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Similarly, the runaway Democratic prosecutors in Wisconsin, since slapped down by a state and a federal judge, sought to intimidate people who wanted to advocate policies supported by Gov. Scott Walker.

Where does this speech-squelching impulse come from? Perhaps a sense of victimization.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who lets few bills or amendments come to the Senate floor, has been orating for days against billionaires Charles and David Koch. Their offense is to advocate their ideas and encourage election of people who agree with them.

“The decisions by the Supreme Court have left the American people with a status quo in which one side’s billionaires are pitted against the other side’s billionaires,” Reid said the other day. “Except one side doesn’t have many billionaires.”

Nonsense. George Soros. Penny Pritzker. Tom Steyer, who has pledged $100 million to Keystone XL pipeline opponents, is meeting with top officials in the White House on Wednesday. There are dozens of other well-heeled Democrats.

Fifty years ago, Republicans had a big financial advantage; and few rich people backed liberals. That may account for the mindset of Reid (born 1939, first elected to public office 1968).

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Not all liberals feel that way. Carl Levin (born 1934, first elected to public office 1968) is one of 12 Senate Democrats not co-sponsoring the Udall amendment. Perhaps he remembers, as I do, the good old days when liberals defended free speech.


Photo credit: Center for American Progress Action Fund (Flickr)

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