John McCain Regrets Free Speech During an Election


Earlier this week the Supreme Court began dismantling the thoroughly odious John McCain-Russ Feingold "Don't Hurt Politicians' Feelings Censorship Law." What part of the First Amendment's "Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people…to petition the Government for redress of grievances" doesn't McCain and his cowering cohorts on Capitol Hill not understand?

Straight-talking McCain evidently can't stand it when voters want to straight talk back at him. So McCain denounced the Supreme Court's decision declaring,

"It is regrettable that a split Supreme Court has carved out a narrow exception by which some corporate and labor expenditures can be used to target a federal candidate in the days and weeks before an election."

Never mind that the actual case before the Supreme Court had nothing to do with unions or corporations, but involved a non-profit right-to-life group. But why shouldn't the UAW, GE, SEIU, or ADM be able to "target a federal candidate" and tell their fellow citizens why they think this or that glad-hander is a good public servant or an evil stooge? If the First Amendment doesn't protect political speech–especially criticism of politicians running for office–what does it protect?

Former reasoner Matt Welch's excellent dissection of McCain's authoritarian tendencies in the April 2007 issue is here.