Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Obama and the 1st Amendment

With the endless din of righteous indignation erupting from the Left over imagined book burning in Alaska, one would be led to believe that surely Wasilla today must bear a striking resemblance to Nagasaki circa 1946. One might also be led to believe that those same indignant Obama faithful would have a deep seated adoration for the First Amendment. Sadly, one discovers, this is simply not the case.

For where are the shouts of censorship from Democrats over the Obama campaign "...asking Missouri law enforcement to target anyone who lies or runs a misleading television ad during the presidential campaign."? As well, why are St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, and Sheriff Glenn Boyer not being pilloried by our mainstream media for their culpability in this prime example of the chilling effect of intimidation on free speech?

But the intimidation does not end at the Missouri border. The NRA-PVF has recently released ads "to educate gun owners and sportsmen about Barack Obama’s longstanding anti-gun record". So what did the Obama camp do to counter? Did they deny, refute, or attempt themselves to educate the hayseed gun clingers? Well, no. They reacted by "bullying media outlets with threats of lawsuits" and "intimidating cease and desist letters...threatening their FCC licenses if they run the ads". In fear, it seems, of the truth of Mr. Obama’s record on the 2nd Amendment, his lawyer cartel had no problem at all in trampling the 1st.

Oh, but there’s more. Recently, Stanley Kurtz, a contributing editor to National Review Online, appeared on WGN 720 radio out of Chicago to speak about the William Ayers/Obama connection. The Obama campaign was quick to mobilize its base to mass e-mail and mass call to attack the "right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz" and "his baseless, fear mongering terrorist smears". WGN’s Zack Christenson, a producer for "Extension 720 with Milt Rosenburg", noted that the station received "...the biggest response we’ve ever got from a campaign or candidate...people are flooding the calls and our e-mail boxes". One may wish to assume the e-mails were to praise WGN for its preemptive compliance with the Left’s threatened Fairness Doctrine. One could assume such a thing, but one would be wrong. Weeks later the author of "The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media’s Favorite Candidate", David Freddoso, then appeared on the very same radio show. Obama’s speech brigade again went on the attack. In an e-mail to National Review’s Corner, producer Christenson wrote, "Tonight, we have David Freddoso on our show discussing his new book. As we speak, thousands of Obama supporters are flooding our phone lines and e-mail boxes, just as they did for our show with Stanley Kurtz. An Obama Action Wire was sent out tonight to intimidate us into taking Freddoso off the air." Obviously these men’s free expression of ideas were a danger to Obama’s free ride to the Oval Office and thus must be suppressed at all costs.

Let us return to Stanley Kurtz, for he had not seen the last of the Obama thought police. In his investigation again of the Ayers/Obama connection, he became aware of "a large cache of documents...the internal files of the Chicago Annenburg Challenge". Documents that were "housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Chicago", documents that could demonstrate a link between President wannabe Barack Obama and ex-terrorist and Weather Underground member William Ayers. Mr. Kurtz contacted the library and was told he would be allowed access to these records, only to be informed upon his arrival in Chicago that "the donor of the CAC records" had alerted the library to the fact that it did "not have a signed deed of gift" and that "access to the collection is closed". Mr. Kurtz was finally able to review the documents, but one can not help but wonder about the who and the why behind this attempted stifling of freedom of information.

Nearly as disturbing as the above is Mr. Obama’s recent establishment of a "no sign" policy. During his speech before a fawning crown of possible future ACORN enlisted voters in Berlin; citing "security concerns", his organization handed out flyers "that read ‘Posters & Banners not allowed’". One could argue that this is fine for a German audience, even if one be rather skeptical of the security spin, for they are not bound by the American Constitution. However, at a rally at the University of Mary Washington, a publicly funded university no less, his people reiterated his anti-free speech policy. It may be that Mr. Obama’s interest in pristine photo-ops co-opts his interest in the Bill of Rights. Or it may be that he just feels an innate need to censor all opposing viewpoints.

In closing, one can not help but find it odd that a man who so regularly espouses transparency as an all encompassing governing value would feel the need to go to such extremes in order to hide his beliefs and past, thus abusing the very American values he may soon be sworn to protect.

All in all it looks like the Obama campaign is busy writing the book on First Amendment abuse. Anybody got a match?