Amid all the stories of gloom and doom filling the news as we crawl to the final days of 2007, a bright and shining nugget was given to the American people this week. More surprising yet, this wonderful gift came from none other than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
While the professional commentators and self-appointed gurus bemoan “gridlock” and the ills of divided government in Washington, the actual results of inaction are a blessing for all those who believe in constitutional principles and the Bill of Rights.
For months the U.S. Senate has refused to move on the nomination of Hans von Spakovsky as Commissioner to the Federal Elections Commission. Republican Senators and President Bush, in response, have refused to allow Democrat nominations to the Commission proceed unless von Spakovsky is included. Stalemate.
So, when the Senate adjourns, thankfully, in a few days, there will be four vacancies on the six-member FEC. And that, dear patriots, means the FEC will have to shut down. No better gift could be conceived.
The FEC from its very formation was a blatant grab at power by those who detest individual liberty and fundamental freedoms. Taken to its logical extensions, the FEC is an outright repeal of the First Amendment’s right to free speech. When all political communication is regulated by politically appointed hacks, when only favored entities are allowed to engage in political action, when some people are severely limited in what they can say or do while others are given a free hand to do as they please, freedom ceases to exist.
The ultimate goal of the speech regulators is and always has been to insulate those that make the laws from those who have to live under them. The end game for these soft authoritarians is to disconnect the People from any leverage or power over those in control.
So, with so much power and control hanging in the balance, why would Harry Reid risk killing the FEC? What offense has von Spakovsky committed that is so terrible that Reid and his comrades would allow the closure of the crown jewel of thuggery in Washington? Von Spakovsky advocates proof of identity as a pass to cast a ballot.
I know. Catch your breath. Try to erase the horror from your mind. Von Spakovsky actually wants to take steps to ensure a fair vote!
Of course it is no surprise what the Democrat leader would choose when forced to pick between regulating speech to the point of silence or having to run a fair, clean election without the benefit of millions of votes from the dead or non-citizens. He wants those votes, silencing the public can wait.
William Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government. He has spent his career working in political strategy and public affairs for various causes and organizations.