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.