Campaigns/Elections

Bush Even Makes McCain Look Good

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I'm not a big John McCain fan, but he made the right noises in speeches yesterday to the Federalist Society and GOPAC:

We lost our principles and our majority. And there is no way to recover our majority without recovering our principles first….

[Voters] rejected us because they felt we had come to value our incumbency over our principle. And partisanship, from both parties, was no longer a contest of ideas, but an ever cruder and uncivil brawl over the spoils of power.

Americans had elected us to change government, and they rejected us because they believed government had changed us…

Last year, a Republican Congress passed a highway bill with 6,371 special projects costing the taxpayers 24 billion dollars. Those and other earmarks passed by a Republican Congress included $50 million for an indoor rainforest, $500,000 for a teapot museum; $350,000 for an Inner Harmony Foundation and Wellness Center; and of course, as you all know, $223 million for a bridge to nowhere. I didn't see these projects in the fine print of the Contract with America, and neither did the voters.

Although McCain obviously is brushing up his bona fides with economic conservatives in preparation for his presidential campaign, he does have a pretty good record of opposing pork and advocating fiscal restraint. He also shares George W. Bush's relatively tolerant approach to immigration—one of the few positive aspects of the president's platform. And he has stood up to Bush on executive power issues when most Republicans were eager to give the president everything he wanted. I'm not sure if that's enough to make up for McCain's assaults on the First Amendment and his hawkish foreign policy views, but he certainly is looking better than, say, Bill Frist.

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  1. And he has stood up to Bush on executive power issues when most Republicans were eager to give the president everything he wanted

    Uhmm…he may have stood up to Bush rhetorically, but when it came time to vote he fell in line and gave the President the majority (and some of the most offenseive aspects) of what Bush wanted.

    Same thing goes for Specter and Lindsey Graham — all of whom talked the talk but forgot to walk the walk.

  2. I have to agree with Chicago Tom. I think McCain knows the difference between right and wrong. He knew that the detainee “compromise” was a sham and a moral surrender. He probably justified doing the wrong thing to himself by rationalizing that he’ll make it all better when he’s President; he just has to do some distasteful things to get there. This is how souls are lost.

  3. Regardless of who the GOP nominates, I hope he wins*.

    Divided government, for the win.

    *assumes the Dems keep hold of Congress.

  4. Yes, McCain is very good on pork sent to all states other than Arizona. For some reason, he has a soft spot for that state… oh wait!

    Let’s face it: virtually all of McCain’s virtues are hype. His campaign finance reform was both a complete failure AND a check on liberty. He’s ultimately “indepedent” only in the sense of expressing his opinions on talk shows, not getting anything done or sticking to any principles.

  5. A little OT, but Senator Dodd (D-Conn) submitted a bill yesterday to reform the Detainee Treatment Act. Restoration of Habeas Corpus, limits on the definition of illegal enemy combatant, exlusion of evidence acquired through “Alternative Interrogation Techniques,” and some of the other good stuff McCain and Graham were gong to do but didn’t.

  6. I find the 2000 version of John McCain much more palatable than the 2006 version. Then again, no sitting senator since JFK has become president, so I’m not too worried about a McCain administration.

  7. Are you commentators flipping kidding me?

    1) At a time when conservatives were ridding high on President Bush, and still thought he and Rove would deliver the ’06 election, McCain and Graham stood to him on the issue of torture. It was certainly not a move designed to endear McCain to the Southern Conservative voter. While the bill that ultimately came out of the process was not ideal from your or my perspective, it was definitely a step up over what was originally proposed. Anyone that doesn’t believe that has no idea how to read a law. (moreover, I firmly believe that some of the provisions that Bush had insert, that libs find troubling, do not authorize what many libs see as the worst case scenario. I think McCain, and especially Graham, knew this when they accepted the compromise and if Bush tries to push the scope of the law, his interpretation will be challenged.) Ultimately, the point is, McCain and Graham held out for as much as they could, but they did not have the power at the time. I vote lib most elections, despite a claim that I am throwing my vote away because my vote doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. McCain didn’t have the luxury to make his vote irrelevant on future issues and eventually had to reach a compromise. Be thankful someone was there doing the best they could instead of whining because it wasn’t perfect or your ideal.

