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Gay Marriage Advocates to Gay Mafia: “Calm the —- Down”

Rather belatedly, a group of prominent Gay Marriage supporters has signed an open letter politely asking the Gay Mob to stop persecuting people like Brendan Eich and be more tolerant of people who disagree with them.

The signatories of this statement are grateful to our friends and allies for their enthusiasm. But we are concerned that recent events, including the resignation of the CEO of Mozilla under pressure because of an anti-same-sex- marriage donation he made in 2008, signal an eagerness by some supporters of same-sex marriage to punish rather than to criticize or to persuade those who disagree. We reject that deeply illiberal impulse, which is both wrong in principle and poor as politics.

As a viewpoint, opposition to gay marriage is not a punishable offense. It can be expressed hatefully, but it can also be expressed respectfully. We strongly believe that opposition to same-sex marriage is wrong, but the consequence of holding a wrong opinion should not be the loss of a job. Inflicting such consequences on others is sadly ironic in light of our movement’s hard-won victory over a social order in which LGBT people were fired, harassed, and socially marginalized for holding unorthodox opinions.

Don’t expect cooler heads to prevail; the real force behind gay marriage activism has never been the desire for equality, but the desire for vengeance.

 

Justice Antonin Scalia – Domestic Terrorist

Posted by V the K at 8:07 pm - April 20, 2014.
Filed under: Free Speech

Those perfidious Koch Brothers must have gotten to Justice Scalia. He’s talking the Libertarian crazy-talk.

You’re entitled to criticize the government, and you can use words, you can use symbols, you can use telegraph, you can use morse code, you can burn a flag. “It’s all expression and it’s all covered by the First Amendment.” …

The Constitution is not a living organism for Pete’s sake. It’s a law. It means what it meant when it was adopted,” he said.

After his prepared remarks, Scalia took questions from eager law students who lined the aisles of the theatre. His remarks there were more candid, pointing to the Washington, D.C. v. Heller opinon — a second-amendment case — as his proudest moment on the court.

When another students asked about the constitutionality of income tax, he assured the student that the government could, in fact, take his money.

But if it reaches certain point, perhaps you should revolt,” Scalia advised the young man.

Criticize the Government? In the Age of the Lightbringer? Blasphemy! President Obama and Mr. Harry Reid better send the SWAT Teams into the Supreme Court and put down this sedition and insurrection!

On the Progressive Left, Zero Tolerance for Free Speech

Posted by V the K at 11:29 am - April 18, 2014.
Filed under: Free Speech

What with Brendan Eich being ousted from Mozilla for not agreeing with the Progressive Left on gay marriage, university professors calling for “climate change deniers” to be thrown in prison for their heresies (Galileo Galilei would be having a good chuckle about that), and the University of Michigan and Brandeis University caving to Islamist demands not to let a feminist atheist critic of Islam speak on their campuses… it’s pretty clear the Progressive … and especially, the “Academic” … Left has adopted a Zero Tolerance policy for speech that falls outside their Dogma.

The brilliant Mark Steyn wrote a brilliant essay on the topic.

I heard a lot of that kind of talk during my battles with the Canadian ‘human rights’ commissions a few years ago: of course, we all believe in free speech, but it’s a question of how you ‘strike the balance’, where you ‘draw the line’… which all sounds terribly reasonable and Canadian, and apparently Australian, too. But in reality the point of free speech is for the stuff that’s over the line, and strikingly unbalanced. If free speech is only for polite persons of mild temperament within government-policed parameters, it isn’t free at all. So screw that. [Emphasis Mine]

But I don’t really think that many people these days are genuinely interested in ‘striking the balance’; they’ve drawn the line and they’re increasingly unashamed about which side of it they stand. What all the above stories have in common, whether nominally about Israel, gay marriage, climate change, Islam, or even freedom of the press, is that one side has cheerfully swapped that apocryphal Voltaire quote about disagreeing with what you say but defending to the death your right to say it for the pithier Ring Lardner line: ‘“Shut up,” he explained.’

By the way, a left-wing show business person who approvingly noted Mark Steyn’s defense of Free Speech was hammered for it by his fellow “tolerant” leftists.

