The Right Coast
August 23, 2004
527 or Fight!
By Mike Rappaport
The swiftboat controversy continues. The New York Times reports that George Bush has asked that all of the 527 ads (that is, independent ads) should stop. Of course, the great majority of these ads have been run by Democrats, such as Moveon.org.
While Bush's position makes sense politically -- it allows him to stand above the fray -- I don't like it substantively. Sorry, there is such a thing as free speech and people are entitled to run ads voicing their views, even if they hurt the liberal media's only hope for the election and even if, more doubtfully, they complicate the Republican's election plan.
It is worth while thinking through the logical implication of these criticisms of 527 groups: it would end up in a world where the only two entities who could talk freely during elections would be the media and political parties/candidates. Sorry, but privileging of such organized groups does have some resemblance to what used to be understood as fascism.
I understand the New York Times wants to shut everybody up but themselves, but, for a little while at least, it is a free country.