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The ongoing Palinization of the First Amendment

Adam Serwer is a staff writer for The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog.

During the 2008 Election, Sarah Palin adopted a tragically common interpretation of the First Amendment, that her critics were violating her right to freedom of speech by criticizing her. The basic idea is that freedom of speech applies to her, but not her critics.

Former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie recently adopted a similar view when arguing against efforts to counter the Citizens United ruling by making political expenditures more transparent:

[I]f you look at the history of donors on the right giving to a certain causes or organizations, they have been subject to some pretty vicious attacks from the organized left. People who gave to a referendum out in California were flooded with emails pretty nasty in nature and had their jobs threatened. You saw what happened with Target who supported a candidate for governor in Minnesota and then all of the sudden the organized left went after Target.

And the fact is, a lot of these folks who are opposed to more government control in our economy and more government intervention in our economy are already to subject to a great deal of government control and regulation in our economy. And there is fear of retribution. There is a fear that well, if I give to this organization, those who are in control and power and who seek to further government control might give my sector or my company or my own personal lives, they might come after me.

It's possible to be both uncomfortable with the disproportionate influence money has in politics and see McCain-Feingold as unconstitutionally restrictive of speech. But Gillespie wants to have it a Palinesque both ways -- he wants to see money as speech and shield those who are speaking from having to face any kind of public accountability for that speech. There's nothing that makes a millionaire shelling out cash for his favorite right-wing cause any more legitimate a form of political speech than liberals staging a public protest, such that the former should be shielded with a shroud of anonymity

The notion that conservatives have some particular reason to fear government retribution for expressing their political view is laughable in light of recent revelations that the FBI spied on peace groups during the Bush administration. Gillespie is merely invoking "Big Brother" as a means to justify obscuring how powerful donors sympathetic to his cause are influencing the direction of public policy and politics.

It's worth noting that by Justice Antonin Scalia's standard, Gillespie's argument is an outrageous form of political cowardice. When anti-marriage equality advocates in California sought to keep their donors private, Scalia mocked them in his concurrence with the 8-1 ruling rejecting their argument:

There are laws against threats and intimidation; and harsh criticism, short of unlawful action, is a price our people have traditionally been willing to pay for self-governance. Requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed. For my part, I do not look forward to a society which, thanks to the Supreme Court, campaigns anonymously and even exercises the direct democracy of initiative and referendum hidden from public scrutiny and protected from the accountability of criticism. This does not resemble the Home of the Brave.

It may not resemble the Home of the Brave, but it's the kind of country Gillespie would like to live in. If a political cause is worth giving money to, it's worth standing up for publicly.

By Adam Serwer  | September 29, 2010; 10:44 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance  
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Next: Christine O'Donnell speaks out on Oxford flap

Comments

Greg


You are making up your own words now.


I refudiate that.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 29, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

And, as we all know, the newly interpreted portion:

"WE the People, to include S corporation, C corporation, LLC, LLLP and Series LLC, of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

On a "OMG I can't believe they just did that" sidenote, Cobern and DeMint just blocked a bill for a Womens Museum.

"So, what's the problem? For Coburn, the argument rests in part on the notion that there are other "similar" museums, and this one would likely "duplicate" the institution. As proof, the senator's office pointed to the Quilters Hall of Fame in Indiana. Think about that -- Tom Coburn thinks the National Women's History Museum in the nation's capital is unnecessary in part because of a museum for quilters several hundred miles away."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_09/025900.php

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 29, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

read the byline, rainforest.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 29, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Not all of her critics, just the ones who are State actors. At least we know that she wasn't booed on Dancing With The Stars.

Posted by: clawrence12 | September 29, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

What do you want to bet that Mr. Gillespie would be ALL FOR making George Soros disclose all his giving?

But the Koch brothers and the Wyly's need protecting at all cost.

Posted by: nisleib | September 29, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforest;

By all means, do not address the substance of the argument, avoid a debate on the facts and mock the messenger.

Otherwise, we won't be able to recognize you.

Posted by: grosmec | September 29, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 | September 29, 2010 10:31 AM


Do you have any idea how much it will COST to create the wind energy you are talking about ????


