Mitt: I’ll “go after” retailers who sell violent adult video games

posted at 5:03 pm on December 21, 2007 by Allahpundit

This comes courtesy of HA’s resident IT czar, Mark Jaquith, whose inner libertarian shivers at the prospect of it. Mine too. We’ve been binging on Huck’s nanny statism for weeks now, but with Mitt emerging as the viable alternative it pays to remind ourselves of the lengths to which he’s willing to go to clean up the “cesspool” that is America.

I want to restore values so children are protected from a societal cesspool of filth, pornography, violence, sex, and perversion. I’ve proposed that we enforce our obscenity laws again and that we get serious against those retailers that sell adult video games that are filled with violence and that we go after those retailers.

As Mark says, follow the link and compare his answer to Bill Richardson’s or Obama’s. They want to educate parents, presumably through a ratings system; Mitt wants to start locking people up. Obscenity laws are notoriously fraught with First Amendment problems since it’s hard to write one that doesn’t accidentally (or intentionally) go too far and end up prohibiting forms of protected speech. Because they’re so ripe for abuse, they rarely withstand constitutional challenge and thus the government’s basically given up on using them to prosecute people. Mitt’s promise to social cons is that all that’s going to change, with the obvious goal being to intimidate retailers into not carrying violent games in the first place lest they risk prosecution.

The good news is any law would probably be struck down. And even if it isn’t, this is Mitt we’re talking about. He’ll probably just change his mind later.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Arggh. Make that “any minute now we won’t be able to [buy] the music we choose to buy.

r2b,

Are demons controlling your keyboard?

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 7:35 PM

(Originally posted here.)
I’ve been playing video games since I got my first computer back in the early 80’s. I’m nearly 40 now and I don’t consider Mitt to be remotely qualified to take over control of one of my longest and most treasured pastimes.

But I’ll make a deal with Romney: if he’ll let me take over control of his religion and if he’ll prostrate himself before me, I’ll consider allowing him to take over my hobbies.

FloatingRock on December 21, 2007 at 7:40 PM

This thread has encouraged me to play Team Fortress 2, but now I’m taking a political stand every time I play.

Nonfactor on December 21, 2007 at 7:46 PM

The government should have to go through a constitutional amendmend JUST LIKE they did for alcohol if they want to ban these things.

muyoso on December 21, 2007 at 6:11 PM

Exactly. Government regulation of videogame content is no different than government regulation of book content. Both are un-American and un-Constitutional.

FloatingRock on December 21, 2007 at 7:49 PM

What are you guys talking about? All Mitt meant was that he’d “go after” the retailers, meaning he’d use the bathroom at a time later than they did, which may or may not be in the same location as they are.

I’m sure he’ll clear up this semantic confusion himself, now that the s*** has hit the fan.

inviolet on December 21, 2007 at 7:53 PM

Working on another extended rant that I’ll post in a minute or two

Medicated on December 21, 2007 at 7:32 PM

Too much about guns to be relevant in this thread. Saving this one for later

Medicated on December 21, 2007 at 8:28 PM

Bad mistake, Mitt… if you’re courting libertarian/federalist conservatives, that is. As posted earlier:

… Communities should enforce their own morals within their communities. We don’t need Washington DC enforcing some particular moral standard from DC across the land. What is right for Tulsa probably isn’t what is right for Salt Lake and we don’t need either one forcing their standards down the other’s throat.
crosspatch on December 21, 2007 at 5:15 PM

The more local the government, the better. The less government, the better also.

petefrt on December 21, 2007 at 8:30 PM

For an economy minded candidate he doesn’t seem to be considering the export value of the cesspool. In fact it seems recently someone said the cesspool is our third largest export after military hardware and foodstuff? Could that be?

Griz on December 21, 2007 at 8:30 PM

The good news is any law would probably be struck down. And even if it isn’t, this is Mitt we’re talking about. He’ll probably just change his mind later.

When you’re on your game, you’re the best, dude.

Jaibones on December 21, 2007 at 8:43 PM

Ah, I am SOOO happy Mitt is reaching out to the idiots at the American Family Association, who want to micro-manage our private lives and save us from Hooters restaurants.

Gatordoug on December 21, 2007 at 8:44 PM

Ah, I am SOOO happy Mitt is reaching out to the idiots at the American Family Association, who want to micro-manage our private lives and save us from Hooters restaurants.

