Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Five years ago today, President Bush signed into law the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. Today, American politics is so clean you could eat off it — except for the mud-slinging, back-scratching, favor-trading, influence-peddling, bald-faced lying, indictments, and convictions.
Pretty apt description, if I do say so m’self!
Nonetheless, the folks who brought us the bill known colloquially as McCain-Feingold will be taking a wildly undeserved victory lap this week. After all the big promises leading up to the passage of McCain-Feingold, one is tempted to resort to the phrase “moving the goal posts.” But, in truth, the more apt simile would be that the reformers’ arguments are like bumper bowling: So long as they roll the ball in the right direction and manage not to hit anyone in the face, they get to feel good about themselves.
One good reason NOT to support John McCain for President – McCain-Feingold! There are others, like him being against the tax cuts that has given our economy a major jump start.
Take as a prime example of the reformers’ boasting a statement put out yesterday by the Reform Institute, a non-profit group affiliated with Senator McCain of Arizona. The statement claims that BCRA has “succeeded in its objectives.” How so? It “significantly reduced the corrupting influence of campaign contributions and enhanced the participation of small donors in the process.”
Say WHAT??? ROFLMAO What a bloomin’ joke! Moveon.org comes to mind.
As to the first part, that corruption has been reduced, this is a simple assertion, with not a single piece of evidence to back it up. There’s a reason for that: There is no evidence. By what metric does one measure “corruption”? Mr. McCain and his crew couldn’t define it before they passed McCain-Feingold; they can’t define it now; and, thus, there’s no way to measure it. Anyone paying attention to politics in the last couple years, however, would be surprised to find out corruption has been “significantly reduced.” The names of three former Republican congressmen — Tom DeLay (departed from Congress under indictment), Duke Cunningham (in jail for accepting bribes), and Bob Ney (pleaded guilty to corruption charges) — jump to mind.
Let’s face it. There is no way to clean up politics until you get rid of the politicians. People who make a career out of running for office do more harm than any good they could have if they had a set limit of time to do get it done. I’m more and more inclined towards term limits.
Then there was the claim that McCain-Feingold could restore trust in government. On this score, Mr. Thompson declared that “we are making headway to do something that will reduce the cynicism in this country and that will help this body, that will help us individually.” While, plenty of congressmen have helped themselves individually over the past five years (see: indictments and convictions and plea agreements, above), there is still enough cynicism around for Senator Obama of Illinois to make defeating it the main rationale for his presidential campaign.
Trust? Again….ROFLMAO! I don’t trust any of those D.C. elites as far as I could throw them. Not a one!
While the Supreme Court has so far upheld the patently anti-Constitutional ban on advertising by citizens’ groups 30 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election, the rise of Internet politics may eventually supercede this atrocity. Witness the anti-Hillary Clinton “1984” ad that caused such a stir on YouTube just last week. Such ads, cheaper than dirt (it costs money to distribute dirt, YouTube’s free), will only be more important with every election cycle.
We can only hope that the make up of the Supreme Court right now will use some common sense and have a lasting impact on OUR right to free speech as set out by the Constitution.
For this reason, look for Congress to start taking an interest in “unregulated” Internet speech any day now. Money has never been the issue. Cleansing our speech of impure thoughts about politicians is the real agenda.
I guess they’re going to have to learn how to do “mind scrubs”.