    2) Where is there any evidence that McCain is a hypocrite on pork? I seen nothing to indicate that he delivers a substantial amount of pork to his home state. I also think it is misleading to say that he is “pretty good on pork.” While most politicians are proud of the filth they wallow in to bring the bacon to their state, McCain has gone out of his way to point out misuses of federal funding on a large and small scale. I can point you most recently to http://www.porkbusters.com, but he has been publishing similar list for a good portion of his career. In fact, the reason so many GOP members and lobbyist dislike the man (and why they came out in droves in SC 7 years ago) is precisely because he has alienated them with his position on fiscal restraint and pork. He has been much better than “pretty good” on this issue and any indication otherwise shows a complete bias based solely on the campaign finance issue.

    3) Campaign Finance. For the life of me I will never understand how normally rational and logical and intellectual honest libs can become so “none of the above” on the mere mention of this issue. The fact is, long before it was championed by McCain, the Supreme Court held that donations directly to a candidate do not constitute speech. Since I am sure most of the libs that love to debate this issue have not read the opinion, I will explain. The short of the holding was that giving more money to a candidate did not express that you supported the candidate more than someone who gave less, it just showed that you had more money. Plus, what the candidate used the money for was not your speech but was only the candidate’s speech — since you had no control over it. There is no right to give unlimited money to a candidate that is guaranteed in the constitution, as much as you might wish there to be like you were a little girl wishing for a pony. If you say it enough, its not true.

    After setting aside the false “constitutional” argument of campaign finance, the issue comes down to whether it is good policy or not. Reasonable people can disagree, but I think it is false to pretend not to see the benefits. If an incumbent knows that he can get all the money he needs to run for reelection from one source, he is going to try to please that source. If he knows that his richest donor can still only give as much a middle class donor, he is going to try to please as many people as possible to get the maximum amount of donations. Personally I think it does a pretty good job of ensuring that popular candidates are well funded compared to less popular candidate, and it keeps the power of influence out of the hand of the few that can afford to give much larger contributions.

    In the end, although you may disagree with him on certain policies (I know I don’t really want to send more troops to Iraq), McCain is a damn good candidate. His strengths are reasonableness, accountability and integrity. Those should be the main characteristics we expect from our elected officials — not point by point agreement on all issues because its never going to happen. If the Republicans had lived up to those ideals over the last 6 years, they would not have lost the last election.

  8. McCain was also one of the loudest grandstanders regarding major league baseball’s steroid policies. Along with previously said hypocrisies about him; McCain is two-faced, and I won’t fall for his quasi-libertarian talk.

  9. Sorry, the link is:

    http://www.porkbusters.org/

    Hope http://www.porkbusters.com is not a porn site for those of you at work.

  10. All,

    Immigration is a disaster for all things libertarians hold dear. They strongly support expanding the welfare state and frequently profess anti-libertarian social views. Given their low incomes and limited prospects for advancement in US society, none of this should be a surprise. Beyond that, they come from countries where pro-government ideas are universally accepted dogmas. Of course, they bring their mindset with them.

    Libertarian advocacy of Open Borders amounts to ideological suicide… And bad economics…

  11. Bush does make McCain look good… Which tells you a lot about Bush… The worst president in decades if not a century. An absolute disaster for libertarian values. Of course, McCain’s “invade the world, invite the world, in debt to the world” ideology won’t be an improvement.

  12. Bryan,

    I don’t have any problem with saying that giving money to a candidate is not speech but that’s NOT the end of the rule. If I spent my own money on a “Stop the Drug War” campaign during the recent Texas election they could have construed that as an advertisement for Kinky Friedman and cut me off at $1000. 2 radio announcers in Seattle were muzzled because they bitched about a new gas tax that was on the ballot. A pro-tax group took them to court to get an injunction claiming that their radio time was worth money and that they had to shut up when that value went above $1000. That is IMO clearly an abridgement of the 1st amendment and a direct result of the M-F bill. Maybe an unintended consequence but I think not and either way he’s not saying, “Oops, we need to fix that.”

  13. Immigration is a disaster for all things libertarians hold dear. They strongly support expanding the welfare state and frequently profess anti-libertarian social views. Given their low incomes and limited prospects for advancement in US society, none of this should be a surprise. Beyond that, they come from countries where pro-government ideas are universally accepted dogmas. Of course, they bring their mindset with them.

    Too funny…”as libertarians, we must use force to keep people out who disagree with us!!!”

  14. BladeDoc,

    Okay, now we are getting somewhere. First off, and I mean this in the most respectful way possible, I think you have some of the facts wrong. I obviously don’t know all the story behind the Seattle DJs, but if the story is true as you describe it, they got the law wrong. If we are talking about the federal campaign laws, my understanding is:

    1) you are free to spend as much as you want, whenever you want, speaking on your own about a candidate. This is why millionaires can run their own campaign. If you want to take out ads in your name decrying the drug war or Kinky Freidman, you are free to do so.

