Posts tagged ‘Russ Feingold’

Mourning the Loss of Free Speech Through November 7, 2006


In a stunning beat down on one of America's longest-held and most sacred principles, your first ammendment rights to criticize incumbent politicians, at least on radio and TV, are suspended from now until the November 7 election.  Congress has decided, and incredibly the Supreme
Court has concurred, that only members of the media, including intellectual giants like Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann, can legally criticize sitting politicians on TV and radio in the runup to the election.  These restrictions also came very, very close to applying to this and all other blogs.  John McCain, Russ Feingold, and everyone who voted for this un-American incumbent protection act need to be voted out of office at our next opportunity. Update:  Nice roundup here.
(This post is sticky -- newer posts are below)

Countdown: 8 Days Until Your First Ammendment Rights Are Put on Hold

Eight days from now, all of our first amendment rights will be put away in a box for 60 days, hopefully to be retrieved after the election is over.  During those 60 days, and in an astronomical violation of the intent of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, none of us, unless we are operating under the banner of certain organizations like official political parties, will be able to pay to publicly criticize the *cough* fine *cough* men and women who serve as elected officials in this country.  Once the election is over and their jobs are safe and the criticism is moot, then you will get your speech back.

Thank you very much John McCain, Russ Feingold, all the Congressmen who voted for this, GWB who signed it, and the Supreme Court who astoundingly declared it constitutionally A-OK.

Update: Here is an example.  I use it because the people involved are try to fund ads to support a law I absolutely oppose (I have no desire to give the Feds more power over the free movement of US citizens across state lines).  But I totally support their right to advocate their position on TV.  In this case, their public speech is great even for folks like me who oppose what they support, because I didn't even know this proposed legislation existed until they started talking about.  Their ad informs me, even if it is sending me the message that I need to counter their message.  And that is what political dialog should be in a free society.

I am constantly irritated by efforts to ban a certain speaker from speaking or to drown out their message with taunts and chanting.  If you think someone is advocating something so terrible - let him talk.  If you are right in your judgment, their speech will likely rally people to your side in opposition.  As I like to tell students who want to ban speakers from campus -- Hitler told everyone exactly what he was going to do if people had bothered to pay attention.