Presidential Spokesdroid Ari Fleischer was vilified for advising (about two weeks post-9/11) that Americans "need to watch what they say, watch what they do." This was pounced upon by Paul Krugman, Frank Rich, and other Usual Suspects to proclaim the thesis that we were in for jackbooted thuggery from the Bush Administration. (If you'd like a refresher, Pun Salad briefly discussed the controversy here and here.)
On a radio show,
Nancy Pelosi looked with dismay upon the
opponents to the Ground Zero Mosque, but said they had
a perfect right to express their opinions without
fear of reprisal.
Whoa, just kidding! What she actually said was:
"There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque is being funded, she said. "How is this being ginned up that […] two of the first three questions are about a zoning issue in New York City."
Governor Jennifer Granholm
was also recently unappreciative
of remarks made by Rush Limbaugh about the Chevy Volt.
Of course, she realized that Rush was working within a long American
tradition of free expression, and …
Hah, gotcha again! What Jen actually said was:
"It's just un-American. I can't believe that somebody would say this about this American product," said the Guv. "You know, why wouldn't you be supportive of American manufacturers building American vehicles with American workers, who now have jobs as a result of this. Why wouldn't you be supportive of that? It is mind-blowing to me."Shut up and buy American, she explained.
And just last week, President Barack Obama expressed his
deep devotion to principles of equal rights for all
Americans to engage in Constitutionally-protected activity.
Oh, wait. That was when he talking about the 9/11 mosque. In a different speech last week, he got positively huffy about a group called "Americans for Prosperity", which had made the mistake of trying to engage in activity protected by a different part of the First Amendment.
Right now all around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads against Democratic candidates all across the country. And they don't have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don't know if it's a foreign-controlled corporation. You don't know if it's a big oil company, or a big bank. You don't know if it's a insurance company that wants to see some of the provisions in health reform repealed because it's good for their bottom line, even if it's not good for the American people.Note the utter sleaziness of the tactic here: the President isn't saying that AFP is actually foreign-controlled; but—eek!—they might be. Or it could be some corporations. Whatever the scapegoat-du jour is.
I would guess that AFP works under the exact same laws and disclosure requirements as does (say) MoveOn.org or Americans United for Change. The difference: Obama would prefer that AFP just shut up, and he's not above using cowardly innuendo to try to make that happen.