The other day, Captain Ed commented on the beginning of the unconstitutional McCain/Feingold 60-day moment of silence concerning any defects in our glorious incumbents in elective office. Ed cited this editorial:
Something almost without precedent in America will happen Thursday. That’s the day when McCain-Feingold — aka the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 — will officially silence broadcast advertising that contains criticism of members of Congress seeking re-election in November. Before 2006, American election campaigns traditionally began in earnest after Labor Day. Unless McCain-Feingold is repealed, Labor Day will henceforth mark the point in the campaign when congressional incumbents can sit back and cruise, free of those pesky negative TV and radio spots. It is the most effective incumbent protection act possible, short of abolishing the elections themselves.
Be thankful I can even mention this. It took an FEC action to exempt me and my fellow bloggers from this ban, which does not apply to media outlets. Otherwise, I would have to refrain from telling readers that John McCain, Russ Feingold, Christopher Shays, Marty Meehan, and every politician who voted for the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act had passed the worst restriction on free speech since the Sedition Act during World War I. And let’s not forget that George Bush signed the legislation into law and that the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of restricting political speech to protect incumbents.
Aw, c’mon, Ed. You can’t really be serious. Do you actually mean to tell me that you would refuse to mention candidates’ names within 60 days of an election? And so you’re grateful for the media exemption our government overlords have (perhaps temporarily) granted us?
To hell with that.
If I want to denounce John McCain on this blog, I will damn well do so — 60 days before an election or not, media exemption or not . . . McCain/Feingold or not.
To prevent me and other bloggers from doing so would be a travesty of historic proportions.
That is why I have repeatedly opposed a media exemption for bloggers, describing such an exemption as “nothing more than asking our masters for permission to speak.” And I have created a Free Speech Pledge that numerous bloggers have signed. Feel free to sign on; the more the merrier.