McCain-Feingold headed to the House

Plus: Is David Horowitz seductively dangerous? And where's Barbra Streisand when you need her?

Published March 30, 2001 6:30PM (EST)


Drudge Report: "Jet Smashes in Aspen Killing 18" "Where's the Yent-a-Matic When You Need it?
Planet Out: "Dog by Day, Stripper by Night"
Virginia Postrel: "Seductively Dangerous: What's Really Wrong With David Horowitz's Anti-Reparations Ad?" "Are You Ready for Campaign Finance Reform?" Opinion Journal: "An Ivy League Professor Defends, uh, Sex With Animals"

Big buzz

Reports that passage of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill is all but assured Monday made top headlines from the New York Times to "The McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill, anticipated to pass Monday, will ban unlimited, unregulated gifts of campaign cash known as 'soft money' to the Republican and Democratic parties," writes Salon's Jake Tapper. "The bill will also ban all issue TV and radio ads against candidates funded by labor or corporate dollars within 30 days of a primary and 60 days of an election. Should it ultimately become law, the bill would arguably be the most sweeping campaign reform since the post-Watergate era more than a quarter-century ago.

Some Table Talkers said the bill is simply reshuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. "The only 'reform' really worthy of the name is the ELIMINATION of the 2-party duopoly in the USA!!!" writes one. Another poster's take on the bill could be the chorus in a country-western song. "Money talks. Sadly, all mine ever says is 'goodbye.'"

Over at, people were calling for Trent Lott's head. "Does anyone know why the Republican 'leadership' is pushing this thing through? Do Lott and Hastert really have that much of a tin ear? I hope I am missing something here, because McCain is a nutcase and the libs are loving this bill, so I know I want no part of it ... Enlightenment please!"

Others doffed their cap to McCain for jamming the bill through with a reluctant Senate and opposition from the White House. "McCain is actually going to pull this off, isn't he? I have to say I am impressed," a poster writes.

Monday's vote will be a political victory for McCain perhaps, but most in the thread remain skeptical of that victory's social impact. "And in 27 years, when even Senators will be able to realize that this new reform didn't work any better than the 1974 reforms, they'll decide to reform again by just shooting anyone who criticizes an incumbent. To save democracy, of course."

Always eager to stir up passions overseas, the Brits are hoping the passage of McCain-Feingold leads to a reprise of last season's Republican primary battle. The Independent writes: "It would also provide Senator John McCain, who made campaign finance reform the signature issue of his failed presidential campaign last year, a springboard from which to run for President in three years," though McCain has repeatedly said he will not run against Bush.

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By Anthony York

Anthony York is Salon's Washington correspondent.

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