Outrage fatigue fading…
Pres. Bush chats with the NY Times, August 26:
But when pressed repeatedly if he would specifically denounce the advertisements, which Mr. Kerry has said were being run with the tacit approval of the Bush campaign, the president refused to condemn then. Instead, he said he would talk only of the “broader issue’’ of the political committees that take to the airwaves with attack advertisements.
“Five twenty-sevens – I think these ought to be outlawed,’’ he said. “I think they should have been outlawed a year ago. We have billionaires writing checks, large checks, to influence the outcome of the election.’’
Pres. Bush signs campaign finance reform bill, March 27:
Second, this law will raise the decades-old limits on giving imposed on individuals who wish to support the candidate of their choice, thereby advancing my stated principle that election reform should strengthen the role of individual citizens in the political process.
I believe individual freedom to participate in elections should be expanded, not diminished; and when individual freedoms are restricted, questions arise under the First Amendment.
I also have reservations about the constitutionality of the broad ban on issue advertising, which restrains the speech of a wide variety of groups on issues of public import in the months closest to an election. I expect that the courts will resolve these legitimate legal questions as appropriate under the law.
Outrage fatigue rising…