Monday, March 7, 2011

Bad idea

Via Insty, we find more calls for the suppression of opinion:
Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert wants Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate whether the liberal group Common Cause should lose its nonprofit status, after a conservative website published footage of protesters calling for the lynching of conservative Supreme Court justices.

The footage shows enraged protesters making inflammatory and threatening comments about Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, as well as Thomas’s wife, Ginni Thomas.

Gohmert said that the inflammatory remarks are more troubling given the attack on Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords earlier this year.
Maybe just to be safe, the government should take away their property ...

As I said a while ago:
Hess v. Indiana tells us what actual incitement to violence is:

The Indiana Supreme Court placed primary reliance on the trial court's finding that Hess' statement "was intended to incite further lawless action on the part of the crowd in the vicinity of appellant and was likely to produce such action." At best, however, the statement could be taken as counsel for present moderation; at worst, it amounted to nothing more than advocacy of illegal action at some indefinite future time. This is not sufficient to permit the State to punish Hess' speech. Under our decisions, "the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action." Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444, 447 (1969). 
The Supreme Court established this as settled law in 1973.  Your opinion, while interesting, seems (legally) irrelevant.

Furthermore, this is in a long line of such statements.  Will Rogers said that there should be one day that was Open Season on Senators.  Others have said something similar, or worse.  Should they have their property seized.  If not, why?
And this time we see it coming from the right.  I also said a while ago that the problem isn't the Democrats, and the solution isn't the Republicans.  The problem is an institutionalized ruling class that views the rest of us with increasing contempt.

Rep. Louie Gohmert needs to read the Constitution, and think before he opens his yap.  He's only confirming some of our opinions about the Stupid Party.


North said...

Crap like this is always tried. The only way to fight against it is to keep shining a light on it.

Unfortunately that light is coming

from worthless CFLs.

Anonymous said...

Its frightening to see how the Stupid party and the Evil party are becoming more and more like each other. I don't know whether they would call it "moving toward the center" or "being bipartisan", but I just can't see it ending well.

Anonymous said...

It's most likely political hardball about another subject.

This article from Politico makes things interesting:


Unknown said...

"The problem is an institutionalized ruling class that views the rest of us with increasing contempt."

Astute observation. I would also add there are those seem to have a mistaken belief they are part of the elite, simply because they have contempt. Whether they are willfully ignorant or just stupid really doesn't matter; as long as they don't hold public office. though

Jay G said...

Four legs good! Two legs better!

Long live Comrade Napoleon! Death to the traitor Snowball!

NotClauswitz said...

My high-school buddy's grandpa started Common Cause, but why do they enjoy non-profit status in the first place? As they say at the website, "Common Cause is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, tax exempt organization, but because we are a lobbying organization, contributions are not tax-deductible." Lobbying. I'm fed up with all that tax-exempt coverage and cover, it's part and parcel with the cold contempt they dish out.