Why do Congressional Democrats fear free speech?

posted at 6:30 pm on July 8, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Efforts in both chambers of Congress have Republicans wondering why Democrats seem to fear free speech.  Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) has proposed limitations on how Representatives can post information to the Internet in a time when we should be demanding more transparency, not less.  According to a source in the Senate, Dianne Feinstein has begun her own campaign to force Senators to seek permission before communicating over the Internet.

Soren Dayton at The Next Right has the story from the House:

In typical fashion, House Democrats are trying to pass rules that stifle debate and require regulation. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) sent a letter to the Chairman of the Committee on House Administration Robert Brady (D-PA). The letter is a response to a debate about whether the House should allow members to use YouTube, first raised by Rep. Kevin McCarthy back in April. …

Well, Capuano’s proposal is a disaster. It creates a list of sites, maintained by the Committee on House Administration that members are allowed to post material. Except, those sites have a caveat:

To the maximum extent possible, official content should not be posted on a website or page where it may appear with commercial or political information or any other information not in compliance with the House’s content guidelines.

In the Senate, the problem gets even worse.  Feinstein (D-CA) would have the Rules Committee act as a censor board, forcing members to get approval for the act of communicating on external websites.  Further, it would appear that the Feinstein proposal would attempt to exercise editorial control over these sites, at least indirectly.

As my source put it, these are the key issues:

  • Under their scheme, the Senate Rules Committee would become the Internet speech police for everyone in the Senate.
    • It will be up to the committee to “sanction” which websites and forms of communication they deem appropriate.
    • 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.
  • Further, this could jeopardize guest posts at sites like RedState and Townhall.
  • 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.

It also raises a number of questions:

  • Would this rule extend beyond comments to posts on the site?
    • Would it affect Slatecard & BlogAds?
    • 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.
    • 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.

The sudden interest in silencing Congress goes right along with the brand-new 9% approval rating the Democratic leadership has earned Congress.  Imagine how much worse it will get when they gag their members and force an end to communication through policy sites, blogs, and Internet media.

Want to ask Feinstein what she’s thinking?  Be sure to e-mail her through her website or call the Senate Rules Committee at 202-224-6352 to express your support for free speech and transparency.  Ask them what they have to hide that the 9% of Americans who still support them shouldn’t find out.

Update: And let’s not forget Feinstein’s other policy goal — re-establishment of the Fairness DoctrineHmmmm.  Can we detect a pattern here?

Update II: Soren had the identity of the House Administration Committee chair.  It’s Robert Brady, not Kevin Brady, a Republican from Texas.  I’ve updated the reference in the quoted material.


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Comment pages: 1 2

They are really pissed they don’t own all the media any longer.

Wade on July 8, 2008 at 6:34 PM

Ask them what they have to hide that the 9% of Americans who still support them shouldn’t find out.

Darn you are good, Ed!

infidel on July 8, 2008 at 6:37 PM

Sorry, forgot to quote.

infidel on July 8, 2008 at 6:37 PM

God help us if this is what things are to be like in the not so distant future. How did we lose power to these idiots?!

trader67 on July 8, 2008 at 6:38 PM

Could they determine that members could use Kos, but not RedState? I wouldn’t be surprised.

amerpundit on July 8, 2008 at 6:38 PM

The Pattern being that they are all freaking crazy!

Why would you want to stop your OWN protection of Free Speech is so beyond me!

upinak on July 8, 2008 at 6:38 PM

So why don’t they just do what they want anyway? What are the Democrat Marxists going do, throw them in jail if they break the stupid rule?