You are talking electricity rates 7 - 8 TIMES today's electricity rates.

Please look up T. Boone Picken's wind project in Texas - and see if it was economically feasible.


YOU keep on talking, but you are ingoring the fact that the American People do not want their electricity to go up by 7 Times.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 29, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Adam

You are making up your own words now !

Ironic because that is what Palin has been accused of.


Refudiate, Repudiate is a word, right?

She was one letter off - she wasn't making up a new word.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 29, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"She was one letter off - she wasn't making up a new word"

You didn't go far in school, did you?

Posted by: nisleib | September 29, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 | September 29, 2010 10:31 AM


Do you have any idea how much it will COST to create the wind energy you are talking about ????


You are talking electricity rates 7 - 8 TIMES today's electricity rates.

Please look up T. Boone Picken's wind project in Texas - and see if it was economically feasible.


YOU keep on talking, but you are ingoring the fact that the American People do not want their electricity to go up by 7 Times.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 29, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

This is a great post by Adam. Very well-written and argued - love the Scalia bit.

It would be unfortunate if a person had to lose their family business due to a boycott because they donated money to yes on 8 but, I guess, that is the price of freedom. I'd also wonder about a hypothetical in which a minority group, say muslims, so feared lawful retribution that they felt they dare not contribute to a cause. But, I agree with Scalia - there is a price to pay for self-governance.

Posted by: sbj3 | September 29, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

grosmec at 10:59 AM


I was merely pointing out irony.


I also like to point out hypocrisy.


My other favorites are hyperbole and onomatopoeia.

>

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 29, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Nislieb


Repudiate is a word.


Palin said refudiate.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 29, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I believe your last line is the crux of the issue: If a political cause is worth giving money to, it's worth standing up for publicly! It's not enough to say "Americans for Prosperity" is sponsoring this ad if the public can't find out where the big money is coming from to fund it!

Posted by: jwise3 | September 29, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

There are a few different issues here.


One is transparency - and there should be transparency - just like Obama should sign a release opening the file in Hawaii - everyone should be able to see what is in that file. (without being called names)


The other issue is INTIMIDATION.


The question is really - should Freedom of Speech go all the way to INTIMIDATING OTHER PEOPLE INTO REMAINING SILENT?


The False Charge of Racism - that speech is INTENDED TO KEEP OTHER PEOPLE QUIET.


It is quite simple - the liberals don't want to HEAR what other people think - so they call them names -


The liberals have tried to INTIMIDATE people into silence and into ACCEPTING THEIR LIBERAL POLICIES, even though those people DO NOT AGREE.


grosmec - does that address the substance as you requested ?

.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

A link to a Youtube clip, from last night's Jimmy Kimmel show.

He has uncovered how Quitter Palin often says three Hot Button words in a row, instead of using actual sentences that would shed any light on what she thinks about anything.

Take a look at the video clip. Slide to the 1.55 time on the clip, to start viewing how often she goes to that mumbo jumbo ploy, to appear to be saying something profound, while actually saying nothing meaningful at all. It is both hilarious and pathetic, at the same time.

Example:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqJ1EGcC7sU&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

OT special for iftheunder:

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/09/29/justice-webster-up-7-over-grayson/

Posted by: sbj3 | September 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

If that link does not work, try this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqJ1EGcC7sU

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

The FBI didn't just spy on peace activists in the past. They are raiding and subpoenaing right now. How about covering that story?

The suggestion that somehow supporting the people and governments of countries US leaders don't like is "terrorism" is a terrible form of intimidation.

Posted by: janinsanfran | September 29, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The Federalist Papers were written ANONYMOUSLY!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 29, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Funny, I don't recall the wingnuts being all up in arms about voiceover actor D.C. Dougals being fired from Geico because he made a PRIVATE phone call to Freedomworks to express his opinion of their antics, who then did oppo research on him and instructed its rageaholic followers to call Geico and demand his firing.

And that wasn't for anything said publicly - just a phone call from a citizen to Freedomworks expressing an opinion they didn't like.

As usual, IOKIYAR.

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 29, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Common Sense was written anonymously by Thomas Paine and even "Mark Twain" was a pseudonym -- the British political writer "Junius" was never identified, so it's hardly something new or outrageous -- there are many good reasons for this (as Scalia well knows).

