"The world is not a lodging-house at Brighton, which we are to leave because it is miserable. It is the fortress of our family, with the flag flying on the turret, and the more miserable it is the less we should leave it."
-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.
The fact that this act was actually passed, and actually not vetoed, is downright flabbergasting. Of course, the Supreme Court will tear it to shreds, but that's not the point.
Instapundit links to Reason's Hit and Run which links to this New York Times article about how shocked many congressmen are at the wacky provisions in the bill. And they are, of course, wacky. And unconstitutional. But beyond that, they are far too easy to get around. I've decided to amuse myself by looking at the various irksome provisions and pointing out helpful ways around it.
For example, members of Congress have been informed that while they can attend annual state party dinners back home, they cannot permit their names to appear on the invitation as members of the host committee, since most state parties are permitted to raise money in excess of the $2,000 hard-money limit embodied in the federal law.
Simple! Put their name in big letters, but make sure to make clear that they aren't a part of the 'host committee.' In fact, put it in big letters, just to point out the inanity of this provision.
It turns out that the law also includes a provision requiring that federal candidates appear full-faced for the last four seconds of their campaigns' television advertisements and personally attest that they stand behind the advertisements' content.
Even easier--farm attack ads out to various organizations. Heck, most condidates already do that. The most viscious attack are never by the candidate, always by some other organization. Even the Times figured that one out.
One other unanticipated effect of the law will apparently keep candidates for president from appearances before the annual meetings of either the Republican or Democratic governors associations: those groups raise money that exceed the federal hard-money limits.
Well, what about semi-annual meetings? Or maybe they're speaking somewhere, and--golly gee--the Governors Association just happens to show up! How convenient! And guess what? Another, independent organization with similar political ideologies and aspirations, has just happened to be passing the hat just a little bit earlier. How remarkably convenient.
The point is that, barring a complete and utter dimembering of the 1st Amendment, there will still be ways around even large scale assaults on it, such as the McCain-Feingold nonsense.
Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds of New York, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee suggests that his party members not be the first ones to find out if they go to jail. Personally, I think it would be a pretty sweet deal if someone did publically challenge the law, and go to jail over it--that'd be a boatload of free, unrestricted publicity.
Posted by Timothy1:48 PM
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