Marxism cannot exist with free speech, goes double for a drive-by media which won’t tow the DNC party line, hence trying to demonize FNC.

tarpon on July 8, 2008 at 6:39 PM

They never met a constitutional right they didn’t like.

kirkill on July 8, 2008 at 6:39 PM

Just keep it up dem’s. A – 50 is going to be your approval rating. Ed, you are working overtime and doing a more than great job.
L

letget on July 8, 2008 at 6:40 PM

Is anybody the slightest bit surprised by this? This kind of leftist hypocrisy has been going on for years. Ironically, this news comes on the day I first watched the anarchist “RNC Welcoming Committee’s” video promoting their scheme to prevent (by any means necessary) Republican delegates from attending the RNC in Minneapolis. The video features a girl so afraid of revealing her identity, she showers and brushes her teeth whilst wearing the traditional black hood and bandanna of the cowardly anarchist.

HockeyTemper on July 8, 2008 at 6:40 PM

I guess that should have been:

They never met a constitutional right they liked.

kirkill on July 8, 2008 at 6:42 PM

But senators will still be free to urinate on the U.S. flag on the Senate floor if they so desire, right?

aero on July 8, 2008 at 6:44 PM

The RNC needs to jump on this with both feet immediately! The Democrats are giving them such opportunities like this and the “no domestic drilling” position that the Republicans could blow them out of the water this instant. The question is, will they?

Wildcatter1980 on July 8, 2008 at 6:44 PM

So Ed, are you going to write the next great American novel?
You know:

‘A Day in the Life of Allapundit Denisovich’

that’s got Pulitzer written all over it.

Limerick on July 8, 2008 at 6:44 PM

Limerick on July 8, 2008 at 6:44 PM

HA!

Where is Allah I wonder. Vacation perhaps? I thought he was chained to his Apt.

upinak on July 8, 2008 at 6:46 PM

Feinstein has been “my” Senator for, well, too long. I have no idea what she thinks even when she’s opening her fat mouth.

Just remember your Orwell: if Big Democrat Brother — and/or sister — can purge the “wrong” words from our vocabularies, there will be no more Thoughtcrime, and we’ll all be good little slaves to The Messiah and the lying sacks of dung behind him.

That makes the second time today I’ve used “lying sack of dung.” These people really irritate the hell out of me.

MrScribbler on July 8, 2008 at 6:47 PM

With approval ratings in the single digits they probably need to hide everything they can before they slip into negative numbers. What a bunch of dolts.

rplat on July 8, 2008 at 6:47 PM

Can we detect a pattern here?

Yeah, it’s called liberal fascism.

CP on July 8, 2008 at 6:49 PM

Not ‘free speech’ but ‘speech free.’ Should be their tag line.

TinMan13 on July 8, 2008 at 6:53 PM

Free speech for me, but not for thee!

JimK on July 8, 2008 at 6:53 PM

“Hmmmm. Can we detect a pattern here?”

Yeah. These pansy-a@@ed tyrants don’t like having opposition voiced about their plan for reordering of society in their image and likeness.

Dusty on July 8, 2008 at 6:55 PM

I didn’t do that mailto link. Is there a bug somewhere?

Dusty on July 8, 2008 at 6:56 PM

Getting ready for the big take-over…now anyone who thinks McCain is more dangerous then these goof-balls is in for a rude awakening…

right2bright on July 8, 2008 at 6:56 PM

Wow that screencap scares me. Ed you are doing great work!

carbon_footprint on July 8, 2008 at 6:58 PM

The real question should be, Why do Americans have to fear Congressional Democrats attempt to limit free speech?

We have only ourselves to blame and should hang our heads in shame.

DannoJyd on July 8, 2008 at 6:59 PM

Ed, I think you’re overreacting here. When I read “official content” I think of information that might be sensitive to national security, or bill proposals, etc.

Are we better served by Democratic congressman posting “official content” on DailyKos, or by having all congressman follow a guide on where and how such information should/can be posted?

Any politician should of course be able to freely express themselves in whatever forum they want, but when it comes to “official information”, I think we’re better served by that being posted at consistent and regular places where everyone can trust that it is indeed “official”.

Think of it as a movie fan site passing themselves off as the official web site of that movie. It causes confusion and the brand’s credibility takes a hit.

