I'm way late on this and even now have only dipped my toe into the waters. The issue at hand came to my attention via Mark of Zenpundit who's been raising a good deal of hell about it (here and latest, here) for some time now. The issue being these guidelines (PDF) drafted by Congressman Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) that would essentially make any correspondence outside of the .gov domain subject to censorship in the form of a CHA litmus test. A snippet from Mark's first blog post:
Set aside the nakedly partisan aspect of this plan for a moment - on the technological merits alone this may be the goddamn dumbest thing I’ve heard of regarding the internet coming out of Congress in a long, long, time. The dinosaurs who are uncomfortable witrh computers, the unwashed masses being aware of their actions and free political debate want to turn the clock back to the 1970’s. Except during the 1970’s no one would have dared to propose controlling what a democratically elected member of Congress could say to their constituents. Doesn’t it register in the Beltway that they are talking about public information that already belongs to the people of the United States? Senators and Congressmen should be interacting with citizens more freely, not less; the U.S. Congress needs radical transparency, not greater opacity imposed by the Democratic House leadership to better hide shady dealings
It’s a brazenly Orwellian and most likely unconstitutional power grab by the Speaker of the House unlike anything dreamed of by any previous speaker - not Sam Rayburn, not Joseph Cannon. Nobody.
Nancy Pelosi has finally arrived at a historical pinnacle - as an enemy of free speech and the public’s right to know.
This nonsense combined with the patently absurd want to bring back the "fairness doctrine." Remember the Constitution is a set of guidelines that restrict the actions of government not those of the people. The entire purpose of it was to ensure that such Orwellian concepts such as the "fairness doctrine" were held in check. I often wonder if our government (on both sides of the political coin) has completely lost sight of that distinction.
Our free media is an extension of the free market. If your ideology and message isn't selling it's probably because mainstream America simply doesn't want to buy it. Either change your marketing strategy or accept your obscurity but don't attempt to legislate shoving it down our throats. And if you do, just remember that an 18% approval rating might be an historic low but there's still room for worse.