Thursday, November 3, 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 at 08:35 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Grow a pair, Senator Frist

Who is the Senate Majority Leader? From where I sit, it looks like Harry Reid is running the senate. He is telling Bush who he should nominate to the Supreme Court, he is setting the agenda, and he is the one who is getting all the news coverage (of course, the fact that he is saying all the things the press wants to hear might be a factor there). Bill Frist needs to start swinging back. Each time Reid smears the Bush administration, bring up facts instead of letting the Democrats frame the issue. Each time the Democrats smear Tom Delay, mention the sweetheart deals that Reid's legislation has brought to his son's business associates. Each time the Democrats demand Rove's head, point out that he's not indicted, and that they are grasping at straws because Rove scares them. Every time that they talk about Scooter Libby and his "mishandling classified information", ask them how the Sandy Berger case is proceeding. Make sure that they are reminded (loudly and forcefully) that the bipartisan commission that explored the intelligence errors found no wrongdoing, and tell them that there will be no more fishing expeditions unless real evidence is presented that something illegal was done. And publicly bitch-slap Joe Wilson to shatter his credibility, by directly addressing his lies and double-dealing in a press conference. The dems want to "clear the air"; Do it, but really do it without the political dancing that has been going on. Invoke the nuclear option if Fat Teddy tries to filibuter Alito, and then make it perfectly clear to the entire country that Teddy and Dicky and Harry and Patrick Leahy don't run the Senate. The GOP controls the House, Senate, and Presidency; they need to start leading instead of following.

posted at 07:57 PM | permalink | Comments (2)


But, even if none of that happens, I think that that Reid is digging a hole for the Democrats. Sure, they're firing up their base, but their base is small. They're still fighting the last election, one which they lost, only now they've got many fewer people pulling for'em.

The Republicans could fight back, but they don't need to. The Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot, not making progress.

posted by Jeff on November 2, 2005 01:01 AM

Good blog,HOROLOGIUM. The way you call it like it is, I figured you to be military. Wish that we had blogs when I served (it wasn't in WWII, but almost, or so it seems anyway.

I sure agree that not only Frist, but each and every one of the Republicans in Congress need two, with the possible exception of Tom Coburn, who has 'em already.

Drop by The Drum and Cannon one of these days.

posted by The Drum and Cannon on November 2, 2005 11:09 PM

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