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 29, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

Please tell me you are going to have a post on the new O'Keefe craziness?

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/ambush_filmmaker_okeefe_tried_to_punk_seduce_cnn_r.php

The story itself is absurd...but even more absurd is the fact that news outlets still take anything he (and his ilk) say seriously.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | September 29, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Jake, put these items in historical order.


The Constitution

Dinosaurs

The Federalist Papers

Genesis

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 29, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Adam, do you think that Palin and Gillespie actually believe this baloney they've been pushing? Seems to me that it is too ridiculous for even them, and they must know how far out of line they are. I suspect that it is just being offered up as some sort of slop for people like rainforest and Jake to obsess on to distract from the real issue at hand.

Posted by: dkmjr | September 29, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

The teabagger rationale for supporting these idiots is quite amusing:

She's stupid!

I'm stupid!

Therefore I like her!

Posted by: Observer691 | September 29, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

As for Palin, Paul and the Tea Party,
Matt Taibbi has another great article filled with insight, invective and even some compassion -
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/210904

It's the best article I've read that explains the TP and the rationale for their behavior.

Posted by: filmnoia | September 29, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

we did daily Palin threads at The Fix. Thought this site was beyond that greg.
Why don t we talk about Ted Strickland's sudden suge and the fact that the DGA is pouring $2-3 million into the Texas race. Those stories seem a whole more important than Sarah retreads. Heck I am even more interested in Levy's run for mayor than Sarah's self promoting book deals. Certainly she will now want to pass those tax cuts for the mores and have mores.

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 29, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"The teabagger rationale for supporting these idiots is quite amusing: She's stupid! I'm stupid! Therefore I like her!"

Well, you've got us nailed. Damn, busted again.

If only Observer691 wasn't on the case, we could have all gotten away with it.

"The basic idea is that freedom of speech applies to her, but not her critics."

This is not a new proposition. There have been folks suggesting that freedom of speech means freedom from challenge and criticism on both sides of the aisle, for most of my working memory. As Rush Limbaugh so often says, freedom of speech does not mean anyone has an obligation to listen to you, or agree if they do. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 29, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

filmnoia - Awesome, thanks for the link.

From the article:

~~~~~~

Scanning the thousands of hopped-up faces in the crowd, I am immediately struck by two things. One is that there isn't a single black person here. The other is the truly awesome quantity of medical hardware: Seemingly every third person in the place is sucking oxygen from a tank or propping their giant atrophied glutes on motorized wheelchair-scooters. As Palin launches into her Ronald Reagan impression — "Government's not the solution! Government's the problem!" — the person sitting next to me leans over and explains.

"The scooters are because of Medicare," he whispers helpfully. "They have these commercials down here: 'You won't even have to pay for your scooter! Medicare will pay!' Practically everyone in Kentucky has one."

A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can't imagine it.

Posted by: nisleib | September 29, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

It's worth noting that the law and liberal opinion once felt very differently about this issue. Back in the 60s, the state of Alabama was ticked off at the NAACP for its civil-rights activism, so it ordered the organization to release a list of its members. The NAACP refused, and the Supreme Court upheld their refusal, calling Alabama's action an impermissible infringement on their right of political assembly. It's interesting to think that that case would be decided differently today.

Posted by: tomtildrum | September 29, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I haven't read the rolling stone piece yet. Amazing what that mag has turned into. Some of the more substantial pieces around.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 29, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@filmnoia: "It's the best article I've read that explains the TP and the rationale for their behavior."

From the article: "But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I've concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They're full of sh*t"

Oh, there you go. That's deeeeeep.

Profound, even.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 29, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

All, O'Donnell has now commented on the Oxford flap:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/christine_odonnell_speaks_out.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 29, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

mikefromArlington - You got to go read it. Really.

Another section of the same article:

~~~~~~~

Vast forests have already been sacrificed to the public debate about the Tea Party: what it is, what it means, where it's going. But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I've concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They're full of sh*t. All of them. At the voter level, the Tea Party is a movement that purports to be furious about government spending — only the reality is that the vast majority of its members are former Bush supporters who yawned through two terms of record deficits and spent the past two electoral cycles frothing not about spending but about John Kerry's medals and Barack Obama's Sixties associations. The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them.

