The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

13 March 2005

That Online Coalition thing

About 2500 bloggers and readers of blogs have so far signed the Online Coalition's letter to FEC chair Scott Thomas requesting an exemption for blogs to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, aka McCain-Feingold, aka The Incumbents' Preservation Act.

Patterico thinks this is the wrong approach:

[I]n my view, political speech is speech at the core of the First Amendment. Neither the FEC nor any other government agency has any right to regulate it in any way. When my right to engage in such speech is threatened, my impulse is not to seek out a law carving out some exception for my speech. My impulse is to tell those responsible that they can go to hell.

Look at the big picture, folks. This isn't about our precious Internet. It's about the very concept of free speech.

What we're seeing is not a crazy offshoot of campaign finance "reform" legislation. It's a logical consequence of it. Something this important can't be handled by legislation, and left to the whims of lawmakers and regulators. It is a constitutional issue, and affects all free speech.

Which, of course, is absolutely true. Still, there's little to no chance that this measure is going to be scrapped anytime soon, and until such time as it is, I'm thinking that I will have to content myself with wangling an exemption, with the hope that some future Supreme Court will choose to send this law to the dustbin, or that some day there will be more exemptions than provisions and the entire house of cards will come crashing down.

The perfect, as they say, is sometimes the enemy of the good. Right now, I'm settling for the good.

(Regular readers will note that this is the exact opposite of my stance on dating and relationships. The consistent, as they say, is sometimes the enemy of the flexible.)

(Update, 15 March, 3:30 pm: Dan Lovejoy is definitely in agreement with Patterico.)

Posted at 11:02 AM to Blogorrhea , Political Science Fiction

TrackBack: 6:32 PM, 15 March 2005
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Even that brave warrior, John Kerry, trembles before the great pajama-clad unwashed.“… there's a subculture and a sub-media that talks and keeps things going for entertainment purposes rather than for the flow of information. And that has a profoun......[read more]

Is that anything like, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer?"

Posted by: Babs at 11:22 AM on 13 March 2005

When the perfect is free political speech, shouldn't we demand the perfect?

Posted by: Patterico at 12:50 PM on 13 March 2005

We can demand it all we want, and indeed should; in the meantime, until said demands are met, I think we need to take care of the situation we actually have.

Posted by: CGHill at 12:53 PM on 13 March 2005