Here’s how it is, my pretties. People who are confident that they can win an argument don’t insist that the other side not be allowed to argue.

Progressives: Not Fans of Free Speech

Posted by V the K at 3:28 pm - April 3, 2014.
Filed under: Free Speech,Ideas & Trends

Interesting post over at the Volokh Conspiracy analyzing the dissent of the left-wing Supreme Court Justices in the recent McCutcheon campaign contribution case. This summation does not do it justice, so, by all means read the whole thing.

The takeaway is this: To the Conservative Right, Free Speech is a basic human right. To the Progressive Left, Free Speech is a civil right, that is only worthy of protection to the extent that it serves the interest of the State. The dissent in McCutcheon relies on the latter conception of speech to justify limiting people’s ability to participate in the political process.

Justice Breyer’s dissent today shows the way, as he revives the old Progressive conception of freedom of speech as serving instrumental purposes (which he calls “First Amendment interests”), rather than protecting individual rights or reining in potential government abuses.

We on the right see the world very differently from our opponents on the left. You may also note that all four “liberal” justices agreed that Free Speech is only a right to the extent that it advances the state’s interests.

Our freedoms are hanging by a very slender thread indeed.

BTW, Democrats have responded to the McCutcheon ruling with the usual deranged histrionics. However, none of them have put their newly found outrage into practice by renouncing donations from George Soros, Tom Steyer, or any of the other lefty billionaires financing Democrat campaigns.

University Issues “Mel Gibson-Style” Apology to Women Assaulted by Feminist Professor

In a follow-up to the incident in which a University of California Feminist Professor assaulted a teenage girl who was advocating an anti-abortion position in the university’s “Free Speech Zone,” the University has issued a fauxpology.

In a long-winded 1,000-word letter that reads more like a diatribe than a mea culpa, University of California at Santa Barbara Vice Chancellor Michael Young eventually conceded that women’s studies professor Mireille Miller-Young should not have snatched a pro-life sign from 16-year-old Thrin Short, giving backhanded praise to the framers of the Constitution.

“Our Founding Fathers – all white men of privilege, some even slave owners – got it right when designing the First Amendment of the Constitution,” Young wrote in an open memo to the student body.

The price of freedom of speech, Young was enlightened enough to acknowledge, is that students, staff and faculty must tolerate “outside groups and individuals coming here to promote an ideology, to promulgate particular beliefs (at times extreme beliefs), or simply to create discord that furthers a certain personal agenda.”"Some passionately believe in their causes, while others peddle hate and intolerance with less-than-noble aims,” Young added, mentioning “evangelical types.”

Translation: “We’re sorry we violated the free speech rights of you racist, bigoted, stupid, invisible-magical-sky-god-worshipping hatemongers; rights that were granted to you by dirty, rotten white slaveowners.”

It is reminiscent of the apology Mel Gibson gave after making anti-semitic comments.

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We Like #BanBossy!

Yes, it’s a bumper sticker!

Hat tip, Powerline. Also this nifty graphic, hat tip Granite Grok:

You can find a larger, clearer version here.

Harassment, censorship and disease

Some quick links.

Thanks to reader Peter H, for about half the items!

Remember When Liberals Used to Believe This?

Posted by V the K at 11:19 pm - February 24, 2014.
Filed under: Free Speech,Freedom

YouTube Preview Image

“Shut Up,” They Explained

Posted by V the K at 7:18 pm - February 24, 2014.
Filed under: Free Speech

The progressive left has become more and more hostile toward Free Speech, and especially the kind of Free Speech that shows that the things the progressive left believes in are a load of hooey.

Now, some will argue that these are isolated cases, and that progressives are not universally hostile to the notion of free speech and free debate.

But notice, it is *always* the Progressive Left arguing to shut down speech.

What If A&E Were a Bakery…

Posted by V the K at 12:36 am - December 29, 2013.
Filed under: Free Enterprise,Free Speech

One of the more interesting things to happen since the ‘Duck Dynasty’ drama moved in to fill the void in a very slow holiday news cycle is that the left suddenly became champions of employers’ rights. Employers may not have the right to refuse to provide employees with free contraception, according to the left, but they sure do have the right to fire and punish people who make GLAAD all mad and stuff.

