Thursday, May 11, 2006

SPEECH AND CORRUPTION -- George Will doesn't think McCain sufficiently balances free speech interests with anti-corruption efforts in seeking to reform campaign finance:

Unfortunately, although McCain is loquacious about corruption, he is too busy deploring it to define it. Mr. Straight Talk is rarely reticent about anything , but he is remarkably so about specifics: He says corruption is pandemic among incumbent politicians, yet he has never identified any corrupt fellow senator.

Anyway, he vows to "complete the job" of extirpating corruption, regardless of the cost to freedom of speech. Regardless, that is, of how much more the government must supervise political advocacy. President McCain would, it is reasonable to assume, favor increasingly stringent limits on what can be contributed to, or spent by , campaigns. Furthermore, McCain seems to regard unregulated political speech as an inherent invitation to corruption. And he seems to believe that anything done in the name of "leveling the playing field" for political competition is immune from First Amendment challenges.