Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Federal government bars discussing issues

Jerry Stratton, September 24, 2004

Jonathan Rauch describes some of the issues that have come before the FEC regarding the McCain-Feingold censorship law.

Now it is official: The United States of America has a federal bureaucracy in charge of deciding who can say what about politicians during campaign season. We can argue, and people do, about whether this state of affairs is good or bad, better or worse than some alternative. What is inarguable is that America now has what amounts to a federal speech code, enforced with jail terms of up to five years.

The law does exactly what its critics predicted: it treats the ACLU, grass-roots voter organizations, and major corporations exactly the same. They can’t talk about candidates before an election.

As a result, Wisconsin voters cannot take to the airwaves and inform other voters about bills before the Wisconsin legislature. The ACLU cannot challenge President Bush on his support of civil liberties violations in the war on terror. And the Supreme Court has approved all of these free speech restrictions.

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