Let me get this off my chest: I am now ashamed that GraniteGrok, Meet the New Press (our former radio show), and I, did all we could to help Jeb Bradley, the prime sponsor of this Act, beat “Bathroom Bud” Martin in that special election that seems so long ago. I was told he was a moderate Congressman – boardering on “squish”; I heard it but thought “well, that was ‘before my active time” and he’s sounding a whole lot more conservative now” and beat the drum. Stupid me – he’s drifted Leftward ever since that first year. And no, not happy with the results of the NH Senate last session either.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
One of my pet peeves lately is why is it that normal people can read the plain language of the Constitution and can understand it literally as written – and yet lawyers and politicians cannot? How simple are the words “… no law….abridging the freedom of speech” – what is there to not understand? Five single syllable words, one with two, and one with three; this is elementary school level English. Yes, while the Constitution is supposed to be binding on the US Congress, it is the Law of the Land, the foundational philosophy of our Constitutional Republic. The ordinary person who is NOT a lawyer keeps thinking “isn’t it about time to get rid of the lawyers, get rid of the prancing around with “case law” and nuances and penumbras that seem to emanate from black robed creatures when looking upon these words – and just read the words as written?
An engineer’s solution is called “elegant” when their code accomplishes the goal with fewest lines of code: small is best. Large is often unwieldy, error prone, inefficient, and misses the mark and leads to unsubstantiated results. The Constitution IS elegant in its brevity and works well. What is it about politicians, including this fustercluck of a grapple of Political Class squatters, that they can continue to slowly tighten the noose around that Freedom of Speech? Why do they decide that the normal guy shouldn’t have a place at the speech bar without having to contort themselves in multi-level pretzels? The cost, as Grokster Steve’s post points out, is not JUST the actual money involved that has to be paid to the Government to comment on those that comprise the Government (yes, a perceived tax on political speech – is THAT “abridging”) – does ANY one else think that the Political Class needs to spanked over this?
Unfortunately,it seems that we (and especially those that we put in place to govern) have gotten away from the notion that we ALL need to be mindful of Constitutional philosophy and strictures. How many Politicians actually stop and ask themselves “er, does this meet the best of what I can be in being “Constitutional”? Very few, indeed, is the sorry answer (NH State Rep Dan Itse is the best well known of those that do – all six of these chuckleheads ought to be sat down in front of Dan for a maximal schooling ).
Grokster Steve’s post on this abomination of a bill is summed up well with this:
It will, intentionally or not, silence political speech and I can’t believe you think yourselves Republicans.
Either can I. And it shall. And yet, the Founders specifically put it in there to protect that speech which is most vulnerable – criticizing our political leaders. Here, we see them engaging in activity that could be called “pulling up the ladder up after themselves” and leaving the rest of us in the basement. Nice governing, eh?
This could be called Protecting the Political Class Act of 2013. It could also be called “Screw Joe & Jane SixPack if they wish to speak out Act”. Or, as Steve put it “Clueless in Concord 3″. The ONLY possible purpose of this Act is to make it harder for the regular Joe to either individually, or voluntarily banding together with other citizens, to excoriate those the
Trust – I put up the problem of the incipient Republican trust problem earlier today. This just give the ordinary person just one more reason to think “Republicans don’t like me – or others like me” – why would they think otherwise when the end game of this is simply to make it harder to speak out which protects incumbents?
Another opportunity lost, NH GOP: what would be reaction if these self-serving politicians rewrote the law such that it was EASIER? I have no problem with politicians spending more on themselves and their campaigns - but what’s the message when they unleash themselves and coil it tighter around others? That you have to know the loopholes better than the rest to win?
Yeah, SCREW YOU!
Sigh….and what if they had relaxed the rules? If they had made it less costly and less onerous to tap-dance around regulations? What if they had erased some of the regulations?
A better message: Come join us – we want you.