Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

The Internet is not safe. Congress wants to regulate it. The most recent idea is to sic the Federal Elections Commission on Net freedom.

Recent hearings on something called the DISCLOSE Act disclosed that the act would “extend the FEC’s control over broadcast communications to all ‘covered communications,’ including the blogosphere.” Or so say the Center for Competitive Politics’ Bradley Smith and Jeff Patch, writing on Reason.com.

It’s hard to imagine a worse idea. No groundswell of citizens demanded this. So of course Congress is considering it.

Would they really try to regulate the blogosphere?

The lead “reformers” in Congress say all they want to regulate are political ads on the Internet, not bloggers. But, as Smith and Patch note, the actual language of the current bill quite clearly leaves open the blogosphere for regulation. They also doubt the good intentions of the would-be regulators, explaining how, in the early days of McCain-Feingold advocacy, “the ‘good government’ crowd . . . denounced a deregulated Internet as a ‘loophole’ in campaign finance law, a ‘poison pill,’ ‘anti-reform’” etc.

How can respectable Americans advocate regulation of speech, as if the First Amendment did not exist? It’s as if they are baffled by plain language: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .”

How can they live with themselves?

For me, it’s a consolation to know that at least censors in Congress can still be thrown out, peacefully, with votes.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

6 Comments

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  2. James says:

    Mr. Jacob, you surprise me. You’re not so naive as to think the censors are “in Congress” and “can still be thrown out…with votes.” Say it ain’t so!

    No, the censors will be in the Federal Election Commission. And these bureaucrats, though ostensibly answerable to elected officials, will be as responsible and responsive to the people as Turbo-Tax Tim Geithner. In other words, they’ll do the dirty work, insulated and shielded from the power of the voter.

    Isn’t this the main reason for Congress unconstitutionally farming out legislative decisions to the executive branch? So they can go before their constituents at election time with an armful of buck-passing options?

    And if the outcry against speech-suppression becomes loud enough, Congress can “hold hearings” and subpoena testimony from the FEC in their pretense of being the people’s champions.

    Machiavelli would be proud.

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  4. Drik says:

    Congressional cowbirds

  5. Vic says:

    As with EVERYTHING politicians of all stripes concern themselves with; this is a way to protect incumbents by making it easier to get reelected. Nothing else matters to them. If they can regulate the blogosphere, they can make it more expensive for people to raise issues they do not want to address.
    Perhaps, if the mainstream media is correct and this is an anti-incumbent year, we will see a few more fresh faces in government next year than we have in years past. One can always hope.

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