Thursday, April 01, 2004

They Can't Stand the Heat

The Bush-Cheney campaign is trying to use the Federal Elections Commission to muzzle its critics, from MoveOn.Org to the Media Fund, both of which have run TV spots strongly critical of El Presidente. Bush-Cheney Reelect and the Republican Party have filed a complaint with the FEC alleging criminal collusion. (Washington Post story here.)

Which led Thomas B. Edsall to remark, "In an unusual move for a party traditionally opposed to campaign finance laws and government regulation, the GOP has turned increasingly to the federal regulatory system, especially the FEC, to restrict, if not silence, Kerry allies."

What we've always said ... Republicans HATE government except when they love it.

And more of what we've seen plenty of, under the cover of "Patriotism" ... the attempted silencing of all opposition.

To which the Rovians have added this deliciously twisted addendum: they've actually asked the FEC to dismiss their own complaint quickly. Yes, dismiss. Why? So they can appeal to the courts for a quick injunction. The rules demand that they work through the established complaint process, and the established complaint process can drag on for months, so by asking that their complaint be summarily dismissed by the FEC, they can step up the calendar along with the heat by appealing to the courts for injunctive relief. Hey, get the right judge, and you can do wonders!

What seems to have set off this hysteria is that Bush was comfortably spending seven times what Kerry was able to muster for TV ($41.8 million in March to Kerry's $5.8 million), but MoveOn and Media Fund's anti-Bush ads were reducing the Bush media advantage to a mere 2 to 1, an unacceptable leveling of the field. Can't have that! So we get another domestic version of "shock and awe." Use government itself to squelch democracy.

No comments: