Tag: imminent breach of the peace

The First Amendment Right To Talk Crazy

And the corollary Constitutional right to say extremely crazy, untrue, provocative things to large gatherings of possibly armed people has been getting a workout, too.

Look at this:

A few thousand people gathered at Freedom Plaza in Washington today for the first of two Tea Party rallies in the nation’s capital today organized to protest government spending and taxation.

Clutching angry signs and occasionally breaking out into chants of “USA! USA!,” the protesters listened to a series of fiery speeches attacking the Obama administration for what they cast as irresponsible spending and far left wing policies.

Rep. Michele Bachmann said the “gangster government” has instituted a “takeover of one private industry after another,” again making her questionable claim that “the federal government owns or controls 51 percent of the private economy.”

She said the Obama administration is “perfectly content with presiding over a decline in our economy,” adding: “I’d say it’s time for these little piggies to go home, and come November that’s where they’re headed.”

That, of course, is Constitutionally protected, insane speech.  The “gangster government” was elected by a majority vote.  And its policies, for better or worse, were what it was apparently elected to do.  Evidently, democracy and majority rule are now “gangster government.”  But strangely, the previous administration’s kidnapping foreign nationals off of streets, secretly putting them on airplanes, flying them to secret, black hole prisons, and torturing them for months is not “gangster government.” That’s necessary “security.”  The illegal renditions must not have been “gangster government” solely because there was no demand for ransom.  But I digress.

Michele Bachmann’s (RWNJ-Minn) utterances are so far from the truth and so obviously unhinged that Bill Clinton has criticized them:

“They are not gangsters,” Mr. Clinton said in an interview with the New York Times. “They were elected. They are not doing anything they were not elected to do.”

The former president, who was in his first term in office when Timothy McVeigh bombed an Oklahoma City federal building, drew parallels between the anti-government rhetoric being used now and what was being said then.

But back then it was the camouflage wearing militia fringe that was making the dangerous, provocative claims.  Nobody in their right mind listened to their rantings.  They were shunned.  And they got no publicity.   And now, well now it’s an elected Congressperson and evidently the Tea Parties and Faux TV that trumpet this insanity and the rest of the Traditional MediaTM feels compelled further to disseminate the ravings.

The First Amendment Right to crazy talk is getting a total, stretching workout.  Let’s hope this exercise of madness doesn’t lead inexorably to yet another “imminent breach of the peace.”


simulposted at The Dream Antilles and dailyKos