December 13, 2003

Well Said, Taranto

From James Taranto - BOTW 12/11

Protecting Porn but Not Politics

In the case of McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme court yesterday upheld key provisions of the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance "reform" law. National Review blogress Kathryn Lopez notes this passage from Justice Antonin Scalia's dissent, which sums matters up nicely:

Who could have imagined that the same Court which, within the past four years, has sternly disapproved of restrictions upon such inconsequential forms of expression as virtual child pornography, tobacco advertising, dissemination of illegally intercepted communications, and sexually explicit cable programming, would smile with favor upon a law that cut to the heart of what the First Amendment is meant to protect: the right to criticize the government.

This wonderfully encapsulates the perversity at the heart of contemporary American liberalism: "Free speech," in this view, protects everything except actual political speech. And of course we're all familiar with variants of this argument, such as: Criticizing anti-American speech is censorship, while censoring conservative speech is mere criticism. Or: It's un-American to criticize people who side with America's enemies; indeed, as "dissenters," they are the true patriots. It's mind-boggling that this sort of nonsense gets taken seriously.

Posted by dan at December 13, 2003 11:11 PM