November 03, 2005
Online Freedom of Speech Act

Sadly, the bill failed to garner the support it needed to make it through the House of Representatives, which means that the FEC is free to regulate free speech on blogs in any way it chooses. This is one of the few issues that unites both halves of the blogosphere (Markos Moulitsas Zuniga of Daily Kos and Mike Krempasky of have both tirelessly promoted the bill and its senate counterpart) and support and opposition to the bill cut across party lines; the House bill was introduced by Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling, and the Senate bill was sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

John Cole has a nice post with his thoughts on the issue, and my views are fairly close to his. He is irked that most of the support for this measure came from the right side of the Republican party, the side whose social conservatism is anathema to libertarians and social moderates like him (and like me, for that matter). It would be nice if we could find a truly fiscally conservative and socially moderate party that is not filled up with flaky ideologues (like the current Libertarian Party).

One of his commenters brought up an issue that piqued my curiosity. Commenter ChristieS pointed out that two diarists on DailyKos, Representatives Louise Slaughter and John Conyers, voted on opposite sides of the measure. Redstate also has a congressional poster (Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee), and of course the Huffington Post has no less than fourteen current members of Congress (all Democrats), two ex-congressmen (both Republicans), and a state Treasurer (who is running for governor). What interests me is what happens if the FEC decides to split the difference (between total regulation and total freedom) and regulate only the content of current officeholders and candidates? It's not something I particularly care to see, but it's certainly a possibility.

posted on November 03, 2005 08:35 PM


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