Posted by: nisleib | September 29, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

That Palin had a hypocritical take on the 1st Amendment is clear. Obviously if one says something stupid people are free to criticize it. If one says something brilliant people are still free to criticize it, however stupidly.

But the question of whether people have a right to not just challenge the ideas, but to know the source of the quote so as to be able to put pressure on the individual is a much stronger matter.

It is not a violation of the 1st Amendment for people not to be able to attack the person who made a statement because that person hid behind anonymity. That is not to say that there should not be disclosure laws, just that this argument against disclosure laws does not make the same mistake that Palin did.

Posted by: beckerl | September 29, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse


There are a few different issues here.


One is transparency - and there should be transparency - just like Obama should sign a release opening the file in Hawaii - everyone should be able to see what is in that file. (without being called names)

The other issue is INTIMIDATION.

The question is really - should Freedom of Speech go all the way to INTIMIDATING OTHER PEOPLE INTO REMAINING SILENT?

The False Charge of Racism - that speech is INTENDED TO KEEP OTHER PEOPLE QUIET.

It is quite simple - the liberals don't want to HEAR what other people think - so they call them names -

The liberals have tried to INTIMIDATE people into silence and into ACCEPTING THEIR LIBERAL POLICIES, even though those people DO NOT AGREE.

grosmec - does that address the substance as you requested ?


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest |

Oh brother! What scares me is that you really believe this weak argument.

Boycotting is not intimidating. Since when are Americans such cowards? Boycotting hardly killed Target, which is far from a family business. But if I chose not to patronize a store that gives money to groups I disagree with, that is my right as an American.

In Hawaii Certificates of Live birth are legal documents and no other documents need be released. The fact that birthers imply that the State of Hawaii lies and is involved in coverup is intimidation by your standard. This is a specious comparison because failing to disclose the source of funds is far different that providing a perfectly legal document. In other words, if say SarahPac gave money to a conservative ad campaign and they released appropriate documentation of their funding source, then by your standard I should demand more documetation. Where does this stop?

I served 24 years in the military and I was called a traitor by other conservative military members because I did not support the invasion of Iraq. So please don't even try to imply liberals call names as way of intimidating any more than conservatives do.

Frankly, there is no substance to any of your arguments. None at all. If you are afraid of being called a name and will violate your principles because of it, then you don't deserve to be an American. In my America I stand up for my beliefs and am not afraid to announce them publically. It's a good thing the founders of this nation had more courage than you. They plegdged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

Posted by: agolembe | September 29, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 29, 2010 12:09 PM

"The teabagger rationale for supporting these idiots is quite amusing: She's stupid! I'm stupid! Therefore I like her!"

Well, you've got us nailed. Damn, busted again.

If only Observer691 wasn't on the case, we could have all gotten away with it. "

_____________________________________

That's..... that's it??? Sarcasm?? That's all you got???

Would you care to refudiate the notion that you and others who support Palin are "stupid?" Cuz I've listened to her talk, and, man, I could use some convincing. Your sarcasm doesn't help your cause.

Patzer

Posted by: Patzer111 | September 29, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Greg and Adam.

For JakeD2:

Regarding Thomas Paine, Mark Twain, and the authors of the Federalist papers, these guys are not the same as wealthy Republican donors seeking to protect their assets.

Regarding the NAACP in the 60's remaining anonymous: I do not remember the last time that a wealthy Republican has been lynched.

Not the same thing, Jake.

Posted by: DavidH3 | September 29, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

What does Gillepsie have to hide?

By not revealing sources of contributions, will make it easy for Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups to influence America politics.

Does anyone see a pattern in the now defunct Republican party?

Posted by: COWENS99 | September 29, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Common Sense was written anonymously by Thomas Paine and even "Mark Twain" was a pseudonym -- the British political writer "Junius" was never identified, so it's hardly something new or outrageous -- there are many good reasons for this (as Scalia well knows).

Posted by: JakeD2
______________

This is a fallacious argument. The fact that an anonymous book was written did not prevent the public from criticizing it.


