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Monday, April 17, 2006

The GOP's Betrayal On Speech
If in November Republicans lose control of the House of Representatives, April 5 should be remembered as the day they demonstrated that they earned defeat. Traducing the Constitution and disgracing conservatism, they used their power for their only remaining purpose -- to cling to power. Their vote to restrict freedom of speech came just as the GOP's conservative base is coming to the conclusion that House Republicans are not worth working for in October or venturing out to vote for in November.

The "problem" Republicans addressed is that in 2004 Democrats were more successful than Republicans in using so-called 527 organizations -- advocacy groups named after the tax code provision governing them. In 2002 Congress passed the McCain-Feingold legislation banning large "soft money" contributions for parties -- money for issue-advocacy and organizational activities, not for candidates. In 2004, to the surprise of no sensible person and most McCain-Feingold supporters, much of the money -- especially huge contributions from rich liberals -- was diverted to 527s. So on April 5, House Republicans, easily jettisoning what little remains of their ballast of belief in freedom and limited government, voted to severely limit the amounts that can be given to 527s.
The Republicans have become what they used to be against.

I'm reminded of something Thomas Sowell wrote before the 1992 election: (paraphrase) "The question is not whether George Bush deserves reelection. He does not. The question is whether America deserves to be inflicted with Bill Clinton. We do not."

The Republicans clearly do not deserve to remain in control of Congress. Unfortunately, the Democrats deserve to gain control even less. In our two-party system, we're stuck with those choices, so I'm left with no real alternative but to hope the GOP keeps control, undeserving though they are.

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