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‘Fahrenheit 451’ Democrats
Banning speech with a constitutional amendment is playing with fire
Question of the Day
I have three questions for my Democratic colleagues in the Senate: Should Congress be able to ban books? Should Congress be able to ban films? Should Congress be able to ban groups such as the NAACP, the National Rifle Association and the Sierra Club from speaking?
The answer to all three questions should, unequivocally, be “no.” But, sadly, 46 Democrats in the U.S. Senate are supporting a constitutional amendment to repeal the free-speech provisions of the First Amendment and give Congress carte blanche power to regulate political speech.
It’s all because a group of conservative filmmakers made a documentary film in 2008 about then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that did not speak favorably about her record. Forty-four Senate Democrats are now supporting a constitutional amendment from Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico to stop Americans from showing movies like the one Citizens United created during the 2008 election.
Forty-six Senate Democrats are willing to rewrite the Constitution to take away the right of Americans to speak or create art that is critical of politicians.
Forty-six Senate Democrats are actively working to silence political criticism ahead of the next presidential election.
They are the “Fahrenheit 451” Democrats.
Never before has Congress tampered with the First Amendment.
When a similar proposal was considered in 1997, the famed liberal lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy, reminded his colleagues that never before had the Bill of Rights been amended and “now is no time to start.”
I agree with Ted Kennedy. Where are the Democrats who agree with him today? Not a single one has spoken out against this. Groupthink has taken over their party.
The American Civil Liberties Union, however, has sounded the alarm. The ACLU says the Democrats’ amendment would “severely limit the First Amendment and lead directly to government censorship of political speech.”
Floyd Abrams, perhaps the leading First Amendment litigator in the country and an outspoken Democrat, has, as well. He said the amendment “would limit speech that is at the heart of our First Amendment.”
Senate Democrats would like to pretend they could draw the line between what they think is “reasonable” political speech and “unreasonable” political speech. To hear the Democrats tell it, all they want to do is stop “corporate influences” from unfairly influencing the political debate.
However, The New York Times is a corporation. Should they stop penning editorials? NBC is a corporation. Should it quit airing “Saturday Night Live”?
After all, wasn’t Tina Fey influencing voters when she took on an Alaskan accent and declared “I can see Russia from my house” — something Sarah Palin never even said?
Didn’t Will Ferrell’s hilarious portrayals of President George W. Bush as childlike and confused change public opinion of our 43rd president? Wasn’t Seth Green swaying voters when he impersonated Vice President Al Gore as a dry, droning bore? Wasn’t Darrell Hammond enforcing a certain kind of perception of Bill Clinton when he presented the president as a lusty, smirking cad?
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