The Therapy Sessions
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
In defense of McCain-Feingold
I once opposed McCain-Feingold. I must admit, I was wrong.
The election of 2004 as one of the fairest and cleanest in history, dominated not by the special interests, but by the power of ideas. Money was almost completely absent, and the election was one of the cheapest in history.
There was little character assassination from shadowy interests groups in the election, and - for once - wealthy people found it difficult to get their voices heard. The political scene was thankfully characterized by respectful disagreement and amiable debate. An unprecedented number of house seats changed hands, and every senator who ran faced a competitive race. As a result, I would say there has never been a cleaner and more resposible Congress in history.
This has energized the political scene in the country, while serving to bring us together as a nation. And politicians are using their new power of incumbency wisely. The new powers enumerated under McCain-Feingold have enabled the government to begin a long overdue regulation of political speech directed against politicians: Now there is talk of restricting the power of bloggers and radio talk show hosts to criticize their elected leaders. Our politicians toil on selflessly on our behalf; the least we can do is spare them criticism from simple people who don't understand the issues.
Yes, I was wrong.
Can we forget about it now?