The Trouble With Mitch
Mitch McConnell understands target fixation better than we do.
I see that a very important piece of legislation is riding on the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Presently, he’s working hard to sideline a $2000 stimulus check (a raise from $600) to every American suffering from the recession resulting from our very poor response to the pandemic. Millions of people are out of work, can’t pay their bills, can’t pay their rent or their mortgages and there isn’t much that can be done until we can get past this virus.
The latest bill passed by the house to up the stimulus to $2000 per person ($600 per dependent kid), has been passed by the House and awaits action in the Senate. What does Mitch McConnell do? He attaches two other bills to it, one to repeal section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, and another to authorize investigations into alleged election fraud in the 2020 election.
Those two items together, are what some people are calling, a poison pill. It’s obvious to many that McConnell would like to keep the stimulus checks small, knowing that in terms of politics, the primary beneficiary will be Democrats and Joe Biden going into the next year. He knows that both of these other legislative priorities are not appealing to the majority in both houses and he’s trying to limit any sort of assistance that Joe Biden might need to recover from the pandemic.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is not a subsidy to social media companies, and it wasn’t written just for social media companies, for it was enacted long before we had social media companies. Section230 is protection for all companies on the internet. It provides a safe harbor to allow all companies to remove offensive material from their websites without getting sued for it. Some people call that kind of activity, “censorship”, while more reasonable people would call that, “content moderation”. McConnell was a member of the Senate when the CDA was passed and is well aware of the purposes of the Act. He knows that repeal of section 230 would expose millions of small businesses to the risk of burial by litigation.
Now about the other provision for an investigation into election fraud in the last election. There have been more than 60 lawsuits contesting the results of the presidential election in the past few months. Most belatedly contested the expanded rules that enabled more people to vote by mail during the pandemic…