But what if the scenario were different? What if A&E were a bakery that, as a matter of company policy, did not provide cakes for same sex weddings. And what if Phil Robertson were an employee of that company who spoke out against that policy and was fired. Would GLAAD and the left still champion an employer’s right to fire an employee simply for saying things the management disagreed with?

For people who are intellectually consistent, the rights of the employer would not change based on the content of the speech. However, one cannot help but think that the left would respond differently if a different ox were being gored.

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Thought for the day

Re: the Obamacare, shutdown, budget, default and debt ceiling debates…

I’m sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.

Oh wait, did I say that? Or some jihadist American Taliban terrorist bomb-throwing hostage-taking TeaBaggerParty Ted Cruz-loving anarchist wingnut grandmother, maybe?

No, it was Hillary Clinton saying it about an earlier administration that was quaintly civil to its critics, compared to the present one.

Freedom of Speech: It must be a two-way street…

…or else it’s just a pretense, a lie.

Reporter James Kirchik, known from TNR and The Advocate, was cut off last week on Russia’s RT network for denouncing Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay law. I’m with Kirchik in opposing the law, which puts speech restrictions on Russian gays.

Don’t get me wrong: As RT were ‘paying for his mic’, they had every right to cut off Kirchik. They have no obligation to provide him with a platform. Still, Kirchik deserves our cheers and thanks for publicly thumbing his nose at a State-funded propaganda network and for defending free speech.

Actions to support free speech, yay! But free speech isn’t free speech, unless disagreeable/bad views may also be expressed. The principle is that anyone advocating bad politics is to be answered by more speech; never to be silenced by law.

And that brings us to the case of the Rev. Scott Lively. In a blog thread last week, rusty brought up Lively, who is being sued in Massachusetts at the behest of a Uganda gay group, for his advocacy of the criminalizing of homosexuality in Uganda.

Criminalizing homosexuality is anti-gay (a term that the Gay Left otherwise uses too much) and a violation of individuals’ natural rights. As such, it’s wrong. But natural rights include free speech and conscience. For someone to merely advocate that homosexuality be criminalized is not a violation of human rights; it is an exercise of them.

See the problem? The pro-gay side is out there using the law to restrict opponents’ political speech, in the name of human rights (which ought to include free speech). So wrong!

Sure, Rev. Lively advocates something dumb and bad. But he has the moral right to do it, which means he ought to have the legal right.

That a U.S.-based court presumes to deal with a Ugandan matter seems odd; but that it does so in order to punish anyone’s political advocacy is a disgrace, a sign of how dangerously low our once-great country has fallen.

SMUG (the Ugandan gay group) is wrong to try to silence Lively with a court case. Given that they are, the MA court should have refused to play along, on the grounds that the MA and U.S. Constitutions guarantee Lively his right to free speech in all political issues, even gay issues, even when international law fails to guarantee it and even, or especially, if Lively’s views are objectionable.

It’s the objectionable views – the ones that the government’s Court itself dislikes – that courts are most obligated to protect. By now, we are used to the Gay Left forgetting such basic principles of freedom and justice, but – “et tu, Massachusetts?”

UPDATE: It just occurred to me that the MA court, and others who blame the Rev. Lively for what Ugandan legislators do, might be infected with a racist premise: the premise that the Ugandans are mere children (intellectually and morally), influenced too easily by the white man (Lively), who is thus accountable for their actions. If true, it would support my earlier post on the racism of the Left in 2013.

NB: I had originally said that Lively was being “prosecuted” in MA, when of course I should have said “sued”. Mistake fixed.

The brand new politically correct meaning of hate

Perhaps the greatest difficulty of having a civil debate about gay marriage is the readiness of all too many (but fortunately not all) gay marriage advocates to label those who oppose gay marriage (or just state recognition thereof) as “haters,” or recalling Prop 8, h8ers.

