Skip to comments.Internet Utopia - (Sens. McCain, Feingold; Reps. Shays, Meehan propose regulating Internet)
Posted on 06/09/2005 2:59:44 PM PDT by CHARLITE
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse -- sorry, that's Sens. John McCain and Russ Feingold and Reps. Chris Shays and Marty Meehan, Congress' Dark Knights of Campaign-Finance Reform -- have a message for bloggers: They're not "out to get them."
The scare quotes are theirs.
In comments submitted to the Federal Election Commission last week, as the regulatory body seeks advice on how to apply the McCain-Feingold law to the Internet, the enemies of the First Amendment had to walk a fine line. On one side, the politicians in them wanted to genuflect to democracy, open debate and all the new citizen journalists who seem to wield so much influence these days. On the other side, however, the clean-government obsessive-compulsives in them knew that freedom's just another word for something new to regulate.
And, so, the four created an immensely entertaining document for the FEC commissioners -- and for any private citizens who want to see whether the politicians who are trying to put a straight-jacket on the blogosphere even understand what it is.
"All of us were candidates for reelection in 2004," the four write. "We saw firsthand the way the Internet is changing, and in many ways improving, political discourse."
So far, so good.
"The opportunities that the Internet provides for average citizens to participate in political debate are the most significant change in the way that campaigns are conducted since the advent of television. The Commission must tread very carefully in this area so as not to stifle the virtually limitless potential of this exciting medium."
"At the same time "
" there is no reason to believe that monied interests will not attempt to use the Internet to influence politics and policy as they attempt to do with other modes of communication. Indeed, there is every reason to expect that they will."
Damn those monied interests, ruining an exciting medium for the rest of us! Damn them all to hell!
Of course, as usual, McCain et al. don't bother to explain just why monied interests shouldn't have every right to try to "influence politics and policy."
But, at least in this debate, that logical leap is beside the point.
The fact is that in the debate over extending campaign-finance regulation to the Internet, the so-called "reform community" -- i.e., the front groups for the eight liberal foundations that have been the money behind the clean-government movement since the 1990s -- has yet to offer a compelling rationale for why money spent on politics online needs to be controlled at all.
That is, even if one accepts the idea that money spent on TV attack ads and the like is somehow corrupting and destructive, there's no reason to believe that the dynamic is (or will be in the future) the same on the Internet.
This isn't because the Internet is some magic place where the rules of the real world don't apply. It's because the Internet is an active medium, whereas most traditional media (at least those which most trouble the reformers) are passive. In other words, while TV and radio ads bombard average Americans while they go about their daily business, people actually have to seek out content online.
Given that fundamental difference, one is left to wonder just how monied interests would exert their dreaded "influence" on the Web.
Would they buy thousands upon thousands of banner ads? Pop-ups? Pop-unders?
Would they set up gigantic Web sites, so attractive, so sprawling, so enticing that hapless Web surfers would be unable to avoid being drawn to them?
Would they create extra-spiffy Flash animations?
Just how would this influence be wielded?
No doubt, "monied interests," as McCain and Co. so charmingly and anachronistically call American businesses and labor unions and entrepreneurs, could do all of these things. But there's no reason to assume that they would be effective.
The entire point of the Internet -- or at least the reason for its success -- is that it takes money about as far out of the equation as it can get. Tens of thousands of blogs can reach as many people as are willing to listen for dollars a month. Sure, not every one of these blogs has the capacity to create fancy videos, animations or other bells and whistles. But a lot of them do -- and not just those in league with moneyed interests.
In short, money just isn't that big an advantage on the Internet. Credibility, reliability, wit, intellect, populist appeal -- these are the coins of the Internet's realm.
In fact, the Internet resembles in many ways the campaign-finance reformers' long-sought utopia: full public financing of political campaigns. While the government is of course not financing anyone on the Internet, the outcome is the same: For an absolute pittance, every idea, every political philosophy, every candidate has access to a soap box.
