Thursday, November 09, 2006

Here's a first step for Republican victory in 2008.

The first step for a Republican victory begins with an issue that, by its very nature and by the claims of its supporters, should have played a key roll in the pre-election debates but was conspicuously absent from them. That proverbial "dog that didn't bark" in election 2006 was campaign finance reform.

The just-completed elections, if they prove anything, prove that campaign finance reform is a total failure at preventing corruption. Do you remember hearing any left-of-center pundits complaining that what was really needed to prevent another Abramoff scandal was a new round of tightened campaign finance regulations? Or do you remember hearing the left-of-center pundits calling for Republicans to be thrown out of power to clean up Washington? And if campaign finance reform was such a potent anti-corruption issue, why didn't the Republicans get any credit for enacting it. Shouldn't that have been the centerpiece of Republican efforts to refute the Democratic Party's "culture of corruption" charge?

The key point that the anti-Republican opposition hammed into the Republican Party's skull in the last year is the exact same point that conservatives have been trying to make all along. This is the observation that the best way to eliminate the tie between campaign finance and political corruption is to reform Congress and its methods of distributing funds, not the political donations that are supposedly buying political favors from Congressmen. Republican critics picked up on this by targeting earmark reform and eliminating pork as issues to push this year and won big; the Republicans comfortably sat on their campaign-finance reformed butts and ended up as the biggest losers.

The notion of campaign-finance reform as an "incumbent protection racket" has just been blown out of the water by recent events as well. But as you might have guessed, the anti-Republican opposition was more concerned about gerrymandered congressional districts to complain much about that incumbant re-election guarentee supposedly buried within the campaign-financing system.

Another big liability hidden within campaign-finance reform is that the leading Democratic contender for winning the 2008 presidential election, namely Senator Hillary Clinton, is also a leading practicioner of campaign-financing violations. Any Republican presidential contender who makes his or her stand on the campaign-finance system while the Clintons cheat like crazy is a guarenteed loser. Are you listening Senator McCain?

A first step for Republican victory in 2008 is therefore to make a stand on the First Amendment's right of free speech, dump the campaign-finance reform crusade, and enthusiastically support real reform of how Congress distributes money. The benefits of doing so include:
  • re-energizing conservative and libertarian support for the Republican Party by liberating political speech from campaign-finance restrictions.

  • making real reforms of Congressional spending that can be used for tax cuts or deficit reduction

  • sticking Democrats with defending the campaign-finance restrictions. Campaign-finance reform is, in the final analysis, a historically Democratic Big-Government issue in the post-Watergate era. If the Republicans put the First Amendment ahead of Big-Government, the Democrats won't be able to follow them.


Blogger William said...

Last Tuesday was not so much a victory for the Democrats as it was a loss for the Republicans. The war in Iraq and President Bush jettisoned the Republican party into the minority. Actually I think that as of right now, this is bigger than the Republicans in 1994 partly because it exceeded most expectations. This also follows a trend throughout most of the 20th century in that during the 6th year of a presidency the party in power loses big. The only time this didn't happen in recent memory is during the Clinton administration. However, this was said to be because 1994 had already done it.

Now comes the next question. Will any republicans jump ship and become independents that caucus with the Democrats? Sen. Specter is probably one of the leading candidates along with the 2 senators from Maine which are both Republican, both highly popular with the state and in a state with a Democratic governor, Democratic reps and a Democratic state house.

10:41 PM  

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