“We are all going to have to rethink how we deal with this, because there are all these competing values … Without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function, what does it mean to have the right to defend your reputation?” she said.
Hillary Clinton, circa 1998 continued:
“I don’t have any clue about what we’re going to do legally, regulatorily, technologically — I don’t have a clue. But I do think we always have to keep competing interests in balance. I’m a big pro-balance person. That’s why I love the founders — checks and balances; accountable power. Anytime an individual or an institution or an invention leaps so far out ahead of that balance and throws a system, whatever it might be — political, economic, technological –out of balance, you’ve got a problem, because then it can lead to the oppression people’s rights, it can lead to the manipulation of information, it can lead to all kinds of bad outcomes which we have seen historically…”
REPORTER: Sounds like you favor regulation.
MRS. CLINTON: Bill, I don’t know what — that’s why I said I don’t know what I’m in favor of. And I don’t know enough to know what to be in favor of, because I think it’s one of those new issues we’ve got to address. We’ve got to see whether our existing laws protect people’s right of privacy, protect them against defamation. And if they can, how do you do that when you can press a button and you can’t take it back. So I think we have to tread carefully.
So, after 6 years of listening to people on the left tell us how the terrible, nazi-ish Bush administration was “crushing dissent” (where?) and “silencing opposition” (where?) and blowing a “chill wind” which would cost us our right to free speech, etc (I believe Tim Robbins, wagging his finger, wrote a play and a speech on this issue, all of which were spouted off in public and widely disseminated belying his very claims), we did not have to wait long to feel the real “chill wind.” And it’s blowing from the left via Mrs. Pelosi, although I’m quite sure Mrs. Clinton will happily ride on it, if it helps her ambitions.
There IS a chill wind blowing…we felt it stirring this year, when the Democrats tried to shut down a film it didn’t like, but went silent on another. Pay attention. The right didn’t like the “kill Bush” movie…but it never tried to shut it down. It objected. It did not try to “silence.” That’s pretty telling.
Some might think that quieting down the right side of the blogosphere will be a good thing.
But if the right side gets silenced, the left will soon be shut down, as well.
As I wrote here, bloggers adore the first amendment.
Ed Morrissey says be calm, but beware the grey areas. He quotes Tapscott who says: “…mere registration is never the only thing the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington want. After registration will come regulation of content, followed by prohibition of some kinds of content officeholders find threatening.”
Morrissey adds: I’m not sure I buy into the doomsday scenarios painted by Smith; after all, anyone making any political contributions already has to “register” with their legal name and full address, so anonymity has mostly gone by the wayside. Let’s focus on getting the politicians to fully and immediately disclose their contributions and their earmarks first, and then see where else we need to work to reduce or eliminate corruption. The Senate would be a good place to start.
But yeah, watch out for those grey areas. There be monsters. And um…mediating intelligences who know what you ought to be allowed to know much better than you do.
And I have no idea where I found this, but it’s a sort of primer on notions of “tolerance”, and it’s interesting.
Also, Scott Ott writes a real – not satirical – letter to an editor.