Most voters’ eyes glaze over when you bring up the topic of campaign finance. This was as true in 2002, when McCain-Feingold passed, as it is today. And so the late push by the Obama administration to highlight ad buys by outside groups, and to suggest without evidence that foreign money is involved, is pretty weak, at best. At worst, it is a form of hypocrisy, considering the enormous expenditures made by (partly foreign-funded) labor unions in every election cycle, including this one.
Conn Carroll has a pretty nice summary over at The Foundry under the title, “If you can’t beat them, silence them”:
The 2008 election was supposed to be the dawn of a new liberal era. An enlightened bureaucratic elite in Washington was supposed to enact a broad and transformative agenda that would save the economy, return the nation to prosperity, and legitimize big government for a generation.
But only the enactment of the agenda occurred, without any of the promised benefits. President Obama’s trillion-dollar stimulus and trillion-dollar health care entitlement are now law. The leftist bureaucrats have been empowered … but their policies have failed. Health insurance premiums are rising, poverty is up, and the nation’s unemployment rate hovers near 10%.
Faced with the obvious failure of their policies, the left is now desperately seeking to avoid accountability by blaming others. So President Barack Obama told a crowd in Philadelphia this weekend that “special interest groups” like the Chamber of Commerce are “spending unlimited amounts of money on attack ads.” The President continued: “It could be the oil industry. It could be the insurance industry. It could even be foreign-owned corporations. You don’t know because they don’t have to disclose. … Now, that’s not just a threat to Democrats – that’s a threat to our democracy.”
No, not really — it’s just more of a threat to Democrats than it usually is. They’ve always been happy to harness Big Labor’s money, they just don’t believe that turnabout is fair play.