December 22, 2003

USA 2004: Now With 40% Less Free Speech

Robert Robbopines about the recent USSC ruling on campaign finance reform and comes up with a statistic that floored me. The new law illegalizes 40% of the spending on politics that the two major parties spent on elections. Assuming this is correct, the implications are large, and severe.

Let's assume, for the moment, that McCain-Feingold simply took the law and matched it to bedrock common law morals. This means that in 2000, 40% of expenditures of both major parties were dirty. I highly doubt that 40% of Enron's expenditures fell into this category, nor did Anderson's misdeeds amount to 40% of the money it handled either yet our criminal justice system placed huge penalties on both corporations, practically destroying them as unacceptably corrupt.

If the Democrat and Republican parties really engaged in such corrupt practices, neither of them deserves to be on the ballot in any state. We should tear them both down and start over.

Furthermore, Republican prowess in getting hard dollars means that this 40% is unlikely to be distributed evenly across party lines. Democrats are probably higher than 40% with Republicans dragging the average down. There is partisan advantage to be gained here so why aren't Republicans weilding it?

This is nonsense only because McCain-Feingold is not legislation that goes after corrupt practices or even substantially after corrupt practices. I would argue the same need to start over with new parties if the figure was 33% or even 25%. McCain-Feingold isn't about getting dirty money out of politic. You can tell this by the dog that doesn't bark. The idea of splitting off from corrupt Republicans or Democrats is very much a fringe phenomenon. If McCain-Feingold was actually what it represented itself as the dog would bark and the parties would be destroyed. Americans are not a corrupt people and they wouldn't tolerate having parties this dirty running the country.

Once the corruption angle is taken away, all that is left is limits on free speech. Welcome to the new USA, now with 40% less free speech. I predict that somehow, to nobody's surprise, the new version will be far less filling.

Posted by TMLutas at December 22, 2003 02:07 PM