March 20, 2014

Liberals against free speech. Well, duh!

David Savage has a piece titled "Supreme Court faces wave of free-speech cases from conservatives," and he's at pains to portray liberals as the erstwhile strong proponents of free speech.
For decades, liberals wielded the 1st Amendment to protect antiwar activists, civil rights protesters and government whistle-blowers. These days, however, the Constitution's protection for free speech and religious liberty has become the weapon of choice for conservatives.
Give me a break! When did "these days" begin? 30 years ago?! I have a strong feeling for the free-speech liberalism of the 1960s, which is what Savage refers to, but I haven't seen that from political "liberals" in 3 decades. So the notion that conservatives are the ones pushing free speech values is hardly surprising!

41 comments:

Michael said...

You are spot on. I was a strong financial and moral supporter of the ACLU in the 60s and early 70s until they jumped the fence. This is when I migrated to the right since the left had abandoned free speech as an item of interest and had begun to spin bullshit instead of opportunity to the black community. It was clear that liberalism was done for then. Thirty years is about right.

Drago said...

The left has never been for free speech.

They are only for their speech.

Free speech as a right or an ideal was simply a weapon to be employed until they were running things. Once they did their true beliefs and intentions have been made transparent.

Ann Althouse said...

"The left has never been for free speech."

Yes, but true liberals need to step back and see their alliance with the true liberals who are conservative.

Like me!

chickenlittle said...

From the article: Carvin accused liberals of abandoning 'the idea of assuring all voices can participate freely because they don't like rich people and corporations.'

This is a half-truth: urban liberals don't like the poor or not-so-well-off either, especially if they conflict with their values and they happen to be white and religious.

YoungHegelian said...

Leading liberal advocates say conservatives, including some on the court, are using the 1st Amendment to pursue ideological goals.

Oh, wow! I had no idea that freedom of speech was not supposed to be used to "pursue ideological goals". I guess I missed the memo that free speech is only to be about pink unicorns, candy canes, and cupcakes with sprinkles on the icing.

Clearly, this article never passed under the editor's watchful eye, or that sentence would have been red-lined with a note: "dave, that's one of the stupidest fucking things I've ever read about the 1st A."

MaxedOutMama said...

When anyone at all does - our society seems not to really believe in it any more as a whole. We are all going to pay for this shift in priorities in the future. We have a lot of problems and no real way to work them out without a vigorous debate.

The right is a little bit better on this issue right now, but I think it's because of the howls "Censor that" from the left.

If we didn't have that, I bet many on the right would be howling "Censor that" themselves.

cubanbob said...

"Leading liberal advocates say conservatives, including some on the court, are using the 1st Amendment to pursue ideological goals."

Channeling the NYT: all the views that are fit to print.

Drago said...

I dont disagree with you Ann, however i think there is sufficient evidence to suggest that if it came down to political choice between a strong anti-free speech leftist and an ugly, icky conservative, the liberals will line up with the leftist 95% of the time.

After all, there are potential "unfriendings" and party invitations to consider.

jr565 said...

Liberals are now pushing speech codes. If you dare say something insulting about a protected class, expect to reap the whirlwind.

jr565 said...

If you're for free speech and you're a liberal would you allow a baker to not bake a cake for a couple that wanted to get married?

jr565 said...

Liberals are trying to ban the word "bossy" for girls.
Granted, not every liberal is down with banning that word, but the impetus for such banning of troublesome words is from the left.
Speech codes, protected classes, mean words.

Drago said...

Not only speech codes and other typically leftist orwellian controls, but if you happen to have your speech and images heard or seen by a leftist, well apparently that is now considered a "triggering" event and lefty is justified in assaulting the conservative and taking/damaging the property of the conservative.

Again, these actions are core to the leftist and left wing philosophy.

rhhardin said...

"Listen, you pinko queer, ..."

Misremembered WFB quote to Gore Vidal

mesquito said...

At UT Austin from 1985 to 1990 I experienced a Left that was downright fascist. Apparently it's worse now.

kcom said...

"I guess I missed the memo that free speech is only to be about pink unicorns..."

Not just pink. White ones, too. For diversity.

Mark O said...

Beginning with calling Fox News illegitimate, through having the DOJ wiretap reporters and having James Rosen listed as a potential traitor for speaking to a source, and then on to suppressing the vote, first by decrying a SC decision and then by suggesting the IRS target his political opposition, Obama has chilled speech in this country in ways never before dreamed, much less attempted.

Because he is the government, I believe it is unconstitutional for him to say anything pejorative about the media, Fox, Drudge, Rush because it has a chilling effect on the press. Can anyone recall anything similar before Obama?

The press does not fight back. It is chilled.

Marshal said...

kcom said...
"I guess I missed the memo that free speech is only to be about pink unicorns..."

Not just pink. White ones, too. For diversity


Be serious, white isn't diverse.

kcom said...

"Be serious, white isn't diverse."

Yes, my mistake. We should only include unicorns "of color". You know, purple and green and lilac ones.

jr565 said...

If I asked what side of the ban the word bossy for girls Sandra Fluke fell on what would you guess?

rcocean said...

Y'know who the biggest supporter of "Freedom of Speech" was in 1917 Russia?

Answer: Trotsky - that is until the Bolsheviks took power. Then...

Liberals have been the same way since the 1970s.

William said...