Seixon on July 8, 2008 at 7:09 PM

To advance their agenda, they must do things that rational, free people will oppose. Thus control of information is essential. Welcome to Animal Farm.

whitetop on July 8, 2008 at 7:09 PM

Blog posts get a greater reaction from Pelosi than bribe money stashed in a freezer.

joewm315 on July 8, 2008 at 7:13 PM

^^^Feinstein. Apologies.

joewm315 on July 8, 2008 at 7:13 PM

Are we better served by Democratic congressman posting “official content” on DailyKos, or by having all congressman follow a guide on where and how such information should/can be posted?

Seixon on July 8, 2008 at 7:09 PM

The former has been happening for decades via the liberal congress critters [although they usually use the NYT], and the latter already exists. What you fail to recognize is that these new ‘rules’ are intended to stifle republicans only.

I wonder what they are trying to cover up this time …

DannoJyd on July 8, 2008 at 7:15 PM

What you fail to recognize is that these new ‘rules’ are intended to stifle republicans only.

Well, should the Republicans be doing what the Democrats are doing, then? I don’t think so. Let the Democrats break their own rules, it will only make them look worse.

Seixon on July 8, 2008 at 7:17 PM

Hellbent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

If they continue with these kinds of high-profile policies the general public might figure out that they’re the party running congress right now.

The mention of Youtube is telling.

Dorvillian on July 8, 2008 at 7:17 PM

Don’t forget, Democrats also favor legislation ending secret ballots in union elections.

Seems to me they should rename themselves the “Anti-Democratic Party.”

irishspy on July 8, 2008 at 7:21 PM

Let the Democrats break their own rules, it will only make them look worse.

Seixon on July 8, 2008 at 7:17 PM

That would be true in a perfect World, but today we live in a society where many think republicans currently control Congress, and most expect democrats to break the law scott free of any consequences.

Such is today’s America.

DannoJyd on July 8, 2008 at 7:22 PM

Democrats have NO fear of free speech, they FEAR truth. Truth will destroy them. Truth must be stopped, they use free speech as a tool to kill the truth.

allrsn on July 8, 2008 at 7:24 PM

Ask them what they have to hide that the 9% of Americans who still support them shouldn’t find out.

Well since the media doesn’t really report on the sins of Democrats, maybe they’re afraid of losing the last of their support

Iblis on July 8, 2008 at 7:27 PM

If Republican Senate and House candidates do not run on things like this and the miserable approval rating of Congress then we deserve to be in the minority.

johnsteele on July 8, 2008 at 7:28 PM

If Republican Senate and House candidates do not run on things like this and the miserable approval rating of Congress then we deserve to be in the minority.

johnsteele on July 8, 2008 at 7:28 PM

AMEN!

DannoJyd on July 8, 2008 at 7:31 PM

irishspy on July 8, 2008 at 7:21 PM

The Democrats not doing anything secret is like a child saying that dog poop is the cure for cancer.

I couldn’t agree with you more.

upinak on July 8, 2008 at 7:32 PM

Duh!

Because truth to power will be let out of the bag,
so to speak!

The shining light of truth will expose the Dem’s
agenda!

Seek permission to communicate over the internet,
but,but,but Feinstein WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF eh!

Liberal playbook liberal speak,WE WANT CONTROL!

canopfor on July 8, 2008 at 7:40 PM

Dusty on July 8, 2008 at 6:56 PM

It automatically does that if you use the ‘at’ symbol.

JadeNYU on July 8, 2008 at 7:49 PM

Then there’s the Morgenholz proposal.

Bite me, Commies.

HerrMorgenholz on July 8, 2008 at 7:53 PM

DannoJyd on July 8, 2008 at 7:22 PM

Isn’t that the truth.

I have been thinking, for a week or so, what a leftie would tell me if I asked them: 1) who was the sob who sent troops into viet nam and 2) I forgot, do you remember who brought the troops home?

allrsn on July 8, 2008 at 8:12 PM

Want to ask Feinstein what she’s thinking? Be sure to e-mail her through her website or call the Senate Rules Committee at 202-224-6352 to express your support for free speech and transparency.

