Saturday, September 09, 2006
This issue has gotten surprisingly little media attention, despite its importance. I like Patterico's take on it so far.
For those of you who aren't in the know, a national Free Speech Reduction Act (Incumbent Protection Act is its more common name) was passed a few years back and is now going into effect. It prevents advocacy groups from, well, advocating against an incumbent unfriendly to whatever the advocacy group advocates. Of course, there's a "media exemption," which means control of information about our elected officials is controlled by the highly trustworthy media.
Forget porn. Forget war protests. Forget the right to be an asshole. This is what "freedom of speech" was for: We need the freedom to criticize the people in the government. For the government to limit that is a betrayal of the most basic requirement for a democracy.
And yet here we are, poised to do it here in California, too.
What kind of thinking goes from "Gee, when people speak freely, there's a lot of corruption" to "reduce free speech"? Liberal thinking, apparently. ("Liberal" here is not limited to Democrats. Bush signed it and some Republicans voted for it) For those of you who bitch about our supposed loss of civil liberties because of the evils of the Bush administration, this is far more horrendous, but no one outside of blogworld seems to give a crap.
I'm pointing this out as a PSA just because newspapers have kind of sucked at it. The actual arguments about it have been discussed at great length elsewhere, and you can go there if you want real discussion.
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