem.

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