I told you so.
I warned you that the monster called “campaign finance reform” was nothing of the kind.
I explained that limits on political speech were not only unconstitutional, they were immoral.
I said we would no longer recognize the American political system if this abomination were actually implemented.
Now the chickens are coming home to roost.
Last week the Republican National Committee asked 250 television stations to pull TV ads critical of President Bush because they break those laws.
Now, I don’t like MoveOn.org. I don’t like anything about the group that sponsored the ads. I have been critical of their ads, which I consider deceitful at best, un-American at worst.
But like it or hate it, MoveOn.org has a right to be heard. There is no excuse to censor the group. There is no excuse to deprive the group of free-speech rights. There is no excuse to deprive it of First Amendment rights.
The RNC argues that MoveOn.org, financed by so-called “soft money,” is spending it on ads to influence a federal election. The campaign finance law broadly prohibits the use of such corporate, union and unlimited donations to do so.
And that’s the problem. That law is unconstitutional on the face of it. Thirty years ago, any schoolchild could have told you so. But, today, our legalistic minds are so confused. They insist on regulating every facet of Americans’ lives. They don’t trust the people to have a spirited debate and arrive at a smart decision. They want to micromanage affairs because we’re too fat, lazy and stupid to get it right.
But the RNC is playing the heavy here – and it will only come back to haunt the organization.
“As a broadcaster licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, you have a responsibility to the viewing public and to your licensing agency to refrain from complicity in any illegal activity specifically in this case, violations of our nation’s federal election laws,” the RNC warned the TV stations.
If the RNC recognized the Constitution as the supreme law of the land, it ought to be fighting for repeal of those unconstitutional laws. We shouldn’t have to consult lawyers and judges simply to participate in a national presidential election or a local congressional election.
If MoveOn.org is denied the right to trade in political speech, who’s next?
The Republican Party was complicit in designing these rules limiting what special-interest groups can say and do in campaigns. The Democrats, the party preferred by MoveOn.org, was complicit in designing those rules. The Supreme Court, supposedly the experts on the Constitution, surprised everyone by upholding the clearly unconstitutional law these two parties conspired to impose on us all.
Now, we have a lose-lose situation for everyone. We have more incumbency protection, less competition in our already uncompetitive political system and the beginning of the end for the First Amendment, which, by the way, was drafted by the founders to ensure that political speech was protected absolutely.
As a result, this may be the second presidential election decided by a small group of men and women in black robes rather than the people. Is that the system we want? Is that the system we deserve? Is that the system that made America famous? Is that the system the founders envisioned?
I hope MoveOn.org challenges the campaign finance laws. I hope the group is successful. I hope the Supreme Court is forced to reverse its idiotic decision upholding this law. And I hope the Republicans and the Democrats are embarrassed for creating this monster.