August 23, 2004

527 COORDINATION? American Thinker has some observations, and an example. (And here's more -- along with this "web of connections" that you've probably already seen).

Meanwhile Bush is denouncing ads by outside groups:

Bush's campaign heatedly denied any connection with the anti-Kerry group, and called on the Democratic challenger to join the president in a call for all outside groups to pull their ads.

Bush has himself been subjected to a multimillion-dollar barrage of attack ads aired by groups seeking to help Kerry win the White House.

If this election doesn't prove anything else, it seems to me that it's proven campaign-finance "reform" to be even more damaging than the critics feared. And yes, Bush deserves part of the blame for signing it instead of vetoing it as he should have.

UPDATE: Reader Brett Bellmore is much more unhappy with Bush:

Seems to me, Bush has earned more than just a little part of the blame; I'd originally put his signing the BCRA to his inexplicable phobia about vetoing legislation,. (Last President to go this long without vetoing anything was John Adams.) but with his recent statements, it appears obvious he's bought into the whole campaign censorship cause, and become as enthusiastic an enemy of the First amendment as McCain. He's lost my vote over this, I can tell you; I always thought he was at best the lesser evil, but with his embrace of censorship added to everything else, (The steel tarrifs which practically bankrupted my employer, lying in order to get his Medicaid program passed, sabotoging the Armed Pilots program, I could go on in this vein for some time...) he's just not enough "lesser" for me to stomach voting for anymore. I just can't bring myself to care all that much which of the major party candidates wins.

I'm no fan of the steel tariffs, or the foot-dragging over armed pilots, or -- God knows -- campaign finance "reform." (I don't know much about the Medicaid issue). But I'm pretty much a single issue voter here. If Kerry had given me something to work with, I might be comfortable on the fence, or even voting Democratic. But that sure hasn't happened so far.

ANOTHER UPDATE: N.Z. Bear has more thoughts on the 527 issue. And Powerline offers this thought: "President Bush is doing the politically smart thing. I just don't think he's doing the principled thing. Signing McCain-Feingold was smart, but not principled, in exactly the same way. . . . The battle for free speech is one that will have to be fought someday, by a different President. President Bush has enough battles for the moment."

All sorts of people (not me) supported campaign finance "reform" when the bill passed. It's certainly interesting to see the bien pensant crowd turn on McCain-Feingold as this election progresses. Bush's endorsement may serve to accelerate this process. [When life hands you lemons, make lemonade! -- Ed. Only if life also hands you water and sugar. . . .]