Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fischer's First Stump Speech

Greg Fischer made his first campaign speech last night, and as he acknowledged, it was long and unpolished (but better than his announcement video).

A few points jumped out. He spoke with great nostalgia about growing up in the '60's, which he recalls as a time of "hope" and "no cynicism," when "there was a feeling that we could do anything in the country."

Childhood recollections don't often reflect reality. What's more troubling about Fischer's recollections, however, is that they don't reflect much knowledge of history. He completely forgets the Vietnam war, and the Democrats' rush to cut and run, and the shameful way in which they treated our troops upon return. He forgets the epidemic of drug use that "flowered" under Democrat control characterized by slack law enforcement and judges who believed in "rehabilitation" rather than punishment. He forgets the damage that the Great Society wrecked upon our economy and the families of the inner cities.

Fischer purports to catalogue Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell's "values," in particular "greed." Apparently speaking from personal experience, Fischer states that "if you have enough money you can do whatever you please." (Like buying a U.S. Senate seat?)

He then goes on to state that McConnell is the "wealthiest Senator in the U.S. Senate." That statement is so far from the truth that it's laughable, so Fischer is quick to explain that McConnell's wealth is in terms of the money he has raised for his campaign. It's an awkward argument for Richie Rich -- especially coupled with Fischer's complaint that he is "tired of the obstacles for the average person to get involved."

Of course the biggest such obstacle is money. Again, that's no issue for Fischer because he can finance his campaign by writing a personal check. But it is a huge obstacle to anyone -- like McConnell -- who is not personally wealthy.

As a result of campaign finance "reform," someone like Fischer can spend as much of his own money as he wants to buy the primary. If the first amendment was unimpeded by campaign finance "reform," a candidate like Andrew Horne could simply call up George Soros and get a big ole contribution of thousands or millions. As a result of campaign finance "reform," we have less ideological diversity, not more.

This effect on the speech opportunities of potential candidates is one reason why McConnell has opposed "reform" measures like McCain-Feingold, or the Alien and Sedition Act of 2001.

Fischer benefits from a system that allows a rich guy to write a check to his personal campaign for one million dollars. In fairness, a competing candidate should be allowed to ask ten friends to donate $100,000. Instead, that candidate can only raise $25,000 from 10 friends. Nor can this be justified on the grounds that it forces candidates to speak to the middle-class, because self-funding millionaires can -- and do -- end run the system.

Indeed, Fischer concludes by boasting that he's "gonna have the financial resources to do this." Memo to Fischer: don't spend it all in the primary.


Cyberhillbilly said...

I dozed off watching that, but not as deeply as I did the first one, admittedly.

I was awake long enough to hear him praise Jim Pence's good work (I wonder if he liked Jim's sickening "you want a deardo?" video?). I also caught the stuff about the 60's and the idealism and how everything was fun and happy go luck... he just left off the part about the Mayor Daily tear gassing rioters at the DNC, Watts burning, and the assassinaton of MLK and RFK. Oh, don't forget the fillibuster of the Civil Rights bills by a couple of the very Democratic senators he wants to join.

Paul said...

You are clearly uninformed on how Fischer plans to run this race. He wont pour millions into the race, and he is rallying support throughout the state. This type of blog only makes you look like you dont know whats really going on...