Today, in a post at pjmedia (the Glenn linked), Roger Kimball finds that gay marriage advocates aren’t the only ones to define their ideological adversaries as haters. Reporting on the decision of the government of the United Kingdom to ban Pamela Geller and Robert Geller from visiting that nation, Kimball comments:

A spokesman for the Home Office welcomed the ban on Geller and Spencer, explaining: “The UK should never become a stage for inflammatory speakers who promote hate.” Hmm — “who promote hate.” Query: do Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer “promote hate”? Or is that just a rhetorical epithet employed by ideologues bent on advancing a certain politically correct agenda in order to stifle criticism? (Another question: what is a “hate crime”? Is a crime more of a crime because it was committed by someone who dislikes the victim? Or is it like the term “social justice,” a piece of rhetorical legerdemain intended to lend gravity to a noun by the act of prefacing an emotionally charged but irrelevant adjective?)

The point is that the metabolism of liberal democracy depends upon the free exchange of ideas, which means, in part, a vigorous circulation of competing ideas. No less a figure than John Stuart Mill, in On Liberty, pointed out: “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.” There is plenty to criticize in Mill, heaven knows (and I’ve done my bit to criticize him), but he was surely right that liberal democracy depends in part upon fostering the “collision” of competing ideas.

Emphasis added to elucidate the brand new politically correct definition of hate.

Read the whole thing.

Today’s Appalling Facebook Meme

Wow, just wow, is about all I can say in response to this piece of leftist rationalization which I saw today on Facebook.  It goes without saying that we’d be hearing something VERY DIFFERENT from this fellow if there was a Republican president.

The message here boils down to: freedom doesn’t matter, liberty doesn’t matter, rights don’t matter, and the most important role for government is to stand for “social justice.”  Here’s the link, but I’ve quoted the whole thing in its appalling entirety below:

Things I’m more worried about than my phone being tapped:
Global warming. The richest 1% controlling more wealth than the bottom 50%. Homelessness. Gutting the food stamp program. The rich hiding several Trillion untaxed dollars. Secretaries paying more in taxes than billionaires. Politicians being bought and sold. Malaria and starvation. More people per capita in prison than any other country. The “war” on drugs. More black men in prison than in college. Rising cost of education and health care. The rise of extremism. The continued oppression of women. The general lack of compassion in the world. The degree to which we all blame our problems on others and close our eyes to our own irrationality.
That more people are outraged by a small loss of privacy than any of these other issues.

Should I add “People who write in sentence fragments” to his list of outrages more “worrisome” than a government which spends all its time monitoring its people, or is that just my pet peeve?

Not surprisingly, the best responses to this kind of thing date to the founding of the Republic.  We’ve always got the classic from Benjamin Franklin: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

But in this context, where the message is to sacrifice liberty for “social justice,” I think Sam Adams might be better, though trying to choose just one passage that is appropriate is rather like an embarrassment of riches.  I have long admired this one:

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Perhaps this one is better: “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

And just in case the Obamalaise is getting to you, here’s one worth repeating regularly: “Nil desperandum, — Never Despair. That is a motto for you and me. All are not dead; and where there is a spark of patriotic fire, we will rekindle it.”

Holder promising not to spy

From rt.com:

United States Attorney General Eric Holder said during an off-the-record meeting Thursday that the Department of Justice will change the way it conducts investigations of reporters amid scandals centered on Associated Press and Fox News journalists.

Several news organizations refused Mr. Holder’s invitation to attend…the few attendees who accepted the invitation said that the DoJ agreed to let some details emerge…

…Mr. Holder hoped to convince journalists that changes are on the horizon for how his office conducts probes into journalists.

The Associated Press revealed earlier this month that the Justice Department subpoenaed two months’ worth of phone records for lines linked to roughly 100 journalists. Soon after, it was acknowledged that the personal emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen were also [taken]…

…Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole “said they are reaching out to editors and counsels for news organizations about how to strike what they called ‘the balance’ between protecting the flow of information and journalists’ ability to do our jobs and what they described as national security damage.”

Got it? Holder, a man currently under investigation for perjury in this matter, and who was found in contempt of the House for his willful obstruction of the Fast and Furious investigation, seeks ‘balance’. Hmm. Doesn’t the wolf do the same, when it’s cornered by the hounds? “Hey guys, let’s compromise, let’s reach a balance.”

The article continues:

…even if the DoJ acknowledged those changes, eyewitnesses say it’s not certain when or how adjustments will be implemented. While most attendees say that Holder and Cole seemed understanding of their grievances, few walked away with feeling fulfilled about promises that have yet to be cemented…

“…I think it’s sort of an opening gambit, an opening discussion,” New York Daily News Washington bureau chief Jim Warren told CNN.