The only limitation is how many people care to listen.
Why, when the free market has gone and created the exact state of affairs the reformers have long claimed to desire, are the McCains of the world looking to crack down?
Because the reform movement has never been about freedom. It has always been about control.
Ryan Sager is a member of the editorial board of The New York Post. He also edits the blog Miscellaneous Objections and can be reached at email@example.com.
Because the reform movement has never been about freedom. It has always been about control."
He is a very tiresome and irksom old totalitarian who appears to have actually "gone over" in his long captivity.
Maybe they would like him back.
Is there a procedure to kick McCain out of the party? Or is he allowed to call himself "republican" no matter what?
"Because the reform movement has never been about freedom. It has always been about control."
Exactly -- and this is why this socialist shill and his ilk, the McCain-Feingold (et al) anti-First Amendment lot, have to be stopped. The country is getting fed up with the Washington elite, and now they are trying to SUPPRESS what we can do.
Get ready. Here comes the dawn.
Maybe they would like him back.
Yes, back to the Hanoi Hilton, one way, all expenses paid.
Because McCain is not the maverick media darling he is advertised to be. He is a yes man. It's up to those older than 40, or students of history to determine for themselves whose yes man he might be.
Right. McCain-Feingold worked so well last election, so lets create Son of McCain-Feingold....
I will crawl across broken glass to see McCain defeated.
In this great state of NJ, my son got a ticket yesterday for swimming with friends at a quarry, a place that they've gone to in the summer, for years!
It's all about the MONEY!!!!
~McCain / CFR2 FYI ping~
Check your My Comments for a follow up ping.
Thanks again Cal..
Here is the difference. A webpage I create sits on MY server. It is not broadcast. People come to see it. I don't send it out. It would be like me putting a sign in my living room and people coming over to see it. To equate it with other forms of communication like TV or radio is just wrong.
I heartily agree with this statement. They have already managed to muzzle the NRA around election time with their "campaign reform." If it were not for the internet I don't think that we would have won the last election. Long Live Freedom of Speech in the USA. Down with the RINOs and Dems.
Agreed. The internet must be controlled by the politicians, for them to control us, rather than us controlling them.
Ryan Sanger has a style which cracks me up; in how right it is:
In fact, the Internet resembles in many ways the campaign-finance reformers' long-sought utopia: full public financing of political campaigns.
YES! Exactly right. Unlike the Fannie Lou/Mae (?) Hammer "solution" and Mr. McCain's most recent "bubble" on FORCED STANDARDS UPON BROADCASTERS HAVING TO GIVE EQUAL TIME TO ANY AND EACH AND EVERY CANDIDATE.
When I saw his proposed "idea".. about that forcing.. I thought of CA's "Total Recall" Election -- what was it ... over 100 Candidates for governor? And that was just for governor. (wondering if Hollywood moguls (and studio fiefdoms *hated* that idea of McCain's...).
While the government is of course not financing anyone on the Internet, the outcome is the same: For an absolute pittance, every idea, every political philosophy, every candidate has access to a soap box.
Who's next in the shell game, newspapers forced to list the websites of each and every candidate? With links to "real" blogs as opposed to "those peasant" blogs? Over time, the MSM would resemble, nothing but listed links during an election, no?
More BS from the RINOs McCain and Shays.
Is this the reason FR has asked to be heard by the FEC?
Neither the Left, nor the Right, nor the mushy middle will put up with this.
I suspect DU and FR could form a consortium to fight it.
After we're done, we go back to our corners for the next fight.
He's all for Native American gaming.
Unless he's against it.
He pulled this one recently telling one Native group in one state they had too many casinos, and another in a different state the opposite.
He now wants to regulate casino gaming.
Or get them to pour money into his war chest.
These guys are asking for WAR if they think they are going to regulate us.
