"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Jonah Goldberg on Campaign-Finance Reform "The Twinkie Approach" on National Review Online

Jonah Goldberg on Campaign-Finance Reform on National Review Online

The Supreme Court heard arguments this week regarding a campaign finance case in Vermont. The law in question in VT seeks to restrict how much someone can donate to a candidate and limits the amount a candidate can spend in an election.

Goldberg, says that "free speech is a lot like free trade." Which sounds simple to the ear, yet is a, "byzantine series of lawyerly exceptions, caveats, codicils and loopholes about the size of a good encyclopedia."

Free speech is the same way in that in determining what free speech is, "court documents, government regulations and the like — it would probably stretch from here to the moon and back a couple times." Nothing too simple or free about it.

As an example of speech regulation; "In the '90s, the Clinton administration subsidized Hollywood to put anti-drug messages in shows such as ER. Liberal elites were horrified by this, but they had no problem with the feds forcing tobacco companies to spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to convince people not to buy their products. And surely the freedom not to speak is as sacrosanct as the freedom to speak."

Freedom of speech/political speech is the whole point of the First Amendment.

According to the VT law, "a gubernatorial candidate can speak in his own defense until he spends $300,000, and then the state can tell him to shut up."

In closing, "let's treat politicians like Twinkies. They have to disclose their ingredients — i.e., where their money is from — but beyond that, let the buyer beware."


© blogger templates 3 column | Webtalks