Most certainly.

baldilocks on July 8, 2008 at 8:25 PM

So I wonder what the penalty will be for violating the rule should it be instituted?

baldilocks on July 8, 2008 at 8:31 PM

[JadeNYU on July 8, 2008 at 7:49 PM]

Huh, that never occurred to me because it didn’t the full form of an address. Thanks for the info.

Dusty on July 8, 2008 at 8:31 PM

Sen. Feinstein, yes, one of my two primadona senators, is not so clean. Her husband gipped hospitals of fortunes via the CMS RAC audits of Medicare. Now his company was thrown out of the same auditing business, while the RAC program is going nation-wide. Recovery Audit Consulting pioneered 3 states only, for a while, CA being one of them. Her hubby stuffed his pockets. If this is not a conflict of interest, then I must not be Entelechy. The news hasn’t focused enough on it and she certainly doesn’t want us to do so either.

7% nailed it – freedom of speech, baby. Our ‘representatives’ all need to be expelled, sent out of town, from the left, to the right. Boston tea party!

Entelechy on July 8, 2008 at 8:37 PM

. . . dog poop is the cure for cancer.

upinak on July 8, 2008 at 7:32 PM

Too bad it’s not bullshit.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on July 8, 2008 at 8:39 PM

So I wonder what the penalty will be for violating the rule
should it be instituted?

baldilocks on July 8,2008 at 8:31PM.

baldilocks: I’ll take a stab at it,how about being the
palomino,at Pelosi’s palomino parties!haha:)

canopfor on July 8, 2008 at 8:40 PM

One more thing – these audit were done in the dark, with no accountability to the public, nor to anyone. The money recovered is supposed to go to the treasury, but the 30% went to his and the other consultancies’ pockets, with no place to call for statistics, ask questions, nada.

Freedom of information about thee, not about them.

We are complete fools for keeping such crooks in office.

Entelechy on July 8, 2008 at 8:41 PM

Of course! The internet has been a major force in uncovering the blatant incompetence of Democrats for many years now — naturally they’d want to curb the tide.

Capuano… dear God… another Massachusetts mistake.

D2Boston on July 8, 2008 at 8:43 PM

My toys and you can’t play with them!

Juveniles every last one of ‘em.

Bicyea on July 8, 2008 at 8:45 PM

One more thing-

Entelechy on July 8,2008 at 8:41PM.

Entelechy: Your right,just like Al Frankens perposal
of the union vote,and like true Libs,that way
you can be labeled,and targeted!

While the Libs want a mechanism to hide their
dirt,and I thought Pelosi had a House to clean!:)

canopfor on July 8, 2008 at 8:50 PM

my email to “my” Senator Feinstein:

I am ashamed that you as a US Senator are pushing on two fronts to limit political free speech.

First you endorse the fascist “Fairness Doctrine” which is a thinly veiled censorship of conservative free speech. Show me where the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers does anything but expressly shield speech – especially political speech – from ANY government interference.

Next you support the censoring of the free speech of your colleagues by controlling what and where their content is placed on the internet. You want to restrict the flow of information from our elected representatives to the public on the most open media? What in God’s name are you thinking????

Go to your room and have someone read the US Constitution to you and explain the parts that guarantee freedom of speech.

Shame on you!

P.S. My nineteen year old daughter says “your actions are ‘unbelievable’”. She is right.

As usual I expect some reply patting herself on the back for “protecting our freedoms” or some such drivel.

in_awe on July 8, 2008 at 8:53 PM

This is what we should all expect in the future from these Stalin wannabes. If they’ll do it to their own, you know it’ll only be a matter of time before they do the same to the rest of us.

thekingtut on July 8, 2008 at 9:07 PM

Can we cal the two communist sisters from California Stalinist Communists now?

jukin on July 8, 2008 at 10:19 PM

If the GOP ever gets even a bare majority, they need to change the way rules are made. More to the point, we need some kind of Constitutional Amendment (and how would we ever get it?) to limit Congress’s privilege to make its own rules. I fear it, since it would get SCOTUS involved, but I see no other way.

