The Lonely Centrist

A place for reasoned debate about the issues of the day.

See my complete profile

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Shut Up!

An excellent piece on the partisan perils of campaign finance reform and more by Brian Anderson today in Opinion Journal.

Anderson approaches it from the right - how the political left is attempting to silence the right through campaign finance reform, reinstatement of the "fairness doctrine" in TV and radio, and the like.

But a gentleman of the left could write largely the same column, using different examples - Republican efforts to silence Democratic "527" groups would be exhibit A.

Of course, some might say that this is all fine. Republicans and Democrats, right and left, will use the law to try to silence their opponents, and it will roughly balance out in the political system. Meanwhile, we'll gain all kinds of benefits as a society from having silenced some speech (sounds really silly when you put it that way, but that is the basic position of so-called campaign finance "reformers.") But what if it doesn't balance out? What if one side, using the tools of governance, is able to gain a permanent advantage by silencing its opponents? And is that really how a democracy is supposed to work? Is that really self- governance? Not debating issues, but trying to shut the other side up? Is that really likely to lead to good policy results?

Of course not. But it is the road John "Keating Five" McCain and his colleagues have chosen.

  • The Skeptic
  • Andrew Sullivan
  • Michael Barone
  • The New Republic
  • National Review
  • Democracy Project
  • Bob Bauer
  • Center for Competitive Politics
  • Ryan Sager
  • Going to the Matt
  • Professor Bainbridge
  • Volokh Conspiracy
  • Mystery Pollster
  • Amitai Etzioni
  • Alexander Chrenkoff
  • Middle East Media Research Institute
  • Right Democrat
  • Democrats for Life