This is even more evidence of why we have to get these idiots out of office - and if they're coming up for re-election in 2006 - they better start looking for another job right now.
This jerk McCain is getting downrite dangerous. The McCain Feingold bill limits free speech. He derails efforts to curtail dem obstructionism and on and on.
The ol' 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'. But we don't know if McCain is already playing that game with Soros now.. Wouldn't surprise me.. then, he pulls the rug out from underneath them too. Imagine their anger shifting to McCain from Bush on a little thing like supression of political speech. He may not even survive looking like FireMarshall Bill.
So we will all have to be identified; no more FReeper names, they'll have access to who you really are; we'll be subject to McCain-Feingold; and We won't be able to discuss elections, what 60 days BEFORE the election (or any election I guess)!!!!
McCain-Feingold was an abject failure, in the eyes of both conservatives and liberals. McCain ought ought to fix what he has already broken rather than add on more regulation.
Regulation will eventually lead to some form of taxation.
The net is the ultimate expression of free speech, and it ought to stay that way, free and unimpeded. It probably also encompasses the right to freely associate and the right not to testify against oneself (as anonymous contributions).
Right or wrong, right or left, the ability to speak your mind publicly to a wide audience is the very foundation of our form of government. McCain wants to take that away.
I am really starting to wonder about McCain's intentions.
You're right. Particularly because Bush would eagerly sign it into law.....right after declaring it unConstitutional. It tells me what Bush thinks about that "Protect and Defend the Constitution" clause in his Oath of Office. You remember.....that Oath Bush swore while holding his hand on the Holy Bible. A true Patriot and Christian that Mr. Bush.
Thank you for explaining what is going on because I really wasn't sure. CFR never should have been signed. And if it impacts FR, there will be a loss of revenue that will be irrecoverable.
I was certainly hanging right in there with ya on that second paragraph until: "ALL THE OTHER 527's that aren't EQUALLY FUNDED.. hmmmmmmmmm.. :)" stopped me. It's entirely believable that someone would propose this.. ick.
I did leave it out but nooooooo, didn't forget it.. Rapt ringside attention here at the JesseJane corral. Huffington, an insufferable rude screeching snob, and Camejo...well, just insane.. Bustamonte, refused to show up at one debate I think.. he was running from the news of his support and involvement with MECHA while attending Fresno State, and refused to denounce their racist activities... So, it was HIGH DRAMA... The only good part that got down to brass tacks was listening to Tom McClintock.. a brilliant man, IMO.. Knows the money inside out, but, Arnold's star power carried the day.
Arnold did VERY well, I think.. loved it when he slammed Arianna after her rude comment about how he treated women, considering her hub left her for another man, I find tossing stones a little hypocritical..but when he told her he had a part for her in Terminator 4, a) it was hilarious, and b) she was too busy 'hatin' to get it.. ROFLMAO!! Good stuff..
I forget exactly, but there were about 180 candidates for Governor.. ANYONE who paid the money to file could run for Governor.. Where was the Haley's comet dude when we needed one more clown for the circus? (Oh that's right.. purple shroud, new tennis shoes and spiked koolaid.. nevermind).. Many may not agree with me about Arnold.. but when his campaign song 'We're Not Going to Take It' (by Twisted Sister) blasted the rally's, you definitely got PUMPED. And now, we need to direct that attention at those that just can't steal enough from us for themselves. But that's another day.. special election coming soon. Hehehe.. Guess who's PO'd??
As far as the 527 lottery.. they'll bring some professionals from Vegas or the UN to run it fair and square... I'm sure of it.. /s
As far as the 527 lottery.. they'll bring some professionals from Vegas or the UN to run it fair and square... I'm sure of it.. /s
Understood. But I think we can bet the 527's "selected for" will be selected on the criterion of "greater return on investment".
LOL.. ;) I bet you are right..
BTW.. excellent editorial today in the Federalist Patriot!!