Can you imagine every GOP congresscritter under sanction for speaking out? Would that get people to throw the Donks out of office, or would it make them happy that there was nobody to stop the pork and circuses flowing out of Congress?

njcommuter on July 8, 2008 at 10:32 PM

Efforts in both chambers of Congress have Republicans wondering why Democrats seem to fear free speech.

Because, you republican idiots, they are anticipating controlling all branches of government and they will not want the American people aware of their actions in securing a permanent grasp on power. Dark days are ahead.

peacenprosperity on July 8, 2008 at 10:38 PM

Ask them what they have to hide that the 9% of Americans who still support them shouldn’t find out.

I don’t usually have to note who the author of the post is to know who is writing it. That line is snarky enough that I had to go back and check to make sure this was Ed’s piece. Good one.

samuelrylander on July 8, 2008 at 11:21 PM

Damn this interweb thing and where are those memory holes…

DaveC on July 8, 2008 at 11:37 PM

I’ll let you know from my free speech zone when I’m protesting at the RNC.

Both parties hate free speech. Free speech leads to anarchy after all and enough of that sort of thing might actually cause real change. Change hurts those in power.

And no, I’m not actually protesting at the RNC. I was just using the “free speech zones” that both parties have been using lately as an example.

Benaiah on July 8, 2008 at 11:50 PM

They aren’t even trying to hide their socialism any more. My God we’re in for some interesting times. When will the GOP start taking Dem legislation to court since most of it is unconstitutional? They haven’t yet managed to abolish it.

The public schools have done their job. There are very few Americans left that can think, have independent judgment, know and understand history, and understand the tyranny of socialism.

DerKrieger on July 8, 2008 at 11:53 PM

If I were a GOP candidate for office I would openly call Dems Marxists and socialists and dare them to prove they are not.

DerKrieger on July 8, 2008 at 11:55 PM

If the US is indeed in decline as discussed on townhall.com by O’Reilley then it is entirely due to the implementation of a Liberal/socialist ideology. How can we allow an entire country to be enslaved under the yoke of socialism when the Socialists have but a bare majority? Where are the Conservatives? Where are the conservative Dems?

DerKrieger on July 9, 2008 at 12:00 AM

It also raises a number of questions:

No, it doesn’t. The questions that you have listed there are details of policy clarification and management. By raising these kind of questions, you fundamentally concede that the right to limit posting/expression exists but needs to be managed better. No, no, sir. The only question that is raised is whether we are going to hold them to their oath of office, which includes upholding and defending the 1st Amendment

ss396 on July 9, 2008 at 12:24 AM

That really big boom you just heard? That was my HEAD EXPLODING. Do you have any idea how hard it is to type this without a head?

Good god… do they even realize what they are doing to our country? Here I am without a head and even I realize that this is full blown censorship.

Good god…

cannonball on July 9, 2008 at 12:40 AM

Don’t believe me? Here’s the video of my head exploding.

:-)

cannonball on July 9, 2008 at 12:43 AM

Thanks, Ed.

I sent the Senator an email from her site, but received an out-of-state reply. Hope someone will read it.

greenLibertarian on July 9, 2008 at 3:09 AM

Seixon on July 8, 2008 at 7:09 PM

So says the 9%.

geckomon on July 9, 2008 at 3:44 AM

Seixon on July 8, 2008 at 7:09 PM

Senator pelosi, are’t there more important things for you to be crapping on then this thread?

peacenprosperity on July 9, 2008 at 7:05 AM

Liberal Fascism.

jeff_from_mpls on July 9, 2008 at 7:31 AM

I just emailed Ms. Feinstein and asked her if she’s ever heard of RCTV?

If you try to silence the people, they will only scream louder.

