Told Ya
Published on April 15, 2004 By Wahkonta Anathema In Politics
Sometimes the left is so naively led it makes me just shake my head and smile as I would at a silly child. They were trumpeting the new changes made to political contributions and ads a few months ago. Now they are staring in open-mouthed dis-belief at the result this legislation of incumbents has wrought. We all do well to become versed in this issue, as it is going to have screaming effects in the efforts to oppose power this November. Here is a sample from an article on the subject and link to more info for you:



"Life is interesting, isn't it? Why, just a few months ago, liberal

groups were joining hands and singing folk songs, hailing John

McCain, Russ Feingold, and the other incumbents for "saving democracy

from the clutches of special interests" with the Bipartisan Campaign

Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA). MoveOn was one of those groups.



But now, MoveOn has a new problem. And a well-written and highly

accurate essay, written by the FEC Working Group and published by

MoveOn illustrates how awful this new problem is."

But don't take my word for it. Let's flash back a wee bit. Senator

John McCain (sponsor of BCRA) and his allies in the Senate wanted an

end to what they called "sham issue ads." These were ads by

independent groups, like MoveOn, that criticized incumbents. That was

Title II of this law.


These proposed rules would apply to all types of groups: 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, 501(c)(4) advocacy organizations, labor unions, trade associations and non-federal political committees and organizations (so-called "527" groups, as well as state PACs, local political clubs, etc.).

"The new rules, including those that apply to voter engagement, cover all types of communications -- not just broadcast TV or radio ads -- but messages in any form, such as print ads, mailings, phone banks, email alerts like this one, websites, leaflets, speeches, posters, tabling, even knocking on doors. "

This, as you can see, is the sleeping monster I referred to with regard to blogging this Fall. How you like me now?

Oh, how the worm does turn. Silly, silly mortals. Thanks for the read. Feel free to comment or e-mail: wahkonta@graffiti.net Blog ON.

..."

Link




Comments
on Apr 16, 2004
I was reading about this a couple of days ago. They wanted people's opinions on it, but I was too late to write. Amazing world, isn't it?
on Apr 16, 2004
The smugness of your message is kind of puzzling. Yes, there is an ongoing war over the extent to which we want to allow concentrations of wealth to affect the political process.

Yes, McCain-Feinstein was one battle in that war, and yes, the Bush administration's reading of that law in this particular way is another battle.

Conservatives (I gather you are one) will be absolutely sure that the FEC has the correct reading of the law, Liberals will have the opposite certainty (Thus the passage from MoveOn: "The Federal Election Commission has no legal right to treat non-profit interest groups as political committees. Congress and the courts have specifically considered and rejected such regulation.") My only certainty is that the matter will end up in court, and that regardless of who wins this round, the battle will continue to be re-fought on the legislative level, as it should be.

Your self congratulatory tone is troubling, though. The problem is an extraordinarily difficult one for a country with a democratic tradition, in facing the age of visual media. As Marshall McLuhan predicted accurately, the rise of television has seriously undermined the public's capacity to take a deliberative view of the issues facing the country -- in many cases, even leaving ordinary people unable to perceive their own self interests on major issues. The result has been a decision making process mostly based on visual images, particularly images which are directly or indirectly purchased.

I suppose that we could stand by and watch as elections become an increasingly purchasable commodity. And I suppose that we impose draconian laws which disenfranchise groups and individuals who are willing to pay to be heard. However, I think both of those two extremes would be unacceptable to all but those on the fringes, and some kind of imperfect middle ground will need to be reached -- probably a lengthy process with numerous pushes back and forth.

When I hear someone take glee in the difficulties of the situation, I have to wonder what makes them tick. What is the solution they would like to see? Any chance it's a desire to have the democratic tradition reduced to a mere empty shell where only money matters?
on Apr 16, 2004
Don Bemont: "What is the solution they would like to see?" Putting the 'personal' asumptions aside, let me give you a solution. STOP VOTING FOR INCUMBENTS AND REPUBLICRATS !!

What made me shake my head and smile at them (democrats) was when they trumpeted it as a bi-partisan breakthrough when passed. Then, when they realized they were hoodwinked by incumbents, they said it was not the Democrats fault (the late Mr. Feingold) but the Republicans and he was used. They just live in denial of the fact that neither Party cares a whit for them at all, and it amuses me when they get once again ill-used and rationalize it as, "THEY (insert Rep. or Dem here) did it.

Now, both groups are objecting on the grass-roots level, while the private sites and orgs. are cornering the market on dissent in this Country, just in time for re-electing the Republican Congress and Presidency. My concentration, from the day I saw this, was on sites such as this one, and how they will survive the law. I see an interesting plan afoot concerning sites such as this come fall, and am following it.

You may ask WiseFawn about it, as I've been awaiting this story manifesting all year, readying myself for this day when opinion will be outlawed in many forums. It is just like I said back when I was just a "conspiracy whacko", it has come to pass just as I said it would - once again. Forgive me but, "HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW ?"Oh, how I love it when it all comes out in the rinse.

P.S. - I tell people that on my gravestone they'll put the words, "Here lies the one who said: Cree, Cree, Cree..."
on Apr 16, 2004
Well, this sounds different that your original post, although you still trouble me with your focus on self (having predicted correctly) rather than the good of the country.

A lot of what you are saying escapes me:
They just live in denial of the fact that neither Party cares a whit for them
In this sentence, who exactly is the "they"you refer to?

both groups are objecting on the grass-roots level
Which groups?

sites such as this one, and how they will survive the law
You believe that nuetral discussion forums would be outlawed by this law? Where do you get that from?

STOP VOTING FOR... REPUBLICRATS
So your advice is to vote for candidates from other parties, because you see McCain-Feingold as a conspiracy from the start?

Personally, I am going to wait and see how McCain-Feingold is interpreted by the courts before I get so worked up. It seems to me that Bush's SEC is trying to kill the law by taking the most radical possible interpetation of it, therefore wrecking its reputation -- which I think is a more likely outcome than their interpretation acutally standing up over the long run.
on Apr 17, 2004
I don't know where you're coming from or going to. The post is clear and concise. Maybe if you go back and read it slowly it will make more sense to you. There seems no point to make if you aren't on par or able to understand the issue. I'd recommend reading the article again, and slower, so you can gain more insight on this. (I think part of the problem is you are tuning in to this site only recently and it is an ongoing topical site and discusses many of these issues on a timeline of occurence. A look at my archive of over 350 articles will show a great deal not seen here.

If you just want to tit-tat, I don't get into arguing back and forth, nor do I allow study of minutae to detract from the post, as others do. As I said, the "Pro-incumbency law is being used to silence political opposition to the incumbents. The solution is for Americans to cease and desist from pulling Republicrat levers, and certainly, at least the incumbents' It only encourages them when you vote for them, and the Americans end up losing billions on their scams again.

Our concern should be to have freedom to oppose authority and not require government permission to do so; one of those quirky things that goes back to our founding as a Nation.
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