Guess it depends on who’s listening

On Sunday, the New York Times took the Real Truth About Obama to task for its effort to run its scripted advertisements critical of Sen. Barack Obama’s position on abortion.

The Times likened RTAO’s efforts as "Swift Boat campaigning" that smears the Democratic nominee. The Times further "warned" against the potential "open season for countless stealth groups to flood the remaining weeks of the campaign with underhanded attack ads" if RTAO is granted permission from the courts to run its advertisements.

"Voters do not need a repeat of operatives from both parties running nonprofit shadow operations, fobbing off the most vicious attack ads as innocent issue messages," instructs the Times with utmost moral authority.

But why should citizens fear citizens groups battling back and forth on the airwaves?

In fact, the RTAO issue offers a good example as to why we should not fear the advocacy efforts of outside groups.  While RTAO believes that Obama’s position on abortion is wrong, many other groups and the Obama campaign itself thinks that Obama’s abortion position is correct.

In February, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund ran advertisements critical of McCain’s abortion stance.  More recently, the Obama campaign launched ads criticizing McCain’s position.

On the other side of the issue, launched advertisments last week critical of Obama’s record on abortion.

In November, it will be left to the voters to determine which candidate and which candidate’s positions they prefer.  But because of the efforts of groups like the ones mentioned above, many voters may enter the voting booth more cognizant of the impact that there vote may have in determining the nation’s direction regarding abortion issues and cast the vote with that in mind.

Sounds like democracy.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.