In the past, I've expressed a little distaste for something called the Incumbent Protection Act, which bans anyone except the media elite from doing anything that could possibly alter the outcome of an election. It seems that in the wake of media-driven scandals about lobbyists bribing politicians, the author of the Incumbent Protection Act has decided the time is ripe to go for the jugular. In addition to banning Americans from exercising their free speech rights, he has decided to ban Americans from telling politicians what they think.
Here's how it works, according to AlphaPatriot: With the so-called "Lobbying Transparency and Accountability Act", every invitation issued to the general public by a group like Gun Owners of America to engage in "lobbying contacts" would need to register their intent 20 days in advance.
What does this mean in practice?
First, it means that if you want to pass out flyers to your friends suggesting they call a politician to complain about something, you need to hire a lawyer. How many grassroots lobbying efforts are going to pass that hurdle? Damn few.
Second, it means that interest groups -- again, like GOA -- will no longer be able to keep up with the twists and turns of legislation. Take, for example, the Patriot Act; it was proposed and passed within 7 days, less than half the mandatory notification period under McCain's proposed law. No interest group could organize effective opposition to a fast-tracked bill.
Third, it means this website would be illegal. Why? Well, it's an organization whose reason for existance is promoting political activism. When I wrote the software I included specific features intended to invite the public (people who subscribed) to make "lobbying contacts". And I'm not going to register my posts. For all practical purposes, it probably makes any political blog illegal; mine is hardly unique.
I don't have time to do any sort of detailed analysis on this one. Head over to AlphaPatriot for the scoop. But I do have time to say this: McCain is no longer an asset to the cause of freedom, if he ever was. He has become a liability. He should be retired, and I encourage the voters of his state to do so at the first opportunity.