Obama's Craven Betrayal of the First Amendment

Carol Platt Liebau
Posted: Sep 14, 2012 4:13 PM

In the Daily Caller, Neil Munro reports that the Obama administration has asked YouTube to suppress the offensive film that is the pretext for some of the Islamist rioting.  This is, of course, in accordance with the demands of the Muslim brotherhood.

It goes without saying that such government interference in speech protected by the First Amendment is uncomfortably close to a complete betrayal of the President's oath to protect and defend the US Constitution. The "speech" to which the Islamists object is, true, offensive.  So is "Piss Christ" and a variety of other anti-Christian (or anti-Semitic) rhetoric.  But under our foundational principles, speech rights cannot be abridged by the government unless its purpose is to incite imminent lawless action.  This doesn't cover a film criticizing a religion (even if the film is tasteless and repugnant), i.e., something that might ruffle sensitivities enough to make people want to riot once they can get a riot organized. It means instead something like a person on the spot urging on an angry and hysterical crowd, say, to attack an embassy.

As it turns out, the administration's move shows as much respect for the First Amendment's free speech provisions as the ObamaCare contraceptive mandate shows for the First Amendment's religious guarantees.

Munro's piece suggests that the Obama administration is trying to quell the Islamist unrest at almost any cost, given the threat it constitutes to the President's re-election. Each voter will have to decide for him- or herself whether that's true, but it is deeply troubling that the Obama administration is willing to ride roughshod over the American Constitution in order to appease our enemies.

Where does this end?