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Senator McCain, and all your "reformist" meddlers: You mucked it up, big time, in your narrow-minded and self-serving incumbent-protection scheme.

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Blame John McCain for the Campaign Ads

During the course of this rotten-to-the-core campaign year, some phrases have been repeated über ad nauseum. We may not have picked your most detested, but ours is, "Hi, I’m Johnny Scum, and I approved this message."

Since no one but an insane, imbecilic, lying weasel would have approved the vicious screed that follows, the candidates must have substantial reason for confessing to drive-by slander, de facto perjury and irritable mouth syndrome. All that on your TV, in your living room, where you were all snug just trying to watch reality hotties (male, female and other) while waiting to meet your Canadian flu shot connection.

"Honey, the President just approved saying the Senator is Osama’s French half-brother whose mother then married her first cousin."

"That’s nothing, sweetheart. The Senator just approved saying Teresa loves Rosie O’Donnell, and he’s inviting Christopher Reeve to the inauguration."

Nay, friends, the candidates are not telling you they approve their Moorewellian crud sling because they want to.

John McCain made them do it. The rule, called "stand by your ad," against which Loretta Lynn should have sued and still could, is one of those oh-so-precious details of McCain’s much-vaunted campaign finance reform. It requires, through official U.S. Government edict, that a candidate appear in political ads and say those words. It was pushed by buzzed-out busybodies in bowties, some of the same bunch that condemns dodge ball as cruel and lobbies for transgender restrooms in grammar schools. Sensitive people who want to save the shrimp and set up animal courts.

The goofball rationale for "stand by your ad" was that it would curtail the over-the-silo, under-the-cellar rhetoric of attack ads. Why, no candidate for public office in these United States of America would dare say such stuff if he or she had to personally approve it, in person and on air.

That worked out really well, didn’t it?

In actuality, the requirement has only sliced away some of the time for the real campaign messages and violated the First Amendment by both constraining and compelling political speech at the same time, not an easy feat. In other words, you can’t say what you want to say unless you say what we say you must say. Got that? Read it again, because that’s exactly what it means. Sometimes, that quaint notion of government "of, by and for the people" gets a bit muddled in the hands of those whom "we the people" elect to run it for us.

Here are some messages we approve:

Senator McCain, and all your "reformist" meddlers: You mucked it up, big time, in your narrow-minded and self-serving incumbent-protection scheme. We said so at the time, and the evidence is in, on "stand by your ad" and a lot more of your legislation. Please go away now.

President Bush: You should never have signed the aforementioned in the belief that the Supreme Court would do the right thing and squash it like a bug. You need a mistake to refer to? Try that one.

Supreme Court: If the First Amendment does not mean what it says, you have muffed badly your extra-judicial interpretation thereof. Please correct your mistake at your earliest convenience. We’ll be working to get you cases to make it easier.

Candidates All, Great and Small: You are running to represent us in what we need our government to do. We have differing views on that, so we elect some of you to sort it out for us. We are not electing you just because you can’t find other gainful employment. What you have done and will do, what your opponents have done and will do should be part of your messages to us. External constraint of those messages is wrong. Internal restraint is a guide to your character. Since religion has become a significant factor in this election, we suggest you re-read Dante. Don’t even bother asking what Jesus would do this time out, because, from the best we can tell, not one of you is anywhere close. (If we are wrong on this point, please show us your ads and we shall issue a retraction.) We may not soon escape voting for the lesser scumbag, but some of you might do well to at least pose more convincingly.

[Posted October 21, 2004]