Libtalker Randi Rhodes can't hold a candle to conservative radio host Mark Levin when it comes to constitutional law.
But Rhodes remains unrivaled in doling out gratuitous insults to divert attention from the issue at hand.
RHODES: But anyway, they're freaking out because the NRA is exempt and so now, they're attacking the NRA. The conservatives have lost their minds, over disclosure. Losing their minds. In fact, Mark Levin, this, oh he's such an angry little mushroom man. Oh his penis must be just so inadequate. He is on the air literally, I mean, losing his mind, talking to a lawyer from a very large K Street law firm here in DC who's advising, she says she's thinking about advising her clients to disobey the law.
How can you be a member of the bar and an officer of the court and say on a radio show that you're thinking of advising your clients to disobey the law? It's gone crazy, they've gone nuts. And I'm wondering, when was the last time they ever did a show for an audience, not for a corporate interest? I mean, when was the last time they did a show that actually helped you do anything, instead of being corporate shills? Even disclosure makes them scream so that their spleen comes out of their nose.
This is one of the ways that liberals differ from conservatives -- a liberal sees a conservative criticize the NRA and attributes this to insanity. A conservative sees a liberal criticize teachers' unions and attributes this to sanity. Perhaps Rhodes might eventually learn to take yes for an answer.
Here is one of the clips Rhodes played of Levin talking about the Disclose Act with Mitchell on June 24, interspersed with insipid ad libbing from Rhodes (here for audio) --
RHODES: Let me give you a little glimpse into the world of them. This is Mark Levin and Cleta Mitchell, who works at a giant K Street law firm, OK, a giant K Street law firm. And she and Mark are discussing that if you have to say who you are when you advertise to the American people, if you have to actually put your name on an advocacy ad or an ad slamming somebody, that would be taking away your freedom to apparently, you know, be anonymous.
LEVIN: I mean, this is so thuggish, it is so crude. I mean, do you realize in some respects people are freer in Russia today than they are in this country? I mean, they're criminalizing speech right now by some of us, by some entities that they don't like ...
LEVIN: ...and on the other hand, groups that they do like, that support them are much freer to speak. You know, I never thought I'd see this in our country ...
MITCHELL: You know, it's pretty outrageous.
LEVIN: And then Obama puts out a statement praising this?
MITCHELL: Well this is, this is the kind of thing that he and Rahm Emanuel and, you know, David Axelrod, this is the kind of thing they love. They love to try to basically turn everybody who opposes them into some sort of criminal. That's their, that's the way they operate.
LEVIN: Now, are there criminal provisions in this statute?
MITCHELL: Of course there are. Of course there are.
LEVIN: So if you violate it you can go to jail.
MITCHELL: Of course there are. I mean, I've literally been thinking about the fact that this is so contrary to law, to the law and the Constitution and the Supreme Court's decisions that, you know, I, my job, as I advise people of how they can participate in the political process without running afoul of the law and I've just been thinking in the past week, if this becomes law how can I tell people, gee, you have to abide by this even though I know it's completely unconstitutional? I'm almost not certain we shouldn't plan for civil disobedience and tell people, you know ...
LEVIN: Defy it. Defy it and ignore it.
MITCHELL: Defy the law.
RHODES: How can an officer of the court, she works for a giant K Street law firm, a giant one, Foley & Lardner, OK? Giant K Street law firm, I mean, global, and she's sitting there saying, you know, I advise my clients on lobbying and ethics law and I advise the, she was the legal counsel to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, she's co-counsel for the National Rifle Association, who by the way is exempt from this, they don't have to disclose, but they're just so upset about disclosure, having to put your name on the ad, like who spent the money for it, that they say that that's like commie stuff, you know, and she, this is what got me. She's an officer of the court, she's admitted to practice in front of the Supreme Court, she's admitted to practice in Oklahoma. How can an officer of the court say, I'm thinking about advising my clients to defy the law? You know, this is kind of what Jack Abramoff did. You make problems for your client and then you make your client spend more money to solve the problem that you created.
Rhodes's scattershot indignation aside, here is a far more coherent description of the Disclose Act from Levin and Mitchell on Levin's radio show June 24 (audio here) --
LEVIN: First of all, I want you to remind people what this Disclose Act is all about and what it really is intended to do.
MITCHELL: Well, people may remember that in January the Supreme Court after much effort on the part of a number of people who believe in free speech and the First Amendment handed down a decision that said that it was unconstitutional under the First Amendment for Congress to prohibit corporations from making candidate-related expenditures that are independent of a candidate. So that a corporation, and you know, the Democrats went crazy, they went crazy, because they all of a sudden are afraid that small business around the country will hand things out to their customers and vendors and that conservative issue organizations will be able to criticize them in the fall elections.
And so they have, they have been hyperventilating since January over this decision which really just unshackles small business and the citizens' groups who happen to be incorporated. I mean, let's be honest, we're not going to see the Coca Cola ads supporting or opposing candidates, because I've always said any corporation big enough to have a vice president for government relations isn't really conservative.
LEVIN (laughs): That's a good point.
MITCHELL: And so, you know, that's what they say they're fearful of but what they're really afraid of is the citizens' organizations, the grassroots organizations. And if you can believe this, they put in this bill, they say oh it's just disclosure. Well, no it's not. If you want to run an ad that, say you're a 501C4 citizens' organization, you know, that's what grassroots organizations are, you want to run an ad or hand out materials about a candidate that's just independent of the candidate, just as we don't like this person, we want to tell him they voted for Obamacare and we need to get rid of him, and you get a contribution from a corporate entity, the head of that corporation has to be listed, you have to list everybody who's given money to your organization over a certain amount going back for two years. And then they put together these carve outs. They've carved out the unions, they've carved out the NRA and other organizations ...
LEVIN: Let's take a step back, let's take a step back.
MITCHELL: This is terrible, terrible.
LEVIN: Basically what we have here are liberals parsing out speech, who gets to speak and who doesn't, before an election. Isn't that basically what's going on here?
MITCHELL: That's exactly what's going on. And in fact, it's like Congress is handing out speech licenses. You can have one, you can ...
LEVIN: What's a great way to put it. And I'm going to tell you something. This really is a direct assault on the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment and it's going to receive minimal coverage and notice, Cleta, how they twist this, that this is disclosure when in fact what it's intended to do is smother speech.
LEVIN: You run these ads right before an election ...
MITCHELL: Well, it's very Orwellian to call it disclose.
LEVIN: Well, you run an ad right before an election, the CEO, it's my understanding, you have to have his face on the ad, the CEO has to speak ...
MITCHELL: Oh yes. The top five donors, if you receive corporate contributions, you have to put them in the ad and they have to say they approved this ad. Well, then there's no, there's no time left to say your message. The government is telling you what to say in the time period that you've paid for.
None of which apparently matters to Rhodes, with her firm situational belief in the First Amendment.
Rhodes, not incidentally, who would have her listeners believe she knows more about law that Levin, a constitutional lawyer and best-selling author, and Mitchell, a partner at Foley & Lardner with three decades' experience in politics and public policy. (Mitchell elaborated on her objections to the Disclose Act in a June 17 op-ed in the Washington Post).
Based on what can be found on Rhodes's radio Web site and her Wikipedia page -- or more specifically, what can't be found, namely anything on her education -- her alleged expertise in law is laughable.