Pcoop on July 9, 2008 at 7:54 AM

Stanford Professor Lawrence Lessig was interviewed by Hugh Hewitt on his radio program yesterday, and stated that the Fairness Doctrine could never become law because it is clearly unconstitutional. Here is a link to the entire interview.

http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/talkradio/transcripts/Transcript.aspx?ContentGuid=d55aefa8-3745-4806-ac82-03b2ea04319d

Professor Lessig is an admitted big time Liberal, as can be witnessed by his answers during this interview. It seems obvious to me, that Democrats (and several fat-cat Republicans) have s serious problem with talk radio heads having become powerful enough to “bust their balls” and pull the covers right off their bullshit spin on a daily basis; a real problem with many in the blogosphere correcting their spin and busting their lies and fabricated news stories. They had their way with us for decades upon decades; now they have these truth detectors pulling the mask right off their faces; pissing them off big time.

The fact that these people are even talking about the “fairness doctrine” is very telling indeed. The truth doesn’t set these people free; the truth exposes a bunch of people who are “sickened” behind their lust for power over all. Our government critters are professional bullshit artists. Far too many of them spend their days planning the spin, calculating the pieces needed to carry through with the scam, lining up the proper media heads to push the agenda forward. Talk radio and the internet have exposed these people, and they are busy trying to figure out a way to get even.

What’s really sad about this reality; far too many Democrats-Liberals are perfectly happy with their politicians despite this display of bad character, no integrity, no morals… It’s like, we know how to play dirty better than Republicans, and we are proud of it!

Keemo on July 9, 2008 at 8:24 AM

Feinstein two pronged attack–beyond stifling Republican debate or Republican communications with the public with this Censorship, don’t ignore the democrat attempting to cover its own inadequate, spoken rashly *ss.

There’s a lot that Congressional democrats would have erased from the record, things THEY have said to look smart *ssed at a moment, but upon instant recall under broader context, shows pea brained soup for consumption–force fed virus. Even ubertards hate being force fed reconstituted pea brained soup day in, day out. It’s the newly coined “refine” feature at play again, this time as the brighly colored censorship button. Erase all the flops from flippant ignoramous democrats with mouths far bigger than their pea brains. Cannibals, eating pea brain soup from road kill left behind Barack-track’s bus tour gone wild cross country. Cross your heart, hope to die, marx the spot, pea brain.

As much as muting Republicans and any AMERICAN, Feinstein is being directed to mute stoopid outpourings from her comrades. This is a sure sign that democrats realize they are LOSING! “Year of the Democrat” DEMISE! Corruption, behold thy mother. Feinstein, behold thy corruption.

maverick muse on July 9, 2008 at 8:37 AM

Reading all these comments here, I cant disagree with any of them. My question is, what is the purpose of voting anymore? Life time politicians like Feinstein, Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, Kerry, Byrd, Murtha have a total lock on their seats. People living in their parts of the country who would like to have somebody else elected have no say at all when it comes to voting because this gang is going to win regardless.
I’ve voted since 1971. But I’m at the point of saying, what’s the use. I’ve watched this country steadily decline because of people like I listed above. So somebody convince me I should vote in the Congressional elections.

abcurtis on July 9, 2008 at 8:39 AM

Seixon on July 8, 2008 at 7:09 PM

You have a very good point. But who gets to determine what is “official content” and what is not? The weasels guarding the hen house, that’s who. Diane, Nancy and Harry.

abcurtis on July 9, 2008 at 8:45 AM

With approval ratings in the single digits they probably need to hide everything they can before they slip into negative numbers. What a bunch of dolts.

rplat on July 8, 2008 at 6:47 PM

See, that’s what really gets me and I dont understand it. Their approval rating is at 9% but the same culprits will be elected over and over again. So how is this possible? Are the 91% not voting or is American politics that crooked? I know, I’m being rhetorical.

abcurtis on July 9, 2008 at 8:50 AM

cannonball on July 9, 2008 at 12:43 AM

Good One! hahaa

becki51758 on July 9, 2008 at 9:04 AM

Liberals have always feared free speech. It’s kind of like sunlight to a vampire.

