Rightwing Film Geek

Hillary movies

The less said about HILLARY: THE MOVIE the better. The film by Citizens United, directed by Alan Peterson and co-produced with David Bossie, is basically a talking-heads negative campaign ad extended to infomercial length. Just about everything I wrote about CELSIUS 41:11 a couple of years ago applies here too — nothing wrong with it substantively, but really not very good as a movie.

The film is worth noting for one reason, described in a colleague’s Washington Times articles here and here: it illustrates the basic absurdity of so-called “campaign finance reform,” which attempts to ration political speech during elections, i.e., exactly at the time when it is most needed. Judge Lambeth was right to laugh at the claims that the film is not electioneering and thus ads for it would be covered by campaign-finance restrictions.

“Hillary Clinton is a European Socialist,” Bopp replied. “That is an issue.”
“Which has nothing to do with her campaign?” U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth interjected.
“Not specifically, no,” Bopp replied.
“Once you say, ‘Hillary Clinton is a European Socialist,’ aren’t you saying vote against her?”
Bopp disagreed because the movie did not use the word “vote.”
“Oh, that’s ridic…” Lamberth said, trailing off and ending the line of questioning.

But then that’s what absurdities anti-First-Amendment laws from the post-Watergate rules to McCain-Feingold force political speakers to do — mouth patent sophistries in the name of protecting their free speech rights to their megaphone. When you look at an ad, it will never say “vote against Candidate X” or “tell candidate to vote against Bill Y,” it will say “X is a loathesome, child-molesting deadbeat who hates mom and apple pie?” or “call Congress about Bill Y that would end freedom as we know it and make all our pee smell.” And speakers and judges have to pretend there’s some difference between the two sets of statements, inevitably coming across (see the Michael Moore counter-examples) as arbitrarily as the East German judge in Olympics. Determining permissible speech is exactly what the First Amendment says the government should NOT be in the business of doing (other East German judge examples aside).

Besides, the best Hillary Clinton movie already has been made: Alexander Payne’s ELECTION, as re-edited here (thanks Mark … and no, I hadn’t seen it):

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January 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment