Real and wannabe censors are up to their old tricks again. Real censors are the Democratic members of the Federal Election Committee (FEC). The wannabe censors are also members of the FEC, and are Republicans. If the latter didn’t think anyone should be censored in any venue – print, radio, television, or Internet – they wouldn’t accept appointments to the FEC, nor wish to be in the same room with the real censors.
That being said, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA, McCain–Feingold Act of 2002) is the typical miscegenational product of bipartisanship between Republicans and Democrats that advances further government controls. But then, that's all one can expect of pragmatic bipartisanship efforts, in which the Republicans forget or discard their alleged principles, but the Democrats don’t and get some or all of what they want: More controls.
I happened by chance to hack into the personal blog of the Vice Chair of the FEC and discovered this startling and secret memo passed on to her fellow Democrats on the Commission. The text of it follows, and seems to be addressed, not to her ideological ilk, but to a hypothetical individual for whom Ravel nurtures a revealing, disturbing, if not psychotic animus:
My name is Ann M. Ravel, Vice Chair of the FEC. I’m a pal of Cass Sunstein. Remember him? And David Brooks? And Justice Stevens? They wanted to regulate your speech, too, or at least “nudge” you painlessly to politically acceptable and responsible speech. Now, don’t tell me that you, a lone blogger eking out an existence in Milord Obama’s trashed economy, aren’t a one-man political action committee, that you aren’t incorporated anywhere, not even in Delaware, you don’t sell your drivel to others or pay anyone to run it, and that your only expenses are your time and whatever it costs you to write and publish in the way of printer ink and paper. It doesn’t matter to me if you’ve spent a zillion dollars or the cost of a store-brand chicken pot pie, your speech ought to be regulated, and, if necessary, squelched.
And if you persist in running off your mouth about things you aren’t qualified to even think about, I can sic the IRS or the DOJ on you. All it will take is a phone call and a pen twirling between my fingers, just as my boss, President Obama, boasts he can do. He’s my guy!
Listen up, plebian! Allow me to instruct you in current political realities: The basic end of any censor is: I don’t want you to know this about this person or issue. I want to keep you in the dark about this issue. You don’t need to know this and I have the power to keep you ignorant. The flip side of those desires is that I want to stop you from enlightening people, or telling them what you think, or writing or producing biased evaluations of persons and events and issues and broadcasting it on the Internet unless it’s by the leave of this Commission. You see, I’m not as creative as you and I have nothing to boast of in the way of actually creating or producing anything, I’m just a career government wonk.
Also I’m an ambitious censor. I don’t mind being called a censor. Words and pictures can hurt people, or causes. But that label doesn’t frighten me or cause me to shrink in shame. In that capacity I’m a protector of the “public good,” or the “public interest,” at least, as my party defines them. I’m totally copasetic with the name “censor.”
Don’t think I wouldn’t hesitate to take drastic action should you not comply with all FEC rules and regulations. My colleagues on the commission don’t call me “Nurse Ratched” for nothing! You’ve got to learn the ropes of responsible political speech, and that lesson not only applies to mere printed words on a blog site, but to YouTube videos and lectures, as well. Then there’s that nasty Drudge Report site, so rich in misinformation and lies and libels. You and Drudge and all your compadres in the “free speech” tent must take your medicine, voluntarily, or “some other way.”
You see, I can delegate the task of washing your mouth out with soap or cuffing you for a frog-march to jail, just as my pals Barack and Hillary had done to that Copt creature who made that reckless and irresponsible “The Innocence of Mohammad” video. I don’t have to do it myself.
That geriatric dinosaur Republican Lee Goodman actually “ratted” on me to the newspapers and blog sites about my wanting to slap cuffs and gags on you and your First Amendment chums. He’s the Chair of the FEC and will retire from it in December. A wonderful Christmas present!. I’m the Vice Chair, and I hope “Open Borders/Ebola Obama” nominates me as his successor or just lets me sidle into his place at the table without any fuss and bother with Congress and the Senate.
Actually, I would like to be appointed to a Cabinet post in this or the next administration. Then I could wield more power as a “czarina.” Excuse my drooling!
I understand you’ve written a number of books, fiction and nonfiction, in addition to your scurrilous and badly written column. And in many of them you depict government and public service and the like in a very negative light. That has got to stop. And in three of your nonfiction books, you practically libel retired Justice Stevens and in another portray my friend Hillary as Lady Macbeth! Not very funny! We are not amused. Wait until she’s President. She’s going to have you for dinner and feed the scraps to Huma Abedin and her other pigeons and lackeys. I'll have a hand in that, count on it. And wait until we get Congress to amend the Campaign Finance Law and gives the FEC wider powers of enforcement! I hope we’ll get our own SWAT team!
But maybe we won’t need those extra powers and an army of body-armored bodkins . I’m sure the NSA has had you red-flagged for a long time and is only waiting for the opportunity to swoop down on you and sweep you off the Internet. Let’s see how long you last under a few sessions of electrical water-boarding!
Your nemesis and eternal enemy, Nurse Mildred Ratched. Oh, excuse me! Ha, ha! Wrong name! Ann M. Ravel, FEC Vice Chair.
And that was the end of the memo. Quite a confession. Of course, if one proposed that the Campaign Finance Law be abolished by repeal as being in violation of the First Amendment, and all its attendant commissions and bureaucracies be disbanded and its personnel put out to pasture to fend for themselves in the real world, that proposal would be laughed right out the door, and possibly be frowned upon a politically incorrect speech.
And that would suit Wretched Mildew a.k.a. Ann Ravel just fine.