Patterico has announced a pledge, that if the FEC announces regulations that impact blogs, he intends to defy them and challenges others to do the same. Xlrq takes a more nuanced view; he suspects that any regulations might be fairly modest, but intends to pretty much ignore any regulations that require any special action on his part.
I agree with Xlrq that it is unlikely the FEC will promulgate regulations that have any discernible impact on the vast majority of bloggers. But I will disagree with just about everyone, I think, in suggesting that some FEC regulation of blogs might be entirely legitimate.
First, while I disagree strongly with McCain-Feingold, the government clearly has the constitutional right to have some regulation of money in politics. Moreover, I think some regulation of money in politics is good public policy. Politicians have a great deal of power, and citizens have a right to know who is giving them money and doing them favors. (My ideal would be to have full public disclosure of all contributions (whether cash or in-kind) with no restrictions on amount).
So, where do bloggers fit in? Look at this post from Kos, this isn't free speech, this is fund raising, pure and simply, which would have to be reported as an in-kind contribution even if it appeared in a newspaper. And, given the traffic on Kos' site, the contribution probably has substantial value. And remember, Kos was a paid consultant for the guy for whom he is fund raising. So, if we accept that some regulation of money in politics is acceptable, why should Kos escape regulations because he might be wearing his pajamas?
So, here is where I come down. In the unlikely event that the FEC promulgates regulations that impact little-ole-me, I intend to try to comply with them if I can without compromising what I am trying to do with this blog. I am sort of with Sir Thomas More (well, the character playing More) in "A Man for All Seasons" that one should obey even those laws with which you disagree, if one can:
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Update: Master of None is with me on this, everyone else in on my case. Still, as someone who used to put people in jail for violating laws that some of them probably thought were wrong (I was in the Narcotics Section of the U.S. Attorneys Office in L.A.) it would be hypocritical for me to think it was okay for me to pick and choose which laws should apply to me and which it would be okay for me to ignore.