Democrats are widely recognized as the party championing free speech. You can see this by how the Republicans react to bad press. When Richard Clark published Against All Enemies, Vice-President Dick Cheney condemned it and demanded that national bookstores not carry it. When Michael Moore’s anti-Bush film Fahrenheit 9/11 came out, President Bush sent his lawyers to several prominent theater chains and threatened them with lawsuits if they showed the movie.

Remember that? If you do, you are proof positive that alternate Earths exist. In this reality, it is the Democrats who have attempted to stifle the political speech of their conservative opponents. When Unfit for Command, the book by John E. O’Neill and Jerome R. Corsi, hit the presses, Senator Kerry sent his minions to tell the bookstores they should think of withdrawing the book from the shelves. When the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group started airing its first ad against Senator Kerry, the Democrats issued letters to TV stations in an attempt to stop the ads.

Senator Kerry is demanding that President Bush condemn the Swift Boat Veterans and force them to stop their ads. Kerry wants this for a good reason — the ads are proving to be extremely effective against his campaign. This coming from the candidate who proudly claimed, “Well, if [Bush] wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: ‘Bring it on.’” When the Swift Boat Veterans actually brought it on, Kerry’s response was to whine about how mean they are: “[The Swift Boat Veterans are] a front for the Bush campaign. And the fact that the president won’t denounce them tells you everything you need to know — he wants them to do his dirty work,” Senator Kerry said. Is it far-fetched to think Kerry and other Democrats would muzzle the Swift Boat Veterans and other political opponents if they believed they could get away with it?

Have you noticed the interesting shift in focus with Senator Kerry, President Bush, and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth? Despite what Kerry’s campaign has claimed, this organization isn’t a front for President Bush. The Swift Boat Veterans are a bunch of Democrats and Republicans who have come together to protect their collective reputation from a man who, thirty years ago, vilified their actions as war crimes before the Senate. The issue is between them and Senator Kerry, but Kerry is trying to bring President Bush into the fray. Kerry has even dispatched some Democrat veterans to President Bush to plead with him to stop the Swift Boat Veterans group. Free tip to Senator Kerry: men fight their own battles. You can stop all of this simply by releasing your records and telling the truth.

But the truth is far from what Senator Kerry wants. How can I say this? Precisely because Kerry refuses to release his full military record. President Bush has done so, but Senator Kerry won’t. Rather than dealing with the facts as they are, he and his liberal friends are calling for their political opponents to stop talking. They are all in favor of their own right to free speech, but when others try to exercise that same fundamental freedom, they call it “hate speech” and try to suppress it. You can sum this up as “free speech for me, but not for thee.”

The Swift Boat Veterans group is a 527, named after the legal code number permitting these third-party groups to exist. Thanks to the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform act to stop the spread of “soft money” in campaigns, we now have 527s spending more soft money on this presidential election than they ever did before. Behold Jim Quinn’s First Law in action: Liberalism always produces the exact opposite of its stated intent. Anyway, here’s Senator Kerry complaining to President Bush about the Swift Boat Veterans 527; odd, when the liberal 527s are far better funded. Let’s compare the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth against MoveOn.org, a liberal organization. This information is filed data from Aug. 23, 2004.

Swift Boat Veterans
for Truth
MoveOn.org
Contributions: $158,750 $9,086,102
Expenditures: $60,403 $17,435,782

It’s pretty sad to see Senator Kerry get all jittery over the Swift Boat Veterans, demanding that President Bush make them stop airing their ads, when the Swifties have spent barely 3/10 of 1% of the money that MoveOn.org has spent on its negative ads against President Bush. Granted, these numbers are a bit old and the Swifties have picked up more contributions since the first ad aired, but the disparity is still enormous. But that’s not a problem for the liberals. Spending money on their own viewpoints is OK, but heaven help the little guy who tries to speak out against liberals.

President Bush has spoken out against all 527s, saying “I hope my opponent joins me in condemning these activities of the 527 — I think they’re bad for the system.” So far Senator Kerry has refused to do so, and it is financially in his interest to remain mum. After all, the liberal 527s are waging his war for him, and “schlocumentaries” like Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 have provided over $100 million in attacks against President Bush. Don’t wait for the Democrat condemnation. It’s not coming.

The Left has made much of Benjamin Ginsberg, who was serving both as an election lawyer for President Bush and as an adviser for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group, and who has since resigned from the President’s service. But here’s a key sentence from the sixth paragraph: “Lawyers on the Democratic side are also representing both the campaign or party and outside groups running ads in the presidential race.” What? Democrats are doing the same thing?!? But did you hear any of this on the nightly news? Nope. Nor will you hear about these Democrat lawyers quitting due to conflict of interest. If you want to read about the ties between Senator Kerry’s campaign and liberal 527s, you will have to search outside the dominant liberal press, but the truth is available — regardless of how much Senator Kerry doesn’t want you to know about it.

And why doesn’t he want you to know about it? Because the truth is sinking his run for President, and the liberals can’t have that. So it is free speech all day and night for them, but when conservatives exercise the same right, the liberals cry foul. It’s free speech for me, but not for thee.

Addendum (8/28/2004): Captain Ed of Captain’s Quarters Blog sums up the whole 527 brouhaha nicely. You best be reading this fine work.

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