Al Hunt claims (subscription required) that the vast amounts of money raised by the parties from small donors in 2004 proves that critics of McCain-Feingold were wrong. And to a certain extent they were - the parties did raise a lot more from small donors than anyone anticipated. But it's likely that the parties would have raised a lot of money online no matter what - pretty much every major player in politics did.
More importantly, Hunt fails to grasp the problem with the way soft money restrictions pushed donors to form parallel quasi-parties like The Media Fund and America Coming Together. He thinks we get a free lunch - they organize the grassroots, and parties supposedly don't engage in "influence peddling" driven by the quest for big donations. But by making the parties unofficially beholden to and dependent on these new quasi-parties, McCain-Feingold has actually given the special interests much greater leverage over elected officials, particularly with the side that does not control the White House. Hunt has no idea what he's helped unleash.