Let’s be clear: Holder should resign, for various of his actions.

But these aren’t normal times; this is the Age of Obama, wherein the once-great United States devolves into a banana republic. So Holder might not resign. I’ll be surprised if he does.

The open question, for me, is: How quickly will the mainstream media forgive Obama and Holder, resuming their boot-licking role? How little will it take to bring them back into the fold? I bet Holder and Obama are pondering the same question.

FROM THE COMMENTS: jimmy nails it: Holder’s stance amounts to “I did nothing wrong, but I promise not to do it any more. But don’t quote me on that.”

Media angry with Holder?

From The Hill:

Fox News will not attend a meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder on the Justice Department’s policy of targeting the media in national security leaks investigations if the session is off the record, the network said Thursday…

Fox is just the latest media organization to say it will boycott the meeting if it is off the record. Holder asked for the meetings in an attempt to ensure [sic; assure?] the press corps that its investigations of national security leaks are conducted in a way that respects the First Amendment.

The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Huffington Post and CNN have issued separate statements saying they will not attend because the DOJ is requiring the content of the meetings stay confidential…

Is saying “We will only meet with you on-the-record” the media’s way of saying “We don’t trust you, scumbag?”

By the way – not to change the subject, but: the Obama administration’s violations of press freedoms and privacy rights (far in excess of anything Bush did) has me wondering, did Obama supporters in 2008 and 2012 know what they were voting for? Are they honestly disappointed with his administration now, like “that’s not what we voted for”?

You see, I knew. I didn’t know what specific violations were coming, but already in 2008, I knew that Obama & Co. were worshippers of the State (or of Big Government) who only pretended to care about the U.S. constitution.

It followed that, once in office, the Obama administration would violate people’s rights to freedom and privacy in various ways. Now we have the growing list of scandal revelations, to prove it.

If some Obama supporter claims they didn’t know, then either: (1 – seems less likely) I am smarter than them, or (2 – seems more likely) they aren’t being honest: they saw much of what I saw *and just didn’t care*. Which means they shouldn’t look at the Obama administration now and try to say, “That’s not what we voted for.”

Rationalizing restrictions on free speech

Can you imagine an article like this appearing when Bush was president?  No, back then it was considered “patriotic” for the press to disclose classified information,  even when the information was incorrect or false, so the idea of the press reflecting on the Bush administration’s “struggles” with issues of free expression was unthinkable.  But when Obama wants to stomp on press freedoms for any reason, the press decides to be “reflective” and “philosophical” about the issue.  Craven rationalizations for restricting press freedoms under Obama are to be expected.  I particularly like this reader’s comment which I saw when I originally read the article:  “You are surprised Obama is stepping on the 1st Amendment? He tried to stomp on the 2nd Amendment for over a year now! The only Amendment this Administration seems to think is important is the 5th Amendment so they can hide behind it.”

And don’t think for a moment that it’s just the Obama administration.  No, it’s pretty widespread throughout the Democrat party.  Consider Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) thoughts about whether or not free speech ought to apply to bloggers:

Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Senator Dick Durbin whether Barack Obama’s promise to have Eric Holder look into cases of abuse that he personally approved represents a conflict of interest, but Durbin dodges that question and talks instead about the shield law proposed repeatedly over the last few years as the appropriate Congressional response to the scandal.  However, Durbin asks what exactly “freedom of the press” means in 2013, and wonders aloud whether it would include bloggers, Twitter users, and the rest of the Internet media [Video at the link].
Of course this sort of thing has a long history on college campuses, where different species of activists–the core of the Democrats’ left wing constituency–always want to restrict free speech.  Not surprisingly, Facebook is also being pressured to restrict freedom of speech among its users.
Facebook on Tuesday acknowledged that its systems to identify and remove hate speech had not worked effectively, as it faced pressure from feminist groups that want the site to ban pages that glorify violence against women.
The activists, who sent more than 5,000 e-mails to Facebook’s advertisers and elicited more than 60,000 posts on Twitter, also prompted Nissan and more than a dozen smaller companies to say that they would withdraw advertising from the site.
In a blog post, Facebook said its “systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate.” The company said it would review how it dealt with such content, update training for its employees, increase accountability — including requiring that users use their real identities when creating content — and establish more direct lines of communication with women’s groups and other entities.
Never fear, though, misandry and hatred of conservatives will still remain in fashion.