    2) You can give as much as you want to an organization that says as much as it wants about a candidate at any time. The only catch is, the organization cannot coordinate with the candidate. These are your 527 orgs. The theory is, if the candidate is directing the organization through coordination, it is still the candidate that is controlling the speech and not the members of the organization.

    3) You can give as much as you want to organizations that coordinate with candidates to run issue ads that do not mention any candidate by name. These issue ads are protected, so as long as your antidrug war spot does not mention a candidate, you can coordinate with kinky friedman all you want. If it does mention a candidate, the organization has to pull the ad a certain number of days before the election or has to abide by donation limits. This is what McCain-Feingold did and it was designed to get around the loophole that came after the first Supreme Court decision, where organizations claimed to be running “issue ads” (which the Court did protect), but which were actually ads designed by the candidate that advocated the election of the candidate over another candidate, under the guise of an issue ad. Of course, you can still always run an issue ad mentioning a candidate at any time as long as you just don’t coordinate with either candidate.

    4) the equal time stuff is bullshit. I was going to start down a path because I believe it is a very strained legal interpretation to give a cash value to speech — and not what the law intended — but I don’t know enough about the case to speak on it right now. I will try to look it up and comment later. That said, my guess is that the 9th Cir. or one of the District Courts just got it wrong and the Supreme Court will overrule that holding. Just because that side got it wrong once though, doesn’t mean that the law is bad. A number of libs have gotten their interpretation of the law wrong too, as I hope I have explained. The limitations are actually quite narrow, and fit in with the rationale of the Supreme Court’s decision.

  15. I should add, although it may be obvious by the end of my post, the limitation on point #1 is that you (personally) don’t coordinate with the candidate. You control the speach — not the campaign.

  16. John McCain stands for one thing and one thing only – John McCain. He put his name on and championed the latest assault on free speech and for that he doesn’t deserve to be in the Senate let alone the White House.

  17. Stephen,

    Please, just keep putting your fingers in your ear and repeating “campaign finance is assult on free speech.” It does wonders for your argument to be taken seriously.

  18. “Immigration is a disaster for all things libertarians hold dear. They strongly support expanding the welfare state and frequently profess anti-libertarian social views. Given their low incomes and limited prospects for advancement in US society, none of this should be a surprise. Beyond that, they come from countries where pro-government ideas are universally accepted dogmas. Of course, they bring their mindset with them.”

    Don’t forget the fact that they smell and will make our country smell. Stinky foreigners. Every last one of them.

  19. Brian,

    If you have a piece of legislation that specifically prohibits certain types of political speech, based on the speaker and the content, for a period of time before an election, what do you call it? Enhancing the First Amendment? Protecting free speech?

  20. little OT, but Senator Dodd (D-Conn) submitted a bill yesterday to reform the Detainee Treatment Act. Restoration of Habeas Corpus,

    OT? The hell it is. This is what it’s all about. As someone who misses no opportunity to rag on Democrats, this is a very nice first step. I’ll be watching this closely. Bravo to Mr. Dodd.

  21. Oh, and McCain’s first step to redeeming himself: He stands before the American people, admits that McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform was wrong, an assault on the first amendment, and promises to spend the rest of his career (if the voters allow him to do so) fighting to overturn it. That’s his homework assignment.

  22. Steven,

    I have already addressed why the legislation at issue does not prohibit speech (Court ruling: money does not equal speech). I have addressed your false argument that the speaker is limited or content is prohibited for a period of time before the election. (again, you can say whatever you want — and donate as much money to an organization to say whatever it wants — so long as you don’t coordinate with the candidate). Your only response is general allegations and conclusory statements with no basis in the facts. Again, its the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ear and repeating your mantra in an attempt to make yourself believe it. Do you have any actual knowledge on this subject other than what you “feel” must be right?

    In an attempt not to make your same mistakes (my purposeful misspelling of your name not withstanding), I will answer your question. In my opinion, campaign finance has nothing to do with free speech (either attacking it, enhancing it or protecting it). The point of it is as an attempt to lessen the avenues of rent seekers into Congress. I know that the common argument is that CFR is necessary to control or eliminate corruption, but even if it doesn’t do that (which is admittedly a hard task), I do think that a leveling of the influence or access to our elected officials is a an admirable and obtainable goal. When donors of the highest level become a dime a dozen, it is not necessary to give disproportionate weight to the opinions of one over the others. Maybe that is protecting free speech by encouraging more voices to be heard at the same volume by our congressmen, but that is not necessarily how I am thinking about it. I am just tired of big corporation getting special breaks because their leaders are able to donate more money to Congressman A’s campaign. That is what really bothers me.