By Palin's standard even criticizing a PAC is intimidation and in violation of freedom of speech.

These are not revolutionary times. Thomas Paine's life was in danger, not so with Target.

Writing an anonymous piece is hardly in the same category of swaying an election by contributing billions.

Everyone knew who Mark Twain was. Not even relavent.

Posted by: agolembe | September 29, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Interesting Tactic.

Using Sarah Palin's name in a headline to get people to read an article that isn't about Sarah Palin.

I guess this writer gets paid by how many people click his article.

What other topics will be "Palinized" to attract readers?

Will other WashPo writers adopt the same tactic to get clicks?

Will the WashPo and NYTs end up with entire front pages Palinized?

Maybe the the media will expad their vocabulary to "Saratize," which I am hereby defining as the process of scaring the wits out of dim witted media liberals.

Posted by: jfv123 | September 29, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

@Patzer: "Would you care to refudiate the notion that you and others who support Palin are 'stupid?' Cuz I've listened to her talk, and, man, I could use some convincing. Your sarcasm doesn't help your cause."

You seem pretty well convinced of your flattering and self-congratulatory point of view. Why should I want to deprive you of it?

Some things are worth engaging in a debate about. With others, if the rapier wit of my sarcasm does not immediately compel you to change your mind, then perhaps it is best that we all just agree to disagree.

If you want to think I'm stupid for having the temerity to disagree with you, or for liking somebody you don't, and if you actually think the "She's stupid, I'm stupid, therefore I like Palin" equation adds anything to the conversation (rather than being, ironically, kind of stupid) then I doubt I'd be able to disabuse you of that notion.

So feel free. You won't hurt my feelings. I've been disrespected by much more substantial intellects than yours. /snark

I kid, I'm a kidder. No doubt, you are quite bright. I'm sure you studied at Oxford or something. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 29, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Free Speech is commonly understood as an individual right to express a dissenting views without fear of repression from the government. When the Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution it was common for a authoritarian ruler (King) to lock dissenters in prison.

Since our form of self-government is creatively designed to be managed by WE THE PEOPLE, Free Speech is a necessary individual right. Thru lively debate of the issues and challenges facing our nation, we might come to a creative solution.

Naturally, everyone (all citizens) is encouraged to participate in lively debate.

But when you have a situation like Sarah Palin, who might claim some special priviledge, you are going back to a King-Royal-Feudal view. That is, the peasants are not allowed to criticize the royals for fear of reprisal.

Maybe Sarah Palin wants to be Queen for a Day, but Free Speech works both ways: proposal vs. criticism.

Posted by: rmorris391 | September 29, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"If you want to think I'm stupid for having the temerity to disagree with you, or for liking somebody you don't, and if you actually think the "She's stupid, I'm stupid, therefore I like Palin" equation adds anything to the conversation (rather than being, ironically, kind of stupid) then I doubt I'd be able to disabuse you of that notion.

So feel free. You won't hurt my feelings. I've been disrespected by much more substantial intellects than yours. /snark

I kid, I'm a kidder. No doubt, you are quite bright. I'm sure you studied at Oxford or something. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 29, 2010 1:15 PM "
____________________________________

Maybe could you share with us some of the reasons you agree with her?

Posted by: Patzer111 | September 29, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The irony of the Palin phenonenom is tragic: Her popularity is a testament to the Womens' Rights Movement, yet she co-ops that struggle for her own personal gain, and, outrageously, twists, misconstrues and manipulates those hard won gains, and would have us believe she is a femminist!

The gall. The hubris.

She is an opportunist of the most despicable sort, in denial, and a quiter. These are the facts.

And, as a lexicographer, she is simply awful. If she wants to compare herself to Shakespeare, well, I think she needs to write just a few more plays (not ghostwritten, mind you) before she can claim that mantle.

Posted by: inplants | September 29, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Greg,
That is typical of Gillespie and leave it to him to make a case for why donor list should be kept secret. His argument of what Target's CEO making a $100,000 donation to MN Forward to back a pro business candidate and LABELS them leftist for protesting the donation (MN requires disclosure).
You should know that he and Rove run Crossroad where donor lists are kept secret which is allowable under the 501 c of the IRS Tax Code. You wonder why Bopp is working hard to remove the disclosure requirement that the SCOTUS upheld in Citizen's United by arguing the exact thing Gillespie said.

