Sarah Palin Tries Demagoguery

Or maybe she’s just plan stupid. It won’t matter past Tuesday I know, but let’s just have a look at the mad Governor of Alaska’s latest gem, putting the worst of George W Bush or even Dan Quayle to shame.

Basically she’s said that being criticised or even identified by the press as ‘going negative’ in her shameless attacks, lies and misrepresentations on/of almost-president Obama threatens her freedom of speech:

“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.”

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As Garofoli quite rightly says, the First Amendment actually quite simply says she’s allowed to say what she likes about him and the press is allowed to show where she’s wrong or even criticise her for it without fear of retribution. Glenn Greenwald at Slate elaborates:

The First Amendment is actually not that complicated. It can be read from start to finish in about 10 seconds. It bars the Government from abridging free speech rights. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether you’re free to say things without being criticized, or whether you can comment on blogs without being edited, or whether people can bar you from their private planes because they don’t like what you’ve said.

He goes on to show a deeper flaw in her logic:

The Constitution also guarantees freedom of association. Thus, by Palin’s “reasoning,” when newspapers — or Palin herself — criticize Obama for his associations, they’re threatening his constitutional rights.

It’s a typical right wing attack, and one sadly all-too-familiar from the McCain/Palin campaign. They try to repackage their immoral behaviour as legitimate and constitutional by recasting the Constitution as something it is not, and then try to force their opponents to argue against them. McCain and Palin are indeed the ones who are putting Obama’s constitutional freedoms under threat; fortunately the Obama campaign has declined to even respond to this stupidity. It’s terrifying to think that if elected on Tuesday, only a heartbeat away from being the most powerful person in the world, she would believe herself constitutionally protected from criticism. It’s far more alarming than any of even the Bush excesses, but isn’t it strange how only the right wing seem to think this, and only when they’re on the ropes?

Fortunately it’s a moot point, and this sort of politics will contribute to her and McCain losing the election on Tuesday.

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One response to “Sarah Palin Tries Demagoguery

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