Gatordoug on December 21, 2007 at 8:44 PM

If Hooters restaurants are banned, then the terrorists have won.

Ah, so I’m back to being a Mitt-hater after being a Fred-hater about three hours ago, huh?

Allahpundit on December 21, 2007 at 5:24 PM

Buddy, if you can’t please everyone, then you gotta please yourself.

ReubenJCogburn on December 21, 2007 at 8:58 PM

Bad mistake, Mitt… if you’re courting libertarian/federalist conservatives, that is. As posted earlier:

… Communities should enforce their own morals within their communities. We don’t need Washington DC enforcing some particular moral standard from DC across the land. What is right for Tulsa probably isn’t what is right for Salt Lake and we don’t need either one forcing their standards down the other’s throat.
crosspatch on December 21, 2007 at 5:15 PM
The more local the government, the better. The less government, the better also.

petefrt on December 21, 2007 at 8:30 PM

I may be wrong, but isn’t this what forced civil rights legislation to be enacted at the federal level?

a capella on December 21, 2007 at 8:59 PM

If Hooters restaurants are banned, then the terrorists have won. ReubenJCogburn on December 21, 2007 at 8:58

PM

LOL

Gatordoug on December 21, 2007 at 9:01 PM

I may be wrong, but isn’t this what forced civil rights legislation to be enacted at the federal level?

a capella on December 21, 2007 at 8:59 PM

Actually the local idiots ought to stay out of our private lives too! When is what video game anyone is playing their business?

Gatordoug on December 21, 2007 at 9:02 PM

Very funny (seriously) but presumably you are an adult. Not only do I see no evidence that Mitt wants to “lock up” retailers, I don’t see anything about him going after adults…

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 7:24 PM

Good news – love is still blind.

Entelechy on December 21, 2007 at 9:14 PM

Actually the local idiots ought to stay out of our private lives too! When is what video game anyone is playing their business?

Gatordoug on December 21, 2007 at 9:02 PM

Guess I was referring to the fact that local interpetation of what is moral and best for the community may be a little tough on some folks, and actually lead to fed involvement which is what you don’t want. I’m a states rights guy myself, but there are a few problems associated with it. Any system can be abused, so I’m not inclined to say all federal oversight is bad.

a capella on December 21, 2007 at 9:27 PM

a capella on December 21, 2007 at 9:27 PM

I just think some matters are beyond any governmenment reach, or ought to be.

Gatordoug on December 21, 2007 at 9:36 PM

That is government reach!

Gatordoug on December 21, 2007 at 9:36 PM

Any system can be abused, so I’m not inclined to say all federal oversight is bad.
a capella on December 21, 2007 at 9:27 PM

I just think some matters are beyond any government reach, or ought to be.
Gatordoug on December 21, 2007 at 9:36 PM

I agree with both statements.

FloatingRock on December 21, 2007 at 9:45 PM

Why won’t politicians JUST LEAVE ME THE HECK ALONE!!!! It’s not a danger to anyone for me to sit in my own house eating Cheetos while playing Halo 3 and admiring my AK47 sitting in the corner under the light of incandescent light bulbs!!!

mojojojo on December 21, 2007 at 5:35 PM

I want someone to dress as Master Chief and follow Mitt around yelling, “Why you trying to ban me?”

Bill C on December 21, 2007 at 10:09 PM

And don’t get me started on the whole “video games create killers” mantra trumpeted by the media and several prominent politicians.

World B. Free on December 21, 2007 at 5:23 PM


Who reads yesterday’s papers?

Two teenagers believed to be imitating the Mortal Kombat video game have been arrested and charged in the death of a 7-year- old Johnstown girl – a sister of one of the suspects.

Just sayin’.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 10:25 PM

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 10:25 PM

And how many MILLIONS of people played that gane? And how many acted it out? Thank you

Gatordoug on December 21, 2007 at 10:29 PM

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 10:25 PM

I don’t see this as a reason to ban games. Idiots will find an excuse to be idiots.

Anybody remember Paul Tsongas’ criticism of Bill Clinton. He called him panderbear and carried around a teddybear to make the point. Master Chief should do the same while following Romney.

