Originally posted by Towel
He's right on, even if his verbage is a little rough. Everyone knew that Democrats relied on soft money to counter the huge Republican advantage in hard money. Everyone knew that McCain-Feingold would almost certainly help Republicans, by restricting soft money and raising the hard money limits. To the many Democrats who voted for it, though, it at least seemed a step in the right direction, even if their party took a hit. I don't think anyone anticipated the rise of 527s; if Democrats did, they kept their mouths shut about it.
He's not on because he seems to believe that the Republican advantage in hard money was created by large donations by the rich. Hard money is called that for a reason. It is severely restricted. He implies that having someone like a Donald Trump is favorable. How can this be so when even the Donald was limited to a $1000 donation?
Democrats are just as capable of raising hard money as Republicans. They have shown that in this election with Kerry raising $233 million.
But when I see a comment like this....
Lots of individuals, for example, Donald Trump, are vastly rich in America. They give or used to give a TON of money to Republicans.
That is a fundimental disconnect because the hard money was $1000 then and $2000 now. Donald Trump could give no more than any other person to shape an election.
The Democrats didn't keep their mouth shut about it. They knew they were creating the loophole while voting for it. McCain has declared that the loophole isn't really a loophole. It is Democratic leaning groups basically breaking the law which is why Bush had asked for action back in March. But the reality is that Democrats knew they weren't giving away their soft money, they already knew how they were going to divert it. It is the Republicans who got caught flatfooted because they actually followed the law instead of breaking it. If you look at candidate and party campaign spending the candidates are quite close. If you look at 527 spending, it isn't even close.
So Republicans thought they had acheived a coup. They were blindsided when 527s sprang up to absorb all that formerly Democratic soft money.
No Republicans thought they were following the law. Democrats already knew they were going to break it. It is the Republicans who were blindsided. Again it shows the fundimental disconnect of Aquatic's understanding. He somehow things that the Republican's had some huge advantage because people were writing $5-10 million dollar checks when in reality it is the Democrats who have relied on unlimited soft money.
Also you need to address the fact that the soft money wasn't a problem because it was Democratic or Republican. It was a problem because it is considered to be corrupting and influencing. You make it sound like it was banned simply because Democrats had an advantage there. It was banned because someone writes you a ten million dollar check, and people find it hard to believe you don't owe them a few favors.
Aquatic makes this claim...
Democrats don't have such a base because well, they are for the people.
Again a disconnect because if you are "for the people" you should be advantaged in a system that requires lots of small donations from everyone instead of allowing a few people to write big soft money checks. Instead it is the Republicans who get loads of small donations "from the people" while Democrats are and were getting their money by having a few peole write big checks.
All this fury about how 527s are all evil is just Republicans playing politics.
Wrong, but thanks for saying it since Grove seemed to believe that no one was making that claim.
These groups are breaking the law. Soft money is always supposed to be used for get out the vote efforts and things of that nature. It is not supposed to be used for television commercials.
I mean take the basic nature of the complaint about SwiftVets, it is that a few rich guys (Republican rich guys in this instance) can run some ads (lies as claimed by the left) and affect the entire election. They say this is wrong and they are right not because of what has been said, but because a few people deciding for all of us by outspending us limits speech. That is why Bush condemned all 527's during this election cycle because soft money shouldn't be used to give the very rich a huge voice. That is why all this campaign finance reform happened in the first place.
So Bush was right in filing a complaint in March, and right in condemning all 527's who are spending soft money on television and other ads which specifically mention a candidate. Again it is easy to see the consistancy of reasoning and argument there.
Campaign finance reform is about limited speech so that the little guy doesn't get shouted down by the big guy. It is about not allowing the big guys to buy the election. Aquatic alleges that it is the Republicans who are using their big guys and big donations to shout down the "people" who can only give little donations. The reality is the opposite. It is the Republicans who are best at raising small donation hard money from lots of people. Aquatic calls special interest groups "soft money." That isn't true. Soft money is any large donation that is supposed to be used for non-speech purposes. Voter registration, getting out the vote, driving people to vote, calling them and asking them to vote, that doesn't limit or overwhelm speech. That is actually helpful because spending money to help people exercise their right to vote is considered great.
But again, using soft money for speech, that is not considered to be an advantage to the "people." It is considered to be corrupting. Thus the fact that Democrats seem only capable of getting money via large donations from a few people means they are the ones who are beholden to special interests. They can't get the money any other way and so the alternative is lose. Lose or be under the influence of special interests, it is clear which side of that coin the Democrats have been on for years. Union money, trial lawyer money, etc.
The point is then you adjust your views so the "people" will donate to you. Instead it is the Democrats who allow the super-rich to attempt to buy elections claiming the interests of "the people."