  23. Dan T. says: Too funny…”as libertarians, we must use force to keep people out who disagree with us!!!”

    Welcome to the real world. If the U.S. ever adopted a libertarian (contra-Constitutional) form of government, other countries would rush to take advantage of it. Those completely non-libertarian countries would use their cohesiveness to invade the U.S. in one way or another: under force of arms or simply by taking advantage of the U.S.’s new open borders policies.

    Those countries would establish ethnicity-based enclaves, push others out, and end up establishing colonies inside what used to be the U.S. Those colonies would be as un-libertarian as the countries that formed them.

    Reason-style libertarianism is as naive as pacifism, and is a recipe for disaster.

  24. “They strongly support expanding the welfare state and frequently profess anti-libertarian social views.”

    None of the immigrants that I hang around with seem to be representative of this…

    …then again, they’re all secular Hindus, so I don’t think those were the immigrants that you’re talking about.

    Remember, kids, in conversations about “immigration”, immigrant is a code word for “poor Mexican or other latin american, with the exception of Cubans. Oh, and sometimes Africans and A-rabs, except the ones with medical degrees”. Indians, Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Thais, Canadians and Europeans of all stripes don’t count as immigrants, ’cause they’re generally educated and secular.

  25. “If you have a piece of legislation that specifically prohibits certain types of political speech, based on the speaker and the content, for a period of time before an election, what do you call it? Enhancing the First Amendment? Protecting free speech?”

    Hey Macklin’s back from knobjockeyville…with nothing remotely interesting to say as usual.

  26. I would love to see a McCain/Giuliani ticket face off against a Clinton/Obama ticket. In that case, the Libertarians could win with an Oprah/anybody ticket. The state would disappear, and we would all be tax-free and high on dope!

  27. I get tired of saying it, but on average ( and yes I have actually met immigrants, worked with some, and done other stuff with a couple) I find immigrants to be naturally less, um, lazy, harder working, and less dependent on government social programs than “natural” citizens- at least in my age/peer group. And my experience cuts across ethnic groups and nationalities as I have known not only many Mexicans, but also Africans, Europeans,etc. They tend to be on the “liberal” side, but moreso on social issues than economic ones- and shouldn’t that be a libertarian’s dream?

    So this whole “THEY ( who the fuck are “they”?)strongly support expanding the welfare state and frequently profess anti-libertarian social views.” argument doesn’t hold any weight. Unless you are just some bigot who would also want to deport a large % of people who were actually born here.

  28. I join Paul in giving props to senator Dodd for protecting habeus corpus and maintaining clear distinctions between people who are legally enemy combatants and people who aren’t.

  29. In case anyone is interested, here are some provisions of Dodd’s proposed legislation:

    http://dodd.senate.gov/index.php?q=node/3661

  30. To be accurate, Mr. Macklin, the law doesn’t forbid speech based on the speaker or the message, but on the source of the funding that put it on the air.

  31. Bryan, the problem is that — even if we accept your argument that donations aren’t speech — your overall argument is wrong. The Wellstone Amendment, passed as part of McCain-Feingold (BCRA) forbid certain organizations from mentioning a candidate on TV or radio in any way, positive, neutral, or negative, 60 days before an election, regardless of whether those ads are coordinated with any campaign.

  32. Open borders people should at least have the honesty to say that the last great waves of immigration from Europe had a horrible impact on our country’s liberal traditions. Oh sure, many libertarians can point to 1860-1920 and scream bloody murder, but they don’t dare point out the fact that a significant number of immigrants came here and brought their illiberal traditions with them, diluting America’s native traditions which were based on English liberalism. To admit that admitting waves of illiberal Europeans was a mistake might mean that we need some controls, some standards and say to many of them “sorry, we don’t care how hard you want to work. Your country is an authoritarian hellhole and we won’t let you come here and poison our country with your illiberal foreign culture and ideas.”

  33. Let’s put it in a little bit of modern perspective. You cannot blame the welfare state for Muslim non-integration in Europe. Most of them don’t want to integrate into European society and become good Frenchmen, Germans, Italian, etc. You have entire cities now that are de facto controlled by the waves of illiberal Muslim immigrants.