Lenny Bruce died for our right to say motherfucker during his act. It is fitting and sweet to die in such a cause. Middle class moralists deserve to have their sensibilities offended. They're better for it......."Kill a Commie for Christ". That's wicked satire. Put it on a t shirt and wear it to church. " Kill a Christian for Allah". That's hate speech. Shut up.

mccullough said...

Dale v. Boy Scouts was the height of progressive nonsense. Applying state public accommodation law to free association and free speech is progressive authoritarianism.

And favoring media corporate speech over corporate speech not in the progressive pocket is more of their nonsense.

Gahrie said...

Liberals were for free speech until they gained the power to control speech......

Drago said...

Mesquito, a fascist left is the only left there is or ever has been.

Scott said...

"Leading liberal advocates say conservatives, including some on the court, are using the 1st Amendment to pursue ideological goals."

How dare they. One should never use the First Amendment to pursue ideological goals! That is utterly shocking. Shocking!

Hyphenated American said...

""Leading liberal advocates say conservatives, including some on the court, are using the 1st Amendment to pursue ideological goals."

If you don't agree with a liberal, it's not political speech. ;)

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I assume you guys read Volokh (widely linked) on the moonbat UC feminism professor who attacked some pro-life kids waving gruesome signs. Not only do we have a PhD university professor who thinks it's OK to physically assault someone who holds different views, she had a clutch of students waddling along behind her like good little fascist ducklings absorbing this message.

When I was a liberal it was fun and noble to be one--standing up for unpopular views and so on! Now you have to be a bossy, controlling, fanatical, humorless scold with no sense of irony. Lame.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I guess in high school and college I had kickass teachers who refused to reveal their own personal politics and if we encountered protesters or controversial topics they would make us write essays arguing both sides. Then again I was a varsity debater in high school and my coaches and very bright teammates taught me most of what I know about critical thinking, rules of logic and above all devotion to clear thinking and rejection of intellectual tribalism. It makes me sad for the kids who have these nimrod professors.

traditionalguy said...

He is arrogantly using the winning tactic of CO2 Warmists Hoax: Just change the historical data and pretend you are telling the truth.

The Orwellian phrase, "... truth down the memory hole" is now standard operating procedure.

jr565 said...

I have misplaced my pants wrote:
When I was a liberal it was fun and noble to be one--standing up for unpopular views and so on! Now you have to be a bossy, controlling, fanatical, humorless scold with no sense of irony. Lame.

I have to take issue of your use of the word bossy. That is no longer an acceptable word. Beyoncé says so and she's the boss.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

jr565 ; )

pst314 said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants "the moonbat UC feminism professor who attacked some pro-life kids waving gruesome signs...When I was a liberal it was fun and noble to be one--standing up for unpopular views and so on! Now you have to be a bossy, controlling, fanatical, humorless scold with no sense of irony."

Liberal no longer means what it once did. Today the common meaning of 'liberal' is 'leftist pretending to be moderate'.
And the left was *always* violently intolerant of opposing speech. 'Even' in the sixties, when the left was supposed to be the courageous fighters for freedom, they were really totalitarian thugs.

MattL said...

...using the 1st Amendment to pursue ideological goals.

That's the reason to have the Amendment in the first place. The modern left is so messed up, they've forgotten that the reason we "protect" stuff like pron is to make sure the government doesn't encroach on our ideological / political speech.

But, Leftism! By any means necessary. As always.

harrogate said...

"Yes, but true liberals need to step back and see their alliance with the true liberals who are conservative.

Like me!"

Does it still count as an alliance with you if said "true liberals" are opposed to military adventurism? What if they reject the economic policies of, say, Rand Paul?

garage mahal said...

Yes, but true liberals need to step back and see their alliance with the true liberals who are conservative.

Like me!


Dream on. You never said a word about the hundreds of people being handcuffed and arrested by Walker's goons for singing in the Capitol.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Nice Mark O.

I have just to add:

Where have gone Mario Savio?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Savio

Peter said...

Leading liberal advocates say conservatives, including some on the court, are using the 1st Amendment to pursue ideological goals.

Surely a case of psychological projection- because that's the only reason you would demand free speech?

Yet it wasn't conservatives who produced all those college "speech codes."

Nor was it conservatives who have put all that political baggage into mandatory college (and corporate) orientation.- settings where one is now told how to think about many political topics, and where dissent can get one into some very real trouble.

Peter said...

"Dream on. You never said a word about the hundreds of people being handcuffed and arrested by Walker's goons for singing in the Capitol."

They were "singing" to prevent others. This was clearly a "time, place, or manner" type restriction, which is permitted.

Government has always had the right to restrict the time, place, and manner of speech. And it's a good thing, too. Otherwise union goons just might park a sound truck under your bedroom window and blast "Solidarity Forever" at you on endless repeat, 24/7.

garage mahal said...

They were "singing" to prevent others

To prevent others from doing what?

Mitch H. said...

Otherwise union goons just might park a sound truck under your bedroom window and blast "Solidarity Forever" at you on endless repeat, 24/7.

Don't give garage ideas.

Trashhauler said...

"They were 'singing' to prevent others

To prevent others from doing what?"

To prevent others from talking, thinking, or simply enjoying the space. Lefties are famous for creating disruptions and, when called on it, saying, "What, who me?" It's enough to make you wonder if they make any self-examination at all.