Sunday, October 05, 2008

Obama And Free Speech

Liberals- and the further left they go the more pronounced this seems to be- always claim to be champions of free speech...but really they just mean their right to free speech. Anyone else's? Not so much. As you read this bear that in mind- and also the fact that Obama is not just one of the most liberal Senators but also has a long history of associating with far left radicals.

Hate speech codes are one example of this liberal double standard. Liberal institutions- US colleges I'm looking at you- have championed speech codes in the name of fostering a "safe" environment. Personally, I find squelching someone's right to speak their mind (no matter how racist or sexist or homo"phobic" that might be) much more offensive than whatever might come out of their mouths. The problem here is that in an effort to prevent one group from feeling insulted, these codes prevent another from expressing their opinion- an opinion which should be ridiculed or debated rather than banned.

On a side note, while liberals decry hate speech they seem to have a pretty good handle on being hateful themselves (not all obviously but there's a pretty good trend to see). Just check out some of the abuse Michelle Malkin has been subject to (disgusting racist and sexist abuse), or the comments at Huffington Post. Or the Daily Kos. Liberals have no problem is expressing their hatred of conservative figures but you can bet that they would be shocked and appalled if a conservative used their own language against a liberal figure.

Racist, sexist language is bad it seems- unless you're using it against your conservative opponents.

Or look at how universities, bastions of free speech, and the press, the so-called guardians of free speech, both squelched the publication of the dread Mohammed cartoons.

Free speech is evidently only okay so long as some whacked out crazy doesn't get upset. Better stick to insulting those "turn the other cheek" Christians, eh?

Anyway, the New York Post published an article about the Obama campaign's attacks on the Constitutionally protected right to free speech.

Enter the Obama campaign, which reflects the new ethos. It twice issued "Obama Action Wire" alerts for activists to call a Chicago radio station and try to shut down appearances by two Obama critics, writers Stanley Kurtz and David Freddoso. No "chilling effect" here. CNN and the Chicago Tribune reported on the effort to silence Obama's detractors, but mostly by way of noting the Obama camp's tech-savvy mustering of its supporters.

When an outside group ran TV ads pointing out links between Obama and the former Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers, the Obama campaign asked the Bush Justice Department - yes, that Bush Justice Department, the fount of all evil - to open a criminal investigation.

The Obama campaign's effort dovetails with the work of an outfit called Accountable America, run by a former operative. It is devoted to threatening conservative donors with legal action and exposure of any embarrassing details of their private lives if they give money to groups running ads against Obama.

I'll bet this isn't the change a lot of Obama voters are planning on getting if he's voted into office. But hey, he looks like a rock star and gives a great speech! Can you imagine the press coverage and the liberal outrage if the McCain campaign tried to do anything remotely like this? With their candidate, though, virtually all of the mainstream media is unwilling to do anything which might harm his chances. You know, like report the facts of the matter to the public at large.

Last year, CAIR tried to silence Robert Spencer by threatening to sue the YAF. The lawyer they used has now been hired by the First Amendment-challenged Obama campaign-

Here come another of those "Guilt by Associations" that Senator Barack Obama will try to weasel himself out of. As you may know, Philip Berg is suing Senator Obama in Civil Court. Berg wants Obama to Produce his real birth certificate to prove that he meets the citizenship requirements to be President. Rather than just product the birth certificate (is he trying to hide something?) Obama's legal team filed a motion to dismiss. One of the Lawyers filing the motion was Joe Sandler of the Washington law firm Sandler, Reiff, and Young...

As Spencer points out, Obama's disregard for the Constitution and the rights enshrined therein, is cause for more than a little worry-

I am saying that if he values free speech so lightly, as this episodes suggests, it is not at all beyond the realm of possibility that once he becomes President he will acquiesce to the OIC attempts to criminalize criticism of Islam, and pressure the Supreme Court (to which he will probably appoint several key members) to declare a "hate speech" exemption to First Amendment protections.

Now, just for the sake of argument suppose that George Bush tried to pass a law that forbade the criticism of Christianity. Do you suppose for a moment that it would have any traction at all? The gales of laughter at the very idea would probably be drowned out by the howls of outrage at this gross violation of the First Amendment.

Now imagine a President Obama with a Democrat majority in Congress and the possibility of up to four new justices on the Supreme Court. Do you think the pro-hate speech crowd will dare to question or oppose a law which criminalises criticism of Islam? I can already hear the cries of racism and intolerance levelled at opponents of such a bill.

People keep saying that every election is the most important one- but I don't remember John Kerry acting in such a cavalier attitude towards the Constitution. Barack Obama, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have a problem with eviscerating the First (or the Second) Amendment.

And it may not be possible to undo what is done.

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