"First they came for the candidates ..." Some displays of cowardice are so in-your-face that they demand comment. Such is this online letter from various "Internet personages," begging the Federal Election Commission to just take the Jews ... er, the political candidates, parties, publications, etc. ... and let the bloggers stay out of the camps for awhile longer.
Let's get this straight, right now: If giving ten bucks -- or any other amount of money -- to a political candidate isn't a protected act of free speech and freedom of association, then neither is blogging. If interviewing one candidate but not the others in a newspaper or on television isn't a right, neither is writing a column for a web site. Either Americans are free to engage in political advocacy, or they aren't.
This letter says they aren't, or that they shouldn't be ("While paid political advertising on the Internet should remain subject to FEC rules and regulations, curtailing blogs and other online publications will dampen the impact of new voices in the political process ..."). It just pleads for a special exception to the suppression of political speech for one group of speakers while kowtowing to the abomination of "campaign finance reform."
Check out the list of signers. From Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos to "libertarian Republican" Chuck Muth to Michelle "intern'em all, let Bush sort'em out" Malkin ... a rogues' gallery of pusillanimous "do it to Julia-ism."
Maybe they think that if they can fumble FEC chairman Scott E. Thomas's zipper open, he'll promise not to come in their mouths.
Hat tip to Steve Gordon for pointing this out (in an email -- presumably he'll blog it soon, too).
Technorati tags: Politics, Current Affairs