You can't be serious about the laws applying to me!
Posted by aogTuesday, 09 December 2003 at 21:33 TrackBack Ping URL

Best of the Web has a comment about potential problems in the Howard Dean campaign. This is basically that because it’s decentralized, Dean can’t exert much control over what is done in his name. That’s kind of interesting, but what’s sad is that Dean’s biggest worry is that some supporter could send himself or Dean to jail or make them subject to a large fine. Think about. Here, in America, the campaign finance reform laws putatively designed to free up politics for the masses make exact the kind of grass roots, spontaneously political activity encouraged by Dean illegal.

I just wonder what will happen the first time a Dean supporter gets busted for this kind of violation. I predict that no one in the Dean camp will think about why the supporter could get busted, but will simply claim that it’s “Republicans abusing the laws” without asking who, exactly, supported the passing of those laws. It’ll be no different then when former President Clinton got busted under sexual harrasment laws (why could they make him talk about that kind of stuff — because of laws Clinton and his political allies supported), or when Dean declined public financing for his campaign.

On the other hand, this kind of learning disability has been endemic over there for quite some time. For instance, Oliver Willis is whining about an advertisement for President Bush being illegal. The dastardly criminal act? There was no “I approve this message” tagline. Oh, the horror! Can our political system survive that kind of perfidity? How can anyone who claims to want participation in politics by ordinary citizens think that this kind of nit picking is a good idea? I guess, though, based on the size of Bush’s campaign warchest, at least we’ve gotten the money out of politics. Right, Mr. Willis?