The state of the GOP is not good. Consistency is not its strong suit.
Trump spotted with apparent Coke bottle on desk despite calling for boycott of the drink https://t.co/t7nYW4VrUV— Fred Wellman (@FPWellman) April 6, 2021
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is second to none in protecting First Amendment rights of corporations — at least when the subject is money. McConnell, a longtime opponent of limits on campaign donations as a form of speech, has often defended unlimited dark money in lofty terms.
In 2012, The Post reported on a speech he gave to the American Enterprise Institute:“It is critically important for all conservatives — and indeed all Americans — to stand up and unite in defense of the freedom to organize around the causes we believe in, and against any effort that would constrain our ability to do so,” McConnell said in the speech at AEI, a Washington group that says it supports free enterprise.McConnell, long an opponent of restrictions on political contributions, cited a Democratic proposal to require corporations and unions to disclose their spending on political advertising.
He said it would require “government-compelled disclosure of contributions to all grass-roots groups, which is far more dangerous than its proponents are willing to admit.”
“This is nothing less than an effort by the government itself to expose its critics to harassment and intimidation, either by government authorities or through third-party allies,” McConnell said.
McConnell has even filed multiple amicus curiae briefs in campaign cases insisting the rights of free speech and association implicit in corporate campaign donations are “fundamental” and “of central importance.”
But when it comes to actual speech from corporations — specifically, speech denouncing Republicans’ voter suppression efforts — McConnell becomes irate.
McConnell, in a written statement on Monday, deemed the exercise of such First Amendment rights as “bullying.” “It’s jaw-dropping to see powerful American institutions not just permit themselves to be bullied, but join in the bullying themselves. … Our private sector must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex. Americans do not need or want big business to amplify disinformation or react to every manufactured controversy with frantic left-wing signaling.” He is dismayed by consistent advocacy plainly protected by the First Amendment: “From election law to environmentalism to radical social agendas to the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government.” Worse, he threatens retribution: “Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order.”