Saturday, March 21, 2009

Inspiration (by Phila)

David Bossie and his group Citizens United have been trying to convince the Supreme Court that their film attacking Hillary Clinton is a documentary, rather than a piece of wingnut agitprop that's subject to the McCain-Feingold Act, as federal judges ruled in 2008.
Citizens United appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that "Hillary: The Movie" should not be considered a political ad. The group says there is nothing in the movie urging people to vote against Clinton. The group says the film is more of a documentary comparable to critical television news programs such as "Frontline," "Nova" and "60 Minutes."

"The fact that 'Hillary' presents a critical assessment of Sen. Clinton's political background, character, and fitness for office does not convert the movie ... into an appeal to vote against Sen. Clinton," said Theodore Olson, Citizens United's lawyer.
That's kind of amusing. But here's the really funny part:
This isn't the first time documentary filmmakers have been questioned in relation to campaign finance laws. Citizens United in 2004 sought to keep filmmaker Michael Moore from advertising "Fahrenheit 9/11" — which was critical of President George W. Bush — in the run-up to the presidential election.

The Federal Election Commission, charged with enforcing the McCain-Feingold law, dismissed the complaint after Moore said he had no plans to run the ads during election season.

Bossie said Moore's success is what inspired him. "Michael Moore forced me to recognize the power of documentary film," said Bossie, who was involved in the House's investigation of Bill Clinton that led to the president's impeachment and trial.
So after acting outraged at the possibility that Moore might violate McCain-Feingold by running ads for his documentary during the 2004 election season, Bossie was "inspired" to make a movie-length attack ad, and hoped to avoid McCain-Feingold entirely by broadcasting it as a documentary during the 2008 election season.

That's as perfect an example of the modern conservative's approach to the rule of law as I've ever seen.

Bossie also provides a neat summation of the modern conservative's approach to history:
Bossie expects to produce at least 15 movies at his Washington-area studio by the next presidential election in 2012. Among them, he says, will be "Stimulate This," an indictment of the recently enacted economic stimulus package.
The script's already written, I hear. Now, they just need some pictures to go with it.