Honesty in the 21st Century

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 1:41 pm - January 18, 2013.
Filed under: Entrepreneurs,Free Enterprise,Free Speech

I could talk about Lance Armstrong’s recent shameless exploitation of his prior shameless lying, but y’all know I like the economic topics. And one aspect of honesty is, calling things by their right name. To his credit, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey recently called Obamacare by its right name:

Mackey told NPR[,] “Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn’t own the means of production, but they do control it — and that’s what’s happening with our health care programs and these reforms.”

Of course that set off the howling spree, and now we have a partial climbdown:

“I made a bad choice of language,” Mackey said on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show… I was trying to distinguish it between socialism so I took the dictionary definition of fascism, which is when the means of production are still owned privately but the government controls it — that’s a type of fascism. However, I realize that that word has so much baggage associated with it…So I do regret using that word…

Funny: Leftists never seem to regret it, when they use the word.

But Mackey rightly emphasizes the positive: “What I do believe in is free enterprise capitalism, and I’d like to see our healthcare system really unleash [its] power…” – Nice to hear that.

GOProud Statement on the Aftermath of the Sandy Hook Shootings

From GOProud today:

(Washington, D.C.) – “Words fail to describe the horror of the massacre at Sandy Hook. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the victims of this incomprehensible attack.

“As policy makers begin to look at how we can prevent further tragedies like this, we felt that it was important for us to weigh in as an organization. GOProud is an organization of constitutional conservatives – gay and straight alike. We believe that our Constitution is a sacred document and that the rights it grants should be protected and defended.

“In the weeks and months ahead, policy makers in Washington and in state capitols around the country will look to find ways to prevent another Sandy Hook from happening – these will be important and necessary debates. We hope that as they debate issues like preventing gun deaths, the impact of violent video games, and the role of our mental health system in this country that they will also remember our 1st Amendment right to free speech, our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, and our 5th Amendment right to due process.

“We urge lawmakers to heed the words of Benjamin Franklin, who cautioned: Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

Giving in to terrorists by going after filmmaker?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:54 pm - September 16, 2012.
Filed under: Free Speech,Freedom,Post 9-11 America

Bruce and I have similar worldviews, but very different ways of expressing them.  Yesterday, shortly after reading Glenn Reynolds’s post saying Obama should resign for dispatching law enforcement to arrest* the man who made a crude film attacking the Muslim prophet Mohammed, I shared the link with some conservative Facebook friends, asking if they agreed with Glenn’s conclusion.

At the time, I wasn’t ready to post on the topic, wanted to sort out my thoughts a bit before I did.  A few moments after I posed my question on Facebook, I checked the blog and found that Bruce has already run with the story; he, however, did not include as question mark as I had.  My co-blogger agrees with Glenn; Barack Obama should resign.

Now, given that Mr. Obama’s resignation would mean the inauguration of Joe Biden as President of the United States, I tend to be wary of resignation as an option, preferring instead defeat at the ballot box.  And the Democrat’s actions this past week (not to mention what we’ve learned in the past two weeks) show him to be a most ineffective chief executive, leading from behind, as it were, particularly in regards to this crude and offensive film.

The White House dispatched the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to call a crackpot preacher with a tiny congregation and ask him to end his mean-spirited diatribes.  The Obama team asked YouTube to remove the film.  And now, they’ve gone and gotten the filmmaker arrested.  He may have misrepresented the Muslim prophet in a mean-spirited manner, but the First Amendment protects his right to say offensive things.

The First Amendment also protects the rights of others to criticize the film for its flaws and defend the faith he faults.  That is how critics should respond.

And that is how the President of the United States should have responded to those, including Egypt’s President, who demanded the United States prosecute the filmmaker and/or censor the film.

Eugene Volokh thinks “suppression” of such films “would likely lead to more riots and more deaths, not less. Here’s why”:

Behavior that gets rewarded, gets repeated.  (more…)