MarkTheGreat on July 9, 2008 at 9:15 AM

My email to Sen. Feinstein would not go through after many attempts so I will add it here in case any of her staff readthe writings of ordinary citizens.

You and all in Congress took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. This Constitution includes the right to free speech. Your efforts to control where our Congress members may communicate flies in the face of the Constitution you vowed to support. Any effort to block free communication is a disservice to our nation. I personally have tried to Email a representative not from my district and I am barred from doing so because I ;ive inthe wrong zip code. My efforts to email Nancy Pelosi were also blocked. I cannot afford long distance service on my phone. I could write letters but as a handicapped senior citizen this is not easily done. The so called Fairness Doctine is an attempt to silence people instead of encouraging interest in the affairs of our nation. Are you afraid of people finding out truth about the inefficiency and uncaring attitudes of our elected politicians?
The current Congress has an approval rating of 9%. Do any of you wonder why you are held in such low esteem? Congress members appear to think they are superior to the citizens who elect them. They appear power hungry for their personal benefit and forget they were elected to serve for the benefit of the nation and all citizens. Congressional leadership promised a more ethical Congress in 2006. What a disappointment you have been.

Pat in NC on July 9, 2008 at 9:17 AM

abcurtis,

The problem is that when you ask people how congress is doing, you get the 9% number.
When you ask them how their congressman is doing, they reply, Great.

It’s kind of like, everyone I know is employed and doing well, but the economy’s in the tank.

MarkTheGreat on July 9, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Such censorship would be a way of shutting down James Inhofe’s blog/website on the environment. Sen Inhofe is the best clear voice in opposition to the global warming wackos.

Dasher on July 9, 2008 at 9:27 AM

abcurtis on July 9, 2008 at 8:50 AM

Millions of us share your frustration… Pork is the main culprit Curtis; these Congress critters feed their people on a steady diet of pork, and the people keep coming back to the table for more of it. Our tax dollars being used for all of the wrong reasons.

Keemo on July 9, 2008 at 9:33 AM

I sent the Senator an email from her site, but received an out-of-state reply. Hope someone will read it.

greenLibertarian on July 9, 2008 at 3:09 AM

My email to Sen. Feinstein would not go through after many attempts so I will add it here in case any of her staff readthe writings of ordinary citizens.

Any effort to block free communication is a disservice to our nation. I personally have tried to Email a representative not from my district and I am barred from doing so because I ;ive inthe wrong zip code. My efforts to email Nancy Pelosi were also blocked. I cannot afford long distance service on my phone.

Pat in NC on July 9, 2008 at 9:17 AM

Same here. Happened to me frequently during the amnesty debate. I couldn’t even email my own Senator, Hillary. I thought that took the cake. What arrogance!

What I ended up doing was to used any real address from within the district or state of the rep you wish to contact, and entered that. Then be upfront in the email that you’re from out-of-state and had no other way to reach them. At least, it will be read and not automatically returned by machine.

JiangxiDad on July 9, 2008 at 9:34 AM

Isn’t refusal of representatives to accept our emails a violation of the 1st Amendment right to petition?

JiangxiDad on July 9, 2008 at 9:45 AM

My email to her wouldn’t go through either.

After pushing for re-establishment of the Fascist Fairness Doctrine, Dianne Feinstein now seeks to gag critics within Congress. It’s liberal fascism on the march.

petefrt on July 9, 2008 at 9:45 AM

Well at least your library card is safe … You didn’t fall for that did you?

The Congressional Democrat Marxists are having problems with making their environmental Marxism stick with the folks with all the blabbing going on.

Communism was never compatible with free expression and liberty. Once the Soviet Union became over populated with fax machines and auto dialing trees, the end was written in stone.

Same here, no answer, I wonder why?

tarpon on July 9, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Okay, her web email is working now.

petefrt on July 9, 2008 at 11:42 AM

And let’s not forget Feinstein’s other policy goal — re-establishment of the Fairness Doctrine. Hmmmm. Can we detect a pattern here?

