Lefties Still Hate Free Speech
by Tom Donelson on December 7, 2013 at 10:34 AM
Here is yet another example of the left hating free speech. Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner began a recent piece on how he supported the concept of more disclosure in campaign finance but added, “The best argument against requiring full disclosure by groups engaged in political speech is that politicians sometimes retaliate against their critics. Sen. Elizabeth Warren inadvertently made that very argument this week.” Ms. Warren was upset because a group titled Third Way criticized her and of course, she assumed that it was financed by banks. She immediately demanded that banks disclose which groups they are donating to. Understand that Senator Warren sits on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and as Tim Carney observed, “She's basically telling the entities whose livelihood her committee controls to stop criticizing her. This is bullying — and it's the best argument for allowing companies and individuals to anonymously criticize politicians.”
Ms. Warren's goal is simple, make sure that those who opposes her understand she will destroy their livelihood if they dare criticize her positions. I wrote a few months back that the left truly hates free speech, especially if it is directed against them. Nor is this the first time we have seen this thuggish behavior. Senator Dick Durbin pulled the same stunt against the America Legislative Exchange Council, a free market organization dedicated to spreading free market ideas among state legislators. ALEC did promote stand your ground laws even though much of what they do deals with strictly economic issues, but Durbin in a hearing on Stand your Ground essentially went after ALEC's donors and demanded among corporations if they contribute, again the goal being to dry up funding for ALEC.
Good liberals should be aghast at such behavior since this interferes with the right of free speech when government officials all but threaten any corporations from contributing to organizations they don’t like. Obama, Warren, Durbin and others are acting like officials in a Banana Republic not members of a Great Republic. This is the kind of thing that happens in third world despots, not in the greatest democracy on earth, but for the past five years, we have seen assaults on our constitutional rights including free speech.
The attack on Citizen United has nothing to do with campaign finances since basically the Supreme Court upheld the right of a non-profit to produce a film on why Hillary Clinton should not have been President in 2008, a proposition that even Democrats eventually agreed with when they nominated Obama. (This begs the question, why was it thought to be evil for a non-profit to produce a film on why Hillary shouldn’t be President but okay when Michael Moore made Fahrenheit 9-11 about why George Bush should not be re-elected?)
The point here is very simple. Elizabeth Warren is attempting to silence opponents by threatening them from her perch as a member of the banking committee. And that is something that should be universally condemned. And for those who support Ms. Warren's behavior are themselves opposed to the First Amendment and just as guilty of silencing their opponents. It is that simple!