Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Good Maverick, Bad Maverick

Answer me this: why do those crowds at Sarah Palin rallies go nuts every time she invokes McCain's maverick record, when his quintessential maverick achievement is McCain-Feingold, which restricts free political speech?


Belinsky said...

I don't think McCain-Feingold is so simply bad. It may restrict free speech, but it also reduces the the moneyed influence on government, which is a good thing. I'll support most steps that help to transfer power from the ruling class to the people.

Sheldon Richman said...

There is no reason to think McCain-Feingold has reduced the money influence. If government has favors to sell, there will always be ways for interests to buy them. McCain-Feingold stops private groups (NRA, NRAL, etc.) from running issue ads before elections and primaries. How can you defend this flagrant violation of speech rights?

Nicolas Martin said...

As the Ron Paul campaign starkly showed, the ability to raise large sums of money is the only way an insurgent can even modestly compete against the power elite. Gene McCarthy noted that his 1968 anti-war campaign was only possible because wealthy donors supported him with large contributions. Now those large contributions are illegal. Not only does "belinsky" accept restrictions on free speech, but he supports finance laws which strangle dissident political campaigns in the crib.

Sheldon Richman said...

Agreed. Gene McCarthy never could have driven Lyndon Johnson out of the race under today's rules. The floor debate on McCain-Feingold made clear that the concern was not with corruption but with "negative" advertising, by which the congressmen meant attacks on incumbents. Hence, McCain-Feingold is referred to as an incumbent-protection act.

Jimi G said...

Q: "why do those crowds at Sarah Palin rallies go nuts every time she invokes McCain's maverick record"

A: Politics is religion. Palin is a fundamentalist preacher.

No other explanation is necessary.

Sheldon Richman said...

Jimi: I buy that.

Jimi G said...

Sold, but I only accept U.S. Treasuries.

liberranter said...

Because American voters in general, and Republican voters in particular, are brainless 18-karat morons.