If you’re a lover of Freedom of Speech and the First Amendment, be very afraid of Barack Obama. The Obama campaign in Missouri has asked their fellow-travellers in law enforcement and attorney offices to aggressively pursue and to prosecute “…anyone who lies or runs a misleading TV ad during the presidential campaign. ” In American politics, I don’t make hyperbolic references to Stalinist or Nazi tactics, if at all. But in light of this directive from the Obama campaign, really, with what else can one compare this? Has the Obama campaign completely disregarded the First Amendment right to free political speech? Have they suddenly come up with their own Constitution?
Governor Blunt has released a statement regarding this travesty:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Contact: Jessica Robinson, 573-751-0290
Gov. Blunt Statement on Obama Campaign’s Abusive Use of Missouri Law Enforcement
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Matt Blunt today issued the following statement on news reports that have exposed plans by U.S. Senator Barack Obama to use Missouri law enforcement to threaten and intimidate his critics.
“St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.
“What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.
“This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is 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 needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts – not a free society.”
Apparently, to the detriment of Barack Obama, Saul Alinsky left out the chapter regarding freedom of political speech in his book, “Rules for Radicals.”
UPDATE, by Matt Margolis: I couldn’t resist: