Fat Steve's Blatherings

Friday, March 04, 2005

Still Very, Very Clueless

      Much of the blogosphere is up in arms over the story of possible coming Federal regulation of Internet political speech.

      To summarize: The McCain-Feingold Act was passed, regulating political speech.  The Federal Election Commission was tasked with implementing it.  The Commission consists of three Democrats and three Republicans.  In drawing up the regulations, the three Republicans were joined by one Democrat in voting to exempt the Internet from regulation under McCain-Feingold.

      Rep. Christopher Shays (R.-CT) and Rep. Martin Meehan (D.-MA) sued the Commission to force it to regulate political communication over the Internet.  On Sept. 18th, the District Court ruled that the FEC must regulate political communication over the Internet (Warning, evil PDF format).

      The three Republicans on the FEC wanted to appeal the ruling, but the three Democrats on the Commission disagreed.  With a three-three tie, no appeal could be filed, and the Commission must now draw up regulations for Internet political communication.

      I'm not as upset as some people at this, but only because I figure the decision doesn't have a chance in Hell of standing.  But it would be worth armed revolution if that was necessary to stop this egregious violation of free speech.

      Anyway, as I said, many are upset.  I followed a link from Captain's Quarters to the left-wing site Eschaton, to see what Duncan Black thought (he's agin it).  Then I clicked on his comments.

      That turned out to be fascinating.  There were over 320 comments, from 129 separate posters (and no, the time spent getting and checking that info was not worth it).  There was endless ranting about the malign Chimp, Fascism, and other such stuff.  Counting conservatively, thirty seven posters thought the Evil Rethuglicans were behind all this.  Only eleven noted that the judge making the ruling was a Clinton appointee, and that the Commission was stuck with the situation because the Democrats unanimously refused to appeal.

      Now if ever there was a bipartisan issue, it's this one.  The scared incumbents of both parties don't want to be challenged, and the politically active on all sides don't want this nonsense to stand.  But the vast majority of those commenting on this at Duncan "Atrios" Black's site didn't even bother to follow the links and find out what the situation was.  And "Atrios" couldn't be bothered to mention that the Republican Commission members were on the side of good here, while the Democrats were on the side of evil (and I use those words advisedly, and prepense).

      How do the lefties expect to win any elections outside of the blue states if they act like this?

      Oh, by the way, write the Prez and your Congresscritter and tell it that the law needs to be changed, at once, to exempt the Internet from such regulation.



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