LET'S LOCK UP THE RIGHT WING
IT'S TIME TO USE THEIR BAD LAWS AGAINST THEM
RUSH LIMBAUGH, NEWT GINGRICH, PAT ROBERTSON ALL BELONG IN GITMO
Fire Up The Patriot Acts, The RICO Act, And The New Hate Crimes Law Before More Innocent People Are Killed
It would only be justice, poetic justice, if the conservatives were hoist on their own "law & order" petard. They never imagined that laws designed to suppress legitimate dissent, circumvent Constitutional protections of the liberty and property of the accused, and make life easier for the thugs in government could ever be used against them. But they can and they should be used right now and for many years to come to bust up the right-wing redneck & corporate conspiracy to overthrow our democratic government and tear up our freedom-loving Constitution, BEFORE they manage to do that. We'll give them plenty of time to appeal, if conservative judges don't find their pleadings frivolous. But they can sit in safe, helpless silence in Guantanamo while they wait for judgment, just like some of their victims.
Here's the conversation I had recently with Chris Edelson of The Seminal.com, on the subject of "What is the best way to respond to the murder of Dr. George Tiller?"
' As I have written, I have been trying to figure out what the best way is to respond to the murder of Dr. George Tiller. I continue to be amazed by the rhetoric of the extreme anti-abortion side (which has managed to appear mainstream, thanks in large part to support from the Republican party). One commenter in this blog claims that Dr. Tiller’s murder was a completely justified “execution”, just punishment for the killings he supposedly committed. I think there are a number of things that are necessary–starting with some long overdue leadership from Republicans who need to stop legitimizing extremism by making clear that it is dangerous and over the line to equate abortion with murder (the Republican party platform suggests that abortion is murder). I’d also like to hear from women who have had abortions so we can get past the caricatured notion that women casually decide to terminate pregnancies. I’m curious to know what others think–please vote in the poll on the side of this page, and leave your comments here: what’s the best way to respond to this despicable act, and how do we take action to prevent more doctors and health care providers from being killed? '
I think we’ve just been way too damned tolerant of intolerance. Other countries have laws that address this sort of terrorism-enabling & inspiring. In fact, we do too: Haven’t Americans who merely send money to charities connected to political organizations in the Middle East been arrested and charged with terrorism? How are these radical anti-choice groups any different? Or the churches and political Parties that support them?
Either we have absolute freedom of speech, or we apply the legal strictures of the same laws in the same way to everyone. Anyone who commits or threatens to commit violence or aggravated harassment of women and their doctors, gays and their children, immigrants, minorities, the disabled or any other real or perceived group should be arrested, charged, tried, convicted, sentenced and imprisoned for a very long time: Life, in the worst cases. Those who support them financially or politically should be treated the same way we treat supporters of Hamas, including national religious leaders and elected officials.
The new hate crimes legislation should be used along with anti-terror laws to round up the worst elements of this “pro-life” mafia, and to put the rest of them on notice. Media outlets that disseminate their violence-inspiring filth should be fined or de-licensed. There really needs to be a very tough crackdown. Every element of our arts & media, our academic and religious organizations, our legal and political establishment, labor and business associations should be called upon to condemn the hate and the terror, and to demand swift justice in every case. It has to be established as an invariable principle: Promoting violence is against the law and will be prosecuted and punished severely in every case. No more tolerance for intolerance.
' Thanks for the comment–I think this is very much worth thinking about. I am a staunch free speech advocate and will defend anyone’s peaceful speech, but speech protections are mot absolute, as Justice Holmes made clear nearly a 100 years ago with his famous “you can’t shout fire in a crowded theater” example. It is not ok to use speech to incite imminent violence or unlawful action, as the Supreme Court ruled in the 1969 Brandenburg case that sets the standard. I don’t think legal action is the only way to respond though–it is still lawful for someone to say, in the abstract, that abortion is murder. So the solution here requires something beyond legal action. That’s why I think it is very important for supposedly responsible leaders to condemn this type of speech. Justice Holmes noted that the best response to free speech you disagree with is counterspeech. In this case, I think responsible Republican elected officials, if they truly are responsible people, have a duty to disclaim the incendiary rhetoric from their party platform and to make clear that it is over the line to say abortion is murder and to call doctors who perform abortions mass murderers. There is a way to change the way the abortion debate plays out, and the Republican party has a responsibility to speak out, given the fact that it has helped mainstream the radical anti-abortion movement. '
Agreed. That’s what I meant, in part, when I said that I thought all segments of society should condemn this. I do not, however, expect many Republicans/ conservatives/ fundamentalists to join in. They’re too busy using deliberately inflammatory language and outrageous actions for their own political purposes. That’s why I think the best example would be set by arresting them.
I don’t like the trend in the law toward less rights and more government power. But the RICO Act, the Patriot Acts and this new Hate Crime law could be used to bust up what is by any definition a highly organized if ostensibly diffuse conspiracy designed to generate fear and violence toward their political enemies. From George W. Bush to Eric Rudolph, from Pat Robertson to Scott Roeder, from Rush Limbaugh to Michael Griffin there are links in a chain that has purposely been created, a “movement,” they call it. The Justice Department and Homeland Security should be going after this “movement” with all the vigor and force of law they usually reserve for “leftist” conspirators.
Even if they fail to convict everyone in the chain, they could bust it up, and put the real fear of God in the irresponsible and cynical movement leaders. I’d love to see Dick Cheney or Sean Hannity sitting in the same dock that once held Abbie Hoffman or Daniel Berrigan. The government had no compunction about prosecuting and harassing a movement and a perceived leadership they happened to disagree with, if only because it was in opposition to that government. Let’s see Obama do the same to these actual murderers and their co-conspirators.
As to the civil liberties issues, they will win out in the end, as they should. But, in the meantime, every one of these reprehensible rabble-rousers could be put on notice, have their lives disrupted, and maybe spend some time in the pokey for their intentionally inspirational words and deeds. Fighting words, shouting fire in a crowded theater, obscenity, calling for violence against the government, verbal harassment and terroristic threatening are all already illegal. Let’s see some pre-emptive prosecutions of the Right, for a change, for the lesser crimes they commit every day, before more innocent people die in lawful pursuit of their own rights.
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