Posted by: beeker25 | September 29, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Freedom of Speech includes being responsible for what you say in the public; i.e. no yelling 'fire' in a theater.

People will have to accept when you criticize others, you can expect criticism in return, including politicians. If you choose to speak poorly of others, what can you expect others to say of you?

Everyone has a nose, none are perfect, but nonetheless, still noses. When you point out the wart on someone else's nose, perhaps you are more worried about your own wart on your own nose.

Posted by: patmatthews | September 29, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Because Kevin loves how she engages in Triplespeak.

Start at the 2.00 minute mark of the video, and you will see several examples of how skilled she is in the art of triple wording.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqJ1EGcC7sU

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Is Sarah Palin a lightning rod for this kind of debate? She is now appearing on Dancing with the Stars, so maybe that TV show was Palinized? Sarah Palin in the audience drives ratings!

Posted by: rmorris391 | September 29, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Is Sarah Palin a lightning rod for this kind of debate? She is now appearing on Dancing with the Stars, so maybe that TV show was Palinized? Sarah Palin in the audience drives ratings!

Posted by: rmorris391 | September 29, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Where is the First Dude? Usually both parents show up to cheer on their children at such contests.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Why won't the MSM uncover the Koch Brothers conspiracy? Why are you all so terrified?

Posted by: TwoTermObama | September 29, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

What does Justice Scalia say about the secrecy and anonymity we allow the act of voting? Isn't casting a vote the purest form of political speech? And we expect to be able to do that privately. Why do we allow this form of cowardice?

Posted by: JBEThree | September 29, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Warning to the reader:


This article is nothing but fantasy and drivel.


Reading this newspaper is like reading Pravda. A completely worthless contribution to humanity.


Goodbye Socialists. Goodbye.

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | September 29, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

This richly illustrates why the extreme rightwingnuts are a bunch of hypocrites and {Massengills}. True patriots know the First Amendment applies to everyone, not just those with whom they agree.

Also, I've been amused over the years with their inability to distinguish between censorship and criticism. Can't take the heat, Sarah baby? Get back in the kitchen.

Posted by: bucinka8 | September 29, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Scanning the thousands of hopped-up faces in the crowd, I am immediately struck by two things. One is that there isn't a single black person here. The other is the truly awesome quantity of medical hardware: Seemingly every third person in the place is sucking oxygen from a tank or propping their giant atrophied glutes on motorized wheelchair-scooters.

A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can't imagine it.

Posted by: nisleib
===================

How funny that you would look at a photo taken by the WP or any other left leaning news outlet, and think that is an actual picture of the whole crowd.
I have to say, you are a moron.
Try attending a tea party event, and take note of all the young people under 40, or people of other races. I have and I think you are pretty stupid to trust the spoon fed news that biased sources give you.
Funny, even the Glen Beck/Palin gathering on the Lincoln Memorial didn't hide the fact that blacks and young people were there. And btw if you aren't familiar with statistics..
try this out..
Where are the majority of people clustered in age groups? Ever hear of baby boomers? Yeah they represent the large majority of people.
And what is the representation of "white" people in this country, compared to "blacks"?
And don't forget hispanic is not a race.

And you might think you are so intellectually superior than others... NOT>

Posted by: vickie1 | September 29, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Greg, OK as far as it goes, but you missed the basic point the the First Amendment establishes a right of the people against their government, not against their fellow citizens. If I put a gag on you when you are speaking, it's a crime--an assault and battery--but I'm not violating your First Amendment rights. Only government action can do that.

Posted by: turningfool | September 29, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

If you have something to say, you shouldn't be ashamed or afraid of saying it, but enabling anonymous donation allows those to escape their shame and fear.

Posted by: Frazil | September 29, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Ugh - another liberal male taking pot shots at Palin. The sexism is as blatent as it is unacceptable.

The media will make Palin the matyr for the working woman and for working mothers for certain.

The time for American women has come - we just need to seize the moment and not go quietly to the kitchen.

