In Human Events today I discuss a recent disquieting initiatives by our anointed Next President, and their implications:
Last week the Governor of Missouri, Matt Blunt, issued a statement on the Obama campaign’s “abusive use of Missouri law enforcement.” What was striking about the allegations Blunt made was the eerie parallel between the Obama camp’s activity and the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s efforts to stifle all criticism of Islam and destroy the freedom of speech — also by means of legal intimidation — at the UN and elsewhere.
Blunt charged that four Missouri state officials along with the leader of Obama’s campaign in Missouri “have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.” In declaring an intent to prosecute those who spread what they considered to be falsehoods about Obama, they were, said Blunt, “abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.”
Such behavior, said Blunt, was “scandalous beyond words.” Obama and his supporters, he said, were trying to “frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.”
“Barack Obama,” he declared, “needs to grow up.”
Maybe he does, but what is most disturbing about this Missouri incident is that it takes place just as defenders of free speech are fighting a United Nations resolution called “Combating the Defamation of Religion.” The non-binding resolution, introduced by the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, “notes with deep concern the intensification of the campaign of defamation of religions and the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of 11 September 2001” and “stresses the need to effectively combat defamation of all religions and incitement to religious hatred, against Islam and Muslims in particular.”
The U.S. government opposes the resolution, pointing out that “defamation-related laws have been abused by governments and used to restrict human rights.”
But how long will this American opposition last? If Barack Obama values free speech so little, as this Missouri episode suggests, it is not at all beyond the realm of possibility that if he becomes president, he will acquiesce to the OIC’s attempts to criminalize criticism of Islam, and pressure the Supreme Court (to which he will probably appoint several key members) to declare a “hate speech” exemption to First Amendment protections.
And what about the liberals’ favorite anti-free speech tool, the Fairness Doctrine? Nancy Pelosi has said she’d like to re-impose the Orwellian-named “doctrine” to make sure that conservative talk radio will be “balanced” — hour by hour, minute by minute — by liberal talk radio. Can anyone doubt that a President Obama would sign legislation reviving the Fairness Doctrine?