AN HONEST POLITICIAN in that, once he’s bought, he stays bought.
But: as Dolly says, sure a broken clock may be right twice a day (depending on the nature of the breakage). But still and all, it is broken*. A bought politician who stays bought may be honest thereby, but still and all, he is bought*.
We often aver that it’s impossible for properly-couched statements of rights to come into conflict, that when rights appear to come into conflict, it’s usually because somebody is deliberately attempting to abridge one or the other*.
Don’t let them.
In the present contretemps over SOPA/PIPA, Congressmen and Senators — acting as agents of rent-seeking corporate speculators in copyright* — are attempting to bring intellectual property rights into conflict with the private property rights AND the liberty of individuals.
Yes. Of course, the rights of creators of works of the mind should be — must be — defended, most vigorously. And, when meek individuals are robbed of their sustenance and unable thereby to defend themselves against depredations, the state must needs step in and prosecute the predators — for the sake of civilization.
(Still and all, I would not be unhappy to see IP rights inhere ONLY to individual creators, and NEVER to corporations.)
However, there are other principles in play, here. Such as the principle of jurisprudence that one may not be prosecuted for a crime one has not committed. And the one that the accused is to be considered innocent until proven guilty according to strict standards of evidence. Neither PIPA nor SOPA seems to take these principles into account*.
And yet, in the recent brouhaha, certain individual congresscritters saw fit to ignore these facts and principles, including the aforementioned Lamar Smith, who vowed to soldier on, despite the massive outcry in opposition*.
So, one may find it gratifying that Smith has a primary challenger. And, at first glance, the guy seems like a righteous dude. With sufficient support, he ought to be able to put Smith out to pasture. Do what you can to help.
*Refrain: And there’s your problem!