    Allowing immigration in uncontrollable waves works really well, doesn’t it?

  34. Another reason McCain is full of shit on campaign finance reform:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061118/ap_on_el_pr/huckabee_mccain

    In other words, McCain rigged the system for Presidential runs in favor of Senators. Coincidentally, McCain is a….

  35. Dave,

    First, its not my argument. It is the Supreme Court’s holding. And its a holding that was made long before I started following campaign finance reform.

    That said, there is a lot wrong with your analysis — especially in the context of a discussion about the positive and negatives of McCain. For starters, the Wellstone Amendment was introduced over the objection of McCain and Feingold. It was introduced by a group of extreme liberal sentors that agreed with it and ultra-conservative sentors who thought it would be unconstitutional and would kill the bill. Its not really fair to blame McCain for the anti-constitutionality of a provision that he didn’t want in the bill in the first place.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/march01/cfr_3-27.html

    Second, your summary of the Wellstone Amendment is sufficiently vague to confuse the issue. Yes, *certain* groups cannot run ads mentioning a candidate within 60 days of the election. These are groups that are coordinating with the campaign. Groups, such as 527 orgs., can still publish ads mentioning a candidate minutes before the election starts — without campaign contribution limits for its members. Thus, its tough to say that the public’s free speech is limited when there are other outlets for the public to make their speech.

    As for your claim the groups are forbidden from running certain ads regardless of their coordination with the campaign, I believe you are wrong. That said, I admit that the law is complicated for those of us that have not studied it for a living. If you can direct me to the language in the law or in the Court decision that says that, I can comment further.

  36. “its tough to say that the public’s free speech is limited when there are other outlets for the public to make their speech. “

    Then why make the initial limit?

    Either the issue ad restriction is A) unconstitutional or B) redundent & pointless. Pick one.

    Watch this not post…

  37. Mike T:

    ” To admit that admitting waves of illiberal Europeans was a mistake might mean that we need some controls, some standards and say to many of them “sorry, we don’t care how hard you want to work. Your country is an authoritarian hellhole and we won’t let you come here and poison our country with your illiberal foreign culture and ideas.”

    Hey Mike, did you ever stop to think about why they might be leaving those authoritarian, illiberal hellholes?

    If I leave Canada to move to a tax haven, why on earth would I arrive and want to raise taxes there?

  38. b-psycho,

    You have presented false choices. As I believe I said above, the goal is to create a system that rewards candidate for keeping a large number of average sized donors happy; as opposed to one were candidates work to please a few big money donors. If an individual or group is speaking on their own, without coordination with the campaign, the candidate is going to feel less dependant on that group/speaker. This is not redundant or pointless. The point has never been to prevent people from speaking or participating in the election process. Only to lessen the influence that those donors have with the politician once he/she gets elected.

    The Supreme Court has already explained why the law is not unconstitutional.

  39. The Supreme Court has already explained why the law is not unconstitutional..

    It’s a good thing the Supremes always get it right. See Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, etc.

  40. The Supreme Court has already explained why the law is not unconstitutional..

    for a more recent example of the Court’s infalibility – see Kelo v New London.

  41. Well, with all the intellectual heavyweights on your side making the multitude of logical and coherent arguments that we have seen in this discussion, it is pretty shocking that the Supreme Court reached the decision that it did.

    Oh wait…no one on your side has given any argument except to make the conclusory statement that campaign finance reform *in general* is an assault on the first amendment. Its pretty shocking that didn’t carry the day.

    Seriously, I hate to be snarky but I keep checking back here waiting for some sort of intellectually honest discussion on either (1) why the supreme court was wrong (based in fact and reason instead of your “feelings” about what the first amendment protects); or (2) why the current campaign finance law (or McCain’s version) doesn’t live up to the standards set by the Court. Everything posted so far has shown me that people either don’t know factually what they are talking about or have nothing other than their feelings to base their opinions on. I’m disappointed. I expected a little bit more from a group of libs.

  42. Brian,

    The simple fact is Congress passed, and the President signed, a law that places limits on some speech. That it was couched in rhetoric and legislation addressing campaign financing does not change the net effect. That the law was written to adhere to previous Court decisions does not change the net effect.

    What people are upset about is they read a fairly straightforward clause like “Congress shall make no law…” and then they see that they did.

    It really doesn’t even matter that the law does not place any limit on any speech I would likely engage in. The law limits certain political speech in certain circumstances. I find that unacceptable.

