The recent escalation of the assault on the 1st Amendment by John McCain and his fellow incumbents reminds me that the word comes from the Latin root cumb meaning to lie. Now before you jump to the conclusion that I am about to shoot fish in a barrel, I hasten to point out that what is meant here is to lie down.

And that is exactly what the good Senator and his minions want to do. They want to lie down in their nice comfortable positions of power without facing serious threats to re-election.

Due to previously enacting campaign laws that favor incumbents, they already enjoy the status of heavy favorites. Incumbent candidates in the House of Representatives were re-elected 98% of the time in 1998 and 2000. The senators are envious; only 80% of those seeking re-election won. But even with these odds of success, campaigning is often hard work. And it is so degrading to trek back to one’s former home in fly-over-country to grovel for votes.

Enter “Bi-partisan Campaign Finance Reform”. While protecting incumbents of both parties, it likewise seeks to protect their accomplices, the incumbent press, from the competition that arises from interest groups, non-press publishers (whatever that means), and blogs.

No one, it seems, likes lying down more than an old Gray Lady.