A solution to a problem that doesn’t exist

A SOLUTION TO A PROBLEM THAT DOESN’T EXIST…. You’ve got to be kidding.

Republicans introduced a bill Wednesday that would bar Congress, President-elect Barack Obama and federal media regulators from bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, which they said would all but eliminate the talk-radio industry. […]

“Freedom of speech is under attack in this country,” said Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican and co-sponsor of the Broadcaster Freedom Act. “I am just committing today to use every rule, every tactic that we have at our disposal to keep the Fairness Doctrine from moving in Congress or to overrule it if it is implemented by the FCC.” […]

“Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine today would amount to government control over political views expressed on the airwaves,” said Rep. Mike Pence, Indiana Republican and a former broadcaster.

Joining Mr. Pence and Mr. DeMint were Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma and Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon.

These guys aren’t pushing a bill to get rid of the Fairness Doctrine, because it’s already gone. They’re pushing a bill to prevent anyone from trying to bring it back — despite the fact that there is no meaningful effort to do so. TNR’s Marin Cogan recently wrote a great piece, noting that she couldn’t find anyone on the left who was serious about reinstating the policy. Cogan explained, “The prospect of being in the opposition often brings out the worst in conservatives — paranoia and self-pity.”

And as Matt Yglesias recent put it, “I’ve never heard of anything like the current conservative mania for blocking a particular legislative provision that nobody is trying to enact.”

As for the Democratic response to yesterday’s bizarre press conference, a spokesperson for the Senate Majority Leader said, “We have enough real problems facing this country that we don’t need to invent ones that don’t exist.”