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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 19, 2007 / 4 Menachem-Av, 5767

Author of His Own Undoing

By George Will


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | At noon on April 25, in Prescott Park in Portsmouth, N.H., John McCain announced his presidential candidacy. Less than two hours earlier, in the U.S. Supreme Court, a lawyer who had been solicitor general in the Clinton administration spoke in the name of McCain. The senator had filed a brief urging the court, in a case arising from an application of the McCain-Feingold law regulating political speech, to uphold the constitutionality of suppressing the speech of a small grass-roots lobbying organization.


In 2004, Wisconsin Right to Life, a small citizens group that posed no conceivable threat of "corruption" to anyone or anything, wanted to run an ad urging Wisconsin's senators, Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, not to participate in Senate filibusters against the president's judicial nominations. But Feingold was running for reelection, and WRTL's proposed ad was declared an "electioneering communication" (any radio or TV ad that "refers to" a candidate for federal office). And the McCain-Feingold blackout period banned such ads 30 days before a primary or 60 days before a general election — when ads matter most because people are paying attention to politics.


The WRTL case could have been an occasion for McCain to say: This is not what McCain-Feingold was designed to do — it was intended to stop the (as he sees it) "corruption" of elected officials soliciting large "soft money" contributions (not for particular candidates, but for party-building and other activities). Or he could at least have kept quiet. Instead, he went out of his way to stick his thumb in the eye of critics: With his brief to the Supreme Court, he underscored the fact that suppressing inconvenient (to politicians) speech is exactly what he and his McCain-Feingold allies — Fred Thompson was an important one — had in mind.


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Often there is tension between "social-issue" conservatives and libertarian conservatives. McCain-Feingold, however, fused these factions in hot opposition. The former felt personally targeted, the latter felt philosophically affronted.


McCain, whose reservoir of righteousness is deep, thinks the parlous condition of his campaign is the price of his principled behavior in supporting an immigration reform that is intensely unpopular with the Republican base (read: the party's nominating electorate) and the war, which is intensely unpopular with almost everyone else. Both positions are principled; both have taken a toll on his collapsing campaign. But years before the immigration controversy reached a boil, and before the war even began, McCain-Feingold had generated more, and more intense, opposition to McCain than he or his supporters in the media comprehend. Being exempt from the McCain-Feingold leash, the media like the law's restraints on rival voices.


McCain announced his candidacy in New Hampshire because in 2000 he almost derailed George W. Bush by winning the primary there. But he lost the Republican portion of that Republican primary: A plurality of Republicans voting supported Bush; independents gave McCain his margin of victory. This year, New Hampshire independents are apt to be drawn to the Democratic primary.


It is said that McCain is failing because he stopped being what used to make him appealing — a maverick. But recently he has been more of a maverick ("a masterless person" — Oxford English Dictionary, 1973) than he was on his "Straight Talk Express" bus in New Hampshire in 2000. Then, he simply applied Bismarck's wisdom — you can do anything with children if you play with them — in his relations with journalists. He sat on his bus, being what journalists think they are — irreverent — regarding people, policies and institutions they do not revere. This year he has been a serious maverick regarding Iraq and immigration.


McCain has stoutly insisted that the regulation of politics — and especially his restrictions on the quantity, content and timing of campaign speech — does not restrict speech. Does he still think so, given his campaign's current and probably incurable penury?


Making a virtue of necessity, he said in New Hampshire last week that he henceforth will speak "directly" to the people. Well, yes — without purchasing much broadcasting time. So he will speak to millions fewer people.


There is fitting irony in the fact that if McCain's campaign continues until the delegate selection process begins, he probably will have to accept federal matching funds and the absurd strings attached to them, stipulating the maximum amounts that can be spent in particular states. That would be condign punishment for the man who has dragged politics — the process by which the state is staffed and controlled — deep into the ambit of the regulatory state.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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