Paul Jacob

You can now blog to your heart's content on the Internet. The Federal Election Commission says so. Yippee!

In a unanimous ruling, the FEC "gave" Internet bloggers the same "media exemption" from federal government regulation that newspapers enjoy. (You know, that "freedom of the press" loophole.) So, we can blog! We bloggers and little ol' net-surfers can write whatever we want to about politics and our generous leaders. Shout it from the rooftops of cyberspace!

And without being regulated by the government. We're not living in China, after all . . . where apparently the Chinese equivalent of the FEC went the other way.

One conservative blogger termed the FEC's decision "a tremendous win for speech." Liberal blogger Duncan Black posited that "This could have been an utter disaster, but it appears to have all worked out in the end." The Washington Post reported that any concerns we had for our freedoms, as the federal tribunal mulled over the fate of Internet speech, were "unfounded."

We are supposed to be very glad. Delighted. Tingly all over.

But don't be glad. Definitely don't tingle.

Why not? Because our rights — and let's agree that freedom of speech is a real biggie — come hard-wired. They're "inalienable," "endowed" to us by our "Creator," as the Declaration of Independence puts it.

Do you honor the FEC as your "Creator"?

Next thing you know, the Defense Department will announce, to much fanfare, that it won't be quartering soldiers in our homes. The courts will then declare that they're A-OK with continuing use of trial by jury.

Gee, thanks.

Congress Unbound

Over the last three decades or so, the federal government has launched an enormously successful attack on political speech. It's in this context that the FEC's declaration that it shall not endeavor to regulate or control bloggers (for now) is greeted as a stupendous victory.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.