View Full Version : Elections Palin: First Amendment Rights Threatened By Criticism

Thig Lyfe
10-31-2008, 09:47 PM
via HuffPo (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/31/palin-criticism-threatens_n_139729.html)

ABC News reports:

In a conservative radio interview that aired in Washington, D.C. Friday morning, Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin said she fears her First Amendment rights may be threatened by "attacks" from reporters who suggest she is engaging in a negative campaign against Barack Obama.

Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama's associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate's free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.

"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."

Salon's Glenn Greenwald explains why this argument is frighteningly wrong:

If anything, Palin has this exactly backwards, since one thing that the First Amendment does actually guarantee is a free press. Thus, when the press criticizes a political candidate and a Governor such as Palin, that is a classic example of First Amendment rights being exercised, not abridged.

This isn't only about profound ignorance regarding our basic liberties, though it is obviously that. Palin here is also giving voice here to the standard right-wing grievance instinct: that it's inherently unfair when they're criticized. And now, apparently, it's even unconstitutional.

According to Palin, what the Founders intended with the First Amendment was that political candidates for the most powerful offices in the country and Governors of states would be free to say whatever they want without being criticized in the newspapers. The First Amendment was meant to ensure that powerful political officials would not be "attacked" in the papers. It is even possible to imagine more breathaking ignorance from someone holding high office and running for even higher office?





10-31-2008, 10:04 PM
No one would ever confuse her with someone intelligent.

I'd love to hear someone justify why they'd be comfortable with her potentially selecting supreme court justices when she herself struggles to understand the 1st amendment.

10-31-2008, 11:02 PM
Here's the first paragraph of the Wikipedia.org entry on Negative Campaigning:


Negative campaigning, also known more colloquially as "mudslinging", is trying to win an advantage by referring to negative aspects of an opponent or of a policy rather than emphasizing one's own positive attributes or preferred policies. In the broadest sense, the term covers any rhetoric which refers to an opponent, if only by way of contrast, but can also include attacks meant to destroy an opponent's character, which may veer into ad hominem.

Governor Palin's references to Senator Obama's past associations with Bill Ayers during her speeches are negative campaigning. If the press calls it that, then they are being accurate. It is strange for someone to think that the media describing campaign tactics accurately is somehow a threat to rights described by the U.S. Constitution. There's a time and a place for negative campaigning, such as when one is concerned about the associations that one's opponent has had in the past. It seems to me that if Governor Palin wants to engage in negative campaigning, she shouldn't fret about the media describing it as such. Does she think the folks that she wants to influence are incapable of handling accurate description? I'd like to reassure anyone who is honestly worried about it that the Constitution is not, in fact, threatened by the media engaging in accurate description. The Republic can withstand such behavior from the media.

11-01-2008, 08:25 AM
The right is just mad because Democrats are not taking the negative campaigns with a grain of salt this year as Kerry did. The Obama campaign is calling BS when they see it and striking back with their own attack ads. That said, Obama's attack ads at least try to balance the negative with what they are doing. McBush's idea of touting himself is comparing himself to Joe the Plumber or calling himself a maverick, not in any policy stands he has taken. Rovian politics have kept this campaign in reach for McBush, some people will believe anything. Its not going to be enough. Are the Republicans in 2012 going to pull someone out that can tell us why to vote for them and not why not to vote for the other guy? Are they going to have a platform that makes this a better America for everyone or just the top 5%? Are they going to come to the middle on the abortion issue by allowing it in instances of rape/incest/danger to the mother or even admit that if you don't want abortions that birth control might be a good thing?

11-01-2008, 08:35 AM
She's not exactly the brightest bulb in the lamp.

11-01-2008, 08:46 AM
Jesus, this lady is really out of her league.