Bill C on December 21, 2007 at 10:30 PM

Just sayin’.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 10:25 PM

When I was a kid it was D&D, now it’s video games. Before that it was comic books and Rock & Roll. The more things change the more they stay the same. People do bad things. Kids do bad things.

Yet America is and should always remain a free country.

FloatingRock on December 21, 2007 at 10:39 PM

Just sayin’.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 10:25 PM

So you’re seriously going to blame a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old beating a 7-year-old sister to death on a video game? You don’t think they were old enough to know that was a bad idea? Or to know right from wrong? I thought conservatives actually believed in personal responsibility, instead of using weak-ass excuses to exploit tragedies. How about we hold the perpetrators responsible, or would that get in the way of you using a little girl’s death to ram your social agenda down everybody’s throats?

ReubenJCogburn on December 21, 2007 at 11:26 PM

His SWAT team could enlist Jimmy Carter…so they could check your thermostat while they are rummaging through your kid’s video games!!

landlines on December 21, 2007 at 11:53 PM

Cool it folks. For people who won’t give Mitt a break for using a word figuratively, you all seem awfully willing to read a lot into two words, namely “just sayin’”

I was responding to a generalization that World B. Free made, and it just so happened that that story was in the news yesterday. That’s all! Nothing to get hysterical about.

Please try to stick to what I have actually said instead of letting your imaginations run away with you as you speculate what dastardly plans I have in mind to censor you. I have said nothing about “banning games”, abdicating personal responsibility, or anything of the sort.

Good night.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 11:55 PM

bj1126 on December 21, 2007 at 5:51 PM

Excellent point. Reagan is revered not for his positions during his campaign, but for what he did in office. In fact, he’s mostly revered for one thing he did in office: set the stage for the end of the Cold War. Had he, Thatcher, and Pope JPII not been so successful in fighting communism, Reagan would look like a mediocre president in hindsight.

Big S on December 22, 2007 at 12:07 AM

Cool it folks. For people who won’t give Mitt a break for using a word figuratively, you all seem awfully willing to read a lot into two words, namely “just sayin’”

I was responding to a generalization that World B. Free made, and it just so happened that that story was in the news yesterday. That’s all! Nothing to get hysterical about.

Please try to stick to what I have actually said instead of letting your imaginations run away with you as you speculate what dastardly plans I have in mind to censor you. I have said nothing about “banning games”, abdicating personal responsibility, or anything of the sort.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 11:55 PM

You wouldn’t have brought up that story if you didn’t think it was relevant to the topic at hand. Don’t try to weasel out now just because you got called on your little attempt to play an Absolute Moral Authority card.

ReubenJCogburn on December 22, 2007 at 12:17 AM

Reagan would look like a mediocre president in hindsight.

Big S on December 22, 2007 at 12:07 AM

By your standards, or lack thereof, I can see your point.

FloatingRock on December 22, 2007 at 12:47 AM

Reagan would look like a mediocre president in hindsight.

Big S on December 22, 2007 at 12:07 AM

By your standards, or lack thereof, I can see your point.

Ronald Reagan has been lifted up to inhuman heights recently but he too was flawed. He’s still considered a great President because often times with Presidents it’s their character that defines them not often a specific stand on a single issue.

bj1126 on December 21, 2007 at 5:51 PM

Big S, you and bj1126 are both attacking Reagan from opposite sides of the same coin.

[…]often times with Presidents it’s their character that defines them not often a specific stand on a single issue.

What single issue are your referring to, bj1126?

FloatingRock on December 22, 2007 at 12:58 AM

By your standards, or lack thereof, I can see your point.

FloatingRock on December 22, 2007 at 12:47 AM

Besides standing up to the Soviet Union, and some tax reforms, what are Reagan’s signal achievements? I’m talking about actual accomplishments here.