Posted by: mgd1 | September 29, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"[M]y own personal lives"?

Never mind sharing ideology -- is Gillespie also sharing Palin's speechwriter?

Posted by: Ralphinjersey | September 29, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Typical of the ludicrously aggrieved right -- the laws NEVER apply to them, only to those who criticize them. And, if you don't have a case, just make stuff up.

Posted by: mylesgordon | September 29, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Typical of the ludicrously aggrieved right -- the laws NEVER apply to them. And, if you don't have a case, just make stuff up.

Posted by: mylesgordon | September 29, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Don't mean to nitpick, but for accuracy, the Scalia concurrence came in a case by anti-marriage equality people in Washington, not California. And they were seeking to hide, not monetary donations, but their signatures on a ballot measure that put a referendum on the ballot for the people to accept or reject domestic partnership benefits. Those petitions were already subject to public disclosure act. Not to detract from your point, which is well taken, but that is a more fundamental issue since it had the effect of legislating (or putting legislation to a vote).

Posted by: ado211 | September 29, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Typical of the ludicrously aggrieved right -- the laws NEVER apply to them. And, if you don't have a case, just make stuff up.

Posted by: mylesgordon | September 29, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

so sick of reading about this retarded, lying witch, I mean really she is just an ignorant nobody.

Posted by: calif-joe | September 29, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Quitter Palin walked off the job, so she can not be viewed as "A Working Woman" Icon. She is a Welfare Queen.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

First Amendment Rights - they're now just for big corporations and lily white, right-wing "Christian" extremists.

Posted by: areyousaying | September 29, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Good column! Good points. I didn't know Scalia ever said anything reflecting wisdom. I stand educated on his behalf.

These kinds of rational discussions sure bring out the whacko- and wing-nut comments. Now that Obama's in, we don't see much irrational blame/wild conspiracy theories put on Bill Clinton anymore...

Posted by: Spectator | September 29, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Greg, OK as far as it goes, but you missed the basic point the the First Amendment establishes a right of the people against their government, not against their fellow citizens. If I put a gag on you when you are speaking, it's a crime--an assault and battery--but I'm not violating your First Amendment rights. Only government action can do that.

Posted by: turningfool |

_____________

I think a lot of people missed the point. Sergeant didn't write this. Look at the byline please. A guy named Serwer wrote it.

And the point seems to me that the Palins and other wingers think "money is a shielf" not against the government, but against those "fellow citizens" you mention.

Mrs. Palin said the public denied Laura Schlienger her 1st amendment rights because they, her fellow citizens spoke out against her comment, as the 1st amendments allows them to.

In fact, no 1st amendment rights were violated. Dr. Laura had her say and the public had their say and the government wasn't involved at all.

Big businesses want to be free of critizism from their "fellow citizens" when they pump great big wads of money into political ads and PACs. They want the government to muzzle us, and this works both ways, it applies to liberals as well as conservatives it just happened to be the former RNC chair and the former GOP VP candidate who used tried to say the opposition should be muzzled.

The writer even quotes Scalia who says exactly what you are saying above so I'm not sure what your point is.

Posted by: agolembe | September 29, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Refudiate, Repudiate is a word, right?


She was one letter off - she wasn't making up a new word.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest

-----------------------------

Actually, I think she jammed two words together; Refute and Repudiate.
Her brain isn't quick enough to think and speak at the same time and instead of choosing the right word, they both came out.

Posted by: vigor | September 29, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The last presidential election cycle was the most expensive in history, with the two leaders (Obama and Mcain) raising $1-billion dollars combined. Obama's fundraising outpaced his oponent, with about $650-million raised. Obama did not sign up for matching funds, something he was criticized for.

This fundraising demonstrates that candidates can compete even with the recent US Sup Ct decision on Mcain-Feingold. However, did the American people get what they paid for? No. No matter how much money spent, we did not get better government. Is that a surprise? More money does not make better government.

Wall Street firms were the biggest contributors to the campaigns, and the 2008 election cycle raised (in total) about $5.3-billion dollars. This was before the "open gate" now allowed concerning corporate contributions.

This is the deal: $5.3-billion says the gate was already open. And we got the same crap all over again. It just cost more.

