Skip to comments.Tarnished Legacy ( If the president does not veto this bill ) Rush Limbaugh
Posted on 03/20/2002 5:39:00 PM PST by TLBSHOW
The time has come for our representatives and senators to decide if they will keep their oaths to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" or vote to shred the First Amendment. The issue is the deceptively named Campaign Finance Reform Bill. Proponents of this bill, notably Senator McCain with those silver balls in his hand like the captain in "the Cain Mutiny," claim this bill sets the stage for a new era in the way money is spent to influence politics. In truth, it will ruin your right to free speech without doing a thing to get rid of "big money."
Under this bill, public participation in the electoral process is considered corrupt. A sad example is an ACLU ad in Chicago. The San Francisco Chronicle tells us that the ad urges voters to call Denny Hastert and ask him to put up an anti-gay discrimination bill for a vote. Under CFR, this ad would be illegal, because it mentions the name of a candidate and it's running too near an election.
That makes it corrupt - and the answer to all this supposed corruption, is to take away the people's freedom and give it to the government! Since the bill doesn't touch the media's power, they support it - in true, Sovietesque fashion. The Chronicle asserts that this bill is going to help Republicans and really help Bush and for that reason it's worth GOP support. But I'm not so sure that this is that automatic a boost for Republicans or Bush, and even if this bill outlawed every Dem, I would still oppose it, because freedom of speech is more important to me than political gain.
The president has yet to say a word against this bill, and I've taken him to task for it. But unlike liberals who just hurl accusations and never offer a solution, I have a solution, a way to "clean up" campaigns. It's this: get rid of soft money. Have hard money with no limits. Anybody can give anybody whatever they want, just give full disclosure of who's giving you the money. That's the only reform that's necessary. It's so simple, and it would be so successful, that it isn't going to pass.
This expert in the Chronicle article points out that incumbents will have an easier time winning reelection, as challengers find that parties don't have as much money and options to support them. That's true. Which is why we call the bill the Incumbent Protection Act. And what are we going to do if Democrats run ads that violate this bill? You know we'll just look the other way, as we did when Bill Clinton and Algore broke existing campaign laws!
Look, we know that all of this is probably going to be moot anyway since all these provisions are going to be called unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States. That's why so many cowardly members of Congress are voting "Yes," because they figure there are no consequences. Even the bill's proponents admit it's unconstitutional, which is why they slashed out language that said it wasn't, and why Gephardt years back proposed a constitutional amendment to change the First Amendment the right way.
So hopefully, this is all moot, but we have to discuss this bill as though it's not because you don't know what the court is going to do. That's what's so frustrating about this. Everybody signing this bill or voting for this bill knows that, and that's their out. But I still think this is chilling, the idea that there will be restrictions on our rights to lobby our government. Our job is to lobby the government, to petition it for what we want.
If the president does not veto this bill, and leaves the dirty work to the Supreme Court, he runs the risk of tarnishing his legacy, despite his outstanding leadership as commander-in-chief and war president.
This bill is naked tyranny!!
Sic Semper Tyrannis
Garde la Foi, mes amis! Jamais reculez un pouce á tyrannie!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! Never give an inch to tyranny!)
LoanPalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)
I thought the same thing.
It's maddening, isn't it?
Here's something else that consoles some. The leftists are having fits because they think Bush and Rove are outsmarting the Marxist/DemocRATS:
"Karl Rove's Wedges" by Harold Meyerson
Some doctrinaire conservatives are growing a bit cranky over the ideological impurities of George W. Bush. California Republicans rebelled when he promoted the candidacy of Richard Riordan -- Horrors! An electable moderate! -- for governor. Free-market ideologues blanched when he supported protections for the steel industry. "Steel tariffs are not just anti-market," grumped Sebastian Mallaby in The Washington Post. "They make no sense on their own terms."
Actually, they make sense and then some. Karl Rove -- the man behind the curtain in all matters political at the Bush White House -- understands all too well that busting up the Democratic coalition and building an enduring conservative majority in the United States requires the administration to build any number of alliances with its ideological opposites. While the Democrats remain devoid of any strategic direction, Rove is busy developing a whole new series of wedge issues to pick them apart.
Much was made during the 2000 campaign of Rove's appreciation of Mark Hanna, the late-nineteenth-century industrialist who, as the political genius of the McKinley operation, remade the Republican Party. Hanna not only persuaded the CEOs of his day to invest mightily in the party, he also dashed the designs of the William Jennings Bryan Democrats to restructure American politics along lines of class. Running against McKinley in 1896, Bryan began with a base of support among farmers and sought to bring industrial workers to his column as well. Hanna's strategy was to align voters not by class but by sector. Industrialists and urban workers both benefited from the tariffs that McKinley championed, though Bryan's farmers most certainly did not. Even though those industrialists paid their workers a miserably low wage, Hanna found common ground between these two conflicting classes -- and there built a Republican coalition that lasted for more than 30 years.
Follow the Bush White House over the past few months and it's apparent that Rove grows more Hanna-like by the week. At bottom, the administration remains the pluperfect expression of class politics: crafting a tax cut for the wealthy, bailing out airlines but not their workers, pushing fast track. But Rove knows that an administration devoted solely to the care and feeding of the rich is not politically sustainable. So he's developed a series of discrete policies that appeal to distinct groups in the electorate by sector.
The steel tariff is one of these. It runs counter to the administration's overall free-trade policies, but it also stands to erode Democrats' support among unionized industrial workers in such swing states as Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Immigration policy is another of Rove's sectoral opportunities. It's also a necessity: Rove has long been convinced -- rightly -- that absent a successful outreach strategy to the fast-growing Latino electorate, Republicans are doomed. Since the opening days of the administration, Rove has concentrated particularly on liberalizing immigration policy with Mexico -- and not even the clamor for greater border security since September 11 has deterred him from his mission. As with the steel tariff, he's been dealing with a business-labor coalition: businesses in search of more immigrant workers, unions bent on organizing them.
As a result not just of September 11 but also the recession, the domestic pressure to increase immigration has waned, but the Republicans are still negotiating with unions and other immigrant advocates for more modest liberalizations. Consequently, Congress is now poised to extend an amnesty covering many thousands of undocumented immigrants, and to make legal immigrant students eligible for Pell Grants.
What Rove is doing is coming up with a new generation of wedge issues. Bill Clinton took all the old GOP favorites -- crime and welfare in particular -- off the table. Rove is responding by finding new ways to pick apart the Democratic base -- and with party strength so evenly divided, it doesn't take much to tip the balance one way or the other.
Rove's strategic initiatives stand in sharp contrast to the Democrats' torpor. While Rove has shown himself willing and able to deviate from core GOP policy to cut into the Democratic base, the Democrats have been unable even to formulate a core policy, let alone deviate from it. Uncertain whether to stand for fiscal discipline or a real prescription-drug benefit, divided over how and whether to question the president on our expanding and amorphous war, paralyzed by the tax cut that all too many of them voted for, they call to mind Lincoln's description of a Union general in the aftermath of a battlefield defeat. The general, Lincoln said, was wandering around "confused and stunned like a duck hit on the head."
That's our Democrats. Alas, that's not Karl Rove. [end]
Yes, by coopting them! Why would I vote for Bush if he was going to sign liberal legislation? He's supposed to be a conservative - he should act like one.
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