Campaign Finance Reform Forces Lies


The absurd Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act strikes again. The Supreme Court actually upheld the BRCA's limits on political speech (I mean, limits on financing political speech; everyone knows that money isn't speech, right?) At the behest of Republican campaign weasels, the Federal Election Commission is considering closing the one remaining avenue where people can spend money to tell their fellow citizens what they think. Such regulatory shenanigans force activists like former Clintonista Harold Ickes who heads up the Media Fund which is rolling out a TV ads to complain about President Bush's policies to tell whoppers such as:

"Politically, we are trying to really highlight, underscore and push into sharp focus the policies of the Republicans. That may have a certain effect on the Bush or the Kerry campaign, but we are not involved in electing or defeating people. We are raising issues."

One begins to wonder what other gag orders politicians who don't want to be criticized will one day dream up. For example, when I lived in Latin America, a lot of countries had legislation that outlawed besmirching the honor of elected officials. Are you so sure that it can't happen here?

NEXT: The Man Who Cried 'Lawsuit!'

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  1. It’s all going as we expected; the Supreme Court said that laws against criticizing elected officials in issue ads were constitutional, so now Bush is in the lead making sure that such laws get enforced against his critics.

    The Media Fund has decided not to fight censorship on principle, but rather just to dodge and trivialize the matter (“This is just politics, not surprising in an election year”). Their performance is shameful too. But Bush has sunk lower than ever, which I’d hardly have thought possible.

  2. Incomplete conveyance of spin… how could you missed the “Peaceful Tomorrows” revelations this week? Such spleen, but only towards one faction… wacky.

  3. McCain-Feingold is one of the many reasons why this registered Republican is not voting for Dubya this November. He signed this bill knowing it was an unconstitutional monstrosity, hoping to reap political benefits (or maybe looking to duck a fight) and expecting the Supreme Court to clean up the mess. Now the rest of us have to pay for it, while the political class does everything it can to evade its own regulations. Disgusting.

  4. If memory serves, Ron, I believe one of the articles of impeachment against Andrew Johnson was publicly criticizing members of Congress, or some variant thereof. Anti-Johnson forces claimed such criticism amounted to a violation of separation of powers.

  5. “when I lived in Latin America, a lot of countries had legislation that outlawed besmirching the honor of elected officials.”

    Let us all resolve right now to raise the threshold of besmirching in advance of the new legislation.

  6. For example, when I lived in Latin America, a lot of countries had legislation that outlawed besmirching the honor of elected officials. Are you so sure that it can’t happen here?

    Give Ann Coulter a chance…..just one chance, she’ll at least have them filthy, treasonist liberals hung for criticizing Republicans.

  7. Besmitching the honor of our illustrious leaders won’t be made a crime. Just the financing thereof. You can besmirch all you want, in the privacy of your own home in front of your friends and family.

    I briefly considered McCain in ’00. After hearing him speak I thought more about Campaign Finance laws and decided that they were unconstitutional. Its great to upset the apple cart, just make sure you don’t break the axle.


  8. I used to support campaign finance laws. I will always maintain that there is nothing in the First Amendment securing the right to buy and sell members of Congress, or the right of the Congress to act as a bunch of whores.

    However, it’s painfully obvious that CFR has done nothing to flush money out of politics. It’s just added some red tape. If our leaders are going to be a bunch of filthy whores, let’s at least keep the red tape to a minimum.

    Yes, yes, I know, this is hardly an ideologically pure reason for opposing CFR. But, if it ain’t fixable, don’t keep it. Pragmatic arguments have their place.

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