Big S on December 22, 2007 at 1:25 AM

I assume porn is a long way from video games, but the issue seems to be that society is better off with no government interference in those things we like to do for pleasure. The majority opinion seems to be that no data exists to show a harmful effect from violent video games. Fair enough. I don’t know. But, if data on porn does exist to show a relationship with not only sex crimes, but general attitudes about women, how is that to be combated?
http://pornstudies.net/meese-report/index-4.htm
Read at least the summary under Sex Offenders and Pornography and the Summary of Commission Findings of Harm From Pornography. Also, the Effects of Massive Exposure is enlightening.
I don’t want to hijack the thread from pounding on Mitt about violent video games, but the issue of government interference/censorship has come up. What do we do with a form of entertainment that is at least partly responsible for horrible crimes and degrading attitudes toward women? Do we just ignore it? I’m being sincere here. Does the argument that “if it causes no harm, it’s O.K.” still apply?

a capella on December 22, 2007 at 1:27 AM

a capella on December 22, 2007 at 1:27 AM

For what it’s worth, here’s a Slate article (I know, lefty rag and all that) with a few links to some interesting research. As far as I can tell, the link between violence and sex in entertainment, and crime, is unclear.

Big S on December 22, 2007 at 1:51 AM

Why stop with video games, Mitt?

Why not “go after” violent sports like football, too?

LagunaDave on December 22, 2007 at 2:12 AM

Does he mean go after retailers who sell that stuff to kids, or everyone who sells that stuff, period?

Darth Executor on December 22, 2007 at 2:45 AM

The supreme court has ruled that obscenity is decided by each community. Is it wrong for Mitt to pander to those social cons who want the obscenity laws enforced in their communities? No. If the “pervs” don’t like it….MOVE to a community that relishes in “perversions”. Say, San Francisco.

csdeven on December 22, 2007 at 5:55 AM

The supreme court has ruled that obscenity is decided by each community. Is it wrong for Mitt to pander to those social cons who want the obscenity laws enforced in their communities? No. If the “pervs” don’t like it….MOVE to a community that relishes in “perversions”. Say, San Francisco.

csdeven on December 22, 2007 at 5:55 AM

If Mitt were running for mayor of a city, that would be fine. However, he’s running for president, and will have no say in the enforcement of local obscenity laws. One can only assume that he means to do so on a federal level.

Big S on December 22, 2007 at 6:22 AM

Ah, memories

Daniel Weiss, media analyst for James Dobson’s “Focus on the Family,” said this week in a radio broadcast to Focus members: “If (Romney) made money off pornography in the past, is he going to turn a blind eye to it if he’s president? Because as chief executive of the nation, it’s his responsibility to make sure our nation’s obscenity laws are efficiently and vigorously enforced.”

Romney linked the prevalence of pornography to the Virginia Tech shooting spree that left 33 dead.

“Pornography and violence poison our music and movies and TV and video games,” Romney said May 5 during a commencement address at Regent University, the evangelical Christian school run by Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson.

“The Virginia Tech shooter, like the Columbine shooters before him, had drunk from this cesspool.”

Big S on December 22, 2007 at 7:36 AM

Big S on December 22, 2007 at 6:22 AM

He is pandering plain and simple. He can’t do anything on a federal level by himself. You know it and I know it, but most people do not. But it sounds good, so it’s a safe position to take.

csdeven on December 22, 2007 at 8:22 AM

Spoken like a Massachusetts Liberal.

Hening on December 22, 2007 at 9:46 AM

You wouldn’t have brought up that story if you didn’t think it was relevant to the topic at hand. Don’t try to weasel out now just because you got called on your little attempt to play an Absolute Moral Authority card.

ReubenJCogburn on December 22, 2007 at 12:17 AM

Yes, the story was relevant, because WorldBFree took a tack which seemed to indicate that violent video games have zero negative influence on our youth, and anyone who thinks otherwise is just a gullible tool of the MSM.

I pointed to a story which theorizes that video games played a role in the senseless death of a little girl. How much of a role is anyone’s guess. It would be hard to claim that the game had no influence whatsoever over their actions, and it would be equally absurd to lay all the blame entirely on the game itself, thereby absolving the perpetrators of responsibility. At no time did I say that it did, but you concluded otherwise in your heated response.

It is reasonable to argue that our culture, for good and bad, influences our nation’s youth. The question is, what if anything can be done to ameliorate the undeniably coarse influences our kids are bombarded with. Obviously there are no easy answers and it is something that we struggle with and try to balance all the time.

Earlier I cited the hyperbolic outrage over Tipper Gore’s Parental Advisory stickers. I pointed out that in the end, a voluntary system was devised to label objectionable content.

She was someone who had bought a CD for her children only to discover that the commercial version contained objectionable lyrics, and quite reasonably concluded that there should be a vehicle which can guide parents when purchasing music for their children. Sounds fair enough to me? What about you?

