Thursday, April 25, 2002
Mickey Kaus has a very interesting piece saying that McCain-Feingold is actually toothless (with respect to the ad ban, the most egregious and unconstitutional part of the law) because the ban applies only to corporations. The title of the piece: Everyone Was Wrong.
But the most important question: did the Bush Administration know this when he signed it? If so, they are smarter than even I thought, and I think they are pretty smart. Bush signs a law that the media (who hates him) loves, winning points with them. It's also McCain's signature issue, giving him one less reason to run against him or otherwise make his life miserable. He angers conservatives, who accuse him of selling out principle; this gives him a reserve of points with moderates to cater to conservatives on something else, to make up for his previous infidelity. And it turns out that (a) the bill doesn't have any teeth, and (b) is more in-line with Bush's principles than originally thought (since, if the loophole is there for any reason, it's there to restrict the ad-ban to for-profit corporations, something Bush has expressed no particular opposition to). If this was all part of Bush's plan, he's brilliant.
The alternative is that Bush had no idea about the loophole. In which case, he's even luckier than we all thought. And everyone thinks he's lucky.