April 30, 2006 [LINK]

McCain & the First Amendment

Most of the time John "Maverick" McCain irritates me with his ingratiating eagerness to say whatever will please the mainstream media. Every once in a while, however, he says something really gutsy that no one else will say. But then I wonder -- Is he just pandering to folks like me? Mark Tapscott provides more evidence for skepticism of McCain: his recent comments that "quote" (as he said) First Amendment rights take a back seat to what he believes is a higher priority: ensuring that we have a clean, uncorrupted government. He is talking about resistance to limits on campaign finance, i.e, the McCain-Feingold Act, and various derivatives. (via Instapundit) If McCain truly thinks that his opinion of what is good or not takes precedence over our basic freedoms, we are in trouble. As I noted on April 17, George Will had some very caustic words for Republicans who voted to restrict donations to "527" groups. I don't make a direction equation between giving money and political speech, as Will does, but those two activities are close enough to warrant extreme caution in trying to regulate political spending.

Hewitt on Election '06

By sheer coincidence, on Friday I saw Mr. Tapscott at a Heritage Foundation talk shown on C-SPAN. He was introducing blogger / radio host Hugh Hewitt, who believes that the upcoming November elections will decide whether we win or lose the war in Iraq, and therefore, the broader war against Islamic terrorism. I'm not sure whether I agree with that, or with the agenda behind his book, Painting the Map Red: The Fight to Create a Permanent Republican Majority. It sounds to me like a denial of the very pluralistic values upon which our system of government was built, but I'll give it some thought. [Pelosi ... Dellums ... Rangel ... It is quite a scary prospect.]