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Re: Why the White amendment is a good idea

At 03:36 PM 9/25/97 -0400, Jeff Barber wrote:
>Follow your own advice.  All this crap about NETCenter has nothing 
>to do with our civil liberties.  Whether NETCenter is a good idea or 
>not is a completely separable issue (which I see Tim May just covered
>thoroughly), and is merely a fig leaf offered to spineless
>Congresscritters to deflect some of the "criticism" they might
>otherwise be subjected to on the law enforcement "issue".  The fact
>that White offers it shows that he is just as spineless.
>We shouldn't have to "trick" Congress into doing the right thing, 
>or provide cover for them either.


>As you say, though, let's keep this debate framed with our criteria:
>Do you, Congressman, support the constitutional guarantee of free
>speech, or not?

How loudly do we have to shout it?


They prove it time and time again.  Recent example:  they wouldn't have
passed the CDA 94-6! if they were worried about the Constitution.

You call the congressvermin "spineless".  They do hate that label, and
voting "tough on crime, tough on drugs," is how they avoid it.  With
Lying Freeh telling them that evil Mexican drug lords use crypto to
outclever the FBI (true), and therefore a vote for GAKked crypto is a
vote that's tough on crime (false), they can't rush to vote "yea" fast
enough.  It doesn't matter if the vote doesn't make sense, or violates
the Constitution eight ways from Sunday, the vote is there only to 
provide the illusion to the voters:  "Hey, I'm TOUGH on CRIME."

You better learn that Congress is not there to support the Constitution.
Any part of it.  It's not in the part of their job description that gets
them reelected.  Constitutional issues do NOT attract voters.  Only SIX
senators voted against the Telecom Reform Act, the one that contained
the CDA.  My senator is one of them, and I know that he is a lame duck not
seeking re-election.  So, don't go dangling Constitutional challenges in
front of Congress.  There's not enough bait on that hook.

Fighting unemployment attracts voters.  Fighting crime attracts voters.
But they couldn't trample hard enough on our freedom of speech when the voters
heard about child porn on the net.  And now that evil Mexican drug lords use
encryption, well, I'll let you connect the last two dots.

We can't afford to simply frame the debate on Constitutional issues.  The
number of voters looking at them through that frame won't get them reelected.

Shame on us cowardly Americans.  (Yeah, _us_.  I'm hiding behind a remailer.)