Yesterday, I criticized an egregious misquoting (turns out the misquoting was not original. Derrida and Searle would be proud of a bunch of conservatives arguing about the authorship of Jason quoting Human Events quoting McCain quoting the Supreme Court…) of one of the YouTubes that Matt Lewis and I took on the Straight Talk Express. Matt pushed back, saying:

In my view, Soren is being too hard on MyManMitt. Yes, technically McCain was misquoted — but not misrepresented.  It is clear that McCain agrees with the courts — that’s why he is quoting them. In my view, this is a matter of semantics (and not worth flaming somebody over).

I do not think that this is "just" semantics. In putting together the final law that passed, I assume that John McCain and company went to the legal decisions. In one of the cases, the actual sentence, "money is not speech. Money is property". As Scalia pointed out in his dissent to the actual BCRA decision, McConnell v FEC, this was actually the building block for upholding BCRA. In other words, McCain is not just quoting the court, he is quoting the operative idea behind the court uphold (rightly or wrongly) the constitutionality of the law.

In other words, McCain is himself quoting the legal concept underlying what he believes to be the constitutionality of some or all of BCRA in support of his law. That’s how I understand that. Now, does McCain also believe that? Probably. But I think it is far to pithy an question.

Now, I have criticized this law too. I even called the window provision that is being challenged in FEC v Wisconsin Right to Life "noxious". So I asked McCain about this provision, and here is what he said:


I am not persuaded by this answer. I should have asked a follow up about what would really be eroded by this? That said, I am impressed that I could ask a question like this and get an answer like this. Hopefully another blogger, possibly even me, will be on the bus again, and they can ask this follow up.

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