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Saturday, November 10, 2007

More On Anti-Incumbent Terrorism

Betsy Newmark posted on the senatorial initiative to prevent anyone from blasphemously using a senator's name during elections. The senators, in their august wisdom, legislated in the McCain-Feingold bill that a politician's name could not even be spoken or written in an ad during a campaign season if the ad was paid for with corporate money.

Our Congress Critters deem this crime to be similar to the Jewish prohibition against attempting to name G_d, or various highly similar prohibitions in monarchies against criticizing the monarch. G_d forbid someone publish a S_n_t_r's name and his voting record during an election period. (Note - I actually believe that the rabbis got it right, but I have trouble extending that prohibition to monarchs and Congress Critters.)

Since the Supreme Court has made grumpy demurrals about the First Amendment, the solution in Senatorland (it's like Disneyworld, but the bathroom activity is a little more adult) is obviously to amend the Constitution:
The proposed amendment, sponsored by Senate Democrats Chuck Schumer of New York and Tom Harkin of Iowa, would overturn Supreme Court decisions that limit Congress' power to regulate the funding of political campaigns.
Such barriers as the Supreme Court (those black-robed anti-incumbent terrorists) have raised have been founded on the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The Supreme Court (those heretics!) truly irritated Congress this summer with their decision in Federal Election Commission v Wisconsin Right To Life, Inc. WRTL's "crime" was using candidate's names during the pre-election blackout period:
On July 26, 2004, appellee Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. (WRTL),began broadcasting advertisements declaring that a group of Senators was filibustering to delay and block federal judicial nominees and telling voters to contact Wisconsin Senators Feingold and Kohl to urge them to oppose the filibuster.
WRTL was informed by the election commission that the senators' names could not be so taken in vain, and the ads were halted. The Supreme Court decision set forth a new test to determine heresy under McCain-Feingold:
...a court should find that an ad is the functional equivalent of express advocacy only if the ad is susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate.
Whoa! One can almost interpret that as permission to publish a s_n_t_r's voting record in conjunction with his sacred, never-to-be-spoken name. You may feel that this is pretty innocuous, but it caused great angst in Senatorland. McCain had always been a ferocious campaigner for a fundamentalist interpretation of the "No Incumbent Shall Fall" gospel. When FEC officials spoke against the attempt to make them the heavies, he let them know that the Wrath of McCain would fall upon them.

In FEC v WRTL, McCain joined with other not-to-be-named congressional gods to argue before the Supreme Court that WRTL's ad was a severe and blasphemous attempt to meddle with an election:
Because the three ads were broadcast on television, referred to a clearly identified candidate for federal office, and targeted the electorate of that candidate, the ads, if run during the statutorily prescribed period, would constitute “electioneering communications.
I recommend reading the brief. Personally I believe that McCain-Feingold was a bad bill and that the Supreme Court erred in McConnell, and that the latest decision doesn't fix that error. But I think we should all contemplate just how passionately our Congress Critters, and most especially our S_n_t_rs, believe that they should be immune from any and all attempts to distort their reelection messages with facts.

As for the latest exercise in futility, it got support from two Republicans as well as two Democrats. The one thing we can all be sure of is that we will get bipartisanship from our elected officials in such a cause. The most noble and entirely sacred Sen. _rl_n Sp_ct_r is prominent among those wishing to amend the Constitution to ensure that Congress can restrict the public's right to name them during elections.

Anyone want to join me in creating a corporation and running paid advocacy ads in the black-out period using the partial names of politicians? The only way to deal with our Congressional Critters's illusions is to ferociously ridicule them. At least everyone would get a good laugh out of it!

I've always thought that an election by plurality was fine but that the first reelection should be a majority and subsequent reelction a progressive supermajority. Plurality, majority, 55%, 61%, 67%.
That's an interesting variation on term limits! It would certainly set a high bar for them to be reelected forever.
Clearly these are SACRED congresscritters,appointed by Gawd,like GW was...according to Pat Robertson.But why are they trying to change the Law,don't they know that this is a government of men,not laws?
Sounds like a great plan, MOM; I think calling S_n_t_rs by name should be is blasphemous! I just can't figure out if I should not spell my Senator's name, S_h_m_er or Sc_u_er?

Yeah, let them geek parse that one.
Anon - I am pretty sure they believe that they are in some intermediate category between men and divinity. Somewhat like Elijah and Moses, they have ascended to the lower heaven of the Capitol Building, and laws are what constrain the poor mortals left behind. Nor should those poor mortals be allowed to harass their august presences as they go about their work.

Rob - V. funny. It might work.

SW - Maybe we need a rabbinical council? I'd hate to get the FEC in trouble.
Oh well, I was hoping someone was more juvenile than I but here goes:

Sen. Sc_um_ _.
so i should call mine feinwhine? she is acting more like dick cheney every day,and is beginning to look like him as well...
Rob, that is pure evil and will be punished by incarceration at Gitmo.

Tom, how could you? HOW COULD YOU? Are you going to join in the plague of men being mean to perfectly sweet female politicians? Don't you know that it is verboten to gang up? IS CHIVALRY DEAD?
McCain-Feingold and the gang of 14 is the only thing in this world that would make me vote for Shrillary. If McCain and Shrillary are on the ballot I will not stay home and forfeit my vote, I will vote for Shrillary or a writein.
I could never bring myself to vote for McCain. I respect him for his service to our country, and in many respects he is admirable. But this bit about not respecting the First Amendment puts him beyond the pale for me.

Hillary just reminds me of Nixon too much. I can't do that either.
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