Cursor to: Top of the fold -- Campaign Finance Reform: The law of unintended consequences
Now, three years later, the full effects of McCain-Feingold are just about to hit. As it reads, the 2002 law regulates political advertising in coordination with a candidate's campaign appearing on "any broadcast, cable or satellite communication, newspaper, magazine, outdoor advertising facility, mass mailing or telephone bank to the general public, or any other form of general-public political advertising." At the law's inception, the FEC wisely reasoned that the wording of this particular statute did not apply to the Internet -- references to the Internet and the World Wide Web were included elsewhere in the law, so Congress must have intentionally omitted it here.
I don't recall immediately if the agenda is a county or for the entire state but: "NO PUBLIC POSTING WHATSOEVER ON ANY PUBLIC PROPERTIES". Meaning, no longer can anyone use telephone poles, lawn strip or land bordering streets (public) to billboard, poster -- "any" thing: "yard sale signs, and other signs". Must also include "political/campaign issue" posters and billboards, methinks....
But I do wonder.... would this apply to colleges as well?
These are mostly PUBLIC (funded) institutes -- but all campuses have areas for the "SCHOOL NEWSPAPERS" (would these be banned)... and areas for students to post FLIERS. Would these be banned?
Would these also, perhaps fall under the category of "unintended consequences" and would, under this new ruling, ban students from posting "opinions, directions to events, etc. could it happen?
Good question. Wonder what the regents of Colorado.. I mean Ward Churchill U would say?? How about discussion in classrooms of schools receiving federal funds?
SHWANG! I hadn't even gotten there. I know in CA, the UC's with their ACLU buddies and their multi-cultie buddies have two years past written (and authorized) their own version of some type of teacher protection "act". Meaning, it pretty much exempts "teachers" from penalties due saying whatever they want in classes subsidized by state and fed funds. I don't know which would have precedence: McCain-Feingold or the Teacher's Unions..
See now, when it comes to unions, while they once ruled the day, may find themselves with a whole'nuther curriculum to *teach* under a police state monitoring EVERY WORD. When the government want's to control discussion TO THIS DEGREE, like they used to say in the phone business.... you can have any color of phone you want, as long as it's black. :)
lol. JJ -- what do you think the odds are that McCain-Feingold will actually investigate "union contributions to political PACS (and campaigns) and the like. Couple of propositions in CA - I tracked the contributions from Unions to ALWAYS Lib-Dem issues -- MILLIONS AND MILLIONS. The sheer amounts are so stunning. I thought Unions Were For the Workers, not politicians... Whadda ya think? Think it might put a ding into ye' old Unions ("contributions), major contributors to nearly destroying CA's economy?
nah... they probably helped devise Campaign-Finance, and fer sure they've already figured out their loopholes...
You gonna make me cry... I was all happy there for 5 minutes thinking that the ol' CigarStoreIndian would have to clap his trap on 'little eichmann' utterances and obscenities of the like. Ignore me while I rip out another hunk of hair.
mccain married into the mafia. now that is control.
OH! But for the good news. As far as I know, that "educational" thing only works in CA. So... unless Ward gets hired for the UC/State system alongside lots of other teachers who gotten in under false credentials.. Maybe the other states are safe. Meaning, teachers are will be held just as "liable" and "responsible" as anyone else. "Not above the law" like they are in CA.
Now for the fun dancing music, a little vino.. and that lampshade on the head, no? :)
I think so.. it's been a looong week today... I'll need the lampshade to cover up my baldspot anyway.. :)
...from tearing your hair out! :) Look on the brightside: You could start a trend, a fashion! And be very competitive. Some of the new hats I've seen on models on the runways do resemble.. lampshades. 'Night for now, JJ. :) "Dream... TIFFANY LAMPSHADES on the heads of all lib-dems... Besides, it makes them look, uh, useful.
.. my two cents after reading about the horrors on the floor. The absolute scandalous childish behavior of the Dems in re the Patriot Act.