I wrote earlier that McCain did everything in his Albuquerque speech but call the Prophet Barack a liar.
Scratch that. This ad goes there:
Then problems with this are enormous. First, just who decides what the "truth" is or when a possible lie has taken place? The prosecutors’ office? The sheriff? Joe off the streets? It’s bad enough that elected law-enforcement officials, who are supposed to be neutral, are going after opponents of a particular candidate, but then to threaten them with legal action? Even if the target of the
persecution investigation has done nothing wrong (And if Missouri "ethics laws" can be used this way, I question their constitutionality.), he still has to waste time and money defending himself, time and money which should be going to spread his political opinion.
The potential here for for corrupting the political process through intimidation is huge: prosecutors are given wide leeway under American law, and we saw in the Duke phony-rape case the damage that can be done by a politically motivated prosecutor. If there was ever an example of something having a "chilling effect" on free speech, this is it.
This perversion of local law enforcement to serve a partisan political purpose is so outrageous that the Governor of Missouri, Matt Blunt, issued a statement condemning it. Here’s an excerpt:
"This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.
"Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts – not a free society."
Yes, Blunt is a Republican and thus can be considered partisan, but his statement is right on the money. If Obama’s supporters are concerned about the truth of claims by opponents, then let them release their own ads and statements with facts that show the truth. But to abuse the law to intimidate the opposition into silence? Do we really want a president, a man who taught constitutional law, who thinks "free speech" means "free to praise me and criticize the other guy?"
The Missouri "truth squad scandal" is too important for Camp McCain to use as just part of an ad, for the right of free speech is at the core of our liberties as citizens. It should be a campaign of its own that plays in every battleground state from now until Election Day, and he should hammer Obama with it at tonight’s debate.
It may not be liberal fascism, but is sure is Chicago-style. And I don’t mean pizza.
LINKS: Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy has a devastating article on the Prophet Barack’s assault on free speech. Be sure to read it.