Bush Campaign Lies
Sunday, May 23, 2004
I love the Bush campaign blog, because it reflects Bush the man, the Bush administration, and what the Republican party have become so completely. The posts make bold pronouncements, backed up by questionable evidence, and they brook no dissent: unlike most blogs, including this one and John Kerry's, it doesn't allow users to leave comments.
For example, consider this recent post in the Bush campaign blog. It republishes almost all of a Washington Post editorial from May 22nd, and triumphantly cries that 'The Washington Post editorial board today slams Kerry for his decision to try and delay accepting his party’s nomination'.
Now, it is true that the Post op-ed called the decision to postpone acceptance of the nomination a 'ploy' and seemed to chide Kerry by saying 'Mr. Kerry's choice to be seen manipulating the rules will have its own cost, of course -- but it won't be in cash. We do look forward to his non-acceptance speech.'
But if you read the part the Republicans leave out (always read the original!), you discover that the main point of the editorial wasn't criticism of Kerry, but the campaign finance system. Let's take a look:
This is a symptom of a presidential financing system that has degenerated into meaninglessness. Gushers of cash are flowing into both presidential campaigns for what are supposedly their "primary" contests. Boosted by the doubling of the contribution limit to $2,000, Mr. Bush has broken the $200 million barrier -- nearly twice his take four years ago, when he became the first eventual nominee to opt out of the matching fund system. Mr. Kerry announced yesterday that he has topped $117 million, most of it raised after he dispatched his primary opponents.Note how the Republicans snipped out the part reminding us that it was Bush who led the way in creating the situation we have now. In fact, a Democrat partisan might seize on this and argue that it is Bush who has 'undermine[d] campaign finance reform', and Bush who has chosen to 'manipulate the rules', two charges the Republicans claim the Post is making against Kerry.
If the system is to remain in place, it must be dramatically overhauled to take into account the reality of a front-loaded primary calendar and soaring campaign costs. The existing matching fund system for the primaries is all but dead: It's hard to imagine another successful party nominee who would participate in it. If it is to be continued, the amount that's matched needs to be increased. The primary spending ceiling must be raised.
A Democrat partisan might say that, but I wouldn't. I would only say that the Republicans are distorting the Post's editorial in a dishonest way.