Posts Tagged ‘mccain-feingold’

“John McCain must be causing Mitt Romney some serious heartburn in New Hampshire,” writes Jay Carney in a Time-Blog Swampland post titled Romney Blames…McCain??

How else to explain Romney’s magnificently absurd claim that the recently-reported push polls attacking Romney’s Mormonism are somehow the fault of…that’s right, John McCain — more specifically, the campaign finance reform law known as McCain-Feingold, which passed in 2002. Politico’s Jonathan Martin has the story here. Of course, push polling existed long before McCain-Feingold became law, as Mark Salter, McCain’s senior aide, alter ego and co-author points out in this lacerating riposte:

It is appalling, but not surprising, that Mitt Romney would seek to take advantage of this disturbing incident to launch yet another hypocritical attack. It’s the hallmark of his campaign.

Back when Governor Romney was calling for public financing and taxing political donations, and before McCain-Feingold was passed, push polling was, regrettably, alive and well in American politics. Anyone who spent a day in South Carolina in 2000 can testify to that. It is not a surprise that Governor Romney would use even an attack on him to make yet another hypocritical statement. It is the hallmark of his campaign … etc., etc.

Liz Mair offers her take on why Romney wants to blame the victim in a post titled Romney and the religion bashing calls

… I’ve been less impressed with the Romney camp’s swift move to tie all of this to McCain-Feingold. The issue here is one of religious bigotry being shopped to voters– not of the utility of campaign finance reform, of which I personally am no great fan. And, it’s interesting that the Romney camp has moved in this direction so quickly. Sure, they never miss an opportunity to beat up on McCain, so it’s not surprising that they’re doing it here. Still, it seems as though this whole incident has thus far proved pretty beneficial to Romney. He is now in the victim/underdog role that one of his campaign aides indicated a couple months back could prove helpful to his campaign. He’s also been given another prime opportunity to denounce an initiative that has been widely unpopular with conservatives, and make himself out to be the anti-McCain (something that still has a lot of appeal with some members of the GOP base). Despite the fact that it’s Romney’s religion that’s been beat up on here, he’s looking like the overall winner from the whole episode … etc.

We were wondering how Romney would botch his response to these events.

Romney!—dude—your negatives are soaring!—a more effective response strategy to the push-poll revelation would have been to:

(a) Praise Sen. McCain for his integrity; infer your confidence that neither the Senator nor any of his people were involved. If later events undermine that confidence you can express surprise etc.

(b) Praise the Attorney General for his swift response; infer your confidence in the US justice system etc.

(c) Praise the American people—in particular, the voters in Iowa and New Hampshire—for their tolerance; infer your confidence in their wisdom, temperance, moderation, and sense of fair play, then segue into your own commitments to those values by means of a personal story.

Then, and only then, and without naming any names, decry dirty tricks, dishonest campaigners, and the laws and loopholes that enable them. This way, Romney, you would appear larger than you are, as opposed to smaller—and you still get to say everything that you want to say. This is how you affect to appear statesmanlike, even presidential, as opposed to, say, affecting the pose of an angry department of motor vehicles clerk (Romney’s usual pose). This, Boy Romney, is how you address the world when your own negatives are somewhere in the stratosphere.

Otherwise, you get responsa like Carney’s, Mair’s et al.—which is precisely what you got, and precisely what you will continue to get until you dismiss your entire communications staff down to the last unpaid-intern fetcher of coffee. Speaking of which, is there anyone in Team Romney that has any actual experience in, or any actual training or study in, rhetoric or communications?—we’re just wondering. So far, Team Romney has provided us with between 12 and, we think, 15 separate case studies for how not to develop and manage a message campaign.

Our students will be grateful to Romney for years to come.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


“Governor Romney attacked Senator John McCain today when a question regarding campaign finance came up at a morning visit to a technology company here,” reports by Shushannah Walshe from Manchester NH in Cameron’s Corner post titled Romney Attacks McCain: “It’s the height of irony”

The former Massachusetts governor was asked about McCain’s campaign finance reform bill, McCain-Feingold and Romney sharply criticized both the bill and his Republican rival, “The irony is literally dripping as you look at the formation of this C4 to support Senator McCain.” Romney focused his attack on a newly formed independent group of McCain supporters, Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America. The organization legally does not need to release its donors’ names or contribution amounts. The group released an ad showing images of McCain and praising his support for the troops. Other footage of Republicans that the group backs is also part of the ad … etc.

The ad subversively, maliciously praises McCain’s support for our troops?—outrageous, and clearly an abuse of the intent if not the letter of McCain-Feingold. /joking

… At a later event in Concord, Romney continued his criticism calling the bill a failure and that the bill’s “intent was to reduce the impact of money in politics. It’s gotten worse not better.” The former Bay State governor added, “. . .it’s the height of irony that the father of McCain-Feingold now has his supporters raising vast sums of money, more than regular citizens can donate, to support his campaign” … etc.

Romney is concerned about “vast sums of money, more than regular citizens can donate, to support his campaign!?” This is not irony, this is hypocrisy—on Romney’s part.


(1) Romney needs to look up the term “ironic.”

(2) It is Romney who most benefits from McCain-Fiengold. But ironic is not what we would call it; a better term would be “perverse,” as in “perverse subsidies.”

(a) McCain-Feingold allows the super-rich, like Romney, to finance their own campaigns, which confers upon the few a wildly unfair advantage.

(b) McCain-Feingold allows the super-rich, like Romney to loan to their campaigns, and further allows friends and well-wishers to pay against those loans directly into the pockets of the candidate himsel—i.e. the law allows for the corruption of candidates on an assembly-line scale.

Yes, McCain-Feingold deserves censure, but not because it inconveniences poor man-of-the-people Romney, but rather because it made a Romney candidacy possible at all.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.