President Bush is now requesting that all 527s cease their activity, rather than specifically requesting that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth cease their ads. This request misses the mark by a wide margin; he’s now attacking a foundational principal rather than attacking specific instances of indecency.
In the end, I support the concept of 527s because to do otherwise would be to ignore the foundational principal of free speech. We are free to make a determination as to when speech crosses a line, and then condemn or cease to participate in specific instances of speech.
By choosing to not condemn the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’s ads, and instead focusing on killing all 527 activity, Pres. Bush is asking for a cessation of all speech, rather than specifically condemning those instances of speech that cross a line of decency.
Seemingly unable to navigate the nuances of a difficult issue, the Bush administration would rather take blunt, bright line positions. This, however, is difficult to do in a free society; I expect the leader of the free world to be able to distinguish the difference.