McCain-Feingold five year anniversary; Ryan Sager
Ryan Sager of the New York Sun has remembered the five year anniversary of McCain-Feingold with an editorial that reveals the track record of this law:
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.
Sager repeats what most of us already understood - that McCain-Feingold is about violating the First Amendment, not about cleaning up politics.
Last but not least — and here we get to the real nub of campaign-finance regulation — McCain-Feingold supporters promised that the bill would curb the scourge of "negative" and "dirty" advertising. "It is about slowing political advertising," Ms. Cantwell said during the debate. "Making sure the flow of negative ads by outside interest groups does not continue to permeate the airwaves."
Of course, curbing and "slowing" speech critical of politicians by "outside interest groups" (a.k.a. "citizens") is in no way a permissible goal under the First Amendment. But, ultimately, the politicians may have failed in this most nefarious goal. And it's not just the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth who showed the way around it.
It is this bill as much as any other factor that prevents me from supporting John McCain for President.
The President should have vetoed this bill instead of hoping for the Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional. By failing to stand up when it counted, he allowed an unconstitutional law to hamper legitimate campaigning and bring us one step closer to a socialist paradise in which we all shut up, take orders from the government and wait our turn to see a government doctor.