"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wTuesday, September 21, 2004

I HAVE AN ADORING PUBLIC! I HAVE AN ADORING PUBLIC!: Five flights, a bus ride, three long car trips, and two nights sleeping on friends' couches later, I finally arrived home last night. The wedding went off without much of a hitch but it was too bad natural disasters and evil airlines kept a few friends from joining us. Here's an excerpt of the Friday Spectator piece:

Assuming this republic continues on for some time, political historians will look back to 2004 as the year censorship came to America. The groundwork was laid earlier and it didn't take quite as well as it might have with a more servile population -- not at first, at least. But when our elected representatives and most of the press locked arms against "negative campaigning" by nefarious "outside groups," we knew the jig was up and really didn't know how to fight it.

A prime exhibit of this game-rigging approach, saved for posterity, is the September 20, 2004 issue of Newsweek. Under the banner "Politics & Money," the cover carried the headline "THE SLIME CAMPAIGN: How Both Sides Are Using the 527 Loophole to Throw Mud and Turn Out the Vote." Two black-and-white low definition televisions showed a younger George W. Bush in his cap and bomber flight jacket, and a post-Vietnam John Kerry, hair an unruly mop, testifying before Congress. Turn the page and the table of contents promised to explain "why it's gotten so mean."

In an historic guest opinion piece, Senator John McCain -- of McCain-Feingold fame -- railed against "the rise of so-called 527 groups, with their billionaire backers and nasty, negative television ads that threaten to bring politics to a new low." He wrote that these groups were in violation of the law, and that the only thing standing between the voters and cleaner, fairer elections was the Federal Election Commission's "despicable failure to do its job." Short run, McCain promised to go after 527s in court; long run, a legislative solution: force the FEC to endorse his evolving ever-stricter idea of what makes for a fair campaign. [more]

And here is part of what one smart reader had to say:

I've always like Mr. Lott's articles, but this one was a home run. I've been yelling about this in my blog for months. I'll grant that maybe John McCain had his heart in the right place -- who could complain about his announced motive of removing the corrupting influence of money in politics? But what he and Russ Feingold have concocted is nothing short of censorship. The media and the politicians are all for strengthening this law so that in effect, the only political free speech left would be that of, guess who, the media and politicians.

posted by Jeremy at 6:25 PM