Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Congress Shall Make No Law...

Pop quiz time! Which major American political party stands up for free speech more consistently?

Here’s a hint: it’s a trick question. The correct answer is neither of them. Before you start arguing with me (or after you stop caring, my Canadian friends), consider the evidence coming from the recent vote in Congress limiting the amount of money that can be given to partisan “527” groups – which started receiving gobs of money during the last election cycle because the McCain-Feingold campaign finance laws forbade giving the money directly to political parties. Originally, Republicans were more supportive of this loophole, while Democrats wanted it closed. Now that it’s become apparent that Democrat-supporting groups were more successful at raising money through 527’s, the Republicans have performed an about-face and overwhelmingly supported a bill that would restrict donations to 527 organizations.

George Will has a great op-ed on this issue in the Washington Post. My favorite line:

Candice Miller (R-Mich.) said that restricting 527s would combat "nauseating ugliness, negativity and hyperpartisanship." Oh, so that is what the First Amendment means: Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech unless speech annoys politicians.

…And no party will support free speech for citizens unless they think that free speech will help their election chances (or hurt the other guy’s).


At 9:10 PM, Blogger Molly said...

I reeeeally like Will's definition of the First Amendment. Spot on.


Post a Comment

<< Home