Monday, August 23, 2004

"There ought to be limits to freedom."

May 26, 1999, or thereabouts: Bush says, "There ought to be limits to freedom" when faced with a website critical of his campaign for president.

March 27, 2002: Bush says, "I believe individual freedom to participate in elections should be expanded, not diminished; and when individual freedoms are restricted, questions arise under the First Amendment. I also have reservations about the constitutionality of the broad ban on issue advertising, which restrains the speech of a wide variety of groups on issues of public import in the months closest to an election." This was his statement when he signed McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform, which restricted issue advertising shortly before an election.

August 23, 2004: Bush says, "Absolutely. I don't think we ought to have 527s. I can't be more plain about it. And I wish -- I hope my opponent joins me in saying, condemning these activities of the 527s. It's the -- I think they're bad for the system. That's why I signed the bill, McCain-Feingold."

I'd call this a flip-flop, but it's evident that Bush is only concerned about free speech when he believes that the speech will benefit him. When he signed McCain-Feingold, he believed it would; now, he knows it won't.