Barack Obama announced earlier today that he will become the first presidential candidate since the current campaign finance system was constructed in the wake of the Watergate scandal to forgo public funding -- and the limitations that go with it -- for the general election campaign.
You can watch Obama's explanation here:
First, a couple of disclaimers:
Obama is correct that the current campaign finance system is broken.
The fact that it is broken is to some extent Sen. John McCain's fault with his McCain-Feingold legislation.
If the GOP candidate had proven that he could raise funding like Obama could raise funds, then I'd encourage him to opt-out of the public financing system too. Of course, I'd also hope that he would be smart enough not to commit to public-financing in the primary campaign.
Setting those facts aside -- the broken system is something that Obama has repeatedly says that he supports. Back during the time when he undoubtedly thought that he didn't have a chance of beating the Clinton machine, Obama answered a questionnaire asking him if he would accept public financing of his general election campaign if his GOP opponent did the same with:
Yes, he replied, adding that if he became the nominee he would "aggressively pursue an agreement" with his Republican counterpart to "preserve a publicly financed election."
So much for that promise. So much for new politics. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
Let's not ignore the idiocy of Obama's reasoning for this decision either. Obama blames McCain for the RNC and 527s that are going to run ads against the Democratic nominee -- ads that McCain won't stop. Well, McCain can't stop them; it's against the law. Obama pretends there are no Democratic 527s, when in fact there are, there are more of them and they're better-funded. In fact, the only 527 running an ad right now is MoveOn.org with this stupid, dishonest ad:
Let's set aside for a moment that "Alex" won't be eligible to join the military until long after the end of the second McCain term. Let's also set aside that by the time "Alex" is old enough to make the decision on whether or not he wants to serve his country in the military, his "mother" has no say in the matter. Let's just focus, once again, on the dishonest micharacterization of McCain's comment that troops could be in Iraq for 100 years -- as long as they weren't taking casualties.
So, by the time "Alex" gets around to making his decision, we might not be in Iraq. However, if we're still there no U.S. troops will be being killed by terrorists.
As one snarky commentator noted on another site: Don't be fooled by the name. The 3rd Infantry Division isn't composed of infants.
I look forward to Obama's next press availability when he'll be asked to denounce this ad -- after all, it's this sort of thing that has him opting out of public financing. When he hems and haws, he'll be exposed for what he is -- to everyone except his mindless Obamatons.