I’m so pissed off about this that I woke up at 2:30 am seething and I had to get up and write this. Just read this and tell me that this doesn’t deserve a gold medal in the 100 meter stupid hypocrite freestyle:
President George W. Bush plans to seek a court order to force the U.S. Federal Election Commission to stop all political advertising by independent groups, said spokesman Scott McClellan.
Bush asked Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, to help end advertising by political organizations known as 527 groups, named for the section of the Internal Revenue Service code that grants them tax-exempt status. McCain told the New York Times he disapproves of ads attacking Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, one of the 527 groups.
“The president said he wanted to work together to pursue court action to stop all activities by these shadowy 527 groups,” McClellan told reporters on Air Force One en route to New Mexico.”
The sheer audacity of the whole thing is positively breathtaking. Let us count all of the ways in which this is incredibly stupid and hypocritical:
A. It’s blatantly unconstitutional. And Bush knows it, because during the 2000 election, he said that he would veto such a law because it violates the first amendment’s free speech protections. He then went back on his promise to veto the law, and McLellan said the other day that Bush THOUGHT the law he signed DID ban political ads by independent groups. It does not, of course. And now Bush wants a judge to issue a court order to do what he thought the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform bill did. Which brings us to:
B. Judicial Activism. Isn’t it Bush and the conservatives who go ballistic whenever those “unelected judges” ignore the “clear text of the constitution” to “legislate from the bench”? When a judge determines that an unenumerated right deserves protection, the right wing howls in indignation. Now Bush wants an unelected judge to outlaw what is not only clearly legal political speech, but to do the job that he stupidly thought he had already done, and even worse to go against the clear text of the first amendment in the process? I’ll take rank hypocrisy for $1000, Alex.
C. It only helps Republicans. Republicans raise almost all of their campaign money through the campaign organizations and the parties. In the 2004 election cycle, the Republican party apparatus has raised $256 million to only $115 million for the Democrats. But in the 527 organizations, independent groups taking out ads advocating general positions rather than a specific candidate, the opposite is true, by a margin of about $130 million to $18 million. So all Bush is doing is advocating a law that would harm his opponents and not him. Pure partisan gameplaying.
D. It consolidates power in the hands of the parties rather than the people. By banning individuals and groups of individuals from taking out political ads, it means that only the candidates and the parties have the right to take out ads to persuade others and advocate their ideas. Only the parties and the candidates would have access to the airwaves, and hence to the public. Great idea, George. Let’s give the parties even more of a monopoly on shaping public opinion. That faint whooshing sound you hear coming from Virginia right now is Thomas Jefferson spinning in his grave. By all means, let’s make sure that the only way groups of people can persuade others in this country is through the corrupt parties that have royally screwed it up in the first place. We’ll put that between “new coke” and “Cop Rock” on the all-time idiocy list.
I can’t even begin to tell you how appalled I am right now. George W. Bush, you hypocritical, self-serving liar, you took an oath to uphold the Constitution. You stood there with your hand on the bible and swore an oath. Remember all those speeches you’ve given about how our brave military men are fighting to protect our Constitutional rights? You were lying through your teeth. You don’t give two shits about Constitutional rights, you’ve made that obvious. You’ll shred the first amendment in a heartbeat to gain a political advantage.
If there is a single member of Congress with any loyalty to the Constitution at all, impeachment proceedings should be started immediately. Even by the cynical standards of our dishonest political system, this is world class chutzpah. Let’s hear from the conservatives on this one – the real conservatives, the ones who were against McCain-Feingold in the first place and were angry at Bush for going back on his word and signing the bill.
If you’re still planning to vote for this cretin in November, stand up and tell me why this is not an act of rank stupidity and hypocrisy and an attempt to destroy freedom of speech for his own political advantage. It’s one thing for a politician to sell out his own principles to insure his reelection. That’s loathsome enough. But selling out the first amendment to get reelected should, in a just and rational world, disqualify you from holding any office higher than drain commissioner. You are a sellout and a fraud, Mr. Bush, and you have betrayed your office and your oath. If you had any honor you’d resign in disgrace, if only because, after spending the last 2 years telling us that the terrorists want to destroy us because they “hate freedom”, you’ve just revealed that you hate it as well.