Posted by: redd1 | September 29, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Dr Laura, and The Big Fat Pillbilly do not engage in free speech. They demand huge contracts to compensate them for just flapping their lips over the people's airwaves. It is Fee Speech for them. If they do not get paid huge amounts of money, they will not open their mouths on the air.

They are free to speak for free, just as much, or as restricted, as all the rest of us.

Right Wing prudes, who get their knickers in a bunch, anytime someone happens to utter the F. word, that has never inflicted even a small flesh wound, should be the last ones to whining about how this Dr. Laura Harridan was having her freedom of speech curtailed.

She has no more rights to unfettered free speech over the public airwaves, than those right wing prudes allowed George Carlin, Bono, or The Dixie Chicks.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

She was one letter off - she wasn't making up a new word"

You didn't go far in school, did you?

---------------------------------------

Being one letter off (and defending it) is the difference between being functionally illiterate and literate.

So, I guess you're right. She didn't make up a new word. She proved she is functionally illiterate.

Posted by: Freethotlib | September 29, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

If it was a mistake, she would have admitted to it, instead of claiming that she intentionally created a new word, and has repeatedly said "refudiate" after it was pointed out to her, that there is no such word.

She is one of those crazy people who just can not say; I screwed up, and misspoke. That would be a very dangerous sort of mentality to put in charge of a global power.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

re: why I like Palin.

Well, first: By their enemies you shall know them. The nature and manner of the attacks on Palin were the first indicator that there was something there to like. Then, there's the accent.

Then there's much of the rest.

http://www.ontheissues.org/sarah_palin.htm

Plenty of stuff I don't like (devil's always in the details) but it's mostly the hatred of her from the left that makes me love her. Plus, she loves the troops, she loves veterans, she loves Harley's, she loves the boys in blue . . . a lot of good things there.

And she can see Russia from her backyard. What's not to love?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 29, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

kevin willis, I agree the more the left despises her and slanders her, the more I like her. That woman has guts to put up with their, the commie liberal smears. There was a time when the lefties had to hide out in "closets" because communists were shunned by society. That is still relevant today. I used to think Joe McCarthy's attack on Commies was too out there, but now I think he was right. These lefties are scary and we need to put them out of power. What ever happened to the Dem party? It used to stand for something good, now it is a front for the communists among us. JFK would be ashamed of the party now.
The liberals are screaming and want racism and class warfare to further their sick agenda.
"It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now ... Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus."
– John F. Kennedy, Nov. 20, 1962, president's news conference
"Lower rates of taxation will stimulate economic activity and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased – not a reduced – flow of revenues to the federal government."
– John F. Kennedy, Jan. 17, 1963, annual budget message to the Congress, fiscal year 1964

Posted by: vickie1 | September 29, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Look up what the tax rates where when JFK said that, instead of making a fool of yourself now.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Plenty of stuff I don't like (devil's always in the details) but it's mostly the hatred of her from the left that makes me love her. Plus, she loves the troops, she loves veterans, she loves Harley's, she loves the boys in blue . . . a lot of good things there.

And she can see Russia from her backyard. What's not to love?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis
____________

Boys in blue? How often did she love them and did she love them ALL?

Seriously, I love the military! Hell I was in the military for 24 years. Mrs. Palin? Not so much. While I was loading bombs on a flightline she was shaking her little tushy on the catwalk. She did hold an M16 once.

I love veterans. I am a veteran! I hang with veterans! I was the president of my career field's veterans organization. Mrs. Palin? Not so much. Except her son.

I love Harley's. My husband owned three Harleys and we rode across Europe while this veteran was stationed there in the military. Mrs. Palin? Not so much. Haven't seen her piloting nary a one.

I love the boys in blue too. Except no one wears blue in my part of the country so I'm not sure what means. Black perhaps? Mrs. Palin? Not so much. What has she done for them lately.

What's not to love about me! And yet I'm a raving progressive liberal.

The point of this post is those who really have values act on them. Those who don't give lip service while enriching themselves.

Oh, I can't see Russia. I can see a White Russian and I can see a whole lot of Mexico if that counts.

Posted by: arancia12 | September 29, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

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