A food fight has developed between Wired Online and California Representative Linda Sanchez (D), who has sponsored H.R. 1966, a.k.a. the Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act. H.R. 1966 is purportedly designed to prevent cyberbullying of the kind that had driven 13 year-old Megan Meier to suicide. Wired writer David Kravets states that H.R. 1966 “goes way beyond youth cyberbullying…[and] seemingly outlaws logging onto the internet.” In other words, censorship. In her HuffPo response, Rep Sanchez insists that “Congress has no interest in censoring speech, and it will not do so if it passes this bill.”
Under any other administration, I would have said that this is a there-oughta-be-a-law overreaction. Megan Meier’s suicide is tragic, and her persecutress’ behavior inexcusable. But is this really another epidemic requiring prompt government action?
Under this administration, however…
We have already seen that the Obama administration sees freedom of expression (speech, bumper stickers, ideologically diverse radio and Internet, tea parties, etc.), indeed civil rights in general, as a major threat – not to the Republic, mind you, but to The One and The One Party. And Congress has proved to be Obama's willing handmaiden in undercutting the Constitution. So Rep. Sanchez' reassurance that Congress does not want to censor speech sounds a little too much like Obama's claims that he doesn't want to run the banks or GM. (Hint: they do, and he does...)
In my view, H.R. 1966 has major implications for our constitutional rights. Now, its language may not specifically state what David Kravets reads in it, but the resolution itself is a kind of ideological earmark. It alerts the community organizers and other eager-beaver manipulators among us to yet another potential venue for expanding their control. If H.R. 1966 does not pass, the idea will sit and fester, eventually reappearing in different garb. If it is passed, it will quickly experience mission creep to encompass anything and everything that the gauleiters of The One Party find objectionable.
So, bravo, David Kravets. Keep fighting the good fight.
And nice try, Madame Sanchez! We, the People, are watching closely.