I have never found out this answer…why has not Feinstein been investigated for dishing out sweetheart contracts to her husband’s companies?
Now I know right after that, she shut up about the Bush Administration, and has been basically not attacking Bush. Was there a deal made? That she back off and sit down, for no investigation?
Any other person would have been tried and convicted for what she did…at least investigated by a committee, she blatantly gave contracts to her husbands businesses.
Yet not a peep, from congress or the MSM…nothing.

right2bright on July 9, 2008 at 12:43 PM

The slippery slope to Fascism. It’s going to be an “exciting” time be alive the next few years or so.

Lunkinator on July 9, 2008 at 12:47 PM

Congress currently has single digit approval. Need we ask with what digit the public is signaling?

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on July 9, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Interesting. Their biggest gripe about Pres. Bush is his and Cheney’s lack of transparency. Now they’re trying to one-up it. Hypocrites!

sheesh on July 9, 2008 at 2:24 PM

For decades, the pitiful demOrats have been lost in the wilderness, and can’t seem to find their out. (((Sigh)))

Since taking control of congress, what have anti-surge traitors Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi accomplished??? The house is still dirty, and the senate has been FUBAR!

byteshredder on July 9, 2008 at 2:49 PM

If elections were held with the only voters allowed being those (on either side) who had a clue what was going on this election would be a “slam dunk” for the republicans. It is too bad that informed voters are totally outnumbered by the mass of the great unwashed and uninformed. Since there is “no right to vote” in the founding documents it seems to be about time that we restrict it to those who know what they are voting for.

duff65 on July 9, 2008 at 2:57 PM

The question of “official content” is not a new one. The “franking privilege” enjoyed by Members of Congress allows them to send out mailings to their constituents on the taxpayer’s dime. Limiting the content of such mailings to some form of legitimate government business was intended to prevent Congress from spamming their constituents with political messages and essentially turning the franking privilege into a subsidy for incumbent campaigns. It was a pretty straightforward issue before the advent of Internet based communications.

As I understand it, the current issue initially arose as a technical problem. Congress provides & maintains official websites for its members, and thus has an interest in preventing the same kind of potential abuses of subsidized communications that existed with free mass mailings. As official, tax payer supported, organs of government, there is a justifiable need to distinguish between official government information/content — upon which constituents should be able to rely — and partisan political content & funding which, again, amounts to subsidizing incumbent campaigns. Maintaining such distinctions — and its own organ’s reputation as a reliable source — is why exit notices on links to external sites, for example, are required.

It appears that Congressional web sites cannot independently support video, which makes external linking a virtual necessity, bringing with it messy prospect of apparent government endorsements and/or patronage by default. Unfortunately, devising and maintaining a list of officially approved exgternal sites does nothing to solve the endorsement problem, and indeed, may actually exacerbate it, while simultaneously opening up a clear opportunity for partisan abuse. It would seem to me that upgrading Congressional servers is an obvious and preferable.

If the regulations being discussed apply to all Congressional communications, as opposed to government sponsored and funded communications alone, then it’s a different issue entirely. Nota Bene, Ed: You seem to be implying the former, and I believe a clarification is definitely in order here. You also refer to an otherwise unidentified “Feinstein proposal” as described by an anonymous, clearly partisan, source. That’s a disappointingly sketchy basis for soliciting an email assault.

JM Hanes on July 9, 2008 at 3:19 PM

Correction: “political content & funding” above should read “political content and fund raising.”

JM Hanes on July 9, 2008 at 3:22 PM

Next up on the Democrat agenda: Thought control!!!

These Fascists won’t be happy until all of life in the USA is lived like a continual game of “Mother May I?” played with a malevolent, meddling government.

…and even then they won’t be happy!

landlines on July 9, 2008 at 6:08 PM

It’s time to break out the pitchforks and torches and drive these people out of office. Too bad most of the incumbents up for re-election will get back in, though.

jdawg on July 9, 2008 at 8:37 PM

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