For the Socialist Workers Party, the Federal Election Commission had good news and bad news Thursday.

First, the good news: It doesn't have to disclose the identities of its contributors, the political committees and candidates it either backs or receives support from, those lending money to it, and people it pays for services.

Now the bad news: It only gets this special treatment -- which it has enjoyed since 1979, with multiple extensions -- because it was persecuted in the past, and it is a minor party largely irrelevant to the modern political process.