  43. Steve,

    Your simplistic analysis aside, I think what upsets me most is the arrogance that you anti-CFRers stake out your position. Especially one cloaked in such generalities.

    So what specifically bothers you: that the candidate cannot accept as much money as he wants from one person or that one person cannot give as much as he wants to a candidate? Is the gift of money the free speech that you think is limited, or is it that the candidate cannot run as many ads as he might like? Does the candidate have a right to run as many ads as he wants, even if he can’t pay for them himself? And if someone is willing to provide him money to buy more ads, do you ever see that might be misused in a quid pro quo arrangement (“You pay for ads I can’t afford and when I am elected I will pass legislation favorable to your business.”) Does the government have the power to limit this form of bribery in your mind?

    Even accepting you unsupported “it just *is* speech” argument for the moment, you conclusion is not practical or correct. Let’s say a man is accused of a crime and is appearing before the judge. Does the man have the right to start screaming his innocence at random intervals? Would it be a limit on the man’s free speech to hold him in contempt for his actions? If the man is faced with possible jail time, isn’t his free speech at least as important as the political speech at issue in CFR? Assuming you find that limitation on free speech acceptable, why can’t we put some regulation on the frequency of campaign speech when we can limit the frequency of the accused speech? Especially when we are not really limiting the frequency but only limiting the source of the money the funds the frequency.

    I assume you are not going to take the time to think about these questions or answer them. In fact, I think I can predict your response “Campaign finance reform limits speech. Limiting speech is bad and an attack on the first amendment. John McCain is bad.” Feel free to cut and paste that if you want. I would love to hear a logical and thoughtful articulation of the answers to my questions though. Still, this conversation has taught me not to hold my breadth waiting for that.

  44. Brian,

    If you promise to hold your breath I promise to think about your straw man for a very long time. Though I do give you credit for using something other than shouting fire in a crowded theatre.

    In the mean time, a question:

    Does McCain/Fiengold prohibit certain types of political speech, by certain actors, under certain circumstances?

  45. Dismissively labeling valid points doesn’t make them go away. (see “attack on free speech;” “straw man”). If it is a straw man, please explain why. Someone should have told you this before though, just because you can’t articulate an answer doesn’t mean something is a straw man.

    Since I seem to be the only one providing analysis hear, I will answer your question. There is no speech limited by McCain/Feingold.

    1) Candidates are free to say what ever they want in their ads. Candidates are free to run as many ads as they want. Candidates are free to spend as much as they want running ads.

    2) A member of the public is allowed to say whatever they want in support of a candidate. A member of the public is allowed to make his support for a candidate known by donating money to the candidate’s campaign.

    The only thing that McCain/Feingold limits is the amount of money that an individual can give to the candidate **for the candidate to state the candidate’s position.** Whose speech is limited there?

    The individual? The individual has made his position known by donating any money at all. He does not make more of a statement or a different statement by donating more money. His speech has not been limited.

    The candidate? The candidate can still say and spend whatever he wants. What limits his speech to say that he can’t accept more than a certain amount of money from one person? This argument would grant him the right to accept unlimited sums of money if that money might potentially be used to make a speech. I don’t see the First Amendment as being that broad. Maybe you do, but it is far from being a cut-and-dry position.

    (I’ll note, to the extent that groups are coordinating with the campaign, it is really the candidate that is speaking. The candidate has the ability to control the message. Limits on groups that coordinate, therefore, are really only limits on the candidate and a functionally equivalent analysis applies as to why it doesn’t violate free speech to limit the amount that the candidate can accept from any one source.)

    Finally, the point that you anti-CFRers keep forgetting/ignoring/are unaware of is that anyone can still give as much as they want to an organization that does not coordinate with the campaign and that organization can spend as much as it wants on ads that say anything they want (including mentioning candidates by name), anytime it wants (including less than 60 days before the election). Therefore please focus you lack of response on how it limits free speech solely to limit the size of contributions directly to the candidate.

    Finally — I agree that the fire in the movie theater is a horible analogy. (and would actually agree that the case where the supreme court made that analogy is probably wrongly decided). Its a limitation on the content of the speech. Others are allowed to talk in the theater and you presumably could even yell fire legally if there really was a fire. The point is, I am very much a free speech actovist and support free speech causes in a number of ways. We just have a disagreement as to what constiutes “speech.” Even accepting you definition of speech though, the law does place some restrictions on the time, place and manner. Do you accept these restrictions?

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