What kind of “liberals” are these? What sort of “transparency” is this?
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Lady Liberty herself, who has in the past made noises about regulating free speech on the internet, has decided that her colleagues in congress have too much free speech, and they should be reined in.
And California’s Sen. Diane Feinstein seems to be cooking up a similar idea in the Senate.
How do people, supposedly committed to the first amendment and to free speech, discuss managing and controlling the communications of the people they’re supposed to be working with, “together” to “serve the nation”?
How does a conversation like that go?
Pelosi: We need to update our communications rules, to include new factors like blogs, internets, etc.
Feinstein: Probably a good idea to do a little housekeeping.
Pelosi: Yes, here’s our proposal.
Feinstein: Oh, yeah. Looks pretty innocuous. Just making sure that Congressman use approved channels for the dissemination of their thoughts and issues. What could be more tidy and careful?
Pelosi: (Smiling) Sure. You know, we can’t have our enemies -errr, our “colleages” just putting stuff up on YouTube; it’s not dignified.
Feinstein: Approved channels will have their own rules, of course. We can’t just allow anyone to throw any old thing up on the approved channels. They’ll need monitoring and oversight, to make sure that only absolute facts get out the public.
Pelosi: (Smiling wider) Yes, I’d thought of that. And facts, as you know, are such subjective things. Your truth and my truth might not be the exact same thing, and a Repulican’s truth would certainly be very different from either of ours; everything is relative. So it will be very important for some sort of oversight committee to either approve, disapprove or censor- um, I mean edit – what goes out across that channel.
Feinstein: Well, you know, we have to be careful about this; some of our enemies, I mean our “colleages,” may say we’re trying to inhibit free speech and the free exchange of ideas. I think Culberson is already making noise along those lines.
Pelosi: Well, naturally, but he’s a Republican – full of paranoia and sour grapes, as are they all – the press will see it for the blather it is, and they’ll ignore it. We can have this thing passed while everyone is worrying about the high price of gasoline and home heating oil – no one will care.
Feinstein: And besides, those higher prices are for the nation’s own good.
Pelosi: Exactly, drilling won’t help us, and they’ll eventually come to realize it. But in the meantime, this internet thing is an urgent bit of house management. Our own “environmental concern,” so to speak.
Feinstein: (Chuckles) Let me add my thoughts for a similar move in the Senate! (via Ed Morrissey at Hot Air):
* Under their scheme, the Senate Rules Committee would become the Internet speech police for everyone in the Senate.
o It will be up to the committee to “sanction” which websites and forms of communication they deem appropriate.
o The Rules Committee thus gets to pick winners and losers among various websites in terms of which are appropriate for use.
* The Rules Committee would get to regulate communication through any site not ending in “senate.gov,” which would include sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. [Admin - and Daily Kos, too, one would think]
* The Rules Committee would require senators to moderate “any public commentary” which would likely mean regulating comments on guest posts and YouTube videos, among other things.
Pelosi: I see we are thinking along the same lines.
Feinstein: Quite. Quality-Control is important.
Pelosi: Quality-Control is my middle name!
Feinstein: Mine’s Svetlana!
(Freestyle girlish chuckling)
Pelosi: But seriously, this needs to be done. Communications are too free-wheeling and it is important for both houses to have a sense of uniformity.
Feinstein: Uniformity! That’s Barack’s middle name!
Pelosi: You’re thinking “Unity!” Unity and Uniformity are very different things. The soprano and the baritone sing their duet with unity, but the little people in the chorus march in lockstep, er, uniformity!
Feinstein: Ah, opera! Being “a little Italian Grandma” you’d know about it!
Pelosi: And we needn’t worry about these new, innocuous and simple rules being abused by the GOP because after this election…
Feinstein: Permanent majority! I was just thinking the same thing! A left-leaning Democrat in the White House, Democrat majorities in the House and the Senate, a few new new SCOTUS judges named by President Obama. It will be a new day in America! Tomorrow belongs to the people!
Pelosi: Excuse me, comrade, I think you mean tomorrow belongs to me!
Feinstein: (frowns) And me! All of us.
Pelosi: (smiling again and pointing to herself) Speaker of the House. Third in line, baby. Tomorrow belongs to me.
Ed Morrissey, who got the bit in the blockquote through a source, asks some pertinent questions:
* Would this rule extend beyond comments to posts on the site?
o Would it affect Slatecard & BlogAds?
o How about something like The Ed Morrissey Show, which has a live chatroom? Would that have to be moderated?
* The Rules Committee would get to act as the “Content KGB” since it can require the removal of content in violation of Senate Rules. And who determines what’s in violation? The Rules Committee.
o There are no similar controls on any other form of communication with the public, such as publishing op-eds in newspapers or appearing on radio or television. [Emphasis mine - Admin]
These “liberals” do not resemble the definition I was raised with. Free speech, free exchange of ideas and the unencumbered dissemination of information is – or was – supposed to be a given, back then. It was understood to be the foundation of all of our rights, and the lifeblood of the nation.
I guess I was raised by different sorts of liberals.
We’ve been hearing for the last 8 years about “the fascist George W. Bush” and how he has “destroyed civil rights” in this country – although no one can say quite how – but he’s never tried to shut people up the way these “liberals” have.
Mark Tapscott has more thoughts on this issue
The GOP countermeasure is discussed here
This seems worth making a few phone calls, to me. 202-224-3121