Since you are playing a mind reader with me, should I divine that you think that there should be no limits to what children are exposed to? Would that be fair? Maybe it’s something in between?

Big S on December 22, 2007 at 6:22 AM

Thanks for the link.

“I am not pursuing an effort to try and stop adults from being able to acquire or see things that I find objectionable; that’s their right. But I do vehemently oppose practices or business procedures that will allow kids to be exposed to obscenity,” the former Massachusetts governor said.

From what I know of the VA Tech killer, it was initially believed that he was influenced by an internet game called, “Counterstrike”, but that theory was later dismissed. Romney probably misspoke if he blamed video games specifically, but the story you cite is not very clear on the matter. In any case he is not advocating that adults be subject to censorship.

He is pandering plain and simple. He can’t do anything on a federal level by himself.
csdeven on December 22, 2007 at 8:22 AM

You’re probably right about what he could do as President other than use the bully pulpit. I suppose he could propose that we withhold funding for states who do not enforce existing law, or he could propose that we provide more tools to law enforcement. This is all speculation since I see no specifics from Romney himself.

Buy Danish on December 22, 2007 at 2:20 PM

Hearing today on the news, that the average player is 33. We need better guidlines. I think you all agee that what would be nice if our younger kids didnt see the graphic M rated versions. Is this that hard????

I don’t think that is aksing to much of those who put warnings on thier games anyway.

Rightwingsparkle on December 22, 2007 at 11:26 PM

Rightwingsparkle on December 22, 2007 at 11:26 PM

There is always a time lag between commercial use of a product and accumulating data to demonstrate a negative relationship from the usage and societal health. Examples are porn, thalidamide, certain food additives, tobacco, etc. That time lag is advantageous to folks who want to use/sell the product. F’instance, “What right do we have to deprive children of the entertainment value when you can’t even prove with present data it is harmful to them.” Like that. Then throw in a little “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” talk and that should about cover it.

a capella on December 23, 2007 at 12:12 PM

Step 01 – ban video games
Step 02 – ban porn
Step 03 – ban alcohol
….
Step 12 – federally regulated bedtime

Conservatives should not interfere with people’s lives like this, but if Mitt Romney is intent on banning stuff that inspires violence in kids, I suggest he starts with the Koran…maybe the bible.

uptight on December 23, 2007 at 12:49 PM

uptight on December 23, 2007 at 12:49 PM

You know that’s a very astute observation. Mormons are very insular and suspicious of the outside world. Although physically they move through modern culture, internally they are separate and still pulling a handcart across the plains in the snow. A Romney administration will focus a great deal on your morality as that is primary threat facing the world. If we were all just moral then the world would be good. I can’t argue with that but whose to say what is moral. Gets tricky there.

ronsfi on December 23, 2007 at 2:51 PM

I don’t get it. If I recall, Walmart would surely have to be the most prominent retailer of video games in the States, and they don’t even allow AO-rated games to be sold there. Perhaps we can be like (shock) Germany, where ragdoll physics and red-coloured blood are banned..

Reaps on December 23, 2007 at 6:23 PM

Step 01 – ban video games
Step 02 – ban porn
Step 03 – ban alcohol
….
Step 12 – federally regulated bedtime

Conservatives should not interfere with people’s lives like this, but if Mitt Romney is intent on banning stuff that inspires violence in kids, I suggest he starts with the Koran…maybe the bible.

uptight on December 23, 2007 at 12:49 PM

For Kerist sake. Romney has said nothing about “banning” anything. Maybe you think that Maxim Magazine and videos of Girls Gone Wild should be given equal access along with children’s books in the children’s section of public libraries?

You know that’s a very astute observation. Mormons are very insular and suspicious of the outside world. Although physically they move through modern culture, internally they are separate and still pulling a handcart across the plains in the snow. Blah Blah Blah.

ronsfi on December 23, 2007 at 2:51 PM

You think a comment that did not include a single correctly stated fact, which is completely wrong about Romney’s position on the right of adults to do things like view pornography, and which went on to make the absurd leap that alcohol is next on the agenda is an “astute” comment?

Buy Danish on December 23, 2007 at 7:32 PM

I like the “clean up our water” ad. It rules

Richard Bushnell on January 8, 2008 at 3:57 PM

Comment pages: 1 2