FEC: Threat or Menace?

Cato's Daily Dispatch has an item pointing to this article concerning the Federal Election Commision's ongoing struggle to regulate currently-unregulated political speech on the Internet. From the article:

A growing number of the online pundits of various political persuasions are urging the Federal Election Commission to explicitly grant them the same wholesale exemptions from regulations governing contributions to political candidates that mainstream reporters, editorial writers and pundits get.

Color me skeptical, but I'm extremely doubtful that any bunch of ham-handed federal regulators will be able to draw a bright well-defined line distinguishing "online pundits" from other Internet content providers, in order to allow the former to publish freely and impose speech restrictions on the latter.

Fearless predictions: (a) any regulation will have major loopholes, allowing the regulation-savvy to set up whatever Internet presence they want; (b) this will irritate enough politically powerful people so that there will be major pressure for the FEC to make its rules ever more stringent; (c) ordinary people not wanting the hassle of deciding whether they're "allowed" to post their political opinions will decide not to do so, effectively chilling them out of their right to free expression.

The best solution would be to jettison the whole evil idea of political speech regulation embodied by McCain-Feingold and the FEC. That's unfortunately unlikely. So get ready for continuing (albeit depressing) adventures in government restriction of free political expression in the name of "reform".