Free Speech Only Comes in One Flavor

Originally posted 2012-01-18 15:32:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Instapundit — that “online magazine of opinion!” — links to a New York Post piece suggesting that the Hensarling bill to exempt bloggers from the McCain-Feingold Anti-Sedition Act be passed. It has the requisite “surely” language — “The Hensarling-Reid approach is the best way to head off an assault on the Internet — for now. The next step is to start reconsidering whether regulating political speech is a good idea under any circumstances” — but this is not enough.

I’ve said this more than once, and to Prof. Reynolds, too: This is a terrible idea. There is no such thing as “digital free speech,” only free speech. Bloggers should not make a separate peace with this unconstitutional law — we’re the only ones likely to save the rest of ’em.

Don’t do it! This is the moment for bloggers to refuse to be co-opted and to oppose Hensarling-Reid!

UPDATE: Mike Krempasky at RedState disagrees pleasantly; Erick Erickson does so as well, urging that bloggers take a tactical win rather than blow it all on demanding the whole First Amendment. I’d say that must make me a “First Amendment absolutist,” except for the fact that today I turned away yet another incredibly popular pornography website as a paying client… It’s confusing, being Likelihood of Confusion!

But I still respectfully — and ever-pleasantly (one word that I really think had not previously been applied to me) — disagree, because my objection is, indeed, tactical, and not ideological: If bloggers are exempted, the pressure from them on the fundamental wrongness of McCain-Feingold will ease. And that